Preparing for Surgery or a Medical Procedure

If you are diabetic, going under the knife or even having a simple out-patient procedure requires more preparation than for non-diabetics. Why?

If you will have anesthesia, you may have to fast or not drink water prior to surgery.  So, we recommend that you ask for an early appointment time. If you have to avoid eating or drinking from midnight until late the next day, it may have serious effects on your blood sugar. Tell the scheduler that you are diabetic and need an early appointment. Also, you may need to adjust your medication or insulin that morning to avoid a low. Talk to your doctor in advance about a plan for what to take if you get low. Drink as much water as possible before the cut off time, to avoid dehydration and rising blood sugar before surgery.

Stress and physical injury causes blood sugar to rise. Your doctor may tell you that keeping blood sugar down is very important to healing. However, the body’s “fight or flight” response that occurs after a procedure or surgery will likely send your blood sugar through the roof.  Be prepared with very low carb snacks and meals, and as soon as you are permitted to start drinking, drink tons of water. We mean gallons, and avoid teas and coffees that dehydrate.  Also, warn your friends and family that you shouldn’t have a pizza or bagel post-op, but need to stay super low-carb. Ask someone to pick up or make your favorite healthy meal and splurge a few days later once your healing is under control.

You should have someone with you who is prepared to help with your blood sugar management. After most surgeries and procedures, you are told to have a friend or family drive you home and monitor your condition for a day or so. But, what about helping with your diabetes management? Before you go under the knife, meet with that person and get them up to speed on how you check your blood sugar, how your insulin is injected, how often you take medication, what to do in the event of a serious blood sugar low or high. Equip your support team with the knowledge needed to help with your management, both while you are still loopy from medication and as you are physically recovering.

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