Welcome to diabetes matters column, designed to deliver update on what has been happening in diabetes care nationally as well as locally and provide you with useful tips to improve your diabetes self-management skills or help if you care for somebody with diabetes.

Thank you for all your feedback on the last month update on Diabetes UK launch of ‘The Future of Diabetes’ report, I am glad you found it useful.

This month I am going to focus on very important diabetes matter: how to cope with illness. Hopefully you have had your recommended Flu vaccination nevertheless please take a minute to review your ‘sick day rules’ this will help you to manage your diabetes when you don’t feel very well or if you care for somebody with diabetes & illness:

* Keep taking insulin you may need a bit more even if you don't feel like eating (for other diabetes medication please contact your GP or your local diabetes team).

* Have plenty of sugar-free drinks, as a result of illness, your blood glucose levels rise, causing you to pass more urine and feel thirsty, this can make you dehydrated.

* Keep testing; you may need to test blood glucose levels more often, if your blood glucose level is 14mmol/l or more, if possible, check for ketones (check by testing your urine or blood); you may need to call your GP or your local diabetes team if your ketones are high.

* Keep eating; if you are feeling sick or can't keep any food down, replace meals with snacks or drinks containing carbohydrates, which will provide energy, you may have something like soup, yogurt, jelly or some ice cream.

* Contact your local diabetes team if you have any queries or if you are unsure about what to do:

* You may be in a situation where you need medical attention, if you're vomiting, or unable to keep fluids down get medical help as soon as possible.

In next month diabetes matters: Liquid Diet for Type 2 Diabetes - the DiRECT study.