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January 30, 2004

Daily Care, Exercise and Sports

Question from Adelaide, South Australia, Australia:

My auntie would like to know how she can reduce her blood sugar once she knows it is on the way up, on a particular day. She is not on insulin/medications. Can she do some exercise or eat something in particular that will help bring it down, or does she just have to wait for it to come down on its own?

Answer:

Absolutely! Exercise is one of the best ways to reduce blood sugar and improve the way the body uses insulin. Encourage your aunt to involve herself in some sort of exercise or activity such as taking a walk, or riding a bicycle. Even cleaning the house, or working in the yard can be activity enough to reduce her blood sugar and improve her diabetes control. Ideally, exercise such as this should be done every day or on most days of the week by those of us with diabetes. Your aunt might also want to test her blood sugar both before and after an exercise session to learn the effect of that activity on her levels. It can be very motivating to see how a little exercise helps to lower blood sugar. Also, encourage your aunt to learn about the effects of various food choices on blood sugar levels. When her sugar levels are high, she may wish to choice lower carbohydrate foods/snacks to limit further elevations. The assistance of a dietitian might be helpful in this situation.

DMW