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Down with the flu? Blood sugar running high? Know when it's time to call the doctor.

Have you ever hesitated to call the doctor, wondering if a situation truly merited the interruption? Here's a good rule of thumb: If you're wondering whether you should call, just call. And if you think the situation may be an emergency, don't question it. Give any necessary treatment for a low and call 911.1

For people who use insulin to manage diabetes, illness or especially high or low blood sugar can lead to other problems, so it's best to get your healthcare team involved quickly.

Talk to your healthcare providers for more specific direction, but they'll probably want you to call in any of these situations.

Illness or Injury

Let your doctor know about:1

  • Any illness, especially with a fever, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, or if there's any problem with eating or drinking
  • A significant injury or planned surgery
  • New medications, as they can interfere with blood glucose control

Low Blood Glucose

Test blood sugar and treat a low immediately. Let the doctor know about:1

  • A severe low, after you've treated it with glucagon (if your child doesn't respond to the glucagon injection, call 911)
  • More frequent or unexplained lows

High Blood Glucose

Talk to the doctor about:1

  • Blood sugar levels that stay higher than the target range, especially if accompanied by increased thirst and urination, or other symptoms of high blood glucose
  • Ketones in the urine—remember to test any time blood glucose is higher than 300 mg/dL.2

The bottom line? Your doctor would rather have you call for advice and help you make any necessary adjustments, rather than go it alone.

Interested in more diabetes management tips?

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1Kids Health. Diabetes: when to call the doctor. Available at: Accessed February 15, 2017.

2American Diabetes Association. Checking for ketones. Available at: Accessed February 15, 2017.

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