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April 13, 2002

Sick Days

Question from Philadelphia, Tennessee, USA:

Recently, my mother, who has had diabetes for over 20 years, has been very sick, and average blood sugar levels have been 350 to 415 mg/dl [19.4-23.1 mmol/L]. She is to go back to her doctor in a week, but should we be concerned about the high blood sugars?

Answer:

The short answer is yes, you should be concerned when the sugars stay that high. It is important to understand that sugars will rise during periods of illness. When they do, they have to be addressed with additional therapy. Failure to do so promotes more infection and poor healing. It is important you contact your mother’s physician with the high sugars as soon as you can.

JTL

[Editor’s comment: See sick day management.

SS]