Health Library Explorer
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z A-Z Listings Contact Us

Managing Your Glucose Level for Diabetes and Kidney Disease

Diabetes makes your body less able to use the foods you eat as energy. This causes sugar (glucose) to build up in the blood. Over time, having too much glucose in your blood can harm your blood vessels and kidneys. The amount of food you eat each day should match the amount of energy your body needs. The best way to keep your blood sugar at a healthy level is with diet, exercise, and medicines. Follow a strict diet for diabetes, exercise regularly, and take medicines as directed. By managing diabetes, you can keep a healthy blood sugar level. This can slow or prevent kidney damage. And it will allow certain diabetes medicines that act in the kidneys to work well. Test your blood sugar level as often as directed. Talk with your healthcare provider if your blood sugar level is often under 80 or over 200.

Test your blood sugar

  • Wash your hands with soap and clean, running water. Dry them thoroughly.

  • Follow directions for placing a test strip in the meter.

  • Prick the side of your finger with a small needle (lancet). Squeeze your finger gently until you get enough blood. If you can't get enough blood, hold your hand down at your side and gently shake it.

  • Place a drop of blood on the test trip according to your meter’s instructions.

  • Read and record your results.

Man using lancet on finger. Glucometer and test strips are on table.

Too little blood sugar

If your blood sugar is too low, you may get a headache or feel hungry, weak, shaky, dizzy, sweaty, or nervous. Check your blood sugar level. If it's too low:

  • Eat a fast-acting sugar, such as 6 hard candies, 1/2 cup juice, or 3 to 4 glucose tablets.

  • Test your glucose again in 15 minutes.

  • If your glucose is still too low, eat another dose of fast-acting sugar. Get medical care if you aren’t better after that.

  • Have a healthy snack once your blood sugar is back in the normal range 

Too much blood sugar

If your glucose is too high, you may feel thirsty, weak, dizzy, or nauseated. You may also have blurry vision or need to pee often. Check your glucose level. If it's too high:

  • Drink a sugar-free liquid, such as water or diet soda.

  • Take extra insulin or medicine if your provider has told you to do so.

  • Call your provider if you're not feeling better within 1 hour.

Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Kent Turley BSN MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Rita Sather RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Robert Hurd MD
Date Last Reviewed: 12/1/2021
© 2000-2024 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
The health content and information on this site is made possible through the generous support of the Haspel Education Fund.
StayWell Disclaimer