The main symptom in diabetes is high blood sugar, which is also known as hyperglycemia. According to the American Diabetes Association, fasting blood sugar levels above 125 mg/dl are too high and result in a diagnosis of diabetes. Postprandial blood glucose levels, which are glucose levels after a meal, need to be below 200 mg/dl two hours after eating. If glucose remains in your blood for too long, it can cause damage to your body, including heart disease and amputation. In just a few steps, you can take actions that help lower your blood glucose level below 200 mg/dl.
Things You'll Need
- Urine testing kit for ketones
- Blood glucose meter
Test your urine with urine test strips that check for ketones if your blood glucose is 240 mg/dl or higher.
If you test positive for ketones, contact your doctor immediately. A positive test means you may have diabetic ketoacidosis, which is a serious condition that results in a diabetic coma or even death if left untreated.
Eat less food, especially items containing sugar.
Carbohydrates rapidly increase your blood glucose levels after a meal. Protein and fat also increase your blood sugar as well, but to a lesser extent. If you have a diagnosis of pre-diabetes or diabetes, your body takes longer than non-diabetics to return your postprandial blood sugar levels to normal.
The pancreas secretes insulin to tell the body to absorb the glucose in your body. If your cells don't respond well to insulin, this is a condition called insulin resistance that causes high blood sugar. Also, if your pancreas is too damaged to produce enough insulin, that results in high blood sugar as well. For both conditions, eating less food, and less sugar in particular, help to reduce blood glucose levels.
Take all medications as directed by your doctor.
Your doctor prescribes diabetes medications to help your body control blood sugar levels throughout the day. If blood glucose levels remain too high despite taking medications properly, ask your doctor to adjust the dosage or timing of your medicine.
Exercise uses glucose as energy, including the sugar in your blood. As you exercise, more glucose in your body is absorbed for energy to fuel your muscles, which lowers the amount of sugar present in your blood. Muscle gain from exercise such as weight training helps since the body needs more glucose to nourish additional muscle tissue.
The only time not to exercise is if you test positive for ketones in your urine. If you have ketones, exercise may make your blood glucose rise even more.