During an illness such as flu or gastroenteritis, blood glucose levels can rise due to the stress of the illness. At the same time, poor appetite can also cause your blood glucose levels to drop and result in hypoglycemia.
It is important for you to know what to do when you are sick, to avoid high and low blood glucose levels.
If you have Type 1 Diabetes, please discuss with your healthcare team on an individualised sick day plan. The information here may not apply to you.
· Check your blood glucose level every 4 hours.
· Set a timer for to remind yourself.
· Drink plenty of water (if you are not on fluid restriction)
· Sip at least half a cup of water or sugar-free fluid every hour
· Take your meals as per usual as much as possible. Here are suggestions of easy-to-digest meals to help maintain your blood glucose levels:
· If you are unable to eat,
and your blood glucose is between 4 and 10 mmol/L, take any of the following every 1 to 2 hours to maintain your blood glucose levels:
· If your blood glucose drops to below 4 mmol/L, treat hypoglycaemia according to the 15/15 rule.
· Continue to take your insulin injections
· Continue to take your diabetes tablets (with some exceptions below)
· If you are vomiting, having diarrhoea, and/or eating or drinking very poorly,
STOP SGLT 2 inhibitors (dapagliflozin, empagliflozin)
· If your appetite is very poor, do speak to your healthcare provider regarding adjustments to your diabetes medication.
· Fever of more than 37.5⁰C for 2days
· Recurrent low blood low blood glucose (less than 4 mmol/L)
· Recurrent high blood glucose (more than 20 mmol/L)
· Severe or persistent vomiting and inability to take in food
· Severe or persistent abdominal pain
· Feeling of breathlessness
· Persistent diarrhoea
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HYPOGLYCEMIA occurs when your blood sugar level falls below 4.0 mmol/L (70 mg/dl). You may or may not have typical symptoms.
· Fast heart beat
· Impaired vision
Hypoglycemia can be dangerous if left untreated. Loss of consciousness may occur.
If the person is unconscious, call an ambulance immediately. Do not give the person any food or drink.
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Confirm that your blood sugar level is less than 4 mmol/L.
If you do not have a blood glucose meter, skip to step 2.
· Take 15g of
quick-acting carbohydrate/sugar to raise your blood sugar level quickly. E.g.:
Be prepared; always carry these quick-acting carbohydrates/sugar with you.
Avoid taking food that is high in fat such as chocolate bars. Fat slows down the movement of sugar into your blood.
· Recheck your blood sugar level 15 minutes later.
· When blood sugar is above 4 mmol/L, take a
slow-acting carbohydrate. E.g.:
Record all blood sugar readings and events for your healthcare team to note. Always look for the cause or trigger for the hypoglycaemia.
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