Wellness Wednesdays: Diabetes ABCs

Wellness Wednesdays: Diabetes ABCs

Knowing your diabetes ABCs will help you manage your blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. Abstaining from smoking if you currently smoke, will also help you keep your diabetes under control. Working toward your ABC goals can help reduce your risk of having a heart attack, stroke, or other problems associated with diabetes. Ask your doctor or dietitian about your personal goals.

A: A1C

B: Blood Pressure

C: Cholesterol

S: Stop Smoking

What is A1C?

A1C is a blood test for type 2 diabetes and prediabetes. It measures your average blood glucose, or blood sugar level, over the past 3 months. Doctors may use the A1C alone or in combination with other diabetes tests to make a diagnosis. They also use the A1C to see how well you are managing your diabetes. This test is different from the blood sugar checks that people with diabetes do on a daily basis.

People who already have diabetes should aim for an A1C below 7% to be considered “in control” of their diabetes.

A normal A1C is 4.5% to 5.6%.

Prediabetes is diagnosed when A1C is between 5.7% and 6.4%.

Diabetes is diagnosed when A1C is 6.5% and above.

Blood Pressure

An ideal blood pressure is <120/80 mmHg.

The top number is called your systolic blood pressure and is the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats.

The bottom number is called your diastolic blood pressure and is the pressure in your arteries when your heart is at rest.

Diabetes puts you at risk for having one or both of these numbers elevated.

Cholesterol and Triglycerides

There are different types of cholesterol, but the following are general goals for a healthy heart:

-Total Cholesterol: <200 mg

-LDL Cholesterol: <100 mg

-HDL Cholesterol: >40 mg

-Triglycerides: <150 mmol/L

Written by Victoria Luera, Lone Star Circle of Care Registered Dietitian. Submitted by Ashley Wild.