Managing Your Blood Glucose

Start with frequent exercise and a good diet

A Veteran checking her blood sugarIf you’ve been told your blood glucose, or blood sugar, is high, it’s important to start taking action. With monitoring, you may be able to delay the need for medications and even boost your energy and mood. Learn what to watch for and how to manage your blood glucose levels.

Stay aware of your blood glucose

Your healthiest blood glucose level depends on your age, health, and other factors. A doctor can help find your healthy average with an A1C test. This blood test shows how well you’ve managed your blood glucose through exercise and diet.

Exercise reduces risk

If an A1C test shows a high average blood glucose, it means you’re at higher risk for complications. An active lifestyle can help your body use insulin better, delay Type 2 diabetes, and help relieve stress. But if you're already taking medications for diabetes, exercising may cause low blood glucose. Follow these tips for safe exercise:

  • Keep fast-acting sugar with you during and after exercise
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Check your levels before starting physical activity, after exercise, and a few hours later

Measure your carbohydrates

What you eat is crucial to managing blood glucose. For example, carbs have the greatest impact on your blood sugar. Sugars, starches, and fiber impact your blood sugar differently. A health care provider or dietitian can help you learn which is best for you.

Track your blood glucose

Self-monitoring blood glucose is self-care, especially if you're on medications. You’ll need a small pricking needle, test strips, and a glucose meter. It’s important to keep track of your numbers over time.

This is especially important if you're on medications that can lower blood glucose. When your blood glucose dips too low, you may feel shaky, dizzy, hungry, or have trouble focusing. Symptoms also include feeling thirsty, tired, or weak. If it’s too high, you might not feel symptoms. Everyone has a range that’s healthiest for them.

With My HealtheVet, you can log your blood sugar. Visit the Vitals section under Track Health to keep your numbers in one place. If you need help controlling your blood sugar, make a plan with your doctor.

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Read More

How to Prevent Diabetes (MedlinePlus)

How to Check Your Blood Sugar (Veterans Health Library)

Using a Blood Sugar Log (Veterans Health Library)

Created September 20, 2021