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How do I Maintain Normal Blood Sugar Levels with Diabetes?

By Amanda Dean
Updated May 17, 2024
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Maintaining normal blood sugar levels with diabetes depends on the type of diabetes you have. This condition is characterized into three basic types: type I, or juvenile, diabetes, which is congenital in nature; type II diabetes, which is developed during the life course and is usually associated with poor lifestyle choices; and gestational diabetes, which may occur during pregnancy. Each of these types requires different strategies for maintaining normal blood sugar levels.

Like all vital statistics, there is some variation in blood glucose level among all people. Normal blood sugar levels with diabetes usually range from 95 mg/dL to 105 mg/dL after fasting. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you should try to keep you blood sugar within these limits. Unexplained blood sugar levels of less than 70 mg/dL or more than 180 mg/dL that last more than a week or readings over 300 mg/dL are cause for alarm.

Type I diabetes is often discovered in early childhood and is associated with improper functioning in the pancreas. You probably have strict guidelines to maintain normal blood sugar levels with diabetes if you have this type. You should carefully monitor your blood glucose level and administer insulin as instructed by your health care provider when the level is too high. A type I diabetic should consume a healthy diet that is low in fat and sugar but high in vegetables, fruits, and complex carbohydrates. Exercise may also help to regulate keep normal blood sugar levels with diabetes of this type.

You may also experience symptoms of low blood sugar or hypoglycemia such as feeling faint, becoming very tired, or having seizures. When this happens, you should quickly consume fast-acting sugars such as fruit juice, candy or a glucagon injection. You should feel better within 15 minutes; if not, try more sugar. Friends, family, and coworkers may need to assist you when your blood sugar drops too low.

Type II diabetes is generally regulated with diet, exercise, and oral medication. It may be somewhat easier to maintain normal blood sugar levels with diabetes if you have been diagnosed as type II later in life. Your doctor will most likely prescribe a glucose-regulating medication as well as diet and exercise. In most cases, you will not need to take insulin injections if you follow your doctor's recommendations. You may be able to control your diabetes by simply leading a healthy lifestyle.

Pregnant women may experience gestational diabetes before giving birth and usually return to normal glucose processing after delivery. This type of diabetes is associated with abnormally large babies, which must be delivered by cesarean section, and infant jaundice or low blood sugar at the time of birth. You may be referred to a nutritionist that will suggest immediate dietary changes to protect you and your baby. You should engage in appropriate exercises as directed by your doctor. Women who experience gestational diabetes are at greater risk for this disorder in future pregnancies and carry a higher overall chance of developing type II diabetes.

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