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Managing Diabetes

Taming the Blood Sugar Roller Coaster

Two senior men high-fiving at the gym
Two senior men high-fiving at the gym

If you have diabetes, you should try to keep your blood glucose (sugar) as close to target range as possible to delay or prevent complications. Here are some helpful tips to do so.

Know your number 


As the term suggests, blood sugar is the amount of sugar in your blood. It’s important to check your level, because it will:

  • Determine your blood sugar level at a given time
  • Show you how your lifestyle and medication affect your blood sugar levels
  • Help you and your health care team make lifestyle and medication changes 

How to check

Drop of blood falling onto a finger

A blood glucose meter is used to check your blood sugar at home. You can get these meters at most pharmacies or from your diabetes educator. Talk with your diabetes educator or pharmacist about which one is right for you. Before using your meter, make sure you’re trained on how to use it. Ask your health care provider about:

  • How and where to get a blood sample
  • How to use and dispose of lancets 
  • The size of the drop of blood needed
  • The type of blood glucose strips to use
  • How to clean the meter
  • How to check if the meter is accurate
  • How to code your meter (if needed)

How to stay in target


Eating healthy, exercising and taking medication, if necessary, will help you keep your blood sugar levels within their target range. Target ranges for blood sugar can vary depending on your age, medical condition and other risk factors. 

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