Black people, who have a higher risk of developing diabetes, may spend a lot of time managing their diabetes and lowering their risk factors by eating healthy, exercising, etc., but what happens when they become sick with a common cold? When a diabetic comes down with the flu or a bad cold, diabetes care often takes a backseat. Who can be bothered to check blood sugar when just getting out of bed seems like a chore? And who wants to follow a meal plan when it’s hard to keep food down?
As difficult as it may seem, you actually need to pay more attention to your diabetes when you aren’t feeling well. Common illnesses such as a cold or flu can boost your blood sugar, so it’s very important that you check your sugar levels several times during the day.
You also need to get enough fluids and fuel to get through the day. A healthy diet will help speed your recovery and keep your blood sugar from getting too high or too low.
Diabetes sick day diet
Before you feel that first sniffle coming on, talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian about your diabetes “sick day” diet. In general, you should stick as closely as possible to your regular meal plan.
If your stomach is a little queasy, you can still reach your daily nutritional goals with mild foods such as gelatin, crackers, soup, or applesauce.
If even these foods cause trouble and you need to keep your blood sugar levels steady, try broth, fruit juice, pudding, sherbet, or yogurt.
The American Diabetes Association recommends aiming for 50 grams of carbohydrates every three to four hours. Read the labels and do the math. (Or check with your doctor or nutritionist now — before you get sick — if you aren’t sure how to do this.)
You should also be sure to get plenty of