Harvard Men's Health Watch

Rising blood sugar: How to turn it around

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Rising blood sugar signals a need for weight loss and more exercise.

Whenever you have routine blood tests at a physical exam, chances are one of the numbers will be a measurement of your glucose, or blood sugar. A normal blood sugar level is less than 100 milligrams per deciliter of blood (mg/dL) after an eight-hour fast. You have diabetes if your blood sugar is 126 mg/dL or higher. But between those two numbers lie many opportunities for action.

Think of high-normal blood sugar as an early warning signal that should put you on alert for greater health concerns down the road. "If your sugar is rising, it is not inevitable that you will develop diabetes, but you are certainly at higher risk," says Dr. David Nathan, professor of medicine at Harvard-affiliated -Massachusetts General Hospital.

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