Sick day/Covid diagnosis

Hello! Well after 2 years of avoiding it I got a positive Covid test this morning. Feeling okay not great but not horrible and I caught it early enough that they were able to give me antivirals so that’s good news too.

It’s been forever since I’ve been sick and my doctor wasn’t too much help with this so just looking for insight. I know im going to run higher being sick and have increased my basal by 20%. Where im struggling is what is considered you need to go to the ER for diabetes stuff. Right now im kind of just coasting in the high 100s, so I know it’s definitely not an emergency. But what warrants a call to the doctor and what warrants an er trip in terms of sugar levels. I have keto strips and plan to test if I stay in the 200s for any extended period of time, but curious on when to worry? I’m going to inch my basal up higher pending on what happens but starting out less aggressive so I don’t go low either. I also live alone so just a little extra nervous with this all. Thanks for your help!

Hi Taylor @Tee25

I had Covid this time last year. I increased my basal and drank a lot of water. My numbers were in the high 100’s and low 200’s. They came down after a couple of weeks. Just get rest and push fluids. I hope this helps!


Hi Taylor @Tee25 . Sorry to hear that you got a virus positive test, and in my mind you are taking the correct action by increasing your basal rates. What about your bolus ratios; in my case any infection lessens insulin sensitivity and I need both more bolus as well as basal. I have a Profile already programmed in my pump with increased insulin levels “just-in-case” so I can easily move to heavier insulin without needing a lot of brain power.

Unless you have other issues besides diabetes and glucose levels, before going off to ER, think about what you could accomplish knowing that you have a better handle on managing YOUR diabetes than any number of doctors who don’t know you or T1D. Of course, consult with your own doctor if uncertain.

Your other question about what BGL is too high. In my personal experience, ranging between 150 - 250 and with short excursion higher following a carb meal isn’t unreasonably high - and hasn’t hurt me. Each of us is different. Check your ketone level now to establish a base, and then periodically; some ketone is likely from any infection and will be a natural occurance if you do not eat carbs and you body senses you are starving it.

Hope you recover very soon!

Thanks this was helpful! I am tweaking my bolus amounts as well but definitely need to do more. And agree even being in the high 200s low 300s for a stint to me is not er worthy I just don’t know what is considered bad news where you need to go to the ER and such

I can usually bring highs down on my own - it may take a few hours to start seeing a tiny drop, and it speeds up in time. If not, and I start feeling more severe symptoms of DKA (see below), then I consider a hospital visit in order. I find no amount of insulin will start bringing my numbers down if I don’t drink plenty of sugar free fluids - even if I don’t see ketones on a strip - so be sure to stay hydrated.

  • Being very thirsty.
  • Urinating a lot more than usual.

If untreated, more severe symptoms can appear quickly, such as:

  • Fast, deep breathing.
  • Dry skin and mouth.
  • Flushed face.
  • Fruity-smelling breath.
  • Headache.
  • Muscle stiffness or aches.
  • Being very tired.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Stomach pain.
    I had no appetite most of my two weeks with COVID and had excellent numbers. Don’t forget to take that into account.
    I hope you’re back to 100% soon!

Thank you! Yes I’m taking in a ton of water but yeah not having an appetite but needing to eat is the hardest part. So far I’m feeling like I have a really bad cold, but my basal settings at least so far today are doing okay. Running around 140-150 overall which is a little higher than usual for me but not scary at this point. I’ll definitely keep an eye out for the severe symptoms thanks!

CIQ kept my numbers in a great range. I didn’t even have to force myself to eat fit glucose reasons, although I did force down some nutrients - feed a cold/starve a fever. About the only thing I wanted to do for the first week was sleep - I got plenty of rest and didn’t feel guilty about it.
Take care and keep us posted!

These are the times I definitely wish my pump had that feature- I can’t wait to upgrade to the omnipod 5. Right now my basal is up by 40% (I also am on my period week so naturally run higher during that too so I’m guessing that’s part of it) and I had to drop correction factor by 10 points, and ICs are all down by 1. I’m hanging out at 110 right now so we’ll see what happens from here but hopefully found some ratios that work!

Yes keeping nutrients up is key! I’m already going a little stir crazy today which is not fun since I still have a long 8 days ahead of me but reminding myself to rest, push fluids and taking it easy is definitely hard!

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@Tee25 sorry I don’t have much to add except: get well soon!

Hi Taylor,
I am a long time diabetic. I have to say I agree with Dennis below. This is something you can manage, unless you are brand new diabetic. When I get the flu which spikes sugars like or similar to covid, I usually end up taking double bolus amounts while eating next to nothing. I drink lots of fluids and take lots of tests (if not on cgm). I have been in hospital many times over the years, and to be honest, and this is just in my opinion, the doctors will not know what you need as far as insulin doses better than you do. Now having said that, if you do feel you need to go, than you should do so. Don’t let anyone talk you out of it.

Just to add to my post Taylor. I still eat some things, but very low carbs. Like soups or other low carb meals.

Thanks all! Totally had a scared overreaction when I was diagnosed with it! All good now and thankfully had a very minor case with only a couple days of higher sugars and one true day of feeling crummy. Good news if you didn’t know and are reading this! I qualified for antivirals for being type 1, so if you catch your symptoms in the first 5 days you can call your doctor/nurses line etc and they should be able to prescribe them! I’m not sure if I would’ve been sicker without them, but it was definitely a nice tool to have in the toolbelt and and an extra piece of mind! Just make sure you have gum on hand because they leave a nasty taste in your mouth!