Diabetes 101: A Guide to Managing Your Blood Sugar

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June 24, 2024

Diabetes 101: A Guide to Managing Your Blood Sugar

Having diabetes in the early stages can feel overwhelming. But don't worry, we're here to make it easy to understand and manage your new diagnosis. If you need extra help, we’re here for you. Simply self enroll for medication support, you can also call us at (410) 348-1905 or send us an email.

Important words to know 📚

  • Pancreas: A small gland that makes insulin.
  • Insulin: A hormone that helps turn blood sugar into energy.
  • Glucose: Sugar in your blood that gives you energy.
  • Insulin Resistance: When insulin can’t move glucose into your cells.
  • Hyperglycemia: Too much sugar in your blood.
  • Hypoglycemia: Too little sugar in your blood.

What is diabetes? 🤔

There are two main types:

  • Type 1: Usually starts in childhood. You need to check your blood sugar and take insulin.
  • Type 2: Often starts in adults and can be managed with diet and exercise at first.

In both types, your body has trouble using sugar from food for energy because your pancreas either doesn’t make enough insulin or your cells resist insulin. Diabetes has many causes. Some you can’t change, but others you can:

Factors you can’t change

  • Family history of diabetes or obesity
  • Older age
  • Certain ethnic backgrounds (like African-American, Latino, Asian, Native American)

Factors you can change

  • Weight: Being overweight makes diabetes more likely, but losing even a little weight helps.
  • Exercise: Regular activity helps use up blood sugar. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise most days. Check out exercise tips here.
  • Alcohol: Drinking less helps your body work better.
  • Stress: Less stress can lower blood sugar. Find ways to relax, like deep breathing or yoga.
  • Sleep: Enough sleep helps your body recover and manage sugar.

Member Story: “I found out I was diabetic in 2013. It was an adjustment at first because being a new diabetic, being just new to it,  I didn't know anything. The biggest lesson I learnt was to ask questions and speak up about any issues that you're having with your medication (and diabetes).” Charlene

How can I tell If my blood sugar is high? 📈🔍

You usually won’t feel it. That’s why checking your blood sugar as your doctor shows you is important. But sometimes, high blood sugar can make you:

  • Being very tired, called fatigue
  • Being very thirsty
  • Having to go to the bathroom a lot more than usual

If you feel these, check your blood sugar and talk to your provider.

Why is high blood sugar dangerous? 🚨❤️

High blood sugar can cause serious problems over time, like:

  • Eye damage
  • Wounds that don’t heal
  • Kidney failure
  • Heart attacks and strokes

In extreme cases, it can cause diabetic ketoacidosis, a serious condition where your body starts using fat for energy, which can lead to a coma. This is an emergency.

How do I control high blood sugar? 🏋️🥗

Good news! You can control your diabetes with some changes:

Lifestyle Changes:

  • Exercise: Get moving! Find activities you enjoy like walking, swimming, or dancing.
  • Healthy Diet: Eat more fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean proteins. Cut down on sugar. Healthy eating tips.
  • Stress: Find ways to relax. Try activities like reading, meditation, or spending time with friends.
  • Sleep: Make sure you're getting enough sleep every night to help your body recover and manage blood sugar.


  • Take your blood sugar medications exactly as prescribed by your provider. This can make a huge difference in keeping your blood sugar under control.

Where can I learn more about diabetes? 🌐📚

  • Online Resources: The American Diabetes Association has many helpful tips. Visit for more information.
  • CDC: Check out their diabetes management resources.
  • Talk to Your Provider: They can give you personalized advice and suggest local resources.
  • Scene Nurse: Reach out to your Scene nurse with any questions and for help managing your life with diabetes.

With some changes and support, you can manage your diabetes and stay healthy. Remember, you’re not alone—there’s help available every step of the way!

The content on this site is not and should not be considered medical advice or a substitute for individual medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should always talk to your health care provider(s) for diagnosis and treatment, including information regarding which drugs, therapy, or other treatment may be appropriate for you. Learn more here.

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