Tips For Improving Blood Sugar Control

By Todd & Casey McLeod, Medical Center Pharmacy

Diabetes is a disease that encompasses so many parts of a person’s life.  Lack of good blood sugar control can affect energy level, mood, vision, and many other body processes. It is important for diabetics to visit their physician on a regular basis and follow the medication plan provided by their health care providers, but so much of the control of this disease is in the hand of the individual.

 

Good blood sugar control is different for each person, but there are some constants that every diabetic should follow.  The health and wellness of a person with diabetes is directly related to his or her lifestyle choices.  Following these tips will help get blood sugar under control and, in turn, decrease the complications of diabetes.

 

B is for balance.  Diet fads are never good for blood sugar control.  Low carb diets deprive the body of much needed fiber and vitamins.  Be sure to include healthy carbohydrates in your diet in the appropriate portion size.  A good rule of thumb is to keep portion sizes between ½ to 1 cup for most carbohydrates.

Skipping is for jump ropes.  Don’t skip meals.  Skipping meals often leads to overeating.  Missing meals also causes the liver to release glucose into the blood stream.   It is best to keep a consistent eating schedule.

Get busy.  It’s okay to start slow and build up but JUST GET STARTED!  Thirty minutes of exercise daily can make a significant difference in blood sugar levels.  Just remember to check blood sugar before and after exercise to monitor for blood sugar lows.

Just the facts.  All diabetics should have a home blood glucose meter for checking their blood sugar.  As a general rule, blood sugar should be checked once or twice daily.  People using insulin will need to check blood sugar more often.  Write down the blood sugar readings to take with you to the doctor.

Chill out.  High stress levels can cause high blood sugar levels.  Diabetes is often associated with depression and anxiety.  Praying often, getting plenty of rest, and being active will help bring stress levels down.

Be prepared.  Always have a source of sugar available for blood sugar lows.  Raisins, fruit juice, or hard candy are good to bring sugar back up after a low.  Remember only small amounts of these sugars are needed to correct blood sugar levels.

Be careful little feet.  Check feet for blisters or sores on a regular basis.  Diabetics are more prone to infection and are at much higher risk for amputations.

Eye spy.  Have eyes checked on a regular basis.  Diabetics are at higher risk for visual problems and blindness.

Be a rule follower.  Take medications the way they are prescribed.  Your pharmacist is available to answer questions about how to take your medicine and how it works.  Certain medications have special instructions.  Ask your pharmacist about your medications.