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Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects blood sugar levels. This can lead to other problems, such as heart disease and kidney failure. Managing your diabetes can be relatively simple – you just need to know where to start.

The most common blood sugar management treatments for diabetes are:

  • Blood glucose monitoring devices and tests
  • Medications to help manage blood sugars, such as insulin or oral medicines
  • Exercise regularly
  • Maintain a healthy diet.

Taking these steps will not only keep you healthier but can lead to better diabetes control!

Blood Glucose Monitoring at Home

It is always a good idea to check your blood sugar when you first wake up in the morning before you eat breakfast. This blood sugar reading is called your fasting blood glucose (FBG).

If you test yourself at least once a day, it will give you an idea of how your blood sugars are trending.

When checking blood sugars throughout the day, also check what time and how much food was eaten prior to testing. The more data that’s available on your blood sugar log, the easier it is for your doctor to help you on your journey. If keeping a log is difficult for you, it may be a good idea to ask your provider for a Continuous Glucose Monitoring Device.

What is a Continuous Glucose Monitor?

A Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) is a device that measures blood sugar levels every few minutes. It gives you a real-time blood sugar reading and alerts you when blood sugars are too high or low. CGMs can be worn on your body (usually as a watch) or in your pocket.

There are also CGMs that work with smart phones and tablets so you, your caregiver, and your doctor can all stay up to speed on your current blood sugar trends. It can also be helpful in understanding how your body responds to insulin and meal changes.

What Medications help manage diabetes?

Most people with diabetes have a regimen that combines oral medications with injectable insulin. These medications include sulfonylureas, meglitinides, thiazolidinediones (TZDs), DPP-IV inhibitors, GLP-I agonists and basal insulins.

Your doctor will work with you to find the best medication regimen for your blood sugar goals. Most patients with diabetes should also maintain use of a statin, an ACE or an ARB, as well as an aspirin therapy to help with blood flow and prevent kidney and heart disease in the future.

Exercise and proper nutrition for diabetes management

If you are living with diabetes, exercise is a MUST! Exercise not only helps blood sugar management, but it can also help control your weight and cholesterol levels.

When beginning an exercise program, start slowly and work your way up to 30 minutes of aerobic activity at least five days per week. If you have been inactive for a while, it may be a good idea to start small.

For example, try walking for five minutes and build from there. If you have been inactive due to surgery or another reason, check with your healthcare provider before starting a new exercise program.

Most people can safely lose some weight if they eat fewer calories than their body uses every day while also getting 30-60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise. We recommend the DASH diet as a go-to meal plan.

The DASH diet is lower in sodium and rich with fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy. This diet plan can help you control blood pressure, blood sugar levels and blood cholesterol while losing weight if weight loss is a goal.

If you are having trouble sticking to the DASH meal plan alone, consider working with a nutritionist or diabetes educator who can help you prep and plan your grocery trips and meals.

At EPIC Health, all of our providers are ADA certified to help you really get your blood sugar under control. We can provide you with all of the tools and resources to help manage blood sugar levels, blood pressure and blood cholesterol.

If you have questions about diabetes management or what a Continuous Glucose Monitoring Device is, feel free to schedule your next visit here: https://www.epichs.org/appointment/