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March 14, 2003

Sick Days

Question from Nampa, Idaho, USA:

My nephew, who has type 2 diabetes, has been sick with an upper respiratory infection for over a week, was placed on an antibiotic, and his is blood sugar has not been stable. Last night when my sister went to see him, she was shocked. He has lost weight, his eyes are sunken, his blood sugar was at 175 mg/dl [9.7 mmol/L], and within two hours, just prior to going to bed it was 300 mg/dl [18.7 mmol/L].

He is normally very active, eats well, works out. He is 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighs 180-190 pounds. We are very concerned about him and need to know where we go from here. Is his blood sugar at a dangerous level? Please answer as soon as possible.


From: DTeam Staff

You need to discuss this with his physician today — do not wait.


[Editor’s comment: I completely agree. He is at risk of developing DKA [diabetic ketoacidosis] even if his diagnosis is type 2 diabetes.

If he develops nausea or vomiting, someone should take him immediately to an emergency room. The exact level of the blood sugar is not the issue; it’s the development of symptoms — some of which (dehydration) it would appear he already is developing.