Managing Sugar Levels at School

It's important that you have access to your testing kit at school
It's important that you have access to your testing kit at school

Diabetes presents us with an extra challenge in addition to keeping up with lessons, homework and generally keeping cool.

Keeping your sugar levels in good shape will certainly help with most of these.

Read our guide below on how to manage your sugar levels through term time.

Blood glucose testing

It's important that you have access to your testing kit at school. This should be possible in most cases.

Good times to check your blood sugar levels are if you feel symptoms of high or low sugar levels and at break times.

If you feel tired or are having difficulty concentrating, this can sometimes be a sign that your sugar levels are too high or too low.

Safe blood sugar levels

As you will likely be aware, it is important that your blood sugar levels are in a safe range.

If your blood sugar levels are below 4 mmol/l, it is important that you take carbohydrate to treat hypoglycemia.

If your blood glucose levels are above 15 mmol/l, you may be at risk of high ketone levels and therefore it is important to regularly monitor your blood sugar levels.

If your levels rise or remain high, you may need to take insulin.

If your blood glucose levels are frequently above 10 mmol/l through the day, you may need to discuss your medication regimen with your health team.

Does your insulin regimen fit in with your daily routine?

One major factor that can make life at school either easier or more difficult is the insulin regimen you have.

Each regimen has different advantages and disadvantages:

Regimen Advantages Disadvantages
Twice daily injections No injections needed at school Little room for flexibility of carbohydrate intake.
Blood sugar levels may run on the high side, particularly in the afternoon.
Multiple injection therapy May allow for tighter diabetes control Injections will need to be given at school.
Hypos may be more likely to occur.
More frequent blood glucose testing required
Insulin pump therapy Allows for tight control of diabetes.
More flexibility in terms of eating and exercise
Some people may be self conscious about wearing a pump.
Frequent blood glucose testing required.

Diabetes and PE (physical education)

Having your sugar levels in the right range is particularly important during PE as exercise affects our blood sugar levels. Usually a lesson of PE will cause your sugar levels to go down so carbohydrates will often be needed beforehand.

However, some activities, such as short bursts of sprinting with inactive periods in between may cause your body to actually raise blood sugar levels. If you feel symptoms of high or low sugar levels, it's important that you're able to test your blood sugar levels at an appropriate time.