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Senior man testing for diabetesHealthful eating helps keep your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, in your target range.Physical activity and, if needed, diabetes medicines also help. The diabetes target range is the blood glucose level suggested by diabetes experts for good health. You can help prevent health problems by keeping your blood glucose levels on target.

On This Diabetes Article:

Taking care of yourself
Blood glucose levels
Keeping blood glucose levels on target
Physical Activity

You can take good care of yourself and your diabetes by learning:

  • What to eat
  • How much to eat
  • When to eat

It is very important to discuss these things with your physician. Making wise food choices can also help you:

  • Feel good every day
  • Lose weight if you need to
  • Lower your risk for heart disease, stroke, and other problems caused by diabetes


Blood Glucose Levels

What should my blood glucose levels be? The target blood glucose levels for people with diabetes are as follow:

  • Before meals- 70 to 130
  • 1 to 2 hours after the start of a meal- less than 180

Be sure to talk with your health care provider about your blood glucose target levels and monitor it regularly.

Ask your doctor how often you should check your blood glucose on your own. Also ask your doctor for an A1C test at least twice a year. Your A1C number gives your average blood glucose for the past 3 months. The results from your blood glucose checks and your A1C test will tell you whether your diabetes care plan is working.


How can I keep my blood glucose levels on target?

You can keep your blood glucose levels on target by:

  • Making wise food choices
  • Being physically active
  • Taking medicines if needed

For people taking certain diabetes medicines, following a schedule for meals, snacks, and physical activity is best. However, some diabetes medicines allow for more flexibility. Consult your health care team to create a diabetes plan that’s best for you.

Your Physical Activity Plan

What you eat and when also depend on how much you exercise. Physical activity is an important part of staying healthy and controlling your blood glucose. Keep these points in mind:

  • Talk with your doctor about what types of exercise are safe for you.
  • Make sure your shoes fit well and your socks stay clean and dry. Check your feet for redness or sores after exercising. Call your doctor if you have sores that do not heal.
  • Warm up and stretch for 5 to 10 minutes before you exercise. Then cool down for several minutes after you exercise. For example, walk slowly at first, stretch, and then walk faster. Finish up by walking slowly again.
  • Ask your doctor whether you should exercise if your blood glucose level is high.
  • Ask your doctor whether you should have a snack before you exercise.
  • Know the signs of low blood glucose, also called hypoglycemia. Always carry food or glucose tablets to treat low blood glucose.
  • Always wear your medical identification or other ID.
  • Find an exercise buddy. Many people find they are more likely to do something active if a friend joins them.

To learn more about diabetes, read these related articles:

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