Diabetic Sick Day Rule
Illness and infection as well as other forms of stress can raise your blood glucose (sugar) levels. As part of the bodies defence mechanism for fighting illness and infection more glucose is released into the blood stream. This can happen even if you're off your food or eating less than normal.
- Don't panic - contact your diabetes team who will help you if you have any queries or if you are unsure about what to do.
- Keep taking your medication - even if you do not feel like eating but contact your GP for advice as some medication may need to be stopped while unwell.
- If you check your blood sugars at home you will probably need to do it more often - at least every 4 hours, including during the night. If you do not check your sugars at home be aware of the signs of a hyper (hyperglycaemia) - increased thirst, headache, difficulty concentrating, blurred vision, frequent urination, fatigue- weakness tired feeling.
- Stay hydrated - have plenty of unsweetened drinks, and eat little and often.
- If you have Type 1, check your Ketones if your blood sugar level is high (generally 15mmol/l or more, or 13mmol/l if you use an insulin pump). If Ketones present contact your diabetic team.
- If you take a certain type of diabetes table called SGLT2II eg Empagliflozin or Dapagliflozin and become unwell you should stop taking these and contact your GP.
- Keep eating or drinking - if you can keep food down, try snacks or drinks with Carbohydrates in to give you energy. Try sips of sugary drinks e.g. non diet cola or lemonade or suck on glucose tablets or jellybeans. Letting fizzy drinks go flat may help keep them down. If you are vomiting or not able to keep fluids down, get medical help as soon as possible.