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How to Control Blood Sugar: 7 Things You Need to Remember

How to Control Blood Sugar: 7 Things You Need to Remember

7 ways to control blood sugar levels for diabetes

Diabetes cannot be cured, but diabetic patients can still live healthy lives. The key to a healthy and normal life to overcome diabetes is knowing how to control blood sugar levels within normal limits. Here are some tips to keep blood sugar levels normal so that you can get through the day easier.

How to control blood sugar levels

Diabetes mellitus is a disease characterized by high levels of sugar in the blood. Certain types of diabetes , such as type 1 diabetes, do require diabetes treatment to stay healthy.

However, regardless of what type of diabetes you have, taking diabetes medication or not, controlling blood sugar levels with a healthy lifestyle is important.

Controlling blood sugar can be done in various ways, starting from paying attention to food intake, regulating diet and rest, exercising regularly, and taking supplements for additional vitamin sources.

The following are healthy lifestyle tips with diabetes to keep blood sugar levels normal:

1. Eat the right foods

Diabetics (diabetic patients) must strictly adhere to the diet that is followed because food intake greatly affects blood sugar levels directly.

First, you need to avoid foods with a high glycemic index , foods high in fat and calories, and limit sources of simple carbohydrates .

Also stay away from processed foods and drinks, especially those with instant processing such as fast food .

This diabetic diet is usually high in sugar so it must be reduced to prevent an increase in blood sugar.

Second, apply a regular diet with balanced nutrition. This method is the key to success in controlling blood sugar in diabetic patients.

That is, you still have to eat carbohydrates even though these foods produce sugar.

A safe choice of carbohydrates for diabetes is complex carbohydrates because it takes longer to break down into glucose, so blood sugar levels become more stable.

Stop eating carbohydrates is not a wise decision at all, diabetics still need carbohydrates as a source of energy.

For diabetic patients, it is important to eat regularly.

According to a study in the journal Education and Health Promotion , skipping meals for too long will actually cause blood sugar to drop and then spike quickly.

2. Control the portion of food

Not only eating the right foods for diabetes, controlling the portion is also important in maintaining blood sugar levels.

Here are some ways and tips for portion control so that diabetic patients can maintain normal blood sugar levels.

  • Pay attention to the size and weight of the food.
  • Eat small portions, but often throughout the day.
  • Avoid eating at restaurants with the concept of one meal ( all-you-can-eat).
  • Pay attention to the information on the food content in the packaging, know the composition.
  • Eat slowly so that food can be digested properly by the body.

Tips to keep blood sugar levels normal through these foods do not only apply to diabetic patients who are overweight.

Diabetics with normal weight should also keep their portions of food so it doesn’t lead to obesity.

3. Be active and exercise regularly

how to control blood sugar

One way to control your blood sugar levels is to exercise regularly.

Exercise can help the cells in your muscles take in more glucose and turn it into energy, thereby lowering blood sugar.

If done regularly in the long term, exercise can make the body’s cells more responsive to the hormone insulin, thereby preventing insulin resistance .

The right exercise target for diabetes is at least 150 minutes a week.

Make sure to do it regularly, avoid not exercising more than two days in a row.

For those of you who are taking drugs that are at risk of causing hypoglycemia (lowering blood sugar), make sure you check your blood sugar first.

Ideally, exercise can be done if blood sugar levels are in the range of 100-250 mg/dL.

If your blood sugar level is below 100 mg/dL, you should first consume snacks containing 15-30 grams of carbohydrates, such as fruit juices, fruits, or biscuits.

You should postpone exercise when your blood sugar level is above 250 mg/dL. If possible, first check the ketone levels in your urine.

In addition to regular exercise, try to stay active in your daily activities.

Avoid a sedentary lifestyle (lazy) and minimal physical movement or wasting energy, such as watching TV, playing games on devices, or sitting too long in front of the computer.

4. Manage stress well

Excessive stress can also cause blood sugar levels to increase due to the release of cortisol, the stress hormone.

Not only does stress increase blood sugar, stress also tends to make diabetics want to continue to eat more sweet (high sugar) foods.

Well, so that stress does not make blood sugar levels spike, it is important for you to understand how to control stress and try various things that can improve your mood, relax your body, and calm your mind.

Some of the ways you can do this are as follows.

  • Try taking 5 slow deep breaths.
  • Play soothing music.
  • Do some simple stretches or try some yoga poses.
  • Take time to do something you really enjoy.
  • Take time to do your favorite hobby.
  • Talk to a friend, or a medical professional if you have a complaint.

5. Get enough rest

Another way to keep your blood sugar levels under control is to get enough rest.

In a way, constant sleep deprivation affects your quality of life and interferes with insulin secretion (release). Ideally, good sleep ranges from 7-9 hours every night.

Adequate sleep can balance hormones, avoid stress, and make you get enough energy to move and exercise the next day.

Thus, blood sugar levels can be controlled properly.

6. Regularly check blood sugar

how to control blood sugar

Measuring and monitoring blood glucose levels using a blood sugar meter is also an effective way of controlling blood sugar.

Regularly checking your blood sugar can help you figure out how your body reacts to certain foods.

By continuously monitoring changes in blood sugar levels , it will be easier for you to determine whether to make dietary adjustments or take medication.

Therefore, try to measure your sugar levels every day and make sure if your sugar levels are always in accordance with the doctor’s recommendations.

7. Taking supplements

Supplements are useful for increasing the intake of vitamins and minerals in the body. Taking supplements for diabetes is actually not required.

Especially if you have implemented a regular diet and food intake has met daily nutritional needs.

However, if you want to increase your daily nutritional intake, it doesn’t hurt to take supplements. Even so, you still have to discuss it with your doctor first.

Some of the following vitamins and minerals are beneficial for diabetes to help maintain blood sugar levels.

  • Vitamin D: helps control blood sugar in diabetic patients.
  • Vitamin E : acts as an antioxidant that has the ability to prevent heart disease, kidney failure , and impaired vision function. This disease is a complication that diabetic patients are prone to experience.
  • Magnesium: diabetic patients are at risk for lack of magnesium intake in their bodies. This could be due to the side effects of diabetes medications.
  • Vitamin C : has a role in controlling blood sugar levels and total cholesterol in diabetic patients.

It’s natural that you find it difficult to get used to living a healthy lifestyle at first. Changing habits will not be as easy as it seems.

The most important thing is not to give up immediately. Start little by little by setting certain targets. If you’re successful, you can try to gradually progress to bigger lifestyle changes.


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Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources
  1. Kalyani, R. R., Corriere, M. D., Donner, T. W., & Quartuccio, M. W. (2018). Diabetes Head to Toe: Everything You Need to Know about Diagnosis, Treatment, and Living with Diabetes. Johns Hopkins University Press. Available at https://jhupbooks.press.jhu.edu/title/diabetes-head-toe
  2. Asif M. (2014). The prevention and control the type-2 diabetes by changing lifestyle and dietary pattern. Journal of education and health promotion3, 1. https://doi.org/10.4103/2277-9531.127541
  3. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. (2020). Changing Your Habits for Better Health. Retrieved 27 July 2020, from https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diet-nutrition/changing-habits-better-health
  4. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. (2020). 4 Steps to Manage Your Diabetes for Life. Retrieved 27 July 2020, from https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/managing-diabetes/4-steps
  5. CDC. (2020). Living with Diabetes. Retrieved 27 July 2020, from https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/managing/index.html
  6. American Diabetes Association. (2020). Managing Diabetes. Retrieved 27 July 2020, from http://web.diabetes.org/winning/ManagingDiabetes/LearningHowtoChangeHabitsPresentationGuide.pdf?WTLPromo=winningatwork_learninghowtochangehabits_pdf
  7. Diabetes.co.uk. (2019). How To Control Diabetes. Retrieved 27 July 2020, from https://www.diabetes.co.uk/how-to/control-diabetes.html
  8. Diabetes.co.uk. (2019). Vitamins and Minerals for Diabetes. Retrieved 27 July 2020, from https://www.diabetes.co.uk/vitamins-supplements.html
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Written by Hello Sehat Updated Dec 07, 2021
Fact Checked by Jan Alwyn Batara