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February 13, 2002

Other Illnesses

Question from Denton, Georgia, USA:

My 55 year old mother has type� 2 diabetes treated with pills which is pretty well under control, but for a week, she has had a sinus infection so her blood sugars have been over 300 mg/dl [16.7 mmol/L] most of the time. She has seen the doctor, who said the high blood sugars are because of the sinus infection. Could this be so?


A sinus infection could very well temporary increases in blood sugar levels. Your mother should watch what the blood sugar does once the infection is resolved. If it is still high, further action may be needed.

Additional comments from Stephanie Schwartz, diabetes nurse specialist:

If her blood sugars are consistently high recently, she is at increased risk of complications such as DKA [diabetic ketoacidosis] or hyperosmolar coma if she becomes dehydrated. Any vomiting or inability to take liquids for any reason should be called to the doctor, and evaluated immediately, even if it means an emergency room visit.