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  1. Never stop taking insulin
  • The doses of insulin may need to be increased (or decreased in some cases) depending on blood glucose levels.
  • The increased need for insulin may persist for a few days after the illness has passed
  • Insulin should be adjusted according to the sick day rules provided.
  1. Frequent blood glucose monitoring
  • Regular testing is essential
  • Test 2-3 hourly even overnight and more often if blood glucose levels remain high
  • Aim to keep blood glucose above 5mmol/l and less than 14mmol/l
  1. Ketone Testing
  • Ketones must be checked at first sign of sickness (high temperature, feeling sick, abdominal pain etc)
  • Ketones must be checked if blood glucose >14mmol/l
  1. Give extra fast acting insulin for ketones
  • If blood glucose level is above 14mmol/L and urine ketones are 1+ or greater, or if blood ketones are 0.6mmol/L, additional fast acting insulin is required.
  • See flow chart/sick day dose table
  1. Rest
  1. Medications
  • You can give over the counter or prescribed medications as directed for example paracetamol, antibiotics, sugar free cough syrup
  1. Regular dietary intake
  • Drink plenty of water and sugar free liquids to prevent dehydration
  • Normal meal patterns should be maintained if possible
  • If appetite is reduced, meals can be replaced with carbohydrate containing drinks
  • If vomiting, encourage to drink small, regular amount of fluids
  • See ‘Dietary intake during sickness’ for suggestions

Need More Help?

The CHOICE diabetes education programme is available in NI and the border counties of Republic of Ireland, ask your Diabetes Team

Choice Programme