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Taking Care of Your Diabetes Every Day

The four things you have to do every day to lower high blood sugar are:

1. Eat healthy food

2. Get regular exercise

3. Take your diabetes medicine

4. Test your blood sugar.

Experts say most people with diabetes should try to keep their blood sugar level as close as possible to the level of someone who does not have diabetes. This may not be possible or right for everyone. Check with your doctor about the right range of blood sugar for you.

You will get plenty of help in learning how to do this from your health care providers. Your main health care providers are your doctor, nurse, and dietitian. (A dietitian is someone who is specially trained to help people plan their meals.)

Bring a family member or friend with you when you see your doctor. Ask lots of questions. Before you leave, be sure you understand everything you need to know about taking care of your diabetes.

Eat Healthy Food

People with diabetes do not need special foods. The foods on your diabetes eating plan are the same foods that are good for everyone in your family! Try to eat foods that are low in fat, salt, and sugar and high in fiber such as beans, fruits and vegetables, and grains. Eating right will help you:

1. Reach and stay at a weight that is good for your body.

2. Keep your blood sugar in a good range.

3. Prevent heart and blood vessel disease.

People with diabetes should have their own eating plan. Ask your doctor to give you the name of a dietitian who can work with you to develop an eating plan for you and your family. Your dietitian can help you plan meals to include foods that you and your family like to eat and that are good for you.

Action Steps...

If You Use Insulin

  • Give yourself an insulin shot before you eat.
  • Eat at about the same time and the same amount of food every day.
  • Don't skip meals, especially if you have already given yourself an insulin shot because your blood sugar may go too low. 

If You Don't Use Insulin

  • Follow your meal plan.
  • Don't skip meals, especially if you take diabetes pills because your blood sugar may go too low. Skipping a meal can make you eat too much at the next meal. It may be better to eat several small meals during the day instead of one or two big meals.

Get Regular Exercise

Exercise is good for those with diabetes. Walking, swimming, dancing, riding a bicycle, playing baseball, and bowling are all good ways to exercise. You can even get exercise when you clean house or work in your garden. Exercise is especially good for people with diabetes because:

Is This Normal? Get the Facts Fast!

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

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or
Answer:
Low
0-69
Normal
70-130
High
131+

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.

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