Diabetes and Your Blood Sugar

You need sugar for energy. Your blood always has some sugar in it; blood sugar levels rise and fall throughout the day. By learning about what causes changes in blood sugar levels, you can take steps to control it.

When you have type 2 diabetes, your pancreas doesn’t make any or enough insulin, or does not use the insulin properly, or both. As a result, sugar stays in your blood instead of moving into your cells. That is 1 of the reasons why you have high blood sugar.

Now let’s look at some reasons why your blood sugar might rise or fall when you have diabetes.

Some things that can make your blood sugar go up include:

Some things that can make your blood sugar go down include:

  • Exercising or increased physical activity
  • Eating less than usual
  • Skipping a meal or snack
  • Taking certain medicines

Blood sugar targets for people with diabetes

Keep your blood sugar levels in the target range that you discussed with your health care provider. It may help reduce the risk of long-term health problems caused by diabetes. Diet, exercise, certain medicines, and coping with stress can help control blood sugar levels.

Blood sugar monitoring

Here are 2 ways to monitor blood sugar:

  1. Home blood sugar testing. This is a blood test you do yourself with a blood sugar meter each day. The meter measures your blood sugar at that moment.
  2. The A1C test. This is a blood test that shows your average blood sugar level over the past several months. The staff at the lab or the health care provider’s office usually does this test.

By using daily self-blood sugar monitoring and A1C levels, you may be able to get a more complete picture of your blood sugar control. That is because these tests measure blood sugar in different ways. The blood sugar meter helps monitor your daily blood sugar levels. The A1C test gives an average blood sugar level over a period of time. Therefore, it is important to routinely check your blood sugar at home and get the A1C test, as discussed with your health care provider.


Be sure to discuss your blood sugar targets with your health care team.

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