If you are on insulin, DO NOT STOP
TAKING your insulin. Viral colds, flu syndromes, upper
respiratory infections, fevers and diarrheal illnesses
can all increase your need for insulin. Stopping your
insulin may allow your blood sugars to go very high,
which could make you much sicker and even precipitate
the need for hospitalization.
If you are on
oral agents for diabetes and you are eating less than
your usual diet, reduce the dose of the diabetic
medicines by 1/3 to 1/2. If you are on Glucophage
(metformin), stop it altogether. Once you are feeling
better, you can resume your usual medications at their
blood sugars often, at least 4 times daily.
normally take insulin, test your urine for ketones once
or twice a day. Urine ketone sticks can be bought over
the counter in a pharmacy. Directions are on the
bottle. Moderate to large urine ketones are a
signal to call the doctor.
Drink lots of
liquids. Eat salty foods. You should drink at least ˝
cup every hour. Soups and broths help to replace vital
sodium and potassium salts lost during vomiting and
diarrhea and will help you feel stronger. If you start
getting dehydrated, your blood sugar may rise further
and precipitate the need for hospitalization.
frequent meals may be easier to tolerate during an
illness. Try foods like cooked cereal, plain yogurt,
Jell-O, fresh fruit, scrambled egg, toast or
If you are not
able to eat, you can keep your sugar from going too low
by taking frequent sips of sugar rich drinks such as
regular cola, fruit juices or sugar sweetened drinks. If
you have been taking oral agents for diabetes and your
sugars are less than 120 mg%, you must take some sugar
rich drink at least every 4 hours. Artificial sweeteners
will not work to keep your blood sugars up.
should not exercise during an illness.
labels on cold medications and don't take them if they
say they are not to be used for people with diabetes.
Medications you CAN take include Chlortrimaton, Sudafed,
Drixoral, Dimetapp, Pepto-Bismol, Kaopectate, Immodium,
Phospho-soda, Milk of Magnesia, Colace, Metamucil,
doctor if you are not able to take in adequate liquids
or can't keep liquids down; if you have vomiting or
diarrhea for more than 8 hours; if you have blood sugars
over 400 mg% on two CONSECUTIVE tests; if your urine
test for ketones shows large ketones; if you feel very
ill or are having pain; if you have extreme fatigue; if
you have shortness of breath; or if you have dizziness
and feel like you might faint.