- With Mayo Clinic diabetes educators
Nancy Klobassa Davidson, R.N., and Peggy Moreland, R.N.read biographyclose window
Nancy Klobassa Davidson, R.N., and Peggy Moreland, R.N.Nancy Klobassa Davidson and Peggy Moreland
Nancy Klobassa Davidson, R.N., B.S.N, C.D.E
Nancy Klobassa Davidson is a registered nurse who has worked in diabetes education for 17 years. She is a certified diabetes educator (C.D.E.) and is currently in graduate school working on a Master of Science in nursing (M.S.N.) and health care education.
Nancy works with adults who have type 1, type 2 and other forms of diabetes. Nancy is coordinator of the Diabetes Unit's intensive insulin therapy program within the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, Metabolism, & Nutrition at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Nancy has worked extensively with insulin pump therapy and continuous interstitial glucose sensing.
Peggy Moreland, R.N., M.S.N.
Peggy Moreland is a certified diabetes educator (C.D.E.) in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, Metabolism, & Nutrition at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
Peggy graduated with a Master of Science in Nursing and Health Care Education from the University of Phoenix and is a member of the American Association of Diabetes Educators and the American Diabetes Association. A certified diabetes educator (C.D.E.), Peggy enjoys working with patients to set and achieve diabetes self-management goals.
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Stress, illness and high blood sugar
By Nancy Klobassa Davidson, R.N., and Peggy Moreland, R.N.
A number of you have mentioned that your blood sugar runs higher when you are ill or under stress.
Illness or stress can trigger high blood sugars because hormones produced to combat illness or stress can also cause your blood sugar to rise.
People who do not have diabetes can make enough extra insulin to keep their blood sugar in a normal range during times of stress and illness. People with diabetes may need to take extra diabetes medication to keep their blood sugar near normal during times of illness or stress. If you haven't been given special instructions on how to manage your diabetes medications during illness, please contact your healthcare provider for advice.
Sometimes you may need to be a detective. Here are some possible causes of high blood sugars:
- Not enough insulin or oral diabetes medication
- Eating or drinking more carbohydrate than usual
- Less activity or exercise than usual
- Illness or infection (cold, urinary tract infection, heart attack)
- Injury or surgery
- Positive stress (wedding or vacation) or negative stress (a death in the family)
- Any change in your normal daily routine
- Certain medications
- Poor absorption of insulin at injection sites
- Insulin pump, insulin pen or meter (device issues)
- Bad insulin (outdated insulin or insulin that has been exposed to extreme temperatures)
In rare incidences, stress can cause blood sugars to drop low.
Make sure you know the symptoms of high blood sugar.
|Early signs/symptoms||Later signs/symptoms|
|Increased thirst||Fruity-smelling breath|
|Increased urination||Nausea and/or vomiting|
|Blurred vision||Rapid breathing|
When to contact your healthcare provider:
- You notice symptoms of high blood sugars
- Ongoing diarrhea or vomiting for more than 24 hours — or sooner if you're becoming dehydrated
- Fever that lasts more than 24 hours
- Blood sugar readings greater than 250 mg/dl (13.9 mmol/L) for more than 24 hours during illness
- If you have been instructed to check urine ketones and they are present (type 1 diabetes)
Call the emergency department if you experience any of the later signs and symptoms of high blood sugar.
Please share your experiences. Thanks.
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