For a person with diabetes, getting a high blood glucose or high blood sugar reading (>10 mmol/l) may come as a shock but there is no need to panic. Here are 5 simple ways to control your blood glucose levels better.
Take your medications regularly. Take them on time and at the same time each day.
Aim to have three meals a day. The
healthy food plate gives a good idea of the major food groups of each meal that you should target to have.
Cut and minimise snacking. Snacks are often high in glucose, fat or both. Fruits and sugar-containing drinks are also snacks if consumed between meals. Snacks in between meals will result in high glucose levels before the next meal. Snacks will also increase your caloric intake resulting in weight gain.
Include regular physical activity as much as you can. Every little bit of exercise helps.
Stay well hydrated and drink water when thirsty. Avoid sugar-sweetened beverages.
“If your 2-hour post meal reading is above target (>10 mmol/l), review what you had in that meal that would raise the glucose level. You may want to modify your intake in the future so that your glucose levels will not be as high," advises
Dr Suresh Chandran, Consultant from the
Department of Endocrinology at
Singapore General Hospital (SGH), a member of the
Read more: Hyperglycaemia (HIGH blood glucose) - Do's and Don'ts
"Give it a few days with your dietary changes to see if this has had an impact on your glucose levels. Keeping a food and blood glucose diary can help you keep track of your progress”, Dr Suresh adds.
Common reasons for hyperglycaemia (high blood glucose)
Forgetting to take medications
Irregular or wrong timing in consuming medications. Meal insulins and certain medications (Sulfonylureas) are best taken before a meal.
Multiple snacks / sugary drinks throughout the day.
Larger meals may lead to higher post-meal BG levels.
If you are unwell, your blood glucose levels can be high (See
how to manage blood sugar levels when sick)
If you are taking other medications that could increase your glucose level (e.g. steroids)
Read more: Hypoglycaemia (LOW blood glucose) - First signs and what to do
When to seek earlier medical attention
You should consider seeking earlier medical attention if, despite your best efforts:
You are losing weight and having excessive thirst and frequent urination.
Your pre-meal glucose levels are repeatedly above 14 mmol/l. This would suggest your diabetes medicines may need changing or intensifying.
Your fasting glucose level (taken first thing in the morning, before your breakfast) is persistently above 10 mmol/l.
“Don't be afraid to reach out to medical experts if you need help. They will be able to help you manage your blood glucose levels better”, assures Dr Suresh.
Read more: Diabetes diet - Does switching from white rice to wholegrain rice means it is fine to consume more?
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