Dealing with an illness or infection can throw a curveball into managing your blood sugar levels, making it a bit trickier to keep things in check. But fear not, a little understanding of how illnesses affect diabetes can make a world of difference in navigating through these tough times.

You know how it goes – it’s hard to dodge those pesky colds, viruses, or stomach bugs every year. So, it’s wise to be armed with knowledge on how to handle your diabetes during these sick spells.

Here’s the lowdown on how illness shakes things up for diabetes:

  1. Extra Glucose Galore: When your body is fighting off an illness, it releases extra glucose into your bloodstream to help combat it. Normally, this is managed smoothly with extra insulin in people without diabetes. But for those with diabetes, it adds an extra layer of complexity to managing blood sugar levels, especially when you’re already feeling under the weather.
  2. Watch Those Highs: If your blood sugar levels soar above 28 mmols/L during sickness, it’s time to reach out to your healthcare team pronto, or contact NHS Direct for guidance.

Now, onto the game plan for coping with diabetes during illness:

  • Monitor, Monitor, Monitor: Keep tabs on your blood sugar levels more frequently than usual to track how they’re behaving.
  • Check for Ketones: If you have type 1 diabetes, it’s a good idea to follow up high blood sugar readings with a ketone test.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of fluids to fend off dehydration, a common side effect of high blood glucose levels.
  • Keep Fueling Up: Even if you’re not feeling like eating, it’s important to keep your energy levels up. If solid food isn’t on the cards, opt for drinks with carbohydrates to sustain you.
  • Be Mindful with Insulin: If you manage your insulin, be cautious with your doses during illness. You might need to adjust them based on how you’re feeling and eating.

Now, let’s talk about what to do if things start getting out of hand:

  • Keep in Touch: If your blood sugar levels are soaring or you’re struggling to keep anything down, don’t hesitate to reach out to your healthcare team for guidance.
  • Beware of Ketoacidosis: For folks with type 1 diabetes, keep an eye out for symptoms of ketoacidosis if your blood sugar climbs above 15 mmols/L. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
  • Recovery Mode: After the storm of illness passes, expect your blood sugar levels to take a bit of time to settle back down to normal. Keep testing regularly until things stabilize.

And a special note for parents of children with diabetes:

  • Hypo Alert: While most people see their blood sugar rise during illness, children might experience hypoglycemia instead. Keep a close watch on their sugar levels and have glucose on hand for treatment.

Remember, even when the going gets tough with illness, staying on top of your diabetes management is key to a speedy recovery. And if you’re ever in doubt, your healthcare team is just a call away for support and guidance.