Diabetics should have a sick day plan with their doctor or health care provider before they get sick.


Keep taking medications:

Diabetics need to keep taking their medications even though they can't eat.

The doctor may even have them take more of their medications when they get sick.

Try to keep on regular diet:

If they can not do this, they need to try and eat the same amounts of fruits and breads as they usually do.

If they can not do either of these, they need to use what is called food exchanges. (Food exchanges are measured portions of foods that can be eaten in exchange for another type of food.) They need to try to eat enough soft food and liquid food exchanges that take the place of the fruits and bread that they usually eat.

Drink a lot of liquids:

The liquids should have no calories.

They should drink 1/2 to 3/4 cup every half-hour to hour.

Some choices are water, diet soda, and tea without any sugar.

Check for changes in:

Blood sugar

When diabetics are sick, they need to check their blood sugar level at least every four hours. If their blood sugar is 240 or higher, it is a good idea for them to check their urine for ketones.

Weight changes

Changes in a diabetics' weight while they are sick is a sign of high blood sugar.


They need to check their temperature every morning and every night because a high temperature may be a sign of infection.

When to go to the emergency room:

If they can't keep food or liquids down for more than six hours or if they feel so sick that they can't eat normally.

If they have severe diarrhea.

If they lose five pounds or more without trying.

If their temperature is over 101 F.

If their blood sugar levels are lower than 60 mg/dL or higher than 300 mg/dL.


Keeping up to date with vaccinations such as influenza, pneumococcal, and tetanus can help prevent some sicknesses.


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