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

Answered by
Dr. Rinku Rani Biswas
and medically reviewed by Dr. Sneha Kannan
This is a premium question & answer published on Jun 20, 2020 and last reviewed on: Apr 16, 2021

Hi doctor,

My father is 62 years old. He has diabetes type 2. Recently, he started feeling unwell. He has stopped eating. He does not want to eat or drink anything. He refuses to eat food for four days now. His blood sugar remains around 250 to 280 mg/dL even though he is not eating. We took him to the hospital and the doctor told me it as neuropathy as he is experiencing body aches too. My father is extremely fatigued and he feels to lay down and sleep always. What is happening in him? What to do to bring his appetite back to normal?



Welcome to

Your father's blood sugar is too high. You have not mentioned the medication taken by him. Taking Metformin alone will not work for these high levels. He requires insulin too for controlling the levels and then he can take pills depending upon the condition. Do not ignore the advice as he may reach diabetic ketoacidosis. He needs to do testing for blood sugar levels, blood pH, serum and urine ketone levels. I suggest you kindly take him immediately to the doctor for having a thorough physical examination and give him a complete detailed history. In the meantime, just follow the preventive measures.

Investigations to be done:

Your father needs to do testing for blood sugar levels including HbA1C (hemoglobin A1c), blood pH, serum and urine ketone levels, and serum bicarbonate.

Differential diagnosis:

Your father has uncontrolled diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis or neuropathy.

Treatment plan:

Your father can take plenty of water to stay hydrated or coconut water and a less calorie diet can be taken.

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