Diabetes Issues

Looking After Yourself

  • Never stop taking your Insulin/tablets
  • People with diabetes do not get any more illnesses or infections than people without diabetes. It does however require careful monitoring.
  • Illnesses such as "flu", tonsillitis, chest infections or urine infections often cause a raised temperature and will tend to make your blood glucose reading go higher. This is in part due to stress hormones like adrenaline, glucagon and cortisone being released and they in turn make the liver release extra glucose to help fight the illness.
  • Test your blood sugars every 2 to 4 hours to monitor any major fluctuations in control
  • Higher than normal blood sugar levels will mean taking more insulin - (normally 2 to 6 units extra on each dose) until the illness settles down
  • Check for ketones in your urine at least twice a day when you are unwell.
  • If you are vomiting, for more than 4 hours or have +++ of ketones in your urine or have rapid breathing then seek emergency help.
  • If your appetite is poor replace usual food with easily digestible carbohydrate food or drink i.e. soup, ice cream, glucose drinks.
  • Drink plenty of liquid (water, tea) to avoid dehydration.
  • Take paracetamol for fever or headache
  • Couch remedies are available from your local pharmacist.

For more information see:

The following links go to external websites and will open in a new window.


 Not sure if you have had an injection?

  • If you are sure you have missed your injection within 30 mins to 2 hours of your usual time of taking then give your usual amount minus 2 to 4 units
  • If you are unsure you have taken your insulin then monitor your BM levels. If your BM's raise higher than normal within 3-5 hours take half the usual amount of insulin that you would have given normally. Unless you are due another injection within the next hour then wait and give usual amount that is due.
  • It may be advisable to check for ketones if +++ then seek medical help
  • If you are on tablets to control your diabetes and are unsure you have taken the dose forget this tablet and take your next tablet when it is due. There is no need to double dose.

Run out of Insulin?

  • Pharmacy will supply insulin but may well charge a hefty fee without a prescription (maybe difficult to redeem this)
  • Contact the Diabetes Team who will offer help
  • Best of all plan ahead and don't run out

Dealing With Families

Relationships with parents and families vary. This depends on the family, and different times of our lives. Sometimes when things are difficult it's hard to believe that our parents were teenagers themselves once.

Whilst no one is to blame for your diabetes it's not uncommon for parents to feel responsible and guilty about you being diagnosed with it. This can often influence how parents think and behave. Some may become overprotective, some try to compensate and spoil you and some can feel uncomfortable about discussing how they really feel about this with you.

Parents often struggle to stop themselves constantly checking your ok and asking you questions all the time. Whilst this can leave you frustrated, annoyed and wanting to make a sharp exit, there is a chance that something they ask could be important. If you can it's helpful not to ignore your parent's behaviour or fob them off with what you think they want to hear. Try to come to some agreement about what's your responsibility, and what's theirs.

Survival tip...If the going gets tough

  • Choose your allies - some people find it easier to get on with one parent than the other.
  • Talk it over - Talking to friends or other family members (with or without diabetes) about how they would deal with their parents, if they were in your situation can be helpful.
  • Healthcare teams - if there is someone from the diabetes team you particularly get on with it may be useful to discuss your situation with him or her. They will be able to offer advice and possibly help you discuss things with your parents.
  • Be reasonable - if you can try to understand your parent's point of view even if you think it's crazy, and deal with the issue reasonably. Tell them what annoys you; explain why you want to do what you want to do. Try breaking difficulties into specifics, it's easier to deal with.
  • Keep parents in the loop - tell them what's going on. If you show them you are trustworthy they will treat you this way in the future. Let them know where you're off to, who with, and what time you will be back or agree to ring them.


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