Understanding diabetes numbers will help you feel much better and have more control. These are the 8 numbers you need to know and why.
Stick with me here, because if you want to manage your diabetes you need to know the numbers. Yet, it is not just about your blood sugar.
There are 8 different numbers you need to be familiar with. These numbers will lower your risk of complications from diabetes symptoms.
Although these numbers may not improve diabetes symptoms, it will decrease the risk of serious complications. A couple of these complications can be blindness or kidney failure down the road.
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KNOW YOUR A1c NUMBERS
Let me break this down for you, A1c blood test shows how well your treatment is working. The test measures your average blood sugar (glucose) level over the past two to three months. According to the American Diabetes Association, the A1c test should be done at least twice a year.
Your A1c levels should be kept below 7 %. If your levels are higher, you may need to change your management strategy. Over the short term, blood sugars that are higher won’t hurt. Complications can develop with high blood sugar over a long period of time.
KNOW YOUR BLOOD SUGAR NUMBERS
Now, this is important, blood sugar checks show the level at that moment. Healthcare providers usually recommend doing self-checks before or after meals and at night.
Your blood sugar levels before meals should be in the 70 to 130 range. One hour to 2 hours after a meal your levels should be under 180. Make sure you are eating right. If levels are still high you will need a medication adjustment.
KNOW YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE NUMBERS
You’re about to find out how people with diabetes are likely to develop heart disease. So, monitoring heart disease risk factors is a part of diabetes management.
People with diabetes need to keep their blood pressure below 140/80 mmHg. Taking blood pressure medicine as prescribed. The solution to keeping your blood pressure low is simple.
Maintain a healthy weight and avoid foods high in sodium. This can help you keep your blood pressure under control.
KNOW YOUR CHOLESTEROL NUMBERS
High cholesterol is another heart disease risk factor that’s important. Your total cholesterol should be below 200.
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol should be under 100. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) or good cholesterol should be higher than 40 for men and 50 for women.
Triglycerides, a type of fat found in your blood, should be less than 150 for both men and women. Which means avoid saturated fats found in meat, full-fat dairy products, and fried foods.
Getting more physical activity and taking cholesterol-reducing drugs can help you meet cholesterol levels.
KNOW YOUR WAISTLINE & WEIGHT NUMBERS
But that’s not all, the one factor that is overlooked a lot is weight, but even better than that, waist circumference. Its the one important thing that determines cardiovascular outcomes.
People that carry more weight around the waistline are likely to develop heart disease. Losing even just a little weight will help reduce your risk.
Losing just 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can really improve blood sugar and blood pressure.
KNOW YOUR KIDNEY FUNCTION NUMBERS
Besides that, you need to have a yearly check for protein in your urine. This will tell your healthcare provider if diabetes has affected your kidneys. Kidney damage and failure are common for people that have diabetes.
Microalbumin levels above 30 suggest kidney damage. It’s treatable if caught early. Don’t wait till these numbers are over 300. The damage to your kidneys has a tendency to be permanent.
KNOW YOUR DAILY CALORIE COUNT
Counting calories is much better to manage type 2 diabetes. It’s not so much about fats, proteins, or carbs. With type 2 diabetes, it is about calorie control to get good body weight.
Let me clarify, recommended calories per day can vary. If your eating cakes, pies, cookies, and sweet drinks, you are using up your calorie bank.
Heres what I mean, these kinds of calories don’t help your body. Sweets will not hurt you here and there as long as you eat healthy in general.
KNOW YOUR EXERCISE MINUTES
Finally, at least 30 minutes of moderate (aerobic) exercise each day is recommended for people with diabetes. This will help reduce your risk of complications. Regular exercise can lower your blood sugar, “bad” cholesterol, help you lose weight, and keep your heart healthy.
If you haven’t done any physical activity in a while, check with your healthcare provider first. You can start with 5 to 10 minutes a day and work your way up. It is suggested that you do aerobic exercise at least 150 minutes per week.
Heres the bottom line, if you want to manage your diabetes, there are 8 numbers to know. If you know all these numbers then you can control your diabetes.
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