Sick Day Rules for Diabetes: Managing Diabetes When Sick

Kasparas Aleknavicius

2021 Dec 07

7 min read

Managing diabetes when ill is a serious concern among people with diabetes. Unlike other persons that could fall sick and focus on medications that help them get better, people with diabetes have to consider their underlying condition when treating an illness. Often, diabetics experience adverse reactions while getting health care or medical help for a different illness.

One of the significant concerns of sick days in diabetes is the issue of high blood sugar and ketone levels. People with diabetes run the risk of developing high blood sugar levels even if they only have a minor illness — as is with people working high-stress level jobs. Therefore, it’s essential you know how to ensure proper diabetes management when getting treatment.

The purpose of this article is to provide general guidelines for people with diabetes when sick. Adequate diabetes management on sick days is critical as it allows you to balance diabetes control while caring for the other ailment.

The Purpose of Planning Sick Day Rules for Diabetes

There are a lot of benefits of having well outlined sick day rules for diabetes, and most health institutions prioritize this preparedness. With appropriate planning, you’ll be able to ensure a low blood sugar level and avoid the adverse reactions that treatment for a different ailment could trigger. A sick day plan for diabetes comes with a carefully outlined plan, and in some cases, you may need professional help to ensure you get a well-outlined pattern for effective results.

Guidelines for Planning Effective Sick Day Rules for Diabetes

The following general guidelines will ensure you get the best out of your planning for sick days if you have diabetes.

Fix a Standby Appointment With Your Doctor for Sick Days

The very first rule for diabetes management during sick days is to have a planned appointment with your doctor for such a situation. Falling ill as a diabetic can be highly tasking as you may experience a surge in diabetes symptoms due to indirect and direct factors.

Generally, when you are ill, your body releases hormones to fight off the condition. While ordinarily, this situation will not lead to any complications, the reverse is the case for people with diabetes.

Hormones trigger high blood sugar levels, and you must have effective and efficient methods to restore your condition to normal. A doctor’s prescription would help you bring your condition under control by administering medicines that lower blood sugar.

Hence, when planning your sick day rules for diabetes, you should incorporate a series of medical appointments that give you the option to visit or call your doctor. This diabetes sick rule will help you get information on the best oral medication to prevent high blood sugar and cause further complications.

Set a Sick Day Plan With Rules

While fixing an appointment with a doctor for sick days is essential, you should also map out a sick day plan with your doctor to effectively manage diabetes when you get ill and have to take drugs. Sick day plan rules will help you balance taking diabetes medicines (such as an insulin dose) without a negative impact with a drug meant for treating the other ailment.

For example, when there could be poor reactions with other drugs, you may need to use an insulin pump to get more insulin into your body.

However, you must consult your doctor while making sick day plan rules. This offers you an expert understanding of how to check your blood sugar level, how and when to adjust your insulin, and how to recover quickly from a sickness.

Have a Kit at Hand for Sick Days

Another critical consideration for sick day planning is to have a kit nearby in case you fall sick. A good kit should have equipment that conducts urine tests and checks blood sugar levels to determine whether extra insulin would be needed.

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Some kits also have standard diabetes medicines that help keep healthy low blood sugar levels without any risk factors to the infection or ailment being treated. Some other kits necessary for sick day management in diabetes may include cold or flu medications that won’t interact with your diabetes management.

However, you should get expert help/advice when getting a kit ready for sick days.

Keep High Sugar Food to the Minimum

Proper dieting is vital for handling diabetes during sick days — you would need to ensure that you are taking the right food and drinks when ill. What you eat or drink could increase your ketones levels and cause more diabetes complications. Hence, you must adopt healthy foods and beverages, including zero-sugar healthy fruit juice and fiber-focused meals.

Consumption of moderate or large amounts of foods or drinks with added sugars could cause a severe rise in blood sugar. If you have to consume sugary foods when ill, you must ensure that you keep them at a bare minimum. You should also endeavor to check your blood glucose level constantly to see how your food choices influence your blood sugar levels.

Handling Your Child’s Diabetes on Sick Days

sick child with diabetes

Source: Children with Diabetes

While diabetes may not be rampant in children, kids can have type 1 diabetes — an autoimmune disease once referred to as “juvenile diabetes.” A person with type 1 diabetes will need insulin injections to prevent a rise in ketone levels. Kids may run the risk of producing too many ketones, leading to diabetic ketoacidosis, if their body does not produce enough insulin.

You can customize the outlined diabetes sick day guidelines to manage a child’s diabetes condition, but you would need the help of an expert medical professional for best results. You can call your doctor for professional tips on successfully managing your kid’s or young relative’s condition and how to make the best use of sick day guidelines to limit the consequences of external acting factors.

Also, don’t hesitate to call your doctor if there’s a complication or increased symptoms such as dehydration, dizziness, gasping, and other related type 1 diabetes symptoms.

Proactive Precautionary Measures for Diabetes Management

klinio diabetes management

Source: North Country Hospital

Although it’s essential to always be prepared for sick days if you have diabetes, you should also know that it’s crucial to lead a healthy life even before falling ill. Diabetes as a condition has its challenges, and you must ensure that you make the right choices in terms of lifestyle and diet to reduce the reactions that sickness could cause. Here are a few:

  • Firstly, you should prioritize losing weight if you’re overweight to help better breathing. Obese diabetics are more likely to have trouble breathing when reacting to another drug or their condition.
  • You should also normalize taking insulin to prevent raising your ketone levels, which in turn increases blood sugar.
  • Try to drink more water and healthy extra fluids that ensure proper hydration. This is because dehydration generally worsens diabetes symptoms, increases your chances of fever, and worsens stress.
  • Another crucial tip to live by is to periodically check that your sugar level is in the target range.
  • Finally, you should always talk to your doctor for proactive tips on managing diabetes even before falling ill.


Planning sick day rules for diabetes is an excellent way to effectively control blood sugar levels and ensure better health in cases when you’re ill. The tips outlined in this article, when employed appropriately, can provide effective sick day management in diabetes.

You can also use our Klinio app to aid your management plans and rules and incorporate proactive measures to prevent worsened diabetes sick days. Namely, you can plan the proper meals for days or weeks during the course of treating an ailment.

Additionally, Klinio’s comprehensive activity log allows you to keep track of your water consumption. At the same time, the progress tracker affords you an easy means of monitoring your weight loss progress.

Written by

Kasparas Aleknavicius

Kasparas is one of our freshest doctor’s in the Klinio family. With his master’s in medicine and broad-spectrum health experience, he is helping our customers better understand diabetes management. Kasparas is also participating in every product project - from our blog and hub articles to diabetes management subtleties. As a healthcare futurist, he constantly looks for innovative ways to control blood glucose and ensure the most efficient diabetes management.

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