Living with Diabetes

Diabetes and Sick Days

No one likes to get sick. However, if you've got Diabetes, you need to take extra care of yourself when you do. When you are sick, your body reacts by releasing hormones and other substances to fight the infection. These hormones can raise blood sugar levels and at the same time make it more difficult for insulin to bring your blood sugar levels back to normal. When you have Diabetes, even a minor illness can lead to dangerously high blood sugar level. This may cause life-threatening complications, such as diabetic ketoacidosis.

There are many things that you can do to prevent this.

Plan ahead

Work with your doctor to make a sick-day plan for yourself or for your child with Diabetes. Discuss your target blood sugar goal during an illness. If you are on insulin treatment, you should discuss how to adjust your insulin doses according to your blood sugar levels and when you should contact your doctor for additional help. Also, make sure you know how to check both blood sugar levels and ketones in your urine. It is advisable for you to check your blood sugar levels more often than normal during the time that you are sick. Keep your sick day plan in a convenient place, and include your doctor’s contact information in case you need to reach him/her at night or on the weekends.

When should I seek help?

You should reach out to your doctor or seek additional help if:

What you need to know if you are being treated with insulin

The below applies to people with Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes as some patients with Type 2 will be on insulin therapy at  a later stage in life. 

Remember to consider the following: