Knowing the ABCs of Diabetes Can Save Your Life
RediClinic is proud to support the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP), a partnership between the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and many public and private organizations. Working together with patients, healthcare professionals can improve treatment and outcomes for people with diabetes, promote diabetes testing and early diagnosis, and prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.
Awareness is Key to Controlling Diabetes & Its Complications
Most people with diabetes understand that they have a blood sugar (glucose) level that is too high. However, many are unaware that heart disease is the most deadly complication of diabetes. A diabetic person is twice as likely to develop heart disease or a stroke as someone without diabetes, and at an earlier age. If you have diabetes, knowing the ABCs of diabetes can help you practice good health management that will lower your risk for heart disease and other life-threatening conditions.
- A1C test. The A1C test is a blood test that measures your average blood sugar level over the past three months. Over time, high blood sugar levels can cause damage to the heart and blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and feet. For many people with diabetes, an A1C number of 7 percent or less is a common treatment goal. Your healthcare provider can work with you to determine your ideal A1C goal based on your individual diabetes management needs.
- Blood pressure. Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of your arteries as the heart pumps blood. If your blood pressure gets too high, your heart becomes overworked. This can lead to a heart attack, stroke and other complications. The blood pressure goal for most people with diabetes is below 130/80.
- Cholesterol. “Bad” LDL cholesterol can build up in blood vessels and cause a heart attack or stroke. “Good” HDL cholesterol finds and removes LDL cholesterol from where it doesn’t belong. Your healthcare professional can help you determine your ideal cholesterol numbers and whether you need to take medication to lower LDL cholesterol and/or raise HDL cholesterol.
- Stop smoking. Smokers are 30-40% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who don’t smoke. If you smoke, find out how to increase your chances of successfully quitting.
Diabetes Can Be Managed
Many people with type 2 diabetes can control their blood sugar levels by following a healthy eating plan and a routine that includes regular physical activity, weight loss and medication. Your healthcare professional can help you develop an individual treatment plan to manage diabetes and lower your risk for additional health problems.
Get Diabetes Testing at RediClinic
Do you know your current ABC numbers? If you are diabetic or feel that you are at risk because of your lifestyle or family history, the board-certified clinicians at your nearest RediClinic health clinic offer comprehensive tests for diabetes. Your clinician will use the results of your tests to evaluate whether you need to make changes in your diabetes medicine, meal plan or physical activity routine to keep your diabetes under control.