Preparing for Sick Days
When you get sick with things like colds or flu, the illness and stress from it causes your body to release hormones that raise blood glucose levels, making it harder to keep your blood glucose in your target range. Having a plan for sick days ahead of time will help manage your diabetes.
One thing to keep in mind is to be sure you’re getting enough water–so drink plenty of it. If you’re having trouble keeping water down, have small sips every 15 minutes or so throughout the day.
Being sick can make it hard to eat, so having simple carbs handy like regular soda, Jell-O, or popsicles will help keep your blood glucose up if you are at risk for lows. Use the 15-15 rule to treat the lows you may have.
Before you get sick, decide on an action plan with your health care team. This plan should include the following:
- When to call your doctor (in most cases if you are vomiting or have diarrhea more than three times over 24 hours or have had a fever over 101° for 24 hours).
- How often to check your blood glucose.
- What foods and fluids to take during your illness.
- How to adjust your insulin or oral medication, if you need to.
- If and when you need to check for ketones.
- Discuss what over the counter medications you should use for colds, flu, etc. Some can raise your blood glucose or affect your usual medications.