Diabetes information | type 1 University

Illness Prevention & Sick-Day Care

Picture of Instructor:


Alicia Downs, RN, MSN, CDCES

Now more than ever, people with diabetes need effective strategies for preventing common illnesses as well managing in the event an illness occurs.  Glucose control can be challenging during an illness or infection, but it plays a major role in the body’s ability to recover.  Whether you have diabetes or care for someone who does, the material covered in this course can make or break your well-being. 

Specific topics include:

  • Risk factors for infection and illness
  • Preventive strategies for common illnesses
  • Dealing with insulin resistance during illness
  • Effects of over-the-counter and prescription meds
  • Prevention of dehydration and ketoacidosis
  • Strategies for handling nausea/vomiting
  • Situations that require healthcare intervention

Not sure you need this course?

Take the 5-question “placement exam” and find out!
no pressure!

Placement Exam: Illness Prevention & Sick-Day Care

1. In order to determine the severity of your illness and whether you’re getting enough insulin, it is necessary to check:

  1. Blood pressure
  2. Heart rate
  3. Blood sugar
  4. Ketones 

2. During a bout of the flu, despite increasing your insulin, you still have high ketones and have vomited repeatedly. You should: 

  1. Stop consuming fluids
  2. Give correction doses of insulin if your blood sugar is elevated
  3. Call your physician and proceed to an acute care facility if instructed to do so
  4. Try to get some sleep and see how things look in a few hours

3. You have a head cold and your blood sugars have been over 250 mg/dl (14 mmol/l) despite correction boluses. You check for ketones and get a negative result (no ketones). A reasonable adjustment would be to: 

  1. Do nothing, this is normal with a cold
  2. Stop consuming carbohydrates until the blood sugar comes down
  3. Increase your basal insulin dose by 50%
  4. Double the amount of your correction boluses

4. Which of the following is not a proven method for preventing common illnesses: 

  1. Tight glucose control
  2. Taking supplemental doses of vitamin C 
  3. Frequent hand washing
  4. Using a humidifier during dry weather 
  5. Spending more time in fresh/outdoor air 

5. You just vomited after dinner and your blood sugar drops to 61 mg/dl (3.4 mmol/l) with bolus insulin still on board. You feel too sick to eat or drink anything. A reasonable solution would be to:

  1. Drive yourself to the hospital
  2. Do nothing, you’re sick so your blood sugar will start to rise on its own
  3. Try to eat something that is mostly protein
  4. Take an appropriate dose of glucagon

Answers: D, C, C, B, D

  • Answered 4 or 5 correctly?  Nice job, Professor!  Looks like you know your stuff.  Maybe you could teach a course on this subject! But there are always new things to learn.
  • Answered 3 or fewer correctly?  You may have a thing or two to learn.  You would certainly benefit from taking this class. 
    Click the X (top right) and
    Register today!