Remind your doctor that you are hypoglycemic when you are sick!

man sick in bed
On a positive note, this guy looks like he could be really cute when not sick! Photo from Flickr: spcbrass


So, yesterday I came down with some sort of variation of strep throat. Yuck!  I hate being sick. If I’m going to take time off work, I want it to be because I’m lying on a white sandy beach, swimming marine wildlife, or exploring the wonders of the world.

Anyway, my illness, however, reminds me to remind you that when you are sick, you NEED to remind your doctor that you are hypoglycemic.  There are several reasons for this:

  1. Being sick can affect your blood sugar levels in general. Your body is fighting something inside, remember, and that can manifest itself in odd ways. For me, it means I’m constantly starving, which really isn’t a blood sugar issue unless I totally mess up my carbs, which is a HUGE issue.
  2. Being sick can mess up your eating habits. If you are throwing up, it’s kind of hard to eat every 3 hours, isn’t it? Your doctor may need to figure some other way to make sure your sugar doesn’t crash.
  3. If your doctor’s office is like mine, you might not see your regular provider. Although doctors do look over your medical history, keep in mind that the practitioner is not as familiar with you and your overall medical condition.
  4. Even if you do get your regular doctor, what the illness is doing to your blood sugar may not cross her or his mind.

So, bottom line, an internal assessment and a gentle reminder doesn’t hurt. That means you need to ask yourself not only about your current sickness, but how it’s making you feel from a blood-sugar standpoint and then tell your doctor that too. I usually say something like “x, x, and x are my symptoms. I’ve also noticed that my hypoglycemia is a little worse right now, probably because I am sick. It seems to be dropping a lot more.”  Usually that’s all it takes for the discussion to move from just treating the current illness to treating that plus whatever it’s doing to my hypoglycemia.


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