What should my illness action plan include if I have diabetes?


Before your next illness, decide on an action plan with your health care team. Include the following:

•  When to call the doctor.

•  How often to monitor your blood glucose.

•  Whether you should test your urine for ketones. Ketones are
    produced when fats instead of glucose are used for energy. Most
    commonly, this is a sign that not enough insulin is available to help
    your body break down glucose. (Less commonly, when carbohydrates
    are very restricted, ketones can appear in the blood. This is called
    starvation ketosis.) When blood glucose levels are high during illness,
    ketones can appear if extra insulin is not given.

•  Medication changes that might be needed. You need to know how
    much extra insulin to take to bring down unusually high blood glucose
    levels. If you take oral diabetes medications, you need to know
    whether you should continue taking them or increase or decrease the

• Whether you need to have anti-nausea suppositories or over-the-
   counter cold or flu or cough medications on hand, which ones are
   good choices, and when to take them.

• How to choose foods and fluids during your illness.

Continue Learning about Diabetes


Diabetes mellitus (MEL-ih-tus), often referred to as diabetes, is characterized by high blood glucose (sugar) levels that result from the body’s inability to produce enough insulin and/or effectively utilize the insulin. Diabetes ...

is a serious, life-long condition and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism (the body's way of digesting food and converting it into energy). There are three forms of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that accounts for five- to 10-percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may account for 90- to 95-percent of all diagnosed cases. The third type of diabetes occurs in pregnancy and is referred to as gestational diabetes. Left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause health issues for pregnant women and their babies. People with diabetes can take preventive steps to control this disease and decrease the risk of further complications.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.