Diabetes Clear Liquid Diets and Non-Insulin Medications

Your doctor has suggested you have a procedure that requires you to be on a clear liquid diet before the procedure.  If you have diabetes and take non-insulin medication this Test Facts will help you follow the clear liquid diet and control your blood sugar (glucose) levels.  If, after reading this information you are still unsure as to how to dose your non-insulin medication, check with the doctor who prescribes your non-insulin medication for advice.

 

Types of Clear Liquids

  • Clear liquids that contain sugars include: Gatorade, G1,2,3, sodas, fruit juices, popsicles, regular Jell-O.
  • Clear liquids that do not contain sugar include: Unsweetened tea, black coffee, water, diet sodas, sugar-free Jell-O, clear broth, bullion, Vitamin water (Vitamin water has a small amount of sugar) GoLYTELY and HalfLYTELY do not contain sugars.
  • Drink at least 8 ounces, but not more than 16 ounces, of a sugar-containing liquid at usual mealtimes while on the clear liquid diet. 
  • If you do not take any medication for diabetes, do not drink more than 12 ounces of a sugar-containing liquid for a meal.
  • If you take pills called Metformin (Glucophage®, Glucophage® SA, or Glucovance®), take your usual doses while on clear liquids, but stop the pills when you begin GoLYTELY or HalfLYTELY.
  • If you take pills called Acarbose (Precose®) or Miglitol (Glyset®), take your usual doses while on clear liquids, but stop the pills when you begin GoLYTELY or HalfLYTELY.
  • If you take pills called Nateglinide (Starlix®) or Repaglinide (Prandin®), take your usual doses, as long as you drink at least 8 ounces of a sugar-containing liquid for your meal.
  • If you take pills called Pioglitazone (Actos®) or Rosiglitazone (Avandia), take your usual doses.
  • If you take pills called Sitagliptin (Januvia®) or Saxagliptin (Onglyza®), take your usual doses.
  • If you take pills called Glimipiride (Amaryl®) or Glipizide (Glucotrol®) or Glyburide (DiaBeta®, Micronase®, PresTabs®, Glynase®), start with half of your usual doses. If your blood sugar stays up over 200 on half doses, while you are on the clear liquid diet,  go back to your usual full dose.
  • If you take injections of Exenatide (Byetta®) or Pramlintide (Symlin®), take your usual doses.

 

Treating Low Blood Sugar

While on clear liquids, check your blood sugar four times a day (at your usual mealtimes and at bedtime) or anytime you have symptoms of a low blood sugar.  Common symptoms of a low blood sugar may include: shakiness, dizziness, sweating and headache.   If your blood sugar drops under 70, you should immediately take 15 grams of glucose gel (1 tube).   This will usually raise your blood sugar by 50 points in about 15 minutes. Be sure to re-check your blood sugar 15 minutes after treatment, to make sure it is over 70. If not, take a second tube of gel.

 

Treating High Blood Sugar

If your blood sugar stays over 400 for more than 4 hours, call the doctor who prescribes your insulin for advice.

 

Driving Home After Procedures

Depending on the procedure National Jewish may recommend a family member or friend drive you home. If you drive home National Jewish Health strongly recommends that you check your blood sugar every time before driving a car.  Your blood sugar should be 100 or higher before driving. Keep fast-acting sugar with you in your car (glucose gel, glucose tablets or hard candy).

Remember: If you are still unsure as to how to dose your non-insulin medication, check with the doctor who prescribes your non-insulin medication for advice. Bring your glucose meter and test strips to National Jewish Health on your test day.

 

How to Get to Your Procedure

On the day of your scheduled test, check in at the Front Desk.  If you have questions before or during your test please call 303-398-1355.  Also, if you need to cancel the appointment or change the time please call.

 

This information has been approved by Elizabeth F.O. Kern, MD, MS (September 2010).

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