Covid and type 1

Catherinegf

Member
Messages
18
Type of diabetes
Type 1
Treatment type
Insulin
I am in the latter stages of my first bout of Covid. I only developed type 1 5 years ago so I’m still learning. I’m finding insulin is currently about as affective as water. I’m taking more than 3 times my usual amount. Is this normal? I threw away the last lot of insulin assuming it had stopped working. I’m not eating anything different. I usually have really good insulin sensitivity. I had to take 4 units for half a slice of wholemeal bread. I’d normally take 1 unit. Last night I took 9 units for a dinner that would normally need 4. Went to bed and woke up having been at 14 all night. 3 units and 2 hours later and I’ve only dropped to 8. I’ve had mild bugs before and had very little impact on blood sugar. Should I be doing something else? Im scared to eat!
I should also say that for 3 days I barely ate because I was too ill. My glucose stayed steady at around 7. I didn’t try and bring it lower as didn’t want a hypo as well as being sick. So I wasn’t really taking a lot of insulin then. Now I’m back to eating it’s just got silly. I had to take 12 units for half a small bowl of lentil dhal and half a small potato. Normally this would be 2 or 3 units max.
 
Last edited:

SimonP78

Well-Known Member
Messages
295
Type of diabetes
Type 1
Treatment type
Insulin
Seems pretty normal to me, I try to eat fewer carbs while recovering (generally, and from COVID twice) to avoid going too high, and also accept that I may well run high but it won't be for very long so I'm not too bothered. As you mention, what I don't want to do is stack loads of bolus and then potentially go low when I'm asleep or if actually feeling unwell and not wanting to eat.
 

Westley

Well-Known Member
Messages
196
Type of diabetes
Type 1
Yes, unfortunately that sounds about right. COVID and diabetes seem to interact in a nasty way, and my doses went way up too.

Obviously you want to avoid hypos, but I feel hypers also made the COVID symptoms worse and slowed recovery.

One thing that I think can contribute to the reduced insulin effectiveness is lack of movement. Doses don't seem to kick in as quickly for me when just lying or sitting, which is often all we feel like doing when sick, but I think gently walking around when you can can get the insulin working a bit quicker.

The other thing I found helpful was just constant hot drinks.
 

Nicola M

Well-Known Member
Messages
703
Type of diabetes
Type 1
Treatment type
Pump
When I got Covid I had just gotten the hybrid closed loop insulin pump system and even with having that my blood sugars struggled to go below 15 mmol for the entire duration of the illness.

During illness your body releases more glucose to help fight the virus/infection which does make it so you need more insulin than usual.

Drink plenty, eat light snacks and keep an eye on your ketones. You should have a sick day rules plan in place for situations like this and can ask your diabetes team about that for future.
 

Catherinegf

Member
Messages
18
Type of diabetes
Type 1
Treatment type
Insulin
Seems pretty normal to me, I try to eat fewer carbs while recovering (generally, and from COVID twice) to avoid going too high, and also accept that I may well run high but it won't be for very long so I'm not too bothered. As you mention, what I don't want to do is stack loads of bolus and then potentially go low when I'm asleep or if actually feeling unwell and not wanting to eat.
That’s the dilemma! I’m normally low fat wholefood. Which is very high carbs. I’ll switch out to higher fat and lower carb. Thank you.
 

Antje77

Oracle
Retired Moderator
Messages
19,578
Type of diabetes
LADA
Treatment type
Insulin
Yes, very normal, and very annoying.

Has your team given you any advice on sick day rules?
Depending on which long acting you use, they might advise you to adjust that one as well for a bit.
 

Catherinegf

Member
Messages
18
Type of diabetes
Type 1
Treatment type
Insulin
Yes, very normal, and very annoying.

Has your team given you any advice on sick day rules?
Depending on which long acting you use, they might advise you to adjust that one as well for a bit.
Unfortunately not. I was diagnosed in Spain. So I missed out on the majority of the basic training. I fundamentally learnt how to manage my diabetes by reading as much information as I could find.
 
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LucySW

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,945
Type of diabetes
LADA
Treatment type
Insulin
When this is me, I raise my basal as well as bolus insulin. Of course I can’t advise, but that seems to work for me.
 

JaneC

Well-Known Member
Messages
203
Type of diabetes
Type 1
Treatment type
Pump
I'm day 7/8 of first Covid and still struggling a little with high blood sugars, as I'm no longer showing a positive stripe I’d have thought I'd have returned to normal basal/ bolus levels but haven’t yet. Does this go on for long? We're all different but am surprised it hasn’t settled yet.
 
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TimLibre

Well-Known Member
Messages
67
In my case it took about a week after getting better to return to normal levels. So i’d always check carefully before taking extra high doses of insulin in case the insulin is getting more effective again.
 
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JaneC

Well-Known Member
Messages
203
Type of diabetes
Type 1
Treatment type
Pump
In my case it took about a week after getting better to return to normal levels. So i’d always check carefully before taking extra high doses of insulin in case the insulin is getting more effective again.
Thank you, that’s so useful.
 
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