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DIABETES diabetes management

Sick Day Management


Should I keep taking my diabetes medication if I'm sick?

1. MOST IMPORTANT: Even if you are sick and not eating regularly, you still need to take your insulin and diabetes pills the way you always do unless your doctor tells you to stop.

2. Everyone with diabetes should have the following on hand:

a. An extra week's supply of insulin or diabetes pills

b. Sugar-free cough medicine

c. Aspirin and non-aspirin pain relievers

d. Antacids

e. Medicine for diarrhea and vomiting

f. Thermometer

How often should I test my blood sugars and temperature?

1. Check and record blood sugar levels more frequently, every 2-4 hours, and write it down in the logbook.

2. Check and record your temperature every 4 hours and write it down in your logbook.

3. Record any pain, lack of appetite, nausea, vomiting, medicines taken, and food eaten in your logbook.

When do I call my doctor?

1. If you have blood sugar levels greater than 240 mg/dl for 24 hours or under 60 mg/dl for 3 readings in a row.

2. If you have an upset stomach, vomiting, or diarrhea for over than 4-6 hours.

3. If you are sick to your stomach and cannot keep fluids down.

4. If you have fever of 101:+ for over 24 hours.

5. If you have a dry mouth, thirst, decreased urination, and dry flushed skin.

6. If you have pain that does not go away.

7. If you are not too sure about something.

8. If you are ill for more than 1 or 2 days.

Have your logbook handy when you call the doctor.

What should I eat when I'm sick?

If you CAN eat/drink, eat your usual meals and snacks. You also need to drink plenty of fluids by drinking 1/2-1 cup sugar-free liquids every 1-2 hours. These would include: water sugar-free popsicles tea, no sugar sugar-free Jell-O instant broth soups diet sodas

If you CANNOT eat/drink your usual meals or snacks, eat or sip about 15 grams of carbohydrates per hour. These would include:

1/2 cup low-fat ice cream 1/2 cup soft pudding

1/2 cup soft yogurt 1/2 cup cooked cereal

1/4 cup sherbet 1 tbsp. honey

1/2 cup Jell-O 1/2 cup regular soda

1 cup of cream soup (thinned) 1/2 cup grape juice

1 cup milk 1/2 twin popsicle

1. It is easier for your body to digest carbohydrates than proteins and fats.

2. Small frequent feedings are quickly absorbed and quickly changed to blood glucose.

3. Keep a record of how much you eat and drink.

4. Ask someone to check in on you.

Warning: You may be at risk of severe dehydration and hypoglycemia if you do not replace carbohydrates and fluids. Dehydration is defined as not being able to take in enough fluids to replace those lost through vomiting or diarrhea.

Signs and Symptoms of Dehydration: Dry mouth, thirst, decreased urination, dry flushed skin, and dry lips.

If you have been very sick to your stomach, start drinking clear liquids like broth, tea, apple or grape juice or eating Jell-O or popsicles. When you can keep these down move on to full liquids like tomato or orange juice, ice cream and cream soups. Add soft foods like oatmeal, applesauce, noodles, rice, and cooked vegetables as your appetite increases.

What should I do in the meantime?

1. Stay in bed, keep warm, and get lots of rest.

2. Drink lots of liquids.

3. Do some reading or watch your favorite TV shows.

Discuss these and any other Sick Day Rules with your doctor.

Also check with your doctor before taking any other medications.


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