Managing blood-sugar levels in a safe range requires lifestyle changes and the use of medication for many diabetics. While food, exercise and medication are causes of fluctuations in glucose readings, Mayo Clinic indicates that stress, illness and hormonal changes also affect levels.
A balanced eating plan is the key to a healthy lifestyle, with or without diabetes, according to Mayo Clinic. Diabetes changes the way the body maintains blood-sugar levels. Fast carbohydrates, such as those found in soda or fruit juices, increase the blood sugar rapidly, while complex carbohydrates are slower to digest and have less impact on the body. If blood-sugar levels are low, a fast sugar helps to increase the blood glucose to a safe level.
Exercise uses the energy from foods. If blood-sugar levels are high, exercise often brings them to a safer range, according to the American Diabetes Association. However, if the glucose meter reads above 240, the diabetic should check his urine for ketones. Exercise, when ketones are present in the urine, increases blood-glucose levels.
Many people with blood-sugar levels outside of the safe range require medication. The American Diabetes Association recommends patients consult their doctor if they are taking medication and their blood-sugar levels regularly dip below or exceed the safe range.