Blood sugar is your body’s main source of energy. Your doctor probably told you that you have type 2 diabetes because you had too much sugar in your blood. Fortunately, there are ways to help keep your blood sugar levels from getting too high or low.
High blood sugar
What is high blood sugar?
High blood sugar is also called hyperglycemia. It may occur for many reasons when you have type 2 diabetes. Your body may have enough insulin, but it is not as effective as it should be. Or your body may not make enough insulin. It also may occur when you eat too much, are less active than usual, are sick or under stress, or need a change in type 2 diabetes medicine.
Are there symptoms of high blood sugar?Some common symptoms of high blood sugar include:
- Feeling thirsty
- Urinating more often
- Feeling hungry or eating more
- Losing weight without trying
- Blurred vision
However, high blood sugar may not cause symptoms, or may be so mild that they are unnoticed.
Should high blood sugar be treated?
Yes. A high blood sugar level may be serious if you do not treat it. You will know if your blood sugar level is too high, if you have symptoms, by checking your blood sugar with a glucose meter, and/or by getting your A1C test as recommended by your doctor. Ask your doctor if you need changes in diet, activity, or your type 2 diabetes medicine to help better control your blood sugar level.
Low blood sugar
What is low blood sugar?
Low blood sugar is also called hypoglycemia. There are many different causes. It may happen even when you’re doing all you can to manage your type 2 diabetes. Or it may happen when you don’t eat enough, delay a meal or snack, exercise too much, or take certain medicines.
Are there symptoms of low blood sugar?
There may be. You may feel dizzy, sweaty, or shaky. But the only way to be sure is to check your blood sugar level. That’s why self-testing is so important.
Should low blood sugar be treated?
Yes. Untreated hypoglycemia may quickly get worse and you could pass out. Work with your doctor to create a plan that may help control your blood sugar.
Take action immediately if your blood sugar is too low
- Keep something with a fast-acting sugar (simple carbohydrate) on hand. Try 1 cup of milk, 1/2 a cup of fruit juice, or 1 tablespoon of sugar
- Test your blood sugar level after 15 minutes to see if it is above 70 mg/dL. If it’s not, drink or eat as above
- Once your blood sugar is over 70 mg/dL, eat a small snack if your next meal or snack is more than 1 to 2 hours away
- As always, speak with your doctor about what to do if you experience low blood sugar
Now that you understand blood sugar highs and lows, keep these tips handy.