Illness and insulin

If you are ill with type 1 or 2 diabetes, more glucose is released into your bloodstream and your body becomes resistant to insulin.

If you are ill, more glucose is released into your bloodstream and your body becomes resistant to insulin, which can mean a rise in your blood glucose levels, so you may need to take a higher dose of insulin.

Use the following ‘sick day rules’ to take extra care of your diabetes.

  1. Call your healthcare team if you need help.
  2. Keep taking your insulin and/or other diabetes medications even if you don’t feel like eating. You might need more than usual.
  3. Test your blood glucose levels more often
  4. Stay well hydrated. Have lots of unsweetened drinks to avoid dehydration
  5. Eat little and often, and have carbohydrate-containing drinks if you cannot keep food down.

You are at increased risk of hyperglycaemia and diabetic ketoacidosis if you become ill. Check for ketones and contact your healthcare team if they are present.

Read more

Sources

Read more about self-care with type 1 or 2 diabetes

  • Woman's blood sugar levels being tested.

    Hypoglycaemia and pregnancy

    Hypoglycaemia happens when your blood glucose levels drop too low. This is more likely to happen if you treat your diabetes with insulin. If you treat your diabetes with diet or metformin alone, you are generally not at risk.

  • Blood sugar level testing sticks.

    Hyperglycaemia and pregnancy

    Hyperglycaemia is caused by blood glucose levels rising too high.

More sections on type 1 or 2 diabetes in pregnancy

Last reviewed on September 1st, 2015. Next review date September 1st, 2017.

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