Control your blood sugar

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Controlling your blood sugar level is one of the most important steps in managing your diabetes and feeling your best. Blood sugar that is not well controlled can lead to kidney failure, vision problems, and leg or foot numbness.

  • The best way to check your blood sugar is to use a home glucose monitor. When you know the desired range for your blood sugar, you can use the monitor to keep your sugar from getting too high (hyperglycemia) or too low (hypoglycemia). Glucometer readings will help you make any needed changes in your diet, exercise, stress level, or medications.
  • Regular exercise, including walking, can help control blood sugar, blood pressure, weight, and stress, and can give you more energy. Use a pedometer (an easy-to-wear device that senses your body's motion) to count your steps and motivate you to increase your activity. Learn more about the benefits of walking at Every Body Walk!Presented in cooperation with Kaiser Permanente Every Body Walk Campaign.
  • Some medicines used to control blood sugar can cause low blood sugar levels. Low blood sugar can be very serious. If you take medications that can cause low blood sugar, carry a blood glucose meter with you and check your blood sugar if you think it might be low. It's good to carry a fast-acting source of sugar (such as hard candy, raisins, or glucose tablets) in case of a low blood sugar reaction. Those using insulin may also choose to wear an alert necklace or bracelet that lets rescuers know you are a person with diabetes at risk for low blood sugar. Check with your doctor or diabetes care team to see if low blood sugar could be an issue for you.

Reviewed by: Jim Dudl, MD, November 2015

Additional Kaiser Permanente reviewers

© 2015 Kaiser Permanente

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