Over 29 million people in the United States have diabetes. Keeping blood sugar levels within the range recommended by medical providers can be challenging, especially because many things can alter your blood sugar levels, sometimes unexpectedly. Help manage your diabetes by familiarizing yourself with the following factors:
Make every meal well balanced. Plan for every meal to have starches, fruits, vegetables, proteins and fats. Pay attention to the types of carbs that you choose — foods low in carbs and containing fiber will help keep blood sugar levels more stable.
Avoid sugar-sweetened beverages. Sweetened beverages — including those that contain high fructose corn syrup or sucrose — tend to be high in calories and offer little nutrition. It’s best for diabetics to avoid these drinks as they can cause blood sugar to rise quickly. (The exception is if you are experiencing a low blood sugar level.)
Know your numbers before you start exercising. When you exercise, your muscles use sugar (glucose) for energy. Talk to your doctor about what blood sugar levels are appropriate for you before exercising.
Keep an exercise schedule. It’s important to coordinate your exercise schedule with your meal and medication times. Have a chat with your doctor about the best time of day for you to exercise regularly.
Store your insulin properly. Insulin that’s improperly stored or past its expiration date may not be effective. Also note that insulin is especially sensitive to extreme temperatures.
Be cautious with new medications.Some liquid medications may be sweetened with sugar to cover their taste. If you’re considering a new over-the-counter medication, ask your doctor if the medication may affect your blood sugar levels.