Diabetes & disease: how to recover?

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Each of us with different regularity is faced with diseases accompanied by fever.

It would seem that nothing complicated: take medicine, drink water, rest … But people with diabetes during illness are doubly difficult: feeling unwell is complicated by the need to control sugar and adjust compensation.

*Note! By illness, we mean conditions accompanied by fever and fever: flu, colds, acute respiratory infections / ARVI, infections, etc. *

Why does the need for insulin increase during illness?

The reason is familiar to you for a long time: stress hormones. During illness, the body switches to the “fight/flight” mode: to mobilize strength and resources, stress hormones are produced, which provoke temporary insulin resistance (decreased insulin sensitivity). In addition, some medications can also induce resistance (read the instructions!).
It is important to understand that the growth of demand is a purely individual issue. It is not known in advance whether the demand will increase and by how much.

Controlling glucose and ketones

We have already found out that high temperature provokes insulin resistance. Therefore, you need to monitor your glucose levels as often as possible and adjust dosages if necessary. During illness, the need for antihyperglycemic drugs can increase significantly! We do not get scared, and we increase the dosage as much as necessary to ensure the sugar norm. As you recover, the doses will gradually return to their previous levels.
However, only controlling sugars is not enough, because during illness, the risks of diabetic ketoacidosis increase: regular checking for the presence of ketones is mandatory!

Sugar rates during illness

To overcome the disease, the body needs to create favorable conditions for this struggle. In the case of diabetes, provide the norm. In order not to walk on the edge and not go into hypoglycemia, you can slightly overestimate the lower limit of the norm (for example, your usual target glycemia is 4-8.5 mmol, and during illness, 5.5-8.5 mmol).

To eat or not to eat – that is the question

In the difficult period of fighting the disease, the body, more than ever, needs energy (glucose). However, the disease is often accompanied by a lack of appetite and nausea/vomiting. What to do?

  • do not burden the body with fatty, heavy food
  • listen to yourself: it happens that there is generally no appetite, but you want to eat a certain product. Try to eat a small portion of this product and track your well-being
  • the best option in the “no appetite + nausea” state is liquid carbohydrates. For example, tea/compote/fruit drink/jelly with sugar or honey. Drink in small sips so as not to provoke vomiting
  • all carbohydrates must be insulin compensated!
  • to avoid severe hypo due to possible vomiting, do not give large boluses. 1-2XE maximum: it is not known how the stomach will react to food/drink


Replenish fluid loss

During illness, the body becomes dehydrated due to profuse sweating, heavy breathing, vomiting, diarrhea … which, in turn, complicates the fight against the disease, worsens health and increases the risk of developing diabetic ketoacidosis. It is best to replenish the fluid balance with simple drinking water. Again: it is recommended to drink in small sips, so as not to provoke nausea.

When should you see a doctor?

If the following symptoms appear:

  • vomiting and diarrhea
  • hyperglycemia, the body does not respond to jokes
  • there was heavy (frequent, sharp) breathing
  • a fruity-alcoholic smell is caught from the mouth
  • have ketones
  • confused mind
  • stomach ache

call an ambulance immediately!

Take care of yourself and do not get sick.

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