- 23.6 million people or 7.8% of the population have diabetes.
- Diabetes mellitus can be diagnosed as Type 1, Type 2 and gestational diabetes.
- Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90-95% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes.
- Many people with type 2 diabetes can control their blood glucose by following a healthy meal plan and exercise program, losing excess weight, and taking oral medication. Some people with type 2 diabetes may also need insulin to control their blood glucose.
- Many people with diabetes also need to take medications to control their cholesterol and blood pressure.
- Adults with diabetes have heart disease death rates about 2 to 4 times higher than adults without diabetes. The risk for stroke is 2 to 4 times higher among people with diabetes.
Source: Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, CDC.gov; National Diabetes Fact Sheet
Q. What is blood glucose monitoring?
A. Your diabetes care team may use this term: Self Blood Glucose Monitoring (SBGM). SBGM means checking your own blood sugar or blood glucose levels. Diabetes patients prick their fingers and place a drop of blood onto a test strip. A test strip is inserted into a machine called a "glucose meter." The glucose meter will provide a result in a few seconds. With the results, you may make changes in your management of diabetes to keep your blood glucose levels as close to normal ranges as possible.
A glucose meter is used by persons with diabetes to check what the blood glucose level is at the moment. Glucose monitoring also checks if the blood glucose level is too high or too low, and how your blood sugar is affected by food, exercise, medications, illness or stress.
ADA Blood Glucose Target Recommendations*, **
American Diabetes Association Guidelines
|Post-meal (1 - 2 hours after)
||less than 180 mg/dl
Three (3) month average blood glucose: A1c Test Result: 7.0% or lower
* FOR SAFETY PURPOSES: Lower targets may be recommended for persons who have lower risk for low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Higher targets may be recommended for persons who have frequent or unrecognized high blood sugar (hypoglycemia).
** The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) recommends fasting blood glucose levels below 110 mg/dl, 2 hour post meal values below 140 mg/dl and A1c levels less than 6.5%.
Q. A1c Question: Why is it necessary to check 3-month blood sugar level averages?
A. The A1c test is a medical test that is done routinely as a preventative measure to detect potential medical problems early, so complications can be avoided. This proactive testing helps slow or reverse damage before any organ impairment has affected a body function. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends on average most persons with diabetes should have A1c levels tested four (4) times per year.
The A1c test shows average blood glucose levels over a 3-month period. The results reveal overall control. When your physician monitors overall control this result is helpful to show blood glucose averages. With daily blood glucose monitoring, single tests are performed to show the blood sugar level at the exact time of the testing. These results are helpful, but not the best way to check overall control.
It is important for your physician to know how your meal plan, exercise and medication work together to control your diabetes. A1c numbers of 8.0% or above generally reflect poorly controlled diabetes. A1c numbers can be changed or lowered only after weeks of good diabetes control, which includes careful attention to exercise, stress management, medication schedule, and healthy meal plan.
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