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Q. My diabetic father is refusing food for four days now. How to help him get his appetite back?

Answered by
Dr. Rinku Biswas
and medically reviewed by Dr. Sneha Kannan
This is a premium question & answer published on Jun 20, 2020

hello my father who is 62yrs old has diabetes type 2.. Recently, he started not feeling well. He has stopped eating, basically doesn't want to eat or drink anything. He's been like this refusing food for about 4 days now. His blood sugar is anywhere around 250-380 even though he isn't eating anything.. We took him to the hospital and they said it was Neuropathy because he's also experiencing body aches.. My father is extremely fatigued, all he wants to do is lay down and sleep.. Any help on what could be happening? or what should we do to help him get his appetite back?

Dr. Rinku Biswas

Diabetology Pharmacology


The mentioned sugar levels are too high. The medication dosage is not mentioned. Only Metformin doesn't work for such high levels. He might need insulin too initially to control the levels and then eventually can be on pills depending upon the condition and thorough follow up.

Please don't ignore the condition, he must be going into diabetic ketoacidosis. Need to go through immediate blood sugar levels, blood pH, serum and urine ketone levels. I will recommend you to please immediately visit a doctor physically for through examination and complete detailed history. Untill then just follow some preventive measures.

Investigations to be done:

blood sugar levels including HbA1C
blood pH
serum and urine ketone levels
SerUm bicarbonate

Differential diagnosis:

Uncontrolled Diabetes
?Diabetic ketoacidosis
? Neuropathy

Treatment plan:

Excess intake of water to stay hydrated
Coconut water
Less calorie diet

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