Stress & illness

It is important to understand the effects that stress and illness can have on your blood glucose levels and be prepared to handle them effectively.


In response to daily stresses and strains, our bodies will often tap into their stored glucose supplies. By doing this, we fuel our cells to make the extra energy we need to get us through a tough situation. Of course, sudden supplies of new glucose in the bloodstream can raise the level rather quickly.

Several things cause stress responses within the body:

  • Sudden fright or anger
  • Fever or infection
  • Growth spurts
  • Rapid weight gain


As with other kinds of stress, illness often makes the blood glucose go up. Things like a bad cold, the flu, or a serious injury can increase your need for more glucose.

The body often responds to illness by pumping stored glucose into the system. This is why it is important to keep taking your insulin, even though you may not feel like eating. Without insulin, your body glucose level can soar too high to control. The doctor will have special instructions to help you.

Prevention is key!

To prevent serious cases of hyperglycaemia, it is important that you never stop taking your insulin.

When you are sick, check your blood glucose frequently and take extra insulin (as directed by your physician) when you blood glucose is too high.