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Monitoring Your Blood Sugar

Monitoring blood sugar levels is an essential part of diabetes care. This provides the information needed to make adjustments to diet, exercise and medications. Waiting until symptoms of low or high blood sugar levels develop is a recipe for disaster.

Many things can cause blood sugar levels to change, such as: diet, exercise, stress, illness, drugs, and simply the time of day. Foods high in carbohydrates, emotional stress, infections, other medications, and early morning hours can cause blood sugar levels to rise. On the other hand, exercising can cause blood sugar levels to decrease.

Blood sugar levels can be measured easily at home or anywhere. Most blood sugar monitoring devices use a drop of blood obtained by pricking the tip of the finger with a small lancet. Most people find the pricking nearly painless. The machines are smaller than a deck of cards.

It is a good idea to keep a record of your blood sugar levels and report them to your doctor or nurse for dose adjustments of your medicines if necessary. Many people can learn to adjust the insulin dose on their own as necessary.

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