Diabetes is a serious condition that requires careful monitoring for good control. People with diabetes have excess sugar in their blood. This can happen because the pancreas does not produce insulin (type 1 diabetes) or because the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin for the body’s needs (type 2 diabetes).
Insulin is a hormone that helps move sugar from the blood into cells where it is used as fuel. If you have diabetes, knowing your key numbers can help you manage your disease to keep your blood sugar at an appropriate level and protect your health from other serious conditions.
1) Blood Sugar
You can test your blood sugar at home or on the go using a finger-stick test. A blood glucose meter will test a drop of blood so you immediately know how high or low your blood sugar is.
If you have diabetes, your doctor will tell you how often to test your sugar and what your target numbers should be. For most people with diabetes the goal is 80-130 mg/dl before eating, or less than 180 mg/dl one to two hours after the beginning of a meal.(3)
This number is very important for people with diabetes because it is the average of your blood sugar over two to three months. When you test your blood sugar using a glucose meter, you get the reading for that moment. If you recently ate, your sugar may be higher than normal. If you just finished exercising, it could be unusually low.
According to WebMD, the A1C test, which is processed by a laboratory, is the best way to know whether or not your sugar is well controlled.(2) The American Diabetes Association states that the goal A1C number for adults with diabetes is 7 percent or lower. (3)
3) Blood Pressure
Taking care of your diabetes is part of a bigger health plan that includes taking care of your heart. According to Everyday Health, people with diabetes are at higher risk to develop heart disease.(1)
Monitoring your blood pressure is one way to check the status of your heart.
1) 8 Numbers You Need to Know for Diabetes. Everyday Health. Jennifer Warner. Web. Retrieved November 20, 2016.
2) Diabetes: Know Your Blood Sugar Numbers. WebMD. Web. Retrieved November 20, 2016.
3) Checking Your Blood Glucose. American Diabetes Association. Web. Retrieved November 20, 2016.
4) Kidney Disease (Nephropathy). American Diabetes Association. Web. Retrieved November 20, 2016.
5) Statistics About Diabetes. American Diabetes Association. Web. Retrieved November 20, 2016.