Diabetes: Why Watch Your Blood Sugar?
Do you get tired of monitoring your blood sugar? It may help you to think about why it’s so important.
Chronically high blood glucose (sugar) levels can cause damage to internal organs and tissues. In fact, diabetes is associated with long-term complications that affect almost every part of the body. High blood glucose can harm your blood vessels and heart, nerves, kidneys, mouth, eyes and feet.
If diabetes is not managed adequately, it can lead to permanent complications such as blindness, heart and blood vessel disease, stroke, kidney failure, amputations, loss of teeth and nerve damage. Uncontrolled diabetes can complicate pregnancy, and birth defects are more common in babies born to women with diabetes.
The overall goal of treatment is to keep blood glucose levels as close to normal range as is safely possible to prevent these complications.
Staying in Control
Diet, exercise, and regular measurement of blood glucose levels are important for tight control. If insulin is part of the treatment plan, insulin doses may have to be adjusted daily depending on blood glucose levels. If oral diabetes medication is part of the plan, a health care provider may alter doses depending on home blood glucose levels taken over a period of time, or if symptoms of too low a blood sugar (hypoglycemia) or too high a blood sugar (hyperglycemia) occur.
People with diabetes can check their blood sugar levels at home using blood glucose monitors. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), people who may benefit from checking blood glucose levels at home include those:
- Taking insulin or diabetes pills
- Who are pregnant
- Having a hard time controlling blood glucose levels
- Having severe low blood glucose levels or ketones from high blood glucose levels
- Having low blood glucose levels without the usual warning signs
Talk to your Rite Aid Pharmacist if you have any questions about monitoring your glucose.
“Prevent Diabetes Problems: Keep Your Diabetes Under Control,” National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/complications_control/.
“Your Guide to Diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2,” National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/type1and2/index.aspx.
“Tight Diabetes Control,” American Diabetes Association. www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/blood-glucose-control/tight-diabetes-control.html.
“Checking Your Blood Glucose,” American Diabetes Association. http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/blood-glucose-control/checking-your-blood-glucose.html.
“Oral Medication,” American Diabetes Association. www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/medication/oral-medications/.
“What Are My Options?” American Diabetes Association. www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/medication/oral-medications/what-are-my-options.html.
“Other Injectable Medications,” American Diabetes Association. www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/medication/insulin/other-injectable-medications.html