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How to Manage Blood Sugar
Understand Blood Glucose
The first step to managing your blood sugar is to understand what makes blood sugar levels rise.
- Glucose: The carbohydrates and sugars in what you eat and drink turns into glucose (sugar) in the stomach and digestive system. Glucose can then enter the bloodstream.
- Insulin: Insulin is a hormone made in the pancreas that helps the body's cells take up glucose from blood and lower blood sugar levels.
In type 2 diabetes glucose builds up in the blood instead of going into cells because:
- The body develops "insulin resistance" and can't use the insulin it makes efficiently.
- The pancreas gradually loses its ability to produce insulin.
The result can be a high blood glucose level.
Health care providers can take blood glucose readings and provide recommendations. If you're diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you will need to monitor your blood sugar level regularly.
Fasting Blood Glucose Level, Diagnosis and What It Means:
- 6.0 mmol/L or lower – Normal – Healthy range
- 6.1 to 6.9 mmol/L – Prediabetes (Impaired Fasting Glucose) – At increased risk of developing diabetes
- 7.0 mmol/L or higher – Diabetes Mellitus (type 2 diabetes) – At increased risk of heart disease or stroke
Tips for Success
Eat Smart: Eat a healthy diet of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts, lean proteins and fish. Limit sweetened drinks, added sugars, fatty foods, processed meats and sodium.
- Move More: Being physically active can lower your risk of developing diabetes and help you manage the disease if you already have it.
- Manage Weight: Stay at a healthy weight to help prevent, delay or manage diabetes.
- Don't Smoke: Smoking, vaping or using tobacco can increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, many cancers and other chronic diseases. It may also make prediabetes and diabetes harder to manage.