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February 16, 2003

Sick Days

Question from Mississippi, USA:

I have PCOS, and I would like to know if the blood sugar level will rise the same amount for someone whether they do have diabetes or do not have diabetes when they are sick -- such as with a really bad sinus infection with fever or such. If there is a difference, please give ranges of highest it should go for someone that does not have diabetes.


In general terms, a random blood sugar greater than 200 mg/dl [11.1 mmol/L] would be considered abnormal, and if it was over 240 mg/dl [13.3 mmol/L], and you have moderate or large urine or blood ketones, you should get in touch with your health care provider unless you are quite familiar with what to do. Blood sugars do rise higher in people with diabetes as a result of stress due to an infection.

Additional comments from Dr. Stuart Brink:

It depends upon how much insulin resistance you have associated with your Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, how overweight you are, and perhaps what kind of medicines you’re taking. Doing blood glucose tests can answer this questions so that you don’t have to guess.