Skip to content

Diabetes Health Center

Font Size

6 Diabetes Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

3. Working Out Alone

“One error that people make when it comes to exercise is that they try to do it without help from other people,” Ahmann says.

Spouses, partners, friends, and family members make great exercise buddies. They also are terrific cheerleaders.

The same is true for your diet. It's easier to make changes when you have a friend or relative who's also on board.

4. Neglecting Other Problems

Constant stress and depression can really get to you. It's easy to feel too discouraged to deal with your diabetes. That can make matters worse.

“You need to recognize depression and work with it,” Srikanthan says.

Depression and stress can also have a bad effect on blood sugar levels. Constant stress may boost hormones that make it harder for insulin to do its job. Doing “anything to reduce stress will improve your blood sugar," Ahmann says.

Exercise helps relieve stress, and there’s evidence that meditation and massage will benefit blood sugar levels, he says.

5. Misunderstanding and Misusing Medications

Ahmann says many of his patients think medications are more powerful than diet and exercise. But in many cases, type 2 diabetes can be controlled by a combination of a healthy diet and regular exercise without the need for medication.

For many people, medication can be helpful.

Ahmann sees one mistake that stands out.

“It’s surprising how many people miss doses,” he says. That's a risky mistake, so tell your doctor. He might be able to change your dosing schedule to one that better suits you.

6. Poor Food Choices

When it comes to food and blood sugar, the big mistake is not the single candy bar that you couldn’t resist, Srikanthan says. It’s ongoing unhealthy eating habits -- what you eat over and over again -- that have a worse effect on your blood sugar.

“People think it’s a one-time diversion, but no, it’s a consistent problem that affects your test results,” she says.

The two biggest hurdles, she says, are calories and carbohydrates. You have to control both to keep your blood sugar level steady.

Keep a food diary to keep track of what you eat and drink, and always read nutrition labels so you know what’s in the food you choose.

Not eating on a regular schedule is another common food mistake. Make time for breakfast and eat regular meals during the day, so you don’t lose control and overeat in the evening.

1 | 2
Reviewed on October 22, 2014

Is This Normal? Get the Facts Fast!

Check Your Blood Sugar Level Now
What type of diabetes do you have?
Your gender:

Get the latest Diabetes newsletter delivered to your inbox!


Your level is currently

If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Did You Know Your Lifestyle Choices
Affect Your Blood Sugar?

Use the Blood Glucose Tracker to monitor
how well you manage your blood sugar over time.

Get Started

This tool is not intended for women who are pregnant.

Start Over

Step:  of 

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
Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
Middle aged person
Home Healthcare

Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
type 2 diabetes
food fitness planner