When you’re sick, you’re under stress which can make your blood glucose (sugar) level go up very high. It can also cause serious conditions. Working out a plan of action for sick days ahead of time can prevent a minor illness from becoming a major problem. This section will tell you how to be prepared and what do when you are sick.
Being sick with Diabetes
Being sick can make your blood glucose (sugar) level go up very high. It can also cause serious conditions that can put you in a coma.
The best way to prevent a minor illness from becoming a major problem is to work out a plan of action for sick days ahead of time. Then when you become sick, you will feel safe and secure. You will already know what to do and you will have the supplies on hand to do it.
What Happens When You’re Sick
When you’re sick, you’re under stress. To deal with this stress, your body releases hormones that help it fight disease. But these hormones have side effects. They raise blood glucose levels and interfere with the blood glucose-lowering effects of insulin.
As a result, when you are sick, it is harder to keep your blood glucose in your target range. Ketoacidosis leading to a diabetic coma can develop, particularly in people with type 1 diabetes. People with type 2 diabetes, especially older people, can develop a similar condition called hyperosmolar hyperglycemic nonketotic coma. Both conditions are dangerous and can be life-threatening.
Waiting too long to get medical care when you are sick can lead to getting much sicker. When you have diabetes, a delay in getting care can be life threatening. Even a minor cold can make your diabetes harder to control. Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to more serious health problems.
When you are sick, keep a close watch on diabetes warning signs. These are:
- High blood sugar that will not come down with treatment
- Low blood sugar that will not rise after you eat
If you have any of these warning signs and cannot treat them yourself, call your doctor.