Patient & Visitor InformationContact Us
  • Articles and Tips

  • Diabetes Q&A

  • What's the normal process?
    Your food is digested in your stomach and enters your bloodstream as a form of sugar called glucose. This glucose level in your bloodstream tells your pancreas to release insulin. This insulin then travels in your bloodstream until it reaches one of your body's cells. When insulin lands on the cell, it "opens" the cell so that the glucose can enter. When inside, the glucose is used for energy. Then the blood sugar or glucose level will stay within a normal range. Everyone needs sugar for energy, and everyone needs insulin to help them to use the sugar.

    What is diabetes?
    With diabetes, the system for using the sugar in your body for energy does not work as it normally would. This can happen if there is no insulin, not enough insulin, or a problem with the cell. Sugar stays in the bloodstream and results in a high blood sugar level. The goal for all people with diabetes is to keep their blood sugar level as close to normal as possible. 

    What are normal blood sugar levels?
    The American Diabetes Association recommends the following blood sugar levels for people with diabetes:

    • before meals: 80-120 mg/dL; 
      take action if less than 80 or higher than 140 mg/dL
    • after meals:  less than 180 mg/dL 
      (test two hours after starting a meal)
    • at bedtime: 100-140 mg/dL ; 
      take action if less than 100 or higher than 160 mg/dL

    What affects my blood sugar level?
    The blood sugar level is affected by a balance between food, exercise and medication.

    How do I get my blood sugar level as close to normal as possible?

    • attend an education class to hear updated information on diabetes management
    • consider using a blood glucose meter so you can have additional information about your level of control at your fingertips
    • make a change in one of the areas mentioned above (food, exercise, and medication)

    The overall goal is to prevent the development of any complications associated with diabetes. Self-management matters. Team up with a diabetes educator-the more you know, the better you can get your diabetes under control. You can control your diabetes-don't let diabetes control you.