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Healtheuniversity > English > Diabetes College > Treat Diabetes > Manage Your Blood Sugar

Manage Your Blood Sugar

Safety Alert

You are at risk of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) if you take insulin or a medicine from the Secretagogue class of medicines.

  • Carry fast-acting carbohydrates
  • Know when it is safe to drive

If you take insulin, are ill and have high blood sugar, get medical help right away.

When you have diabetes your body can no longer control the amount of sugar in your blood. Your body either no longer produces insulin (Type 1 diabetes) or no longer reacts to insulin (Type 2 diabetes). Your body can no longer lower your blood sugar when it gets too high.

It is important to manage your blood sugar. Knowing what your blood sugar is in response to taking your medicine, eating or exercising helps you understand how your medicine and healthy habits are helping you manage your diabetes. A glucometer is one tool to help you do this. Find out how a glucometer helps you manage your blood sugar »

Low Blood Sugar (hypoglycemia)

If you take insulin or a medicine from the Secretagogue class of medicines you are at risk for low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). 

  • Always carry a fast-acting carbohydrate with you. Fast-acting carbohydrates raise your blood sugar quickly. 
  • If your blood sugar goes too low you will likely need help. It is crucial that you let your family and friends know how to help you when you can no longer help yourself (for example, you become disoriented, have a seizure or lose consciousness).  
  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) is a medical emergency. Wear jewelry that lets people know you have diabetes. A medical alert bracelet is one type of this jewelry. Find out more about getting a medical alert bracelet »

Learn how to manage low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).

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High Blood Sugar (hyperglycemia)

If you eat or drink sugary foods, forget to take your diabetes medicine or you are ill (flu or infection) your blood sugar can be high (hyperglycemia). 

Some people do not experience signs or symptoms of high blood sugar. They only know their blood sugar is high if they check it. 

  • Talk to your pharmacist about how you can remember to take your medicines as prescribed by your doctor. 
  • Do not stop taking your medicine without talking to your doctor or pharmacist. Very high blood sugar can be a sign of a serious health problem called diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) or hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state (HHS).    
  • Talk to your doctor about how you can manage your diabetes when you are ill.  Write your plan down and keep it in a spot that you can access quickly.

Learn how to manage high blood sugar (hyperglycemia).

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Last Reviewed: 10/16/2016