It’s hard work to keep diabetes under control. Managing diabetes by regulating your blood sugar can be difficult and time-consuming. Worrying about all the complications of diabetes can be emotionally taxing. So, what if you could break down diabetes self-care into simple terms? The American Diabetes Association reminds us to break it down to our “ABCs.”
ABC’s of Managing Diabetes
- A = A1C. A1C is a measure of your average blood sugar levels over the last few months. Doctors recommend an A1C level of under 7% for most diabetics, although you should discuss with your doctor what number is best for you. The higher the number, the higher your risk of diabetes complications. That’s why it’s so important to have your A1C checked at least once a year – more often if your doctor recommends it or if you’re having trouble keeping blood sugar levels steady.
- B = Blood pressure. High blood pressure (BP) can increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes. People with diabetes are already at a higher risk for heart attacks and strokes than the general population, so that a high BP can be very risky. Keep tabs on your BP by having it checked at every medical appointment. You may even want to buy a blood pressure monitor that you can use at home. They’re not too expensive, readily available, and easy to use.
- C = Cholesterol. High cholesterol levels are another indicator of your risk of a heart attack or a stroke. When your doctor checks your cholesterol, he or she is looking at a few different numbers – your LDL (“bad” cholesterol), your HDL (“good” cholesterol), and your triglycerides (fat in the blood). Ask your doctor what your numbers are and what they should be.
Our expert podiatrists, Dr. Craig B. Frey and Dr. Megan L. Oltmann encourage our diabetic patients in Summit, Geauga, Portage, and Cuyahoga Counties to do all they can to stay on top of their ABCs. Eat a healthy diet, get regular exercise, and take your medications faithfully as directed by your doctor. If your feet are giving you trouble or if it’s been a while since your last diabetic foot check, don’t wait. Call Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland at (440) 903-1041 or contact us online for an appointment at our beautiful podiatry office in Solon, Ohio.