6.5 Steps Toward Better Blood Sugar Control

by: Bob Harper

Be honest with yourself. Diabetes can be tough, but it doesn’t have to control you.

  • Accepting that you have diabetes and need to manage it every day can be the hardest step. Once you take this first step, ask yourself:
    – Do you know your target blood sugar level? Is your blood sugar too high?
    – What are you doing to get it down?
    – Could you do more? Why not? What’s stopping you?

Think about your reasons for living a healthier life and feeling better. Always keep them in mind.

  • Is it your family? Your friends?
  • Know that YOU are also a great reason. Put your health first.
  • Being healthy also has a good impact on those around you.

Team up with your doctor or other healthcare professional to make a plan. This plan may include taking one or more medicines. You are in this together with the same goals.

  • You are in charge of your health. Get involved and be a real partner in your diabetes plan.
  • Ask your doctor or healthcare professional questions. Ask: Am I reaching my blood sugar goals? If not, what else can I do?
  • If you take one or more medicines, take them as prescribed.
  • If you really try to control your blood sugar but it’s still too high, ask your doctor or healthcare professional what else you can do. Maybe adding another medicine, trying a new meal plan or stepping up your physical activity will help.
  • Sometimes your diabetes plan will need to change. If that happens, you have not failed! Your body and your diabetes change over time. What worked yesterday may not work today.

Make healthy eating and regular physical activity part of your life.

  • Try to eat at the same times every day. Eat slowly and stop when you are full.
  • Write down what you eat in a journal. You may be eating more than you think.
  • Choose whole-grain breads and cereals. Include vegetables and fruits with your meals and snacks.
  • Step it up and move your body! There are little things you can do every day to be more active.
  • Indoors: take the stairs, clean the house and exercise while watching TV (for example, use hand weights or ride a stationary bike).
  • Outdoors: work in the garden, rake the leaves, play with your children or pets, walk to the store or visit your neighbor.

Check your blood sugar as often as your doctor tells you and know your A1C number. A1C is your average blood sugar level for the past 2 to 3 months.

  • Use your blood sugar numbers to monitor your blood sugar control. And don’t forget to ask your doctor about getting your A1C checked.
  • Experts say that a good A1C number is 6.5% or less for most people. Work with your doctor or healthcare professional to set an A1C goal that is right for you.
  • Each visit, ask your doctor: What is my A1C? Am I at goal?
  • If you’re having trouble reaching your A1C goal, ask your doctor how you can get your blood sugar down. Eating healthy, being physically active, monitoring your blood sugar and possibly taking one or more medicines can all play a part to lower your blood sugar.

No quitting. Not today. Not tomorrow. Never give up!

  • Don’t be hard on yourself if you get off track. Each day, each hour, each minute brings a new chance to start again.
  • Figure out what keeps you going when times are hard. This same thing can help you reach your goal.
  • Build your support team. You are not alone.
  • Ask your friends and family to help cheer you on. They can play a big part in helping you reach your goals.

The HALF STEP — Getting started is HALF the battle!!!

  • Do it today. There’s no better time.
  • Do it tomorrow. There’s no good reason to stop.