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If you have diabetes, work with your doctor to keep your blood sugar levels within your target range. By managing your blood sugar, you can reduce the chances of developing nephropathy, or you can slow the disease if you already have it.1 Your doctor will want you to check your blood sugar several times each day. For more information, see:

Diabetes: Checking Your Blood Sugar.

Other steps you can take include the following:

  • Check your blood pressure often, and also have it checked at your doctor's office. The American Diabetes Association recommends a target blood pressure of less than 130/80 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg).1 The level recommended by other groups may vary. Talk with your doctor about the target blood pressure that is right for you. Learn to check your blood pressure at home. For more information, see:
    High Blood Pressure: Checking Your Blood Pressure at Home.
  • Be sure to take your blood pressure medicines as prescribed.
  • Don't take medicines that damage or stress the kidneys, especially nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
  • Follow the nutrition guidelines for hypertension (including the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or DASH, diet). For more information, see:
    High Blood Pressure: Using the DASH Diet.
  • Stay at a healthy weight for your height and age by eating a well-balanced diet and exercising regularly. A low-fat diet and regular exercise also will lower your risk of heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease. A healthy weight is one that is right for your body type and height and is based on your body mass index (BMI) and the size of your waist (waist circumference). If you are age 20 or older, use the Interactive Tool: Is Your BMI Increasing Your Health Risks? to check your BMI when you know your height in feet, weight in pounds, and waist circumference.
  • Do not smoke or use other tobacco products. People with diabetes who smoke raise their risk of nephropathy, cardiovascular disease, and other complications of diabetes.
  • Eat a moderate amount of protein. If you have nephropathy, your doctor may recommend limiting protein. Limiting how much protein you eat may help you preserve kidney function. Talk to your doctor or dietitian about how much protein is best for you.
  • Limit salt. Your doctor may recommend that you cut back on salt, because salt may make your high blood pressure worse.

What to Think About

If your diabetic nephropathy becomes worse and kidney failure develops, you may need to follow a specific diet. A dietitian can help you understand the requirements of this diet and help you make healthy choices. For more information, see:

Chronic Kidney Disease: Changing Your Diet.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 07, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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If the level is below 70 and 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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