However, it is likely that any illness will have an impact on diabetes control.
In general, illnesses associated with a temperature will cause the blood glucose levels to rise. Many families notice that insulin requirements increase a few days before their child has symptoms of an illness, and that this increased need for insulin persists several days after the illness has stopped.
Illnesses where there is diarrhoea or vomiting are likely to cause the blood glucose level to drop and there is often difficulty in maintaining adequate carbohydrate intake. These problems may lead to a need for a reduction in the insulin dosage.
As previously stated, never stop giving your child insulin even if they are not eating (if not eating see dietary management below).
What else do I need to do?
Children and young people may not feel like eating when they are unwell. This does not matter – continue to give quick acting boluses of insulin for any carbohydrate eaten/drunk if their blood glucose level are within or above their target range and/or to correct high blood glucose levels.
If your child is vomiting they are advised to eat a light diet e.g. toast or crackers. If blood glucose levels are dropping or are low because of nausea and/or vomiting or refusal to eat encourage your child to have drinks containing glucose. Some examples are below, aim for 20 grams per hour.
Each of these contains 10 grams of carbohydrate:
|Fruit juice (unsweetened)||100ml|
|Coca Cola (not diet)||150ml|
|Ice cream||one briquette/scoop|
|Jelly (ordinary)||two tablespoons|
|Ice lollies/ice pops||one lolly|
Please contact the Diabetes team or use your Red box access if your child is experiencing any of the following or you are concerned:
Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA)
The symptoms of ketoacidosis are thirst and passing large amounts of urine, followed by abdominal pain, sickness, vomiting, drowsiness and heavy laboured breathing.
It is very important to prevent DKA from happening. Never miss out insulin injections especially when you are unwell. If DKA develops, it must be recognised and treated quickly.
Ketoacidosis is a serious condition. You must seek medical help if you develop the symptoms of DKA.
Contact the Paediatric Diabetes Specialist Nurse on 01908 996 522 for support and guidance. However if they are not available, ring Ward 4 on 01908 996 367 and speak to the nurse in charge.