Skip to content

    Diabetes Health Center

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    5 Tips to Get Your Diabetes Under Control

    By Amanda Gardner
    WebMD Feature

    Controlling your diabetes is a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly challenge, but the effort is worth it. Right away you'll feel better and have more energy.The payoff? You'll live better longer with less risk of problems from diabetes like heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure, even blindness.

    The key to managing your diabetes is to keep your blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible. It sounds tough, but there are simple steps you can follow.

    Recommended Related to Diabetes

    A 3-Step Plan for Diabetic Neuropathy Treatment

    If you have diabetes, you may already have experienced the nerve pain called diabetic neuropathy. If so, diabetic neuropathy treatment is important. Some symptoms are obvious: pain in your feet. But more subtle signs of neuropathy are just as critical to notice - and to treat. "We ask whether people are having unusual tingling or numbness," says Dace L. Trence, MD, an endocrinologist and director of the Diabetes Care Center at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. Those symptoms...

    Read the A 3-Step Plan for Diabetic Neuropathy Treatment article > >

    Spot Check Your Sugar

    You and your doctor will have set a schedule to test your blood sugar. Add an extra check on top. Maybe at breakfast one day, lunch the next, and so on. It's like popping in unannounced.

    "If you're a supervisor and your workers know that you're only going to come once a day to check on them, chances are they're going to be well-behaved during that particular time and the rest of the day you're going to be doing other things," says Sethu Reddy, MD, chief of the adult diabetes section at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston. "If you spot check, you have a much better sense of how things are going."

    Use that information to adjust your eating and exercise to gain even better control if you need to.

    Count Carbs

    They can quickly send your blood sugar on a roller-coaster ride. That's why it's so important to keep track.

    Most women need 35-45 grams of carbs per meal while guys need 45-60 grams, says Jessica Crandall, a dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. A cup of rice or pasta is about 45 grams.

    To make the most of them, pair your carbs with a protein, like nuts. Opt for high-fiber carbs. Both will slow digestion so you feel full without raising blood sugar.

    "Fiber is really important for blood-sugar control, but it's also a Roto-Rooter to clear out cholesterol building in blood vessels," Crandall says.

    Good sources of fiber and carbs include whole wheat bread, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, and dried beans.

    Be wary of "no-sugar" products. That doesn't always mean no carbs. Foods that have "sugar alcohols" -- things that usually end in "ol" like xylitol and mannitol -- do contain carbs.

    Today on WebMD

    Diabetic tools
    Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and more.
    woman flexing muscles
    10 strength training exercises.
     
    Blood sugar test
    12 practical tips.
    Tom Hanks
    Stars living with type 1 or type 2.
     
    kenneth fujioka, md
    Video
    Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
    Article
     
    Middle aged person
    Tool
    jennie brand miller
    Video
     

    Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
    Article
    type 2 diabetes
    Slideshow
     
    food fitness planner
    Tool
    feet
    Slideshow