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Diabetic Diet

Maintaining a Diabetic Diet When You Are Sick

It's important to take care of your diabetes even when you're ill. Here are some tips on what to do as part of your diabetic diet if you are sick:
 
  • Even if you can't keep food down, continue taking your diabetes medicine.
     
  • Drink at least one cup (8 ounces) of water or other calorie-free, caffeine-free liquid every hour while you're awake.
     
  • If you can't eat your usual food, try drinking juice or eating crackers, Popsicles, or soup.
     
  • If you can't eat at all, drink clear liquids such as ginger ale. Eat or drink something with sugar in it if you have trouble keeping food down, because you still need calories. If you don't have enough calories, you increase your risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
     
  • Make sure that you check your blood glucose. Your blood glucose level may be high even if you're not eating.
     
  • Call your doctor right away if you throw up more than once or have diarrhea for more than 6 hours.
     

Your Diet and Your Diabetes Medicines

What you eat and when affects how your diabetes medicines work. Talk with your doctor or diabetes teacher about the best times to take your diabetes medicines based on your diabetic diet.
 

What About Exercise?

What you eat and when also depend on how much you exercise. Exercise is an important part of staying healthy and controlling your blood glucose. Physical activity should be safe and enjoyable, so talk with your doctor about what types of exercise are right for you. Whatever exercise you do, here are some special things that people with diabetes need to remember:
 
  • Take care of your feet. Make sure your shoes fit properly and your socks stay clean and dry.
     
  • Check your feet for redness or sores after exercising. Call your doctor if you have sores that do not heal.
     
  • Drink about 2 cups of water before you exercise, about every 20 minutes during exercise, and after you finish, even if you don't feel thirsty.
     
  • Warm up and cool down for 5 to 10 minutes before and after exercising. For example, walk slowly at first, then walk faster. Finish up by walking slowly again.
     
  • Test your blood glucose before and after exercising. Do not exercise if your fasting blood glucose level is above 300. Eat a small snack if your blood glucose is below 100.
     
  • Know the signs of low blood glucose (hypoglycemia) and how to treat it.
     
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