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Type 1 Diabetes - When To Call a Doctor

Call 911 or other emergency services right away if:

  • You have symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), such as:
    • Blurred vision.
    • Trouble staying awake or trouble being woken up.
    • Fast, deep breathing.
    • Breath that smells fruity.
    • Belly pain, not feeling hungry, and vomiting.
    • Feeling confused.
  • You had passed out (lost consciousness), or if you suddenly become very sleepy or confused. (You may have very low blood sugar, called hypoglycemia.)
Low Blood Sugar: Emergency Care

Call a doctor if:

  • You are sick and cannot control your blood sugar.
  • You have been vomiting or have had diarrhea for more than 6 hours.
Sick-Day Guidelines for People With Diabetes
  • You have a blood sugar level that stays higher than the level the doctor has set for you, for example, 300 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) for two or more readings.
  • You have blood sugar that stays lower than the level the doctor has set for you, for example, 70 mg/dL for two or more readings.
  • You have symptoms of low blood sugar, such as:
    • Sweating.
    • Feeling nervous, shaky, and weak.
    • Extreme hunger and slight nausea.
    • Dizziness and headache.
    • Blurred vision.
    • Confusion.

Check with your doctor if:

  • You often have problems with high or low blood sugar levels.
  • You have trouble knowing when your blood sugar is low (hypoglycemia unawareness).
  • You have questions or want to know more about diabetes.

Who to see

Health professionals who may be involved in your diabetes care include:

If you have signs of complications of diabetes, such as nerve problems or kidney problems, you may be referred to a specialist. Learn more about the roles of the health professionals on a diabetes care team.

Planning pregnancy when you have type 1 diabetes

Women who want to plan a pregnancy need to talk to their doctors about making sure they have good control of their blood sugar.

High blood sugar levels during the first trimester of pregnancy raise the risk of birth defects. Good care of diabetes before conception appears to reduce the risk of birth defects.

Women with diabetes who don't want to be become pregnant should use birth control. This reduces the risk of birth defects in unplanned pregnancies.

actionset.gif Pregnancy and Diabetes: Planning for Pregnancy

To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: January 28, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

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