Diabetes Sick-Day Management

People living with diabetes know that common illnesses like a cold or the flu can prove difficult to deal with. But with a little planning, you can learn to minimize the risks of your next sick day.


It’s true what they say: prevention is sometimes the best medicine. For people living with diabetes, not getting sick in the first place is the best way to avoid the potential risks and complications that can come with an illness such as a cold or the flu. Here are some things you can do to stay healthy:
• Get the flu shot
• Ask about the pneumonia vaccine
• Wash your hands; don’t touch your eyes, nose, mouth
• Cover nose and mouth with tissue when coughing or sneezing
• Eat healthy, exercise regularly
• Avoid sick people

During an illness

When you are sick, it’s important to take care of yourself and manage your diabetes as well. You should:
• Check blood glucose at least four times a day
• Take your diabetes medication
• Check your temperature
• Check for ketones if blood glucose is over 14 mmol/L
• Drink fluids (sugar-free if blood glucose is high) every hour if you have a fever
• Eat or drink carbohydrates – small meals through the day
Remember, where medications are concerned:
• Your diabetes medications may need to be adjusted
• Ask the Pharmacist at Walmart about anti-fever, anti-diarrheal and cold/cough/flu medicines, to make sure they are right for you.


When to seek medical help

When living with diabetes, it’s important to seek medical attention:
• If you vomit more than two times in four hours
• If you are unable to keep food or fluids down
• If you have severe diarrhea
• If your temperature is over 38.3ᵒC (101ᵒF)
• If your blood glucose is higher than 16 mmol/L
• If you have moderate-to-high ketones in your urine
• If you are very sleepy and confused


Sick-day checklist

Are you prepared? Here are some items that are helpful to include in your sick-day kit.
  • Sick-day guidelines provided by your healthcare professional
  • Test strips for your meter (check expiration date every six months)
  • Pencil and logbook for recording blood glucose results
  • Doctor’s phone number
  • Ketone strips (if recommended by your healthcare professional; check the expiration date every six months)
  • Two bottles of water
  • Anti-diarrheal medicine (as advised by a healthcare professional)
  • Thermometer
  • Anti-fever medication (as advised by a healthcare professional)
  • Cough or cold medication (as advised by a healthcare professional)

Important information

The Pharmacist at Walmart is knowledgeable about how you can live well with diabetes. If you have questions about how to prepare for your next sick day... Just ask!

The information provided in this guide is intended for educational purposes only, with the understanding that LifeScan Canada Ltd. and Walmart Canada are not engaged in providing medical service or advice. Speak with your healthcare professional to find out how to manage your diabetes.

This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



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