If you or a loved one has diabetes, the most important thing you can do is control your "ABCs". Read on to find out more on what this means, and why it's important for diabetics.
A is for A1c - a blood test that shows what your average blood sugar level has been during the last few months.
B is for Blood Pressure - controlling your blood pressure is just as important as controlling your blood sugar. High blood pressure puts you at risk for heart attack, stroke, and kidney disease.
C is for Cholesterol - a waxy substance found in the blood. High cholesterol is another factor that increases your risk of heart attacks, strokes, and other serious problems.
Why Are My ABC's So Important?
Compared to people who do not have diabetes, people who have diabetes are 2 to 3 times more likely to have a heart attack or a stroke. People with diabetes also have heart attacks at a younger age, and they tend to be more severe and deadly. Additionally, people with diabetes are much more likely to get kidney disease. By keeping your ABC's under control, you can lower your risk of these problems.
What Should My ABC Levels Be?
The levels you should aim for will depend on how severe your diabetes is, how old you are, and what other health problems you have. Ask your doctor what your target levels should be. Many people with diabetes aim for:
- A1c levels below 7%
- Blood pressure below 140/90, or lower
- LDL cholesterol level below 100
How Can I Control My ABC's?
You and your doctor will work together to create a plan to keep your ABC's under control. Your plan might include:
- Lifestyle Changes
- Healthy Food Choices
- Getting Active
- Stop Smoking
- Lose Weight
- Avoid Alcohol
Luckily, many of the lifestyle changes above can improve all 3 of the ABC's. For instance, being active and losing weight can help control blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.
If you have more questions about your life as a diabetic contact one of our health coaches today or give us a call at 1-866-511-0360.
Want advice on changing your diet and starting your journey towards a healthier life? Start here.
*This guide is not meant to take the place of a physician visit nor can it diagnose illness or medical problems. It is designed to give you information relating to your health risks and overall wellness. This information is provided to help you develop a plan of action to make healthy lifestyle changes. HealthCheck360 uses scientifically validated research to help you identify risks or behaviors that may cause or lead to chronic illness. Our program concentrates on risk factors that can be modified and that you should be able to effectively control, maintain, and/or improve.