Manage your blood sugar level
When you have diabetes, whether it
type 1 diabetes,
type 2 diabetes, or
gestational diabetes, one of the most important skills
you will learn is how to manage your blood sugar level.
Following your doctor's
instructions on the use of
insulin or diabetes medicines, diet, and exercise will
help you avoid blood sugar problems. You will learn to recognize the symptoms
and distinguish between high and low blood sugar levels. It may be hard
for a parent of a young child to distinguish the
difference between high and low blood sugar symptoms in a child.
When you have learned to recognize high or low blood sugar
levels, you can take the appropriate steps to bring your blood sugar level back
target blood sugar levels.
People who keep
their blood sugar levels under control with diet, exercise, or oral diabetes
medicines are less likely to have problems with high or low blood sugar
levels. Do not drink alcohol if you have problems recognizing the early signs of low blood sugar.
Learn how to deal with high blood sugar levels
sure to know the steps for dealing with high blood sugar and how fast your insulin medicine will work to bring your blood sugar
down. Some insulins work very fast while regular insulin takes a little longer
to bring the sugar level down. Knowing how fast your insulin works will keep
you from using too much too quickly.
Learn how to deal with low blood sugar levels
you have diabetes and can have low blood sugar levels, you need to keep some
type of food with you at all times that can quickly raise your blood sugar
level. These should be quick-sugar foods (about 15 to 20 grams of carbohydrate) that puts glucose into your bloodstream in about 5
minutes. Any quick-sugar food on this list will raise your blood sugar about 30
milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) in about 15 to 20 minutes. Be sure to check
your blood sugar level again 15 minutes after eating a quick-sugar
(carbohydrate) food to make sure your level is getting back to your target
range. When your blood sugar gets to 70 mg/dL or higher, you can eat your normal meals and snacks.
Foods to help raise blood sugar 1, 2, 3
|Glucose tablets ||3–4 tablets |
|Glucose gel ||1 tube |
|Table sugar ||1 tablespoon (3 teaspoons)|
|Fruit juice or regular soda pop ||½–¾ cup (4–6 ounces)|
|Fat-free milk ||1 cup (8 ounces)|
|Honey ||1 tablespoon (3 teaspoons)|
|Raisins ||2 tablespoons |
|Gum drops ||10|
|Candy like Life Savers ||5–7 pieces|
|Hard candy (like Jolly Rancher) ||3 pieces|
It is important to know that sugar foods like a candy bar
or ice cream do not help raise low blood sugar levels quickly, because these
foods also have fat and protein. So the body can't use the sugar
(carbohydrate) in these foods quickly to raise the blood sugar level.
You can get low blood sugar from using too much insulin or from other medicines you take.
Parents need to help their child learn to treat a low blood sugar level.
Pregnant women who have gestational diabetes also need to know how to deal with a low blood sugar level.
Since low blood sugar levels can quickly become a medical
emergency, be sure to wear medical identification, such as a
medical alert bracelet , to let people know you have diabetes so they can get
help for you.
If you have severe symptoms of low blood sugar,
someone else may need to give you a
shot of glucagon . If this occurs, be sure to call your doctor immediately to let
him or her know this has happened.
Symptoms to watch for during home treatment
Call your doctor if any of the following occur during home