How to Manage your Diabetes
on Sick Days

When you are sick:

  • Always take your medication (insulin or oral hypoglycemic agent). The dosage may be adjusted by your doctor is necessary.
  • Try to follow your meal plan if you can eat.
  • Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration.
  • Test your blood glucose every 2-4 hours. If you know you're low, test more frequently.
  • Test your urine or blood for ketones if your blood glucose reading is higher than 14 mmol/L (or as suggested by your doctor).

Seek medical attention from a doctor or emergency room if, for example:

  • You have been vomiting or having diarrhea for more than 4 hours.
  • You are unable to eat or drink.
  • Your blood glucose values have been higher than 17 mmol/L for more than 12 hours.
  • You have moderate to large amounts of ketones in your urine (or if blood ketones >1.5 mmol/L)
  • You show signs of dehydration like a dry mouth, cracked lips, dry skin or sunken eyes.
  • Your chest hurts, your breath smells fruity, you are having trouble breathing or you can't think clearly.
  • You are not certain what to do to take care of yourself or have any questions or worries about your symptoms or illness.