3- min read 28/02/2022
author Talitha Paauwe

A cold sounds – and is – often fairly harmless. But as with many things in life: with diabetes it is slightly different. When you have a cold, your body has to work hard to get rid of the bacteria again. That sometimes does strange things to your diabetes. And we're not just talking about your blood sugar levels. Ever heard of dietary ketones? Stefanie shares her son Cédric's experience and talks about her first encounter with dietary ketones.


"Cedric came home from school on Wednesday and was very tired. He coughed a lot, had a stuffy nose and didn't feel like doing anything. His blood sugar level was 160 mg/dl (9mmol/l). Normally he would play football in the evening , but because the coughing only got worse, he stayed on the couch."


"That night he slept badly because of all the coughing and sniffling. His blood sugar levels were a bit higher at night, around 252 mg/dl (14 mmol/l), but in the morning it had already dropped nicely to 86 mg/dl (4.8 mmol/l)."

"Cédric didn't want to eat anything and lay lifeless on the couch all morning. Eventually he manages to eat something. As a result, he immediately shot up to 250 mg/dl (13.9 mmol/l)."

"In the afternoon he fell asleep on the couch. After a few hours I started to get worried, because Cédric is an active boy of 8 years and this never happens! It was clear that he was sick. His values were very good that afternoon neat, but due to previous experiences with a cold I decided to measure his ketones. His ketone value was 0.6. That in itself is not worrying, but with such a value you have to be extra vigilant and it is recommended to retest every 2 hours. check for ketones."


"I thought it was strange. His blood sugar levels were good all afternoon, but he still had ketones. How is that possible? I decided to call the pediatrician anyway. He told me that ketones can also occur with normal blood sugar values, for example if you are sick or suddenly have a different diet. It is also called hunger ketones or food ketones. That was true with Cédric, he had a bad cold and had barely eaten that day."

"After a few hours I decided to wake him up to eat something. His blood sugar level was 147mg/dl (8.3 mmol/l) and his ketones had dropped to 0.4. After a few hours all his ketones were gone, I had He had more energy and wanted to eat something. What an afternoon nap can do!"


"If Cédric is sick or has a cold, I am always extra alert. It has happened a few times that we had to spend a night in hospital because his blood sugar levels could no longer be regulated because he was ill. Fortunately, we had to do that this year. not and we did well!"

"A cold isn't the end of the world, but I think a lot of people don't know that the consequences can be a lot more severe if you have diabetes. That's good to know."

What is your experience with having a cold if you have diabetes?

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