Well, the cold has reached our campus; and I’ve been hit with it. So, I’ve decided to write an entry on what to do when you have the cold, the flu, or something else that keeps you in bed all day AND you are living with juvenile diabetes.
Keep these ideas in mind so that you are prepared and know what to do when you are hit with a bug:
Tip number one: Consult your doctor. If your blood-sugar level is not going down, or if you are losing weight, or if you cannot keep food down, or if you just don’t know what to do, please call your doctor. Be ready to tell him/her everything. Writing down symptoms, your blood sugar levels, amounts of insulin and what you’ve eaten since you’ve been sick may be a big help in order to get you better faster. Please don’t hesitate to ask for help, even if you haven’t kept track of all of these things. If you need help, you need help!
Tip number two: Check your blood sugar. Frequently. Especially if you are taking cold medicines or vomiting a lot, the former can send your blood sugar skyrocketing, while the latter could send it plummeting. JDRF recommends checking every two to three hours (http://www.jdrf.org/index.cfm?page_id=111104). Cold medicines that contain sugar can send the blood sugar up, while taking large doses of aspirin can send it down – be careful how much you are taking while you’re sick and ask you’re doctor if you are not sure about the dosage.
Tip number three: Don’t stop taking insulin! This is very important. Your blood sugar levels are hard enough to keep under control while being sick, but without insulin, your body can go into panic mode. Your body is trying to fight off infection, so it releases hormones in order to deal with the stress that it is under. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) says that these hormones affect blood sugar levels in a negative way, leading to ketoacidosis – sugar in the urine – a very serious condition, especially for diabetics (http://www.diabetes.org/food-nutrition-lifestyle/lifestyle-prevention/common-concerns/when-you-are-sick.jsp). Which leads to the next tip…
Tip number four: Check your ketone levels.