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Neighbors Growing Together | Apr 19, 2014

Taking care of yourself when you are sick and have diabetes

By AMY MARTIN, HCHC diabetes education department | Jul 11, 2013

You can come down with a cold any time of the year. When you have diabetes, a cold or any illness can quickly throw off your blood sugar.

Illness can raise your blood sugar (even when you are not eating), so it’s important to pay extra attention to your diabetes.

Here are some things you should do when you are sick:

1. Check your blood glucose more frequently, such as every three to four hours, and write down the results.

2. Sip on fluids at least every hour to help keep from getting dehydrated.

3. If you are unable to eat due to nausea/vomiting, drink enough liquids to equal the carbohydrates in your meal plan. For example, eight oz. of regular 7-Up would equal 30 grams of carbohydrate (or 2 carb choices). Diet sodas will not work because they do not have any calories.

4. Even though you are ill, take your usual diabetes medicine. If you take insulin, take your usual dose. Even if you don’t feel like eating, take your insulin.

5. Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following:

• Blood glucose level over 250 for more than one day

• Vomiting for more than six to eight hours

• A high or rising fever

• If you are sick for more than two days and not improving

• If you are unable to eat for more than one day

• You are very sleepy or confused

• You have stomach or chest pains, or difficulty breathing

• You have any concerns or questions

Have your records nearby when you talk to your doctor. If you cannot reach your doctor, go to an emergency room. Call for help if you are alone and cannot take care of yourself.

Even when you start to feel better you will need to check blood glucose more often than usual until you are completely well. You may want to drink liquids and eat soft foods until your appetite is back to normal.

Remember, a cold or flu can send your blood glucose out of control. This is an important time to pay careful attention to your diabetes.

Laura’s Recipe Corner: Tuna Melts

1 package of white tuna packed in water (12 oz.)

1 1/2 cups packaged coleslaw mix

3 Tbsp. sliced green onions

3 Tbsp. reduced fat mayo

1 Tbsp. dijon mustard

1 tsp. dried dill weed

4 English muffins, split and lightly toasted

1/3 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese

1. Combine tuna, coleslaw mix and green onions in bowl. Combine mayo, mustard and dill weed in small bowl. Stir may mixture into tuna mixture. Spread tuna mixture onto muffin halves. Place in broiler/toaster oven.

2. Broil 4 inches from heat for 3-4 minutes until heated through. Sprinkle with cheese. Broil 1-2 minutes more until cheese melts.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional Information: Calories 313, calories from fat 23%, total fat 3 g, saturated fat 2g, carb: 30 g, protein: 30gm, cholesterol 43 g, sodium: 882 mg, fiber: 2 g

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