Managing Your Diabetes By Understanding Your Blood Glucose

Understanding blood glucose is an important part of managing your diabetes. Here are some basics that you should know.

1. What should my blood sugar goals be?

Your goal should be to keep your blood sugar similar to someone who does not have diabetes. Below is the American Diabetes Association guide for persons with and without Diabetes:

 With DiabetesWithout Diabetes
Fasting/before eating70-130 mg/dl<100 mg/dl
2 hours after eating<180 mg/dl<140 mg/dl
A1c Levels<7%4-6%

2.  How often should I check my blood sugar?

This depends on your lifestyle, severity of diabetes, fluctuation of blood sugar throughout the day, management of your diabetes and how well it is controlled. When first diagnosed, you will test several times per day and as you establish good habits and blood sugar stabilizes, you will test less frequently.

3.  What should I do if I think I am having low or high blood sugar symptoms?

* For people with Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) symptoms:

Your doctor may recommend drinking more water, increasing exercise, adjusting eating habits, or changing your medications. You will need to monitor your blood sugar closely and possibly keep a food diary. This will give you and your doctor the best information for your treatment.

* For people with Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) symptoms:

Low blood sugar episodes can be dangerous if they get out of control. If you experience repeated hypoglycemic episodes tell your doctor immediately. Treatments may include eating glucose tablets or glucose gel, 5-6 pieces of hard candy, fruit juice, a ½ can of soda, honey or a tablespoon of sugar or corn syrup. If your blood sugar is not back above 70 mg/dl in 15 minutes after treatment, repeat the process. If you have more than oneUNEXPECTED low blood sugar episode per week, consult your physician.

4. What role do my diet, exercise, and medication therapy play with my blood sugar?

Diet and exercise must work hand in hand with your diabetic medications to achieve optimal effects. A diet rich in green vegetables, low glycemic fruits and grains and lean proteins is recommended. Conversely, your diet should be low in refined and processed sugars and starches. The body is designed to digest complex carbohydrates, protein and micro-nutrients from fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.

5. At what point is it time to talk to my doctor about making changes to my overall treatment plan?

Your doctor will monitor your sugar levels and how they respond to diet, exercise, medications, etc. You will have lab work done about every 3-6 months to measure HbA1c to make sure itʼs dropping back into normal ranges. If your physician sees that levels are not progressing to his/her satisfaction they will discuss diet and exercise habits and possibly have you consult with a dietician before adjusting your medications.


With diabetes management, itʼs NOT about giving up everything you love to eat. There are plenty of ways to eat what you love and still maintain your health. Being open and honest with your doctor and their staff allows them to give you the best education possible. Communication and knowledge are the keys!

Information for this article was found at and

Diabetes CTA

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