Log in
Diabetes India
60,181 members11,149 posts

How to manage blood sugar during illness and infection

It is very common to see that blood sugar rises during illness and infection. This rise in blood sugar is difficult to control. Why?

Some reasons:

1.) The body releases extra glucose in circulation, during illness or infection. This can lead to rise in blood sugar.

2.) The hormones produced to fight infection or illness, specially cortisol also increases the blood sugar levels.

What to do during these times:

1.) Keep hydrated- High blood glucose levels can lead to dehydration. So, make sure you are regularity drinking fluid to stay hydrated.

2.) Keep eating- When sick, it is difficult to eat but this will lead to more ketones as the body may need to breakdown fat to make fuel. So, if eating is difficult, or there is vomiting, unable to retain, it is advisable to have drinks with carbohydrate.

3.) Keep taking medicines- If you can self manage adjust the dose of insulin.

If you are a type 1 diabetic, keep testing for ketones with each blood sugar test. Hyperglycemia in critically ill patients should always be treated in a hospital.

8 Replies

During an illness or infection the body will release extra glucose into your blood stream in a bid to help combat the illness. In people without diabetes, this is an effective strategy as their pancreas will release extra insulin to cope with the extra blood glucose.

In people with diabetes, though, the release of glucose presents an unwanted extra difficulty in managing the rise in blood glucose levels - in addition to feeling less than 100%

Try to follow your diabetes meal plan. Drink plenty of calorie-free fluids, especially water. These fluids help rid your body of extra glucose and prevent dehydration. If you can’t eat or keep down enough solid food, you may need to have some soup or drink beverages that contain sugar, such as apple juice.

The golden rule is, even though you are ill … NEVER STOP YOUR INSULIN or Anti-diabetic pills.. When the body is fighting illness it will cause the blood glucose levels to rise.




Thank you Mr. Gangadharan nail.


Sorry nair


I presume that Illness or stress can trigger high blood sugars because hormones produced to combat illness or stress can also cause your blood sugar to rise.

People who do not have diabetes can make enough extra insulin to keep their blood sugar in a normal range during times of stress and illness. People with diabetes may need to take extra diabetes medication to keep their blood sugar near normal during times of illness or stress.


It's true. When a person is sick or has an infection, the blood sugars can go either up or down during that period. You may have to talk to a doctor for an illness plan for how to control the blood sugars at that time.



You need not try to bring down sugar drastically low. A bit higher than normal is fine.

Yes. Sips of soup and noncarb drinks are good if you can take or take intravenous drip.

1 like

Good reading & helpful comments, thanks!

1 like

Thanks pataliputra.


You may also like...