Check your blood sugar level. Check your blood sugar level before, during and after exercise, especially if you take insulin or medications that lower blood sugar. Exercise can lower your blood sugar levels even a day later, especially if the activity is new to you, or if you're exercising at a more intensive level. Be aware of warning signs of low blood sugar, such as feeling shaky, weak, tired, hungry, lightheaded, irritable, anxious or confused. Insulin and other diabetes medications are designed to lower your blood sugar levels when diet and exercise alone aren't sufficient for managing diabetes.
But the effectiveness of these medications depends on the timing and size of the dose. Medications you take for conditions other than diabetes also can affect your blood sugar levels. When you're sick, your body produces stress-related hormones that help your body fight the illness, but they also can raise your blood sugar level.
5 Tips to Get Your Diabetes Under Control
Changes in your appetite and normal activity also may complicate diabetes management. The liver normally releases stored sugar to counteract falling blood sugar levels. But if your liver is busy metabolizing alcohol, your blood sugar level may not get the boost it needs from your liver. Alcohol can result in low blood sugar shortly after you drink it and for as many as 24 hours more.
Changes in hormone levels the week before and during menstruation can result in significant fluctuations in blood sugar levels. And in the few years before and during menopause, hormone changes may result in unpredictable variations in blood sugar levels that complicate diabetes management.
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Most forms of birth control can be used by women with diabetes without a problem. However, oral contraceptives may raise blood sugar levels in some women. If you're stressed, the hormones your body produces in response to prolonged stress may cause a rise in your blood sugar level.
Additionally, it may be harder to closely follow your usual diabetes management routine if you're under a lot of extra pressure. The more you know about factors that influence your blood sugar level, the more you can anticipate fluctuations — and plan accordingly.
If you're having trouble keeping your blood sugar level in your target range, ask your diabetes health care team for help. Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products. Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission.
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Diabetes management: How lifestyle, daily routine affect blood sugar
Products and services. Free E-newsletter Subscribe to Housecall Our general interest e-newsletter keeps you up to date on a wide variety of health topics. Sign up now. Diabetes management: How lifestyle, daily routine affect blood sugar Diabetes management requires awareness. By Mayo Clinic Staff. Show references American Diabetes Association. Standards of medical care in diabetes — Diabetes Care. Diabetes: Eat right.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed Jan. Diabetes: Be active. Insulin, medicines, and other diabetes treatments. I'm sick. American Diabetes Association.
4. Lifestyle Management | Diabetes Care
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Blood glucose meters Blood glucose monitors Blood pressure: Can it be higher in one arm? Blood pressure chart Blood pressure cuff: Does size matter? Blood pressure: Does it have a daily pattern? Blood pressure: Is it affected by cold weather? Blood pressure medication: Still necessary if I lose weight? Diabetes also affects children and adolescents. Approximately , people younger than 20 in the country have diagnosed diabetes.
The American Diabetes Association ADA note in guidelines that self-management and education are crucial aspects of diabetes care. Diabetes self-management can reduce blood sugar levels, mortality risk, and healthcare costs, as well as weight in people with excess weight.
In this article, we discuss strategies that people with diabetes can use every day to improve their health. Two important indicators of diabetes control are levels of glycated hemoglobin and blood glucose. Measuring glycated hemoglobin requires a blood test in a doctor's office, but a person can measure their blood glucose at home.
Doctors recommend that people using insulin check their glucose levels. The right frequency of these checks varies from person to person, but doctors usually recommend monitoring levels before and after meals, at bedtime, and before exercising. People with diabetes who are not taking insulin should also check their blood sugar levels. Self-monitoring can provide information about the effects of dietary changes, physical activity, and medication on blood sugar levels.
There are also continuous glucose monitors, which provide real-time information about blood sugar levels. These automatically measure levels every 5 minutes through a small sensor inserted under the skin. When a person uses it appropriately, this type of technology can improve health outcomes.
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A healthcare team can use at-home blood sugar readings to modify medication, nutrition , and self-management plans. It is important for people with diabetes or prediabetes to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. When doctors closely monitor weight loss progress, a person more likely to achieve their goals. Research suggests that, among people with excess weight, modest, consistent weight loss can help manage type 2 diabetes and slow the rate at which prediabetes becomes diabetes.
They also noted that making dietary adjustments can lower glycated hemoglobin levels by 0. Nutrition therapy can also lead to improvements in the quality of life. To facilitate these lifestyle adjustments, the ADA recommend consulting a registered dietitian with expertise in diabetes and weight management. Following a meal plan can be among the most challenging aspects of diabetes self-management.
Developing a plan with a registered dietitian who is knowledgeable about diabetes-specific nutrition can help.
- 1. Strategies for Improving Care | Diabetes Care.
- Search Harvard Health Publishing.
- Facing Diabetes Head On: Advice from a Diabetic for a Diabetic;
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- Top 10 Tips to Control Diabetes | Kaiser Permanente Washington.
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For some people, dietary changes alone are not enough to control blood sugar levels. Diabetes is a progressive disease, which means that it can worsen over time. The ADA recommend using a combination of medication and nutrition therapy to reach blood sugar targets. The basis of meal planning involves portion control and favoring healthful foods. The diabetes plate method is one tool designed to help people control their calorie and carbohydrate intakes.
It involves mentally dividing the plate into three sections. Half of the plate should contain nonstarchy vegetables, a quarter can contain grain-based and starchy foods, and the remaining quarter should contain protein. Research has shown that exercise can help control blood sugar levels, reduce cardiovascular risk factors, promote weight loss, and improve well-being. Researchers behind one study found that engaging in a structured exercise program for at least 8 weeks lowered glycated hemoglobin levels by an average of 0. The ADA recommend exercising for at least 10 minutes per session and getting a total of at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week.