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Managing Your Blood Sugar Level if You’re a Diabetic

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Controlling the blood sugar level will enable a diabetic to have a productive, healthy life regardless of the type of diabetes that is affecting the body. This means arming yourself with the right information about normal blood glucose levels, testing and recording blood glucose levels, and coming up with the right diet plan, exercise, and weight control regimes.

Understanding the Blood Sugar Chart
For a diabetic, the blood sugar chart is usually divided into three sections with different values for fasting, HbA1c, and two hours after meal.

The blood sugar level for a non-diabetic after fasting should be between 70 to 99 mg/dl or 3.9 to 5.5 mmol/L. For a diabetic, the numbers are slightly higher, such as the fasting blood sugar level that should be between 80 to 130 mg/dl or 4.5 to 7.2 mmol/L. After a 2-hour fast, the level should be less than 180 mg/dl or 10 mmol/L, while your HbA1c should be at 7% or lower.

Fasting blood sugar (FBS) means that you should not eat anything for at least 8 hours before checking your blood glucose levels, while the 2-hour postprandial measures your blood glucose level 2 hours after the last meal. FBS is the standard test to determine if you are diabetic or not. HbA1c on the other hand, refers to hemoglobin A1c or glycated hemoglobin test, a method that determines how well you are controlling your condition over the past 2 months.

Testing and Recording Blood Glucose Levels
A diabetic should check his/her blood glucose daily at home or as recommended by the doctor. There are blood glucose meter kits sold in pharmacies at Singapore or you can get one from your healthcare provider. It comes with test strips, lancets and a lancet device, and a blood glucose meter.

To test your sugar levels (either before breakfast or 2 hours after a meal), you prick your finger with a lancet and add the drop of blood on a test strip. The strip should then be inserted into the meter so that it will display figures indicating your blood sugar level. Record all the results of your tests in a diary or a notebook so that you can show it later to your doctor during routine check-ups. How often you need to check your blood glucose level will vary for each diabetic.

Correct Diet, Exercise, and Weight
Diabetics are advised to observe a diet that is very low in calories, low in carbohydrates, and low in fats. The advisable calorie intake should be between 1,500 to 1,800 per day, and with a ratio of 60:20:20 for carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. You will feel more confident about what you eat if you prepare the food yourself.

With proper diet and regular exercise, you should be able to control your body mass index (BMI) between 18.5 to 24.9. You should also remember that your waistline should not exceed 80 cm (females) or 94 cm (males).

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