Taking care of yourself and managing your diabetes can be overwhelming and stressful in our current times. And while many things right now make us feel out of control, there are many things you CAN do to take control of your diabetes and lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. The first step is to know your critical numbers. You’ve got this!
The Numbers You Need to Know
Knowing these five numbers can give you a more accurate picture of your health. And keeping them within the target range can help lower your risk of heart disease and stroke!
At your next appointment (live or via telehealth), talk to your doctor about these measurements so you can build a customized plan together.
|What Is It?||Target Range||How is it Done?||How Often?|
|BMI (Body Mass Index) & Waist Circumference||A body size calculation||BMI 18.6-24.9
Waistline: Smaller than 35 inches for women and 40 inches for men
|Enter height and weight into a BMI calculator
Measure around your bare waist, at the belly button
|Regularly at home and at every doctor’s appointment|
|Blood Pressure||The force of blood pumping through your arteries when your heart beats||Less than 120/80 mmHG||At home with an arm cuff and/or at your doctor’s office||Daily at home if possible, and at every doctor’s appointment|
|A1C(Diabetes)||Your average blood glucose levels for the past 2-3 months||A1C ≤ 7%||Blood Test||Every 6 months or more often if needed|
|Cholesterol||A waxy substance produced by the liver or from foods derived from animals||Total: Less than 200 mg/dL
LDL (bad): Less than 100 mg/dL
HDL (good): More than 40 mg/dL
Triglycerides: less than 150 mg/dL
|Fasting blood test||Yearly or as recommended by your doctor|
|Kidney Function||Kidneys filter waste and fluid from the body.
There are two kidney tests: Albumin (urine test) and GFR.
GFR tests how well the kidneys are filtering blood.
A urine test checks albumin levels. Albumin is a protein that can pass into the urine when the kidneys are damaged.
GFR >60 is normal
GFR < 60 may mean you have kidney disease
GFR <= 15 is kidney failure
30 mg/g or less is normal
> 30 mg/g may be a sign of kidney disease
|Yearly or as recommended by your doctor|
You Have the Numbers, Now What?
When it comes to your health plan, following up on your stats and maintaining healthy routines to reduce your risk for heart disease and stroke will put you in better control of your health! You CAN thrive with diabetes, here are a few tips:
- Keep track of all your critical health numbers in a central location, like in a journal or on your phone.
- Build habits that can make a big difference, like eating smart, moving more and sticking with your medication plan.
- Start an ongoing conversation with your doctor about your lifestyle and medication plans so they can be your partner and help you determine what’s working and what’s not.
- Develop a solid network of support – your friends and family want to see you succeed and can give you the extra boost you need to stay motivated.
To build the best possible treatment plan for YOUR body, and significantly lower your risk of complications it’s important to find out what your numbers are. Following your prescribed lifestyle and medication plan can go a long way in making it happen!
Get more tips and join the initiative at KnowDiabetesByHeart.org/join.