Skip to content

This is Your Blood Sugar Solution, Say Physicians

Experts explain how to keep your blood sugar levels in check. 
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

Maintaining your blood sugar is not only essential for feeling great, but helping prevent health issues like diabetes, stroke and more. Depending on what type of test you take to check your blood sugar, levels less than 140 mg/dL (7.8 mmol/L) is normal, according to the Mayo Clinic. When blood sugar is too high or too low, your overall health is affected and harmful complications can happen. So how do you manage your blood sugar? Eat This, Not That! Health talked to experts who explain how to get normal blood sugar and how to keep it in check. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.


What is Blood Sugar?

Doctor with glucometer and insulin pen device talking to male patient at medical office in hospital.

Angela Ginn-Meadow RN RDN CDCES Diabetes Educator Program Director, Baltimore Metropolitan Diabetes Regional Partnership University of Maryland Medical Center explains, "Blood sugar equals blood glucose. Glucose is the energy required for your body's function. Blood glucose is the amount of glucose or sugar found in the blood. The amount of glucose found in the blood can vary due to many factors. If you are living with diabetes or suffer from low blood sugar, blood sugar values may be higher or lower than normal values. Blood sugar/glucose can change for a variety of reasons. Some reasons are consuming too many carbohydrates at a meal or snack, too much activity or a sedentary lifestyle, increased stress and or illness. If your goal is to maintain your blood sugar in a normal range, choose to eat healthy more often and get active daily. To prevent type 2 diabetes, we should maintain a healthy weight and enjoy 150 minutes of activity each week."


Why Blood Sugar is Important

Woman sleeping on the couch in the living room.

Dr. Tomi Mitchell, a  Board-Certified Family Physician with Holistic Wellness Strategies shares, "Your blood sugar, or blood glucose, is the amount of sugar in your blood. Sugar is a big part of what gives your cells energy. Too much or too little sugar in your blood can make you feel crummy. That's why it's essential to keep your blood sugar levels in a healthy range."


What Causes Blood Sugar to Change?

Diabetic woman taking blood sample with lancet pen at home.

Ginn-Meadow says, "The cause of the rise and fall of blood sugar is totally individualized. Visit your healthcare provider to discuss diabetes risk factors and learn about your A1C. An A1c value will provide information about how your body is using glucose for energy. If an A1c is above 7%, this can be an indication of a higher risk for diabetes-related complications. Diabetes-related complications can affect your eyes, heart, stomach, brain, kidneys, skin, and sexual health. Monitoring your A1c and knowing the value can prevent Type 2 diabetes and lower your risk for diabetes-related complications."


How Having Normal Blood Sugar Helps Prevent Diseases


According to Dr. Mitchell, "Maintaining normal blood sugar levels is essential for preventing diseases, including diabetes, stroke, and dementia. High blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels and nerves, leading to serious health problems. Diabetes is a condition that occurs when blood sugar levels are too high, and it can lead to kidney failure, blindness, and even death. Stroke is another potential complication of high blood sugar, and it can cause paralysis or loss of consciousness. Dementia is also linked to high blood sugar, as the condition can damage blood vessels in the brain. By keeping blood sugar levels under control, you can help prevent these severe health conditions."


How Blood Sugar Affects Your Overall Health

woman Having Spinal Or Kidney Pain

Dr. Mitchell emphasizes, "Blood sugar can have a significant impact on your overall health. When blood sugar levels are too high, it can lead to diabetes. Diabetes is a severe condition that can cause numerous health problems, including heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease. Blood sugar levels can also affect your daily life. If blood sugar levels are too high, you may feel tired and sluggish. You may also have trouble concentrating. Blood sugar levels can also affect your mood. If blood sugar levels are too high, you may feel irritable or anxious. However, if blood sugar levels are too low, you may feel weak or shaky. Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels is essential for good health. There are several things you can do to help."


Get Regular Physical Activity

Couple of female friends jogging on the city street under the city road overpass.They relaxing after jogging and making fun.Embracing each other. Walkers

"Blood sugar levels within a normal range are important for many reasons," Dr. Mitchell reminds us. "People who have diabetes or are at risk for developing diabetes need to be especially careful about their blood sugar levels. Keeping blood sugar levels within a normal range can help prevent or delay the onset of diabetes and its complications. 

Exercise can help your body use insulin more effectively and lower your blood sugar levels. It is no secret that regular exercise is good for our bodies. It helps control our weight, improve our cardiovascular health, and reduce our risk of developing chronic diseases. But did you know that regular exercise can also help control blood sugar levels? For people with diabetes, this is particularly important. Exercise helps lower blood sugar by increasing the cells' sensitivity to insulin. In addition, when we exercise, our muscles use up glucose for energy, which also helps to lower blood sugar levels. And finally, exercise helps to reduce stress, which can lead to spikes in blood sugar. So if you are looking for a way to control your blood sugar, make sure to add some regular exercise to your routine."

RELATED: Habits Secretly Increasing Your Pancreatic Cancer Risk, Say Physicians


Eat a Healthy Diet


Dr. Mitchell says, "Focus on eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. Avoid sugary drinks and foods high in saturated and trans fats.  Eating a healthy diet is essential for many reasons, and one of those reasons is keeping blood sugars healthy. When blood sugar levels are too high or too low, it can be dangerous and even life-threatening. That's why it's so essential to maintain healthy blood sugar levels by eating a healthy diet.

Several ways of eating a healthy diet can help keep blood sugar levels in check. First, eating a high fiber diet can help regulate blood sugar levels by slowly releasing sugar into the bloodstream. This helps prevent blood sugar spikes and crashes, which can be dangerous for people with diabetes. Secondly, eating a low in sugar diet can help keep blood sugar levels from getting too high in the body."


Lose Weight


Dr. Mitchell states, "Even a slight weight loss can help improve your blood sugar levels. Blood sugar levels that are either too high or too low can have extreme and sometimes devastating consequences. That's why it's so important to keep blood sugar levels within a normal, healthy range. One of the best ways to do this is by maintaining healthy body weight. Being overweight or obese is a significant risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes, a condition in which blood sugar levels are abnormally high. Keeping your weight in check can help prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. In addition, maintaining a healthy weight can also help if you already have diabetes. Keeping blood sugar levels under control is essential for managing the condition and preventing severe complications. So if you're looking to keep your blood sugar levels regular, aim for a healthy weight based on your age, build, and ethnicity."

RELATED: Doing This After Age 60 is "Unhealthy," Say Physicians


Quit Smoking

stop smoking

"Smoking increases your risk for diabetes and can make blood sugar control more difficult," says Dr. Mitchell. "Quitting smoking is one of the best things to control your blood sugar levels. Cigarette smoking causes various health problems, including an increased risk of developing diabetes. Smokers are nearly twice as likely to develop type 2 diabetes as nonsmokers. Additionally, smoking damages blood vessels and makes it more difficult for the body to process insulin. As a result, quitting smoking can help prevent or delay the onset of diabetes. In addition, quitting smoking can also help to improve blood sugar control in those who already have diabetes. So if you're looking to improve your blood sugar levels, quitting smoking is a great place to start."


Monitor Your Blood Sugar Levels


Dr. Mitchell shares, "Regularly checking your blood sugar levels can help you keep them within a normal range.Keeping blood sugar at an average level is essential for everyone, but it's essential if you have diabetes. When blood sugar gets too high, it can cause many problems, from fatigue and weight loss to vision problems and heart disease. That's why monitoring your blood sugar levels regularly is so important. By checking your blood sugar levels and making sure they stay within a normal range, you can help prevent these serious health problems. And the good news is that it's easy to monitor your blood sugar levels at home with a simple blood sugar test kit. So don't wait – start watching your blood sugar today. If you have diabetes, follow your doctor's recommendations for managing your condition."


Take Your Diabetes Medications as Prescribed

Liraglutide, injection drug for diabetes control

"If you have diabetes, taking your diabetes medications as prescribed can help keep your blood sugar levels under control," Dr. Mitchell states. "For people with diabetes, taking their medication as prescribed is an essential part of blood sugar control. Medication can help lower blood sugar levels by increasing the amount of insulin produced by the pancreas or making the cells more sensitive to insulin. In addition, medication can help to prevent blood sugar spikes after meals. By keeping blood sugar levels under control, people with diabetes can reduce their risk of developing complications such as heart disease, kidney disease, and nerve damage. Therefore, it is essential that people with diabetes follow their treatment plan and take their medication as prescribed."


Control Your Stress Levels

overstressing in kitchen

Dr. Mitchell reminds us, "Stress can raise blood sugar levels, so it is essential to find ways to manage stress effectively. Blood sugar levels are essential to our health. When they're too high, it can result in diabetes. Therefore, keeping blood sugar levels healthy is essential for our overall health and wellness. One way to help keep blood sugar levels healthy is by controlling stress levels. When we're stressed, our body releases cortisol, raising blood sugar levels. So by managing and reducing stress, we can help keep our blood sugar levels in check. There are several ways to reduce stress, such as exercise, meditation, and spending time in nature. So if you're looking to improve your blood sugar health, controlling your stress may be an excellent place to start. These tips can help you keep your blood sugar levels within a normal range and prevent or delay the onset of diabetes and its complications. If you have any questions about keeping your sugars in a healthy range, please talk to your health care provider and nutritionist." 

Heather Newgen
Heather Newgen has two decades of experience reporting and writing about health, fitness, entertainment and travel. Heather currently freelances for several publications. Read more about Heather
Filed Under