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How to manage your diabetes: The four M’s

how to manage your Diabetes monitor, diet and healthy food eating nutritional concept with clean fruits and vegetables with diabetic measuring tool kitDiabetes_Education

The topic of diabetes is enormous and can be overwhelming. We are here to help you get the year started off right and help you manage your diabetes. Whether you are newly diagnosed with diabetes or trying to get back on track, it is helpful to narrow the focus on the 4 M topics: monitoring, meal planning, medication, movement (physical activity).


The purpose of monitoring blood sugar is to keep you safe and help you understand how to balance your food, medication and activity to achieve blood sugars within targets. Blood sugar goals according to the American Diabetes Association are before meals 80-130 mg/dl and 1-2 hours after meals less than 180 mg/dl.

Meal Planning

Healthy nutrition is essential to keeping your body functioning well and managing your diabetes. Luckily, over the years, meal planning has become easier and more flexible. By eating 3 meals a day with a variety of healthy foods and limiting or eliminating simple sugars (sugary liquids and desserts), you will feel better and your blood sugars will be easier to control.


There are many diabetes medicine options available today including pills, insulin and other injections that lower blood sugar. These medicines work in different ways. As with any medicine, it is crucial that you take it just as your doctor prescribes. If you are not tolerating the medicine or cannot afford it, please call your doctor to discuss your options.

Movement (Physical Activity)

Being active is a cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle. For people living with diabetes, the benefits including: controlling blood sugar levels, improving your body’s response to insulin and helping you to manage your weight. The American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association agree that 150 minutes a week (30 minutes x 5 days) of physical activity improves overall health. If you are not able to do 30 minutes of activity at a time, we suggest starting with 10 minute bursts and add up the minutes. Be sure to carry low blood sugar treatment.

More ways to manage your diabetes

Make sure when you’re learning how to manage your diabetes, you use a credible source for your information. Our go-to is the American Diabetes Association (ADA) website.

To learn more about these topics and living successfully with diabetes, we encourage you to talk to your doctor about referring you to a diabetes educator. Learn more about the Diabetes Education program at NMC Health.

Additionally, you are invited to join us for our virtual Diabetes Support Group on the second Thursday of every month. Please call our Diabetes Educator, Patricia Corning, at (316) 804-6147 or email her at for more information.

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