Ask the Diabetes Educator Archive

 

Q:

Recently my husband, who has type 2 diabetes, had strept & tonsillitis. During this period of infection his sugar was over 700 and as low as 30. The doctors told him to go to the hospital and he had 6 litters of IV saline solution. My question is: when infection effects a diabetic, is this common? What can I do, as a caretaker, to help my husband? How do I not get stressed out with the blood sugar readings and what precautions can I take to help him?

A:

Stress in any form can elevate blood sugar. Acute stress, such as illness, can certainly cause blood sugars to escalate rapidly. One way to help regulate this is to eat regularly with control. This is not always appealing, depending on the illness. In these instances, a glass of juice every hour, ice cream, jello --the foods we usually steer those with diabetes away from -- can serve to keep the system going while staying on the prescribed diabetes medication, especially if on insulin. If you haven't already done so, seek out a diabetes educator in you area for guidelines on handling sick days as well as overall eating for diabetes. It is always wise to keep glucose tablets for those extremely low blood sugars; this will help to prevent over treatment. Staying well-hydrated is also a "must".

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