Hospitals: Please don’t offer fruit juices to diabetic patients who are already requiring insulin for sugars

I had a surgery on Friday. I also have diabetes and had to be off my oral medications prior to it. My sugars were elevated before and after the procedure (not unexpected), so I was given a shot of insulin in the recovery room.

Later I was waiting to be discharged and had to eat a meal of some kind to show I could keep it down. Post-surgery nausea can be common after general anesthesia and with narcotics.

OK, so we have established that (a) we have a diabetic patient with (b) elevated sugars who required (c) insulin to get them down after the procedures.

One would assume that special care would be taken not to offer the patients foods or beverages that were sugary. One would be wrong. The offered meal included a container of Apple juice. They might have well brought a glass of regular coke as the sugar levels are nearly identical!

I had to point out that this really wasn’t a good idea for a diabetic patient who already required insulin. The apple juice would likely have triggered a rapid blood glucose spike and could defeat the purpose of the earlier insulin. The patient shouldn’t be the one pointing it out as contraindicated.

I already was going to get enough run-up via the two slices of bread in the sandwich. I was also offered packages of Honey Graham crackers, which also can pop up sugar levels.

So hospitals, please look at the foods and beverage you are offering diabetic patients with elevated sugars — especially if they are already requiring insulin.


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