Taking Care of Your Diabetes Every Day
Get Regular Exercise continued...
1. Exercise helps keep weight down.
2. Exercise helps insulin work better to lower blood sugar.
3. Exercise is good for your heart and lungs.
4. Exercise gives you more energy.
Before you begin exercising, talk with your doctor. Your doctor may check your heart and your feet to be sure you have no special problems. If you have high blood pressure or eye problems, some exercises like weight-lifting may not be safe. Your doctor or nurse will help you find safe exercises.
Try to exercise regularly. Exercise at least three times a week for about 30 to 45 minutes each time. If you have not exercised in a while, begin slowly. Start with five to 10 minutes, and then work up to more time.
If you haven't eaten for over an hour or if your blood sugar is less than 100-120, eat or drink something like an apple or a glass of milk before you exercise.
When you exercise, carry a snack with you in case of low blood sugar. Wear or carry an identification tag or card saying that you have diabetes.
Regular exercise such as walking and bicycling can help keep your blood sugar in a good range.
If You Use Insulin
- Exercise after eating, not before.
- Test your blood sugar before, during, and after exercising. Don't exercise when your blood sugar is over 240.
- Avoid exercise right before you go to sleep, because it could cause low blood sugar during the night.
If You Don't Use Insulin
- See your doctor before starting an exercise program.
- Test your blood sugar before and after exercising if you take diabetes pills.
Take Your Diabetes Medicine Every Day
Insulin and diabetes pills and injections (Byetta, Symlin, or Victoza) are the kinds of medicines used to lower blood sugar.
If You Use Insulin
You need insulin if your body has stopped making insulin or if it doesn't make enough insulin. Everyone with insulin-dependent diabetes (or type 1 diabetes) needs insulin, and many people with type 2 diabetes need insulin.
Insulin cannot be taken as a pill. You will have to give yourself shots every day. Some people give themselves one shot a day. Some people give themselves two or more shots a day. You need to take your insulin every day. Never skip a shot, even if you are sick.
Insulin is injected with a needle. Your doctor will tell you what kind of insulin to use, how much, and when to give yourself a shot. Talk to your doctor before changing the type or amount of insulin you use or when you give your shots. Your doctor or the diabetes educator will show you how to draw up insulin in the needle. They will also show you the best places on your body to give yourself a shot. Ask someone to help you with your shots if your hands are shaky or you can't see well.