When patients fall sick, they usually reduce or stop the consumption of food and even stop taking the drugs.
As a matter of fact, during any illness, operation, accident or mental stress whether a patient take or does not take food, the sugar level in the blood increases. Therefore, in comparison with usual days, the dosage of medicines/insulin is required to be increased. If this is not done, Ketoacidosis may occur. The following suggestions should be kept in mind to avoid such a grave situation.
- As far as possible, try taking regular meals. If that is not possible, try to eat something every 2-3 hours.
- Consume more fluids e.g. water, fruit juices, milk, buttermilk, lemon water, soup without cream, soda, etc. If it is not possible to take fluids, better take advice of the doctor.
- Do not discontinue medicine/insulin. Insulin may become necessary for a short period for the patients taking medication, which should be done as advised by the doctor.
- Cause of illness should be detected and treated as advised by the doctor.
- Take rest during illness; keep your body warm by wearing warm clothes.
- Examine the blood sugar level every six hours. If urine sugar is higher or blood sugar level is higher than 250 mg/dl, get the urine examined for Acetone. Necessary changes in the dosage of medication / insulin should be made as advised by the doctor on the basis of this examination.
- The patient should not remain alone in the house. Help of family members should be taken in taking meals, blood sugar testing, and in taking the injection.
List of the food items to be consumed during
illness if it is not possible to take routine food
Each one has about 15 gram Carbohydrate
Fruit juice 1/2 cup Khichadi 1/2 cup
Boiled dal 1/2 cup Rice-dal 1/2 cup
Moong water 1/2 cup Bread 1 piece
Milk (without cream) 1/2 cup Honey 3 teaspoonful
Curd 1/3 cup Ice Cream (small) 1/2 cup
Soup without cream 1/2 cup Jelly 1/3 cup
Cold beverages 3/4 cup Biscuit 2 pieces
Porridge 1/3 cup
Kheer 1/4 cup
Kanji 1/4 cup
Above food items should be consumed every 3-4 hours.
FALSE BELIEF – If we do not eat, we need not take medication.
- As far as possible take regular diet
- If taking meals is not possible, take fluids
- Do not stop medication/insulin; dosage could be reduced
- Examine urine/blood for sugar level.
- If necessary take doctor’s advice.
Inform your doctor if
- The blood sugar level is over 300 mg/dl
- You cannot eat for two days
- You vomit for two days and cannot retain food
- Your illness continues for over two days
- If you have high grade fever or increasing fever