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Healtheuniversity > English > Diabetes College > Treat Diabetes > Manage Your Blood Sugar > Manage High Blood Sugar

Manage High Blood Sugar

Treat high blood sugar by taking your diabetes medicines as prescribed.

  • Continue to take your diabetes medicines (especially if you are prescribed insulin) if you are ill.

You are at high risk for high blood sugar if you:

  • did not take enough diabetes medicine
  • are ill (with a cold, infection or having surgery)
  • have stress
  • have too much sugary food or drinks

How Do I Treat High Blood Sugar?

Treat high blood sugar by taking your diabetes medicines as prescribed. 

Talk to your doctor if you cannot get your blood sugar into a normal range for you. You may need to:

  • have your diabetes medicine(s) changed
  • change something in your diet
  • exercise more regularly
  • manage your stress, depression better
  • avoid smoking or breathing second-hand smoke
  • check your blood sugar more often

Note: If you have high blood sugar and you are ill (cold, infection or surgery) do not stop taking your diabetes medicines.  It is crucial that you keep taking your insulin if it is prescribed to you.  If you do not take your insulin you are at risk for a serious and deadly health problem called diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) or hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state (HHS). Get medical help if you are ill, take insulin and have high blood sugar.

How Do I Treat High Blood Sugar When I Am Ill?

Continue to take your diabetes medicines (especially if you are prescribed insulin) if you are ill. When you are ill, your blood sugar will likely be high even if you are eating less than normal or vomiting (throwing up).

Talk to your doctor, pharmacist or diabetes educator about how to manage your diabetes when you are ill. They may adjust the amount of diabetes medicine you take. They will provide you with specific guidelines to follow when you are ill.

Talk to your doctor so you know:

  • how to adjust the amount of diabetes medicine you take
  • what medicines you should stop if you are dehydrated (your body does not have enough water)
  • how often to check your blood sugar
  • when to get medical help

Follow these general tips when you are ill.

  • Take time to rest.
  • Check your blood sugar more often and before meals.
  • Do not exercise until you feel better.
  • Drink lots of water. Drink about 1/2 to 1 cup of fluids each hour.
    • Other medical conditions may tell you to limit your fluids. Do not drink more fluids if this is true. Talk to your doctor for more information.
  • Take your diabetes medicine when you are sick. This will help control your blood sugar and prevent health problems.
  • Get medical help right away if your blood sugar remains high.
Last Reviewed: 10/16/2016