Diabetes Education

Important Diabetes Tests

In addition to monitoring your blood glucose levels, the most important aspect of your health is to know your "ABCs."

If you have diabetes, you are at high risk for heart attack and stroke.

Heart disease is more likely to strike you - and at an earlier age - than someone without diabetes. But you can fight back. Be smart about your heart. Take control of the ABCs of diabetes and live a long and healthy life.

A is for A1C

The A1C (A-one-C) test - short for hemoglobin A1C - measures your average blood glucose (sugar) over the last 3 months. Suggested target: below 7

B is for blood pressure

High blood pressure makes your heart work too hard. Suggested target: below 130/80

C is for cholesterol

Bad cholesterol, or LDL, builds up and clogs your blood vessels. Suggested LDL target: below 100

Ask your health care provider these questions:

  • What are my ABC numbers?
  • What should my ABC target numbers be?
  • What actions should I take to reach my ABC target numbers?
  • Take action now to lower your risk for heart attack and stroke and other diabetes problems:
    • Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity 5 days a week.
    • Eat less fat and salt.
    • Eat more fiber - choose whole grains, fruits, vegetables and beans.
    • Stay at a healthy weight.
    • Stop smoking - ask your provider for help.
    • Take medicines as prescribed.
    • Ask your doctor about taking aspirin.
    • Ask others to help you manage your diabetes.

The National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse (NDIC) is an information dissemination service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). The NIDDK is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The goal of Destination Diabetes is to be a useful and credible resource for the more than 20 million children and adults who have diabetes in the U.S. and their families. Destination Diabetes provides information on a wide range of diabetes health and wellness topics. Articles are written or reviewed by diabetes advisors who have experience in diabetes education.