Sick Days with Diabetes

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Sick Days with Diabetes

May 15, 2020

Sick Days with Diabetes

photo of a women with a thermometer to her foreheadIf you have diabetes, your blood glucose can rise when you get sick. Here are important tips to follow if you become ill.

TAKE DIABETES MEDICATION
Always take diabetes medication as directed, unless your care team tells you otherwise.

NO COLD / FLU MEDICINE
Do not take cold or flu medicine unless you have checked with your care team. Ask your care team if sugar-free cough drops or syrup are okay to have.

FOLLOW YOUR MEAL PLAN
Try to follow your normal meal plan. If you cannot eat due to your illness, try drinking fruit juice or eating gelatin. Aim to consume 50 grams of carbohydrates every 3-4 hours.

STAY HYDRATED
Drink plenty of water or sugar-free fluids. If you cannot eat, try to alternate drinking sugar-free and sugar-containing liquids every hour.

CHECK YOUR GLUCOSE
Make sure you check your blood glucose as often as your care team has suggested.

ADJUST INSULIN USE
If you take insulin, adjust the amount of insulin you are taking to your sick-day plan. Do not skip taking insulin, even if you cannot eat! If you take pills, continue to take them as usual unless your care team tells you otherwise.

HAVE SOMEONE CHECK IN
Have a family member or friend check in on you several times a day while you are sick. If you are quarantined, remind the person checking on you to stay at least six feet away when possible.

KNOW WHEN TO CALL FOR HELP
Call your healthcare provider if you have stomach pain, diarrhea, or inability to keep down food/liquids for several hours straight. You should also call if your urine ketones are above trace or your blood glucose levels are higher than normal while following your sick day plan.

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