People with diabetes don’t get ill any more often than other people, but illness and infections tend to push up blood glucose and can often make you feel more unwell.
The common cold or flu
Stomach upsets- particularly food poisoning
Urinary tract infections
All the above may result in hospital admission for the person with diabetes.
When you are ill especially with a fever, your blood glucose levels tend to rise, even if you cannot eat or are being sick. However occasionally your blood glucose levels may be low, so regular blood glucose monitoring (at least 4 times a day every 2-3 hours) to help you decide whether changes to your tablets and insulin’s are needed.
Never stop taking your insulin if you have Type 1 Diabetes
Continue to take your tablets and/ or insulin even if you are not eating much
Drink plenty of non-sugary fluids (4-6 pints per day) between meals to avoid dehydration
When you are ill you may not want to eat. You might have to eat more fatty or sugary foods than normal, but you don’t have to worry about that. Try cereals, toast, soups, milk puddings, light meals based on meat or fish and chicken, avoid fried and spicy foods. It may be easier to manage regular snacks and drinks rather than 3 main meals try:
Ice cream, sugar free jelly and tinned fruit in natural juice
tea, milk or milky drinks
If you are unable to eat download our patient leaflets for alternatives.
Monitoring ketones, Diabetic Ketoacidosis, is a serious complication - read more
If you are vomiting and your blood glucose is over 16 mmol/l you need to get medical help, especially if you are no better after the 2nd test or the next insulin injection. You may need to be admitted to hospital.