Life's Simple 7 Manage Blood Sugar Infographic

Life's Simple 7 Blood Sugar Infographic

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How to Manage Blood Sugar

Understand Blood Glucose

The first step to managing your blood sugar is to understand what makes blood sugar levels rise. heart.org/Diabetes

  • Glucose: The carbohydrates and sugars in what you eat and drink turns into glucose (sugar) in the stomach and digestive system. Glucose can then enter the bloodstream.
  • Insulin: Insulin is a hormone made in the pancreas that helps the body's cells take up glucose from blood and lower blood sugar levels.

In type 2 diabetes glucose builds up in the blood instead of going into cells because:

  • The body develops "insulin resistance" and can't use the insulin it makes efficiently.
  • The pancreas gradually loses its ability to produce insulin.

The result can be a high blood glucose level.

Track Levels

Health care providers can take blood glucose readings and provide recommendations. If you're diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you will need to monitor your blood sugar level regularly. Know Diabetes by Heart can help you manage type 2 diabetes. KnowDiabetesbyHeart.org

  • Fasting Blood Glucose Level, Diagnosis and What It Means:
    •  Lower than 100 mg/dl – Normal – Healthy range
    • 100 to 125 mg/dl – Prediabetes (Impaired Fasting Glucose) – At increased risk of developing diabetes
    • 126 mg/dl or higher – Diabetes Mellitus (type 2 diabetes) – At increased risk of heart disease or stroke

Tips for Success

Eat Smart: Eat a healthy diet of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts, lean proteins and fish. Limit sweetened drinks, added sugars, fatty foods, processed meats and sodium. heart.org/EatSmart

  1. Move More: Being physically active can lower your risk of developing diabetes and help you manage the disease if you already have it. heart.org/MoveMore
  2. Manage Weight: Stay at a healthy weight to help prevent, delay or manage diabetes. heart.org/Weight
  3. Don't Smoke: Smoking, vaping or using tobacco can increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, many cancers and other chronic diseases. It may also make prediabetes and diabetes harder to manage. heart.org/Tobacco

Learn more at heart.org/MyLifeCheck and heart.org/Diabetes. 

© Copyright 2019 American Heart Association, Inc., a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use prohibited. Citations available upon request.

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