It may take work, but managing your diabetes is worth it. If the condition is well monitored, the less likely it is to cause complications.
“I would hope with all the attention being focused on diabetes as of late people are being more compliant with diabetes care,” says Sharon Krispinsky, certified diabetes educator with Lee Memorial Health System.
Most recognize the importance of regular blood sugar testing and the impact of weight. But managing the ABC’s of diabetes can lower chances of heart attack, stroke or other problems. The ‘A’ is for A1C.
“A1C test is a very important number for patients with diabetes to know. Actually a measurement of your blood sugar control over the past two to three months,” says Krispinsky.
Different from daily blood sugar tests, the A1C looks at glucose levels over the life of red blood cell. The number shows how well sugar is maintained over time and provides a picture of how well you’re managing your disease.
“Ideally the A1C should be below 7%. And most endocrinologists like it approximately 6.5%,” says Krispinsky.
Next up - ‘B’ is for blood pressure. If it gets too high, it makes your heart work too hard. It’s one of the tests that should be given frequently.
“Absolutely the blood pressure should be checked at every physician’s appointment and ideally the blood pressure should be below 130/80,” says Krispinsky.
Finally the ’C’ stands for cholesterol. LDL in particular is linked to heart attack and stroke.
“With diabetes you’re at an increased risk for cardiovascular disease so one of the lab tests the physicians will be doing annually is lipid profiles; basically showing the amount of fat in the blood. They’re looking at LDL low-density lipid protein and we want those as low as possible,” says Krispinsky.
Knowing your ABC’s when it comes to diabetes, means playing it smart.