Infections/COVID, high blood sugar

I am trying to get over COVID, first symptoms started 9/20 (vaxed twice, boosted once). This was the first illness I’ve had since being Type 1. I was prepared for the high blood sugars–and they were way higher than normal. Lots of stuff in the 230-270 range, which has been almost entirely unheard for me. Well, I dealt with it, and thought things were returning to normal when for a couple of days my numbers seemed to be stabilizing and I wasn’t needing as much insulin.

But now, the past few days the numbers have been super high again. I never eat breakfast, and today at 10:00 a.m. I was 109, two hours later–with no food whatsoever–177. That is just completely inexplicable and unheard of in my experience. It’s been almost a month since my COVID started, and I’m frustrated and just wanting these numbers to end. The high blood sugar is making me feel like I am still ill and fighting an infection, which is an even crappier feeling than the highs themselves.

What are your experiences with abnormal highs and infections, and how long blood sugar goes haywire after an infection? I just don’t know what to expect and when things will stabilizie again, and am worried about long COVID issues.

3 weeks. I needed additional basal for 3 weeks. Then I went back to my baseline. I’ve also had T1 for decades, if someone is recently diagnosed, then other factors such as were you making insulin before your illness and did it change? If you’ve never seen a bs of 170 or even 270 before, I have to guess you were making a little insulin. Then your entire baseline including your long acting and meal time doses may need to be adjusted. Take good notes and please consider reviewing it with your doctor. Good luck :four_leaf_clover:

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Thanks. Endo said I am not producing any insulin based on blood tests. 170 is common for me. 230 or higher, no. I keep close tabs on carbs and history, and daily#s, that’s why I can stay in range mostly.

I mean, 170 after eating is common. Not during a fasting period in which two hours prior I was 109 that morning.

Becky @BKN480 , you did the “right thing” by anticipating that almost any infection would elevate your body glucose level. What possibly happened is that just because you felt better and thought the virus had “cleared” you let your insulin dosing return to normal too soon. What I experienced for a few weeks after I was “cleared” my BGL remained less stable than “normal” and more insulin was needed - for me, the end result is that now my CGM graphs are more level. I won’t ‘blame’ my better management on COVID.

As I recall from previous posts, is that you manage your diabetes with MDI with one daily dose of basal insulin and rapid [or fast] acting meal bolus insulin. Based on this information, I’m not surprised by the 177 two hours after the 109 even though you didn’t eat. That is a natural body reaction; and I’m surprised that if your body really isn’t making any insulin that your reading wasn’t at least 300. When a body thinks it is being starved, it will dump glucose into the blood stream to feed. Better this than the alternative.

Thank you for the info. My c peptide was <.10. I never eat breakfast so my body probably wouldn’t one day randomly and coincidentally post covid think I’m starving. :slight_smile: I mentioned precisely b/c it was so out of norm, like rest of readings and dosing since covid, just as an example. My glucose would have gone to 300s if I hadn’t checked it and given insulin so much. I’ve been in 300s before, just very rarely. Thank you for sharing your experience! It’s helpful.

Also, I could have stated what I meant better–which was, that b/c I’ve been keeping notes of every reading and carb amount and insulin dosing (and some other stuff) since my diagnosis, the numbers since infection seem definitely related to that, just b/c they’ve been “abnormal,” based on my own experience. And the “weird”/“abnormal” numbers are just lasting longer than the acute phase of other symptoms, and I haven’t had any experience w/ infections, so don’t know what to expect. I wasn’t trying to toot my own horn, just trying to provide context for why I asked the question.

I asked my endo pointedly if I was still producing insulin, based on C-peptide, and she said no. She could be wrong. I wish there were clear answers either way in managing this disease, w/ regard to so many things!

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No doubt your numbers are different. And it could easily be related to illness. As far as c-peptide, I sometimes make insulin, after all these years, randomly, and it lasts between 3 days and a little over a week. The reason I know this is because during that time I don’t need insulin for meals and my bs stays around 70. I probably don’t need basal either when this is happening, but I’m too afraid to take none. I hope things settle for you!

Yep! I’ve had Covid twice. Had to do a 30% basal increase during the infection and then things calmed down but definitely had rockier sugars for about 3-4 weeks after each time. For me, blood sugar that’s super stubborn is usually an underlying sign of infection or hormone related. Like you, for the most part, I can keep my bs under 200. But then there’s random times like this week where randomly I needed to adjust my overnight basal and IC for no reason. Took a Covid test negative and felt fine but after two nights of sugars in the mid 200s I decided to get tested for a UTI. Went to the doc and have a UTI(didn’t even have symptoms but was troubleshooting and have had this happen in the past). Took one dose of antibiotics and things are improving a bit from the resistance side. Illness is always fun. Hopefully your sugars react a little more how you expect again soon!

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Thanks again! Yeah that is enlightening–I’ve never not had to take insulin for even a low-carb meal since being diagnosed. My suspicion is that I’m not producing insulin, although what is that worth? Perhaps it’s hard to tell, since sometimes I go lower than expected and wonder how I did so given my insulin intake–but I chalk that up to the normal vagaries of blood sugar–which are frustrating enough even w/out an infection!

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Thanks so much for your input. Yes I’m learning that persistently high blood sugar/insulin resistance can itself be a sign of infection, even w/out other symptoms, so that is good to know. I hope yours clears up soon too!

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My blood sugar did not rise during my bout of Covid. But every year as it turns colder, I need more insulin. I eat exactly the same things winter and summer, but in summer I need a total of 20 units a day and in winter 29 units a day. The doctors blame activity levels, but I do the same housework and jogging winter and summer, so that is not the cause. it is something to consider.

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What you experience with change in temperature, @ksannie, is very common and has been included in teaching material for many decades. I reported this bit to the researchers at Joslin around 1970 and it became a query during patient visits to confirm my suspicions.

@ksannie Everyone is so different! I am the opposite. I use more insulin during the summer. The heat shoots up my blood sugar, so I have to get my walks in during the early morning hours.

@BKN480 , your question is good.

My endo & I reported I have had steroid like elevations in CGM reported glucose for 5 - 6 weeks following ever Covid jab. VAERS were completed for each jab. Insulin usage increased by 250+% with each one.

Hope this helps.

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Thanks for the info. Yeah I wondered if maybe my numbers were lingering in the high range even after most of my covid symptoms (fortunately) disappeared b/c I then got my flu and pneumonia shots. I haven’t noticed elevations w/ vaccines in the past, but maybe coupled w/ trying to get over COVID, it added another hit to the system.

Not alone there! Flu shots no problem for me. Covid and tetanus shots have boosted me. Last Covid jab I did notice increased sugars for 3 days, but also not as high as when I actually had Covid. Just needed more activity or a temp basal!

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Hi Becky. My daughter (9 years old) has also very recently had Covid. She had a similar pattern of highs: controllable while she had symptoms (we used Ibuprofen to control the fever and inflammation), but after the symptoms (very mild, actually) subsided, we faced uncontrollable highs. These highs (220-250) were more problematic at night, when she went to bed with 120-130 and around midnight she was at 220-250 and multiple corrections did very little. For about 3 days she woke up at 180 (which never happened before). We did our best to keep her hydrated, checked for ketones, and chose meals that we knew did not provoke spikes. Nevertheless, she had highs even from steamed broccoli. We increased the bolus insulin (which worked kind of well), but no matter how much we increased the basal, she still had highs at night (it was like she had no basal active during the night). After the 3 days her blood sugar started to get back to normal, but her insulin needs were still heightened for an additional 7-8 days. She also had colds before, but it was nothing like this. I guess Covid works different. Hope this helps.

Thanks for sharing you and your daughter’s experience. My guess is that all kinds of infections affect Type 1’s in all different kinds of ways, and it’s just variable for each person/illness. I too was having massive post-meal spikes (“massive” relative to normal experience), even pre-bolusing for 25 minutes (normally I wait about 15, depending), and even with extra insulin. Anyway, I’m glad your daughter’s illness is improving! Thanks again.

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Keep in mind, Dana, that although you were able to “mask” symptoms successfully and help your daughter feel mor comfortable, doesn’t mean that her SARS virus was diminished. Masking and curing or eliminating an infection are not the same thing. Reminds me of an incident a few years ago, late 196s, when a "flu medicine, was removed from the OTC market because it so successfully helped people think they were cured; many returned to school/work and infected scores of other folks.

It sounds as if you did manage your daughter’s insulin well and I’m happy to hear that she is well. Like you did, I also managed to stay above 85% in range by increasing significantly my insulin while eating my usual wide variety of foods. I anticipated what might happen and had constructed a “sick day” pump Profile that provided me with an additional 40-45% more insulin per day into the second week [well after symptoms has ceased] before reverting to one of my other Profiles with only a mild insulin increase.

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