The goal of managing diabetes is to keep your blood glucose in a healthy range. You and your doctor decide on that range together, based on what's best for you.
How to manage your blood glucose
Help keep your blood glucose in a healthy range by following the tips below. Stress and illness can also affect blood glucose levels.
- Make healthy choices whenever possible
- Eat a variety of foods in proper portions
- Include non-starchy vegetables, a lean protein and a starch/grain
- Choose water or a no-calorie drink
Be more active
- Strengthen your muscles (try resistance bands)
- Aim for 30 minutes of walking 5 days a week. Three 10-minute walks is okay!
- Get up and move at least every 90 minutes
- Take the stairs when possible
- Park your car farther from the building
- Get up during TV commercials and walk in place
- Take your diabetes medication at the same time every day
- Call your provider with questions
- If you have side effects that don't go away, contact your provider -- do not stop taking your medication
Check your blood glucose
Checking your blood glucose lets you know what your blood glucose is right then. It can help you make healthy day-to-day decisions. The A1C test tells you the average of your blood glucose over the past two or three months.
How diabetes affects your body
Over time, blood glucose levels above your healthy range can damage your heart, brain, eyes, kidneys, feet and nerves.
Blood glucose levels below your healthy range can be dangerous if not treated immediately.
Symptoms that need immediate attention
- Fast heartbeat
- Weak or tired
- Nervous or upset
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- Nerve damage/amputation