Keep your sugar under control

If you have diabetes, then you know that regular testing of your blood sugar with a blood glucose meter is the most important thing you can do to make sure you have enough insulin in your body. Knowing your blood sugar levels throughout the day can allow you to make adjustments to your diet to make sure you stay on track, energized and feeling good. Your doctor can help you determine what your healthy range is and also, what to do when you start to veer outside of your healthy glucose range.

There are things you can do daily to help control your blood sugar:

Keep track of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates play a big role in a diabetic's life because they are broken down into glucose and can raise glucose levels. The three types of carbohydrates are starch, sugar and fiber, and on average, you should have between 45 and 60 grams of carbohydrates at every meal. Speak with your health care provider to determine the right daily intake of carbohydrates for you. Carbohydrates are present in many foods, including potatoes, potato and other kinds of chips, bread, cereal, juice, alcohol, rice and beans. When looking at a nutrition label on food, the term "total carbohydrates" is the one you're looking for. Counting your carbohydrates can help you set a daily limit of how many carbohydrates to eat. Keeping a food journal also can help you stay on track.

Keep a food journal. If you want to help figure out the right combination of foods and the right times to eat, keep a written record of your daily consumption. Write down every meal you eat, including how much you ate (condiments count, too) and when. Write down any snacks you consume in between meals. Keep track, too, of when you take your diabetes medicine, and most importantly, your glucose level — along with the time you checked it. Doing this will help you note glucose spikes and figure out which foods may have more of an impact on your blood sugar levels than others.

Make — and keep — regular appointments with your health care provider. Together, you and your doctor can work to manage your diabetes so that diabetes doesn't control your life. Schedule regular checkups to get your blood pressure, cholesterol, HbA1c and weight taken. Make sure to see your dentist every six months, and also schedule full eye and foot exams each year. 

Keep these blood sugar goals in mind:

Test Goal Frequency
HbA1c blood sugar Less than 7 At least twice a year
Cholesterol - LDL Less than 100 At least once a year
Triglycerides Less than 150 At least once a year
Blood Pressure Less than 130/80 At every visit
Weight Talk to your doctor At every visit

Everyone is different. Talk to your doctor to determine what tests and screenings you should have and when you should have them.