Sick Day Rules Type 2 Diabetes
Coping when you are Ill
When you are feeling unwell.
People with diabetes do not get more illness than other people. However, if you do become ill your diabetes control may be upset. This is because your body's natural response to illness is to make more glucose. This can make your blood glucose level rise, even if you are vomiting and unable to eat or drink.
Illnesses, which could raise your blood glucose levels include:
Symptoms of High Blood Glucose
Low Blood Sugar (Hypoglycaemia)
Very occasionally your blood glucose levels may fall during illness. Low blood glucose is also known as hypoglycaemia. If this happens and your blood glucose is below 4 mmols, treat the hypo with 75mls (small glass) of Lucozade, glass of ordinary lemonade, 4-6 glucose tablets, followed by a snack with slower release carbohydrate.
Never stop your Diabetes treatment
Each of these contains approximately 10 grams of carbohydrate:
If you are vomiting and unable to keep anything down, speak to your GP, diabetes nurse specialist or NHS 24
Type 2 Diabetes treated with non insulin injections (e.g. Exenitide (Byetta) or Liraglutide (Victoza) ?
Continue to take your Byetta or Victoza but it is important that you eat after your injection. Unfortunately there is no scope to increase your dose with these medications. If your blood glucose levels remain high for a few days or you are concerned, consult your GP, diabetes nurse specialist or NHS 24.
Type 2 Diabetes treated with insulin
Your blood glucose may rise above normal even if you are not able to eat your normal meals or drink anything, so never stop taking your insulin.
If you are taking insulin; test your blood glucose levels every 2-4 hours and adjust your insulin if required (see below).
To prevent dehydration try to drink 4-6 pints of sugar free liquids per day. This is approximately one glass every hour.
If you are sick or unable to eat solid carbohydrate foods replace this with liquid carbohydrates such as Lucozade, fruit juice, ordinary lemonade/coke.
If you are not being sick but have lost your appetite, try milky drinks, ordinary jelly (not sugar free) ice cream or custard.
As you start to feel better, reintroduce solid foods and discontinue sugary drinks.
Very occasionally your blood glucose levels may fall during illness. Low blood glucose is also known as hypoglycaemia or hypo. If this happens and your blood glucose is below 4 mmols, treat the hypo with 75mls (small glass) of Lucozade, glass of ordinary lemonade, 4-6 glucose tablets, and reduce your insulin by 2-4 units. Keep reducing the insulin in this way until your blood glucose test rises above 4mmols. When you are feeling better, gradually increase the insulin back to your usual dose. Further information on hypos can be found in the Hypo leaflet or from you diabetes team.
Contact your Diabetes Team or GP urgently if:
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