Chapter 6: Maintaining Your Overall Health
When You’re Sick
Having the flu, or even a cold, can make it hard to keep your blood
glucose in your target range. You may not feel well enough to be
active or eat regular food. Your diabetes health care team can help
you develop an action plan for sick days. Follow all instructions from
your health care provider closely.
If Your Blood Glucose Changes
Your blood glucose can rise quickly when you are sick. High blood
glucose may also be a sign of infection. So it’s important to check
your blood glucose often. Try to stick to your meal plan. If you
have trouble eating solid foods, try soup, applesauce, or yogurt.
And be sure to drink plenty of water and other sugar-free fluids
to stay hydrated.
If You Can’t Eat
Your body needs carbohydrates in order to function. If you can’t
eat at all, you will need to drink liquids with sugar or carbohydrates.
This includes fruit juice, regular soda, and sports drinks. Talk to your
diabetes team about the right amount of liquid carbohydrates. This
will help keep your blood glucose from going too high or too low.
Continue to drink water to stay hydrated.
Adjusting Your Insulin Dosage
Even if you can’t eat, don’t stop taking insulin when you are
sick. If your blood glucose is high, you may need to adjust your
dosage. If you adjust your insulin dosage, be sure to check your
blood glucose often. This is to make sure your blood glucose
doesn’t go too low. If your blood glucose falls below 70, take
action! Eat or drink 15 grams of a fast-acting carbohydrate, such
as glucose tablets or juice. Follow the directions on page 21 for
treating low blood glucose.
Ask for Help!
When you’re sick, try to get plenty of rest. Only do as much as you
comfortably can. You may need to ask family or friends for help with daily
tasks. This may include cooking and cleaning, running errands, or picking up
medications if you’re almost out of them. Those close to you should learn
to recognize the signs of high and low blood glucose. Make sure family and
friends know how to treat high and/or low blood glucose if needed.