Common Sense Steps to Maintaining Stable Blood Sugar

Use these tips to navigate everyday situations

blood sugar management

When it comes to managing your blood sugar level, knowing how everyday situations can affect it is important. Here's what you need to know.

Being sick
Sometimes an illness can make your blood sugar level fluctuate. Be sure to monitor it regularly, especially if you’re taking a new medication. Talk to your doctor before taking over-the-counter medicines, and be sure to read the labels. For instance, decongestants help clear congestion, but their ingredients can raise blood glucose and blood pressure. Also, some medicinal syrups have added sugar, so you may want to opt for pills. 

While physical activity provides many benefits for people with diabetes, it is important to make sure your blood sugar level doesn’t drop too low. Take a reading before and after you exercise. 

It's important to count your carbs when you eat, which includes watching your portion size and how you fill your plate. Opt for a small plate and then divide the plate into three sections. Fill your plate with one-quarter lean protein, one-quarter starchy carbohydrates like pasta or potatoes, and half non-starchy, high-fiber vegetables. Start your meal with the vegetables and you will have a sense of fullness faster.  

Drinking alcohol
If you choose to drink alcohol, understand that it has carbohydrates and calories in it, so you should pay attention to the serving size. Be sure to account for your drinks in your overall carb count. It is also important not to drink on an empty stomach. 

Cheat sheet: What affects blood sugar

Raises it

  • High-carb foods
  • Caffeine
  • Stress
  • Infections
  • Illness
  • Lack of exercise
  • Forgetting to take your diabetes medicine

Lowers it

  • Skipping or delaying a meal
  • Exercise
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Taking too much diabetes medicine