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How to manage a sick day in diabetes?

Being sick can increase your blood glucose levels to a higher stake. Sick days can be depressing and dangerous at the same time. It is harder but not impossible to keep your blood glucose levels normal during sick days.

Some guideline to help you tackle with your sugars during sick days:

  • Do not skip your medication
  • Test blood glucose often. All persons with diabetes should self-monitor their blood glucose when ill
  • For those with type 1, check at least every 4 hours
  • For those with type 2, check at least 2-4 times/day
  • Always take insulin or diabetes medication (often extra insulin is required)
  • Less insulin may be needed if person is vomiting or has diarrhea
  • Hypoglycemia is rare, yet may occur with nausea and vomiting of short duration without fever
  • Over the counter (OTC) and prescription medicines, along with herbal therapies, can contribute to hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia, never take any medicine without doctor’s advice
  • Always check the label of over-the-counter medicines before you buy them to see if they have sugar. Small doses of medicines with sugar are usually okay. But to be on the safe side, ask the pharmacist or your team about sugar-free medicines
  • Record weight changes (loss may signal dehydration) and breathing difficulties
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Eat small frequent meals or snacks
  • Keep in contact with provider and care team to know when to call
  • Be sure to mention to the doctor about diabetes if emergency admission required
  • Stick to your normal meal plan as much as possible. Make a sick day meal plan ensuring periodic intake of carbohydrates

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