Improving Blood Sugar Control
Good blood sugar control can help you avoid the symptoms and complications of going too high or low. Youll also feel better and have more energy, says Rasa Kazlauskaite, MD, medical director of the Rush University Prevention Center in Chicago, Illinois, and associate professor in the department of preventive medicine and internal medicine.
Get started with these 10 tips to help you rein in your blood sugar and better manage type 2 diabetes:
1. Stick to your medication plan. There are many drugs to help control blood sugar, Reddy says. Taking your medication as directed is vital don’t skip doses.
2. Eat on schedule. Eating healthy meals at about the same time every day helps keep blood sugar steady. Also, meal routines and consistency help to avoid severe hunger and help medications work better, Dr. Kazlauskaite says.
3. Distribute carbohydrates throughout the day. Make it a goal to eat two to four carbohydrate servings about 30 to 60 grams per meal, says Margaret Powers, PhD, RD, CDE, president-elect of health care and education for the American Diabetes Association and a research scientist at Park Nicollet Health Services International Diabetes Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Because carbohydrates raise your blood sugar, spacing them out can help keep your levels in a healthy range.
9. Make it a family affair. Reddy suggests recruiting family members to eat healthy and exercise with you so it feels more like fun than a task.
How Is Type 2 Diabetes Managed
Theres no cure for Type 2 diabetes. But you can manage the condition by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and taking medication if needed. Work with your healthcare provider to manage your:
- Blood sugar: A blood glucose meter or continuous glucose monitoring can help you meet your blood sugar target. Your healthcare provider may also recommend regular A1c tests, oral medications , insulin therapy or injectable non-insulin diabetes medications.
- Blood pressure: Lower your blood pressure by not smoking, exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet. Your healthcare provider may recommend blood pressure medication such as beta blockers or ACE inhibitors.
- Cholesterol: Follow a meal plan low in saturated fats, trans fat, salt and sugar. Your healthcare provider may recommend statins, which are a type of drug to lower cholesterol.
Diagnosing Prediabetes Type 2 And Type 1 Diabetes
Depending on which country or medical organization you ask, the qualifying numbers for normal versus prediabetes versus diagnosed type 1 or type 2 diabetes can vary slightly. The following blood sugar and A1c the general results are used to diagnosed prediabetes and diabetes according to sources including the American Diabetes Association and Diabetes UK:
- HbA1c: 5.7 to 6.4 percent
- Fasting: 100 to 125 mg/dL
- 2 hours after a meal: 140 mg/dL to 199 mg/dL
Type 1 or 2 diabetes
- HbA1c: 6.5 percent or higher
- Fasting: 126 mg/dL or higher
- 2 hours after a meal: 200 mg/dL or higher
Please note: Type 1 diabetes tends to develop very quickly which means that by the time symptoms are felt, blood sugar levels are generally well above 200 mg/dL all the time. For many, symptoms come on so quickly they are dismissed as the lingering flu or another seemingly ordinary virus.
By the time blood sugar levels are tested, many newly diagnosed type 1 patients will see levels above 400 mg/dL or higher. If you do suspect that you or a loved-one has type 1 diabetes, visit your primary care or urgent care immediately and ask for a urine test to measure ketones in addition to testing blood sugar levels and A1c.
Read more about ketones at diagnosis in Diabetes StrongsDiabetic Ketoacidosis Guide.
You May Like: How Can I Tell I Have Diabetes
What Are Blood Sugar Levels
Your blood sugar levels, also known as blood glucose levels, are a measurement that show how much glucose you have in your blood. Glucose is a sugar that you get from food and drink. Your blood sugar levels go up and down throughout the day and for people living with diabetes these changes are larger and happen more often than in people who don’t have diabetes.
Managing Blood Pressure And Cholesterol
Keeping your blood pressure and cholesterol within the recommended range is very important to help prevent long-term problems, especially to your heart, blood vessels and kidneys.Regular diabetes checks of your eyes, feet , heart, blood pressure, kidneys and long-term blood glucose are an important part of diabetes management. Your doctor and diabetes educator will help you arrange these tests.
Read Also: New Cures For Type 1 Diabetes
When Should I Call My Doctor
Its important to monitor diabetes very closely if youre sick. Even a common cold can be dangerous if it interferes with your insulin and blood sugar levels. Make a sick day plan with your healthcare provider so you know how often to check your blood sugar and what medications to take.
Contact your provider right away if you experience:
- Confusion or memory loss.
- Nausea and vomiting for more than four hours.
- Problems with balance or coordination.
- Severe pain anywhere in your body.
- Trouble moving your arms or legs.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Type 2 diabetes is a disease where your body doesnt make enough insulin and cant use sugar the way it should. Sugar, or glucose, builds up in your blood. High blood sugar can lead to serious health complications. But Type 2 diabetes is manageable. Regular exercise and a healthy diet can help you manage your blood sugar. You may also need medication or insulin. If you have Type 2 diabetes, you should monitor your blood sugar at home regularly and stay in close communication with your healthcare provider.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/25/2021.
A1c Goals Should Be Individualized
A1c goals should be individualized based on the individual capabilities, risks, and prior experiences, explains Gary Scheiner, MS, CDE, founder of Integrated Diabetes, and author of Think Like a Pancreas.
For example, we generally aim for very tight A1c levels during pregnancy and more conservative targets in young children and the elderly.
However, Scheiner highlights important factors that could justify aiming for a higher A1c, like hypoglycemia unawareness, which is described as when a person with diabetes no longer feels the oncoming warning signs of low blood sugar. This can put you at significant risk for severe low blood sugars resulting seizures or death. To reduce that risk, you would aim for higher target blood sugar ranges.
Someone with significant hypoglycemia unawareness and a history of severe lows should target higher blood glucose levels than someone who can detect and manage their lows more effectively, adds Scheiner. And certainly, someone who has been running A1cs in double digits for quite some time should not be targeting an A1c of 6% better to set modest, realistic, achievable goals.
Learn how to lower your A1c in DiabetesStrongsA1C Guide.
You May Like: Can You Lose Weight If You Have Diabetes
Diagnosing Type 2 Diabetes In Adults
NYU Langone doctors are experts at identifying people with type 2 diabetes, a condition in which a person has chronically high levels of blood sugar. It occurs when the body lacks or is resistant to insulin, a hormone that helps the body use glucose, or sugar. As a result, the body is unable to convert glucose into energy.
In prediabetes, a person has higher-than-normal levels of blood sugar, which increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. To help the body use some of the excess blood sugar levels, the pancreas produces more insulin. Over time, prediabetes may progress into type 2 diabetes.
In most people, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes develop gradually. If you have prediabetes and take steps to prevent type 2 diabetes, you may be able to avoid it altogether.
Other Tips For Checking:
- With some meters, you can also use your forearm, thigh, or fleshy part of your hand.
- There are spring-loaded lancing devices that make sticking yourself less painful.
- If you use your fingertip, stick the side of your fingertip by your fingernail to avoid having sore spots on the frequently used part of your finger.
Read Also: Type 1 Diabetes Books For Parents
Easy Swaps To Make At Breakfast
- Wholegrain bread instead of white
- Mashed banana instead of jam
- Weetabix and Shredded Wheat instead of sugary cereals
- Unsaturated vegetable oils, like sunflower, olive and rapeseed, instead of butter or ghee
- Use wholewheat flour when making rotis and chapattis
- Mudhi or chuda with vegetables, instead of chudha upma with oil
- Roasted methi paratha instead of aloo paratha
What Does It Do
CGM measures the amount of glucose in the fluid inside your body. Different devices collect the information in different manners using tiny sensors. In some cases, the sensor is placed under the skin of your belly in a quick and painless fashion or, it can be adhered to the back of your arm. A transmitter on the sensor then sends the information to a wireless-pager-like monitor that you can clip on your belt.
The monitor displays your sugar levels at 1-, 5-, 10-, or 15-minute intervals. If your sugar drops to a dangerously low level or a high preset level, the monitor will sound an alarm.
In the past, only doctors could see the readings CGM systems collected. Now anyone can use the devices as part of at-home diabetes care. You can download data on your computer, tablet, or smartphone to see patterns and trends in your sugar levels. The information can help you and your doctor make the best plan for managing your diabetes, including:
- How much insulin you should take
- An exercise plan thatâs right for you
- The number of meals and snacks you need each day
- The correct types and doses of medications
CGM doesnât replace traditional home monitors. Youâll still need to measure your blood sugar with a regular glucose meter a few times a day to help the monitor stay accurate. Most monitors still require a finger stick and you should also replace the sensor under your skin every 3 to 7 days.
Recommended Reading: Keto Diet Good For Type 2 Diabetes
Put Your Shoes By The Door
Make it easy to slip them on, so you arenât tempted to go outside barefoot. Make sure your slippers or house shoes are handy, too. Even indoors, you need to protect your feet. Before you put your shoes on, check to make sure thereâs nothing in them that you arenât expecting, like a pebble that could nick your skin. You can also change shoes during the day to relieve pressure spots on your feet.
Type 1 Diabetes Facts
The risk of developing type 1 diabetes can be affected by your genetics i.e. if your parents or siblings have type 1 diabetes.
- In terms of inheritance of type 1 diabetes there is a 2% risk if the mother has type 1 diabetes, 8% risk if the father has type 1 diabetes and a 30% risk of the child developing type 1 diabetes if both parents are type 1
- Within 20 years of diagnosis of type 1 diabetes, nearly all of those diagnosed have some degree of retinopathy
There is also a sub-type of type 1 diabetes known as brittle diabetes
Famous people with type 1 diabetes include:
You May Like: What Is Worse Diabetes 1 Or Diabetes 2
Wear Your Medical Alert Jewelry
Put your medical alert bracelet or pendant near your watch, rings, or other jewelry you wear every day. This may help you remember to wear it. Or keep it near your toothbrush or keys. Itâs smart to wear it to let people know you have diabetes, just in case you need emergency medical care.
Measure Your Waist Circumference
The risk of developing type 2 diabetes is higher if fat is stored around the abdomen . BMI assessments do not take into account where fat is stored. Men with a waist circumference of 102 cm or more and women with a waist circumference of 88 cm or more are at higher risk. Measure after breathing out . This is not the same as the waist size on your pants.
Read Also: Best Way To Eat For Diabetes
How To Prevent Hyperglycaemia
There are simple ways to reduce your risk of severe or prolonged hyperglycaemia:
- Be careful what you eat be particularly aware of how snacking and eating sugary foods or carbohydrates can affect your blood sugar level.
- Stick to your treatment plan remember to take your insulin or other diabetes medications as recommended by your care team.
- Be as active as possible getting regular exercise can help stop your blood sugar level rising, but you should check with your doctor first if you’re taking diabetes medication, as some medicines can lead to hypoglycaemia if you exercise too much.
- Take extra care when you’re ill your care team can provide you with some “sick day rules” that outline what you can do to keep your blood sugar level under control during an illness.
- Monitor your blood sugar level your care team may suggest using a device to check your level at home so you can spot an increase early and take steps to stop it.
Page last reviewed: 08 August 2018 Next review due: 08 August 2021
What Should My Blood Sugar Level Be
When you’re first diagnosed with diabetes, your diabetes care team will usually tell you what your blood sugar level is and what you should aim to get it down to.
You may be advised to use a testing device to monitor your blood sugar level regularly at home.
Or you may have an appointment with a nurse or doctor every few months to see what your average blood sugar level is. This is known as your HbA1c level.
Target blood sugar levels differ for everyone, but generally speaking:
- if you monitor yourself at home with a self-testing kit a normal target is 4 to 7mmol/l before eating and under 8.5 to 9mmol/l 2 hours after a meal
- if your HbA1c level is tested every few months a normal HbA1c target is below 48mmol/mol
The Diabetes UK website has more about blood sugar levels and testing.
Recommended Reading: What Rice Can A Diabetic Eat
How Bananas Affect Diabetes And Blood Sugar Levels
When you have diabetes, its important to keep your blood sugar levels as stable as possible.
Good blood sugar management can help prevent or slow the progression of some of the main medical complications of diabetes .
For this reason, its essential to avoid or minimize foods that cause blood sugar spikes.
Despite being a healthy fruit, bananas are pretty high in both carbs and sugar, which are the main nutrients that raise blood sugar levels.
This article investigates whether you can eat bananas if you have diabetes, as well as whether they affect your blood sugar.
Living With Type 1 Diabetes:
Life with type 1 diabetes poses lifelong challenges for every member of the family.
People with type 1 diabetes should:
- Test blood glucose levels three or more times per day and adjust their insulin through injections or an insulin pump.
- Ensure insulin doses are balanced with food intake and level of daily activity. People with type 1 diabetes may experience low and high blood sugar levels, which should be carefully monitored and managed.
While living with type 1 diabetes requires a certain amount of daily structure, newer pumps and insulin products have provided more flexibility in the management of this condition.
A healthcare provider can provide advice to help properly manage blood glucose levels.
You May Like: How Can An Ophthalmologist Help A Diabetic
The Big Picture: Checking Your Blood Sugar
Blood sugar monitoring is the primary tool you have to find out if your blood glucose levels are within your target range. This tells you your blood glucose level at any one time.
Its important for blood sugar levels to stay in a healthy range. If glucose levels get too low, we can lose the ability to think and function normally. If they get too high and stay high, it can cause damage or complications to the body over the course of many years.
The logging of your results is vital. When you bring your log to your healthcare provider, youll have a good picture of your body’s response to your diabetes care plan. To help keep track of your levels, we have a glucose log. We also have a blood glucose log available for purchase that is smaller so you can carry it with you.
How Is Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosed
Your health care provider will use blood tests to diagnose type 2 diabetes. The blood tests include:
- A1C test, which measures your average blood sugar level over the past 3 months
- Fasting plasma glucose test, which measures your current blood sugar level. You need to fast for at least 8 hours before the test.
- Random plasma glucose test, which measures your current blood sugar level. This test is used when you have diabetes symptoms and the provider does not want to wait for you to fast before having the test.
Read Also: Does Insulin Cause Erectile Dysfunction
Will I Need Medication Or Insulin For Type 2 Diabetes
Some people take medication to manage diabetes, along with diet and exercise. Your healthcare provider may recommend oral diabetes medications. These are pills or liquids that you take by mouth. For example, a medicine called metformin helps control the amount of glucose your liver produces.
You can also take insulin to help your body use sugar more efficiently. Insulin comes in the following forms:
- Injectable insulin is a shot you give yourself. Most people inject insulin into a fleshy part of their body such as their belly. Injectable insulin is available in a vial or an insulin pen.
- Inhaled insulin is inhaled through your mouth. It is only available in a rapid-acting form.
- Insulin pumps deliver insulin continuously, similar to how a healthy pancreas would. Pumps release insulin into your body through a tiny cannula . Pumps connect to a computerized device that lets you control the dose and frequency of insulin.