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Did you know that if you are a diabetic and become sick you should still take your diabetic medication?

Lately, we have had a special on patients being admitted into our ICU with a condition called Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA). This is when blood sugar levels are dangerously high. I'm talking a blood sugar of greater than 400. One patient came in with blood sugars of greater than 1000.

Although there are many reasons DKA happens, the recent cause has been a belief that when a diabetic is sick (like with flu or cold) and they are not eating, they think they shouldn't take their insulin or oral diabetes medication.

Makes sense, right? But this is a completely false belief. In fact, when a diabetic is ill, it is even more important they take their diabetic meds. Why? Because the body requires more sugar at the cellular level in order to fight off the bug that has bitten them. If you don't take your insulin to drag those sugar molecules into the cells, that sugar just sits in the blood stream and doesn't do your body any good.

It is also a good idea to check your blood sugar levels when you are sick more often than you usually do. This way, you know exactly how your body is coping while you are sick.

As always, if you have questions or concerns about your medication while you are sick call your doctor's office and ASK!! There are no dumb questions. No one will think you are bothering the doctor. It is our job to be there for you. If it is after hours, you can certainly call a nurse hotline--any hospital has one and if not, call your local emergency room and ask questions.



If you'd like to help raise money for diabetes research, join Romantic Suspense Author Brenda Novak in May for her fourth online auction for Diabetes. For more information, go to to learn how you can donate items for the auction or see what has been donated so far. Who knows? Maybe there is a prize on auction for you!

Reader Comments (1)

Excellent information! Protect the temple!

February 11, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjj Keller

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