After New Year I noticed I’d become ill as a result of my blood sugars rocketing to above 17 mmol/l in the space of a few hours.

When I saw the number I thought what on Earth caused this? I thought that maybe it could be a virus but I’d need more than one reading to be sure so I gave myself a generous correction dose and waited until the next test to see if the sugars were still higher than they should be.

Sure enough the next test came in at 10 mmols/l and as I was starting to feel the symptoms of an illness I was fairly happy that I had indeed caught a small virus.

Getting the sick day rules wrong
I tried to remember (more like randomly guessing) what the DAFNE style sick day rules are regarding insulin doses. My mind decided that it was something like “inject 50% more of your basal insulin dose” -note this appears to be completely wrong -a complete pig’s ear! 😀

Not being too convinced by this plan I opted for my night time background dose on a moderate increase of basal insulin -about 12%. The next morning I was still high so for my morning dose I upped the dosage to 50% which managed to help matters and I was pleased to see a 5.4 mmols/l later in the day. However, by the next day I was still getting results over 9 so I upped the basal insulin dosage even further.

The next couple of days on my inflated background dose went by with fairly good levels despite the lethargy and chesty coughing. One reading above 9 another below 4 but the other numbers were all nicely between 4 and 7.

Dangerous increase in insulin
The danger with messing around with basal doses is that once the virus starts to be beaten, your blood sugar levels will come crashing down at some point and you run a very real risk of severe hypoglycemia, particularly over night.

I managed to get away without this happening but I think I’ll steer clear of aggressively increasing my basal dose like this in future.

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