Sick day management for type 1 diabetes

Erin Roehl, CDE

As cold and flu season rapidly approaches, make sure you are prepared to manage illness and ketones for your child with T1D!

People living with T1D are not at an increased risk for illness, however the circumstances may become more severe if their diabetes is not managed appropriately during the illness and recovery. Stress and illness can make the body more insulin resistant which can lead to production of ketones. With proper hydration, normal carbohydrate consumption, and insulin at regular intervals, we can keep ketones at bay!

See the tips below to help keep your child healthy this winter:

  • Stay hydrated with carbohydrate containing fluids!
  • Check for ketones if BG is above 300 two times in a row
  • Check for ketones right away when feeling sick or vomiting, regardless of the BG
  • Check BG every 3-4 hours (do not rely solely on the CGM!)
  • Remember that not all illness is caused by the flu! Change your infusion site (if on a pump) right away with positive ketones, vomiting, or if BG isn’t coming down with corrections!
  • Follow the DKA decision tree for injections or pumps
  • Call McNeely Diabetes Center with questions/concerns!

*Remember that ketones can mostly be managed at home, call the Diabetes URGENT line if you think your child should be seen in the Emergency Department. If you feel that your child is urgently ill, go immediately to Children’s St. Paul Emergency Department.