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Sanofi Canada

2905 Place Louis-R.-Renaud
Laval, Quebec, H7V 0A3

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Content :

Diabetes and Sick Days

We all get sick once in a while, but with diabetes we have a checklist for you to follow. It's important that you plan ahead to know what to do if you get sick.


Your "sick day" checklist:

  • It is recommended that all people with diabetes get an annual flu shot.
  • Check with your pharmacist which medications for colds, flu, nausea and fever are best for you. Make sure that you have some of these medications stocked in your medicine cabinet. Avoid cough syrups with high sugar content.
  • Prepare some meals that you could eat on a sick day and store in the freezer. Keep sick-day foods at home, such as soup, regular Jell-O, hot cereal, low-fat crackers and applesauce.
  • If you can't eat, replace your usual carbohydrate foods with sugar-containing drinks like fruit juice, ginger ale and sports drinks. Talk to your dietitian/nutritionist to understand about the carbohydrate foods you are eating and how to replace them.
  • Vomiting and diarrhea can make your blood glucose levels drop very low. In order to prevent hypoglycemia (blood glucose under 4 mmol/L), be sure to drink lots of both sugar free and sugar containing fluids in small amounts every hour or two. Keep testing your blood sugar.
  • It might not make sense, but your blood glucose levels can be high even if you're not eating. Be sure to check your levels more frequently and at least once every four hours. If your blood glucose levels are very high or low, contact your doctor or diabetes educator and ask how to adjust your medications to help get your blood glucose in control.
  • Don't stop taking your medications even if you're vomiting, have diarrhea and/or your stomach is empty. Talk to your doctor or diabetes educator about what to do when this might happen.
  • The DKA test can be done by testing your urine or using a blood glucose monitor that can measure ketones.
  • If you have type 1 diabetes and are vomiting or have diarrhea, you need to check your ketones frequently. You can become dehydrated quickly and could develop a dangerous condition called diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). DKA must be immediately treated at a hospital emergency department.