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What To Do When You're Sick

Tips for Sick Days


Updated January 16, 2008

When you're sick with a stomach bug or flu, it's hard to keep a good schedule for eating and taking medications, especially when you can't keep anything down. What's the best way to handle a sick day?

  • Check your blood sugar every 4-6 hours
  • Test for ketones also and keep track of results of both blood glucose levels and presence of ketones
  • Take your insulin or oral glycemic meds as scheduled unless your blood sugar is much lower than usual
  • Try to eat small amounts of food every 3 to 4 hours to keep your blood glucose levels as normal as possible
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • If you can't hold anything down, or are sick for more than 24 hours, call your healthcare provider or go to the emergency room.

Things to call your doctor about:

  • Illness that lasts longer than 1 or 2 days
  • Fever
  • Severe nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Rapid or labored breathing
  • Excessive urination or thirst
  • Dehydration
  • Presence of ketones
  • Worsening symptoms

If it's after hours or late at night and your doctor is not available, take a trip to the emergency room.

It's also a good idea to keep handy an updated list of all medications you take and a schedule of when you take them. This way healthcare providers can tell your medication history at a glance. Include both diabetes medications and any others, including over-the-counter drugs and vitamins.

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