Diabetes & Sick Days

By Marci Sloane|2018-07-03T11:24:21-04:00Updated: July 20th, 2014|Diabetes Management, DIY Diabetes Articles|0 Comments

Everyone gets the flu or a cold or an upset stomach from time to time. Minor illness will alter your blood sugar and will require some changes in your daily diabetes routine. It is difficult to control your blood sugars when you are ill. It is especially important to test your blood glucose level frequently to know where your level is on sick days.

You should suspect that your blood glucose level is high when you experience any of the following: flu, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, fever, infections, physical injury, dental problems, or emotional stress.

When you have days of sickness, you need to make the appropriate choices, which include the following:

  • Do not omit any medications.
  • Check blood glucose levels every 4 hours.
  • Drink fluids every hour.
  • If unable to eat your usual meals replace them with the same amounts of carbohydrates in crackers, regular puddings, fruit, Jell-O, soup, ice cream, etc.

Contact Your Primary Health Care Doctor If:

  • Fever is worse or longer than 24 hours.
  • Vomiting or diarrhea longer than 24 hours.
  • Ketones are present in your urine.
  • Experiencing unusual symptoms.
  • Unable to eat for 24 hrs or keep medications or replacement food down.

If Vomiting/Poor Appetite Interferes with Normal Food Intake:

  • Replace food with liquid, semi-liquid or soft foods with carbohydrates similar to your usual food choices.
  • Consume protein and fat as tolerated.
  • Replace lost electrolytes by having broth, vegetable juice, saltine crackers, pretzels or orange juice.

Whether you’re suffering from an infection or the flu, keep these tips in mind for when you experience sick days.

Feel better!

About the Author: Marci Sloane

Marci SloaneMarci Sloane, MS, RD, LD/N, CDE, is a registered and licensed dietitian/nutritionist and certified diabetes educator. She grew up in NYC where she graduated with a degree in Nutrition and Physiology from Teachers College at Columbia University. For over a decade, Marci managed a Diabetes and Nutrition Education Center at a multi-bed hospital in South Florida and has been counseling people on healthy eating, weight loss, and managing diseases and conditions such as: diabetes, pre-diabetes, healthy eating, heart disease, weight loss, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, hypertension, hypoglycemia and a host of other nutrition-related diseases. Marci is an American Diabetes Association Valor Award recipient and lectures frequently to the public and healthcare professionals. Marci was a featured panelist for the Sun-Sentinel's "Let's Take It Off" weight loss program, was highlighted in the Palm Beach Post: Meet Your Neighbor, "Woman's book on healthy eating uses humor as a key ingredient" and was a participant in their Diabetes Series in 2007. Marci Sloane is a member of the American Diabetes Association’s Health Professional Committee.

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