Should I check glucose more often when I'm sick?

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Getting a cold or the flu not only affects your eating, sleeping and exercise habits, it can also cause your liver to release more glucose into the bloodstream. This could trigger a spike in blood sugar.

To minimize sharp fluctuations in blood glucose levels, follow these sick-day precautions:

  • Test your blood glucose levels more often than usual.
  • If you have type 1 diabetes, check blood sugar and urine ketones every four hours, even at night.
  • If you have type 2 diabetes, testing blood sugar four times during the day is probably enough.
  • Call your doctor if you have a blood glucose level consistently above 250 mg/dL (or below 80 mg/dL), are unable to eat regular foods, or have diarrhea or vomiting for more than six hours or a fever that has not improved for two days.

From our sister publication, Diabetes Focus, Fall 2012

Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at

Published: 14 Aug 2012

Last Modified: 11 Sep 2015