Why Taking Care of Your Diabetes Is Important
Taking care of your diabetes every day will help keep your blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol in your target range and help prevent other health problems that diabetes can cause over the years. You can do a lot to prevent diabetes problems.
• Follow your meal plan every day.
Diabetes and Your Heart and Blood Vessels
The biggest problem for people with diabetes is heart and blood vessel disease. Heart and blood vessel disease can lead to heart attacks and strokes. It also causes poor blood flow, also called circulation, in the legs and feet.
To check for heart and blood vessel disease, your health care team will do some tests. At least once a year, have a blood test to see how much cholesterol is in your blood. Your health care provider should take your blood pressure at every visit. Your provider may also check the circulation in your legs, feet, and neck.
The best way to prevent heart and blood vessel disease is to take good care of yourself and your diabetes.
• Eat foods that are low in sodium. Check the amount of sodium by looking at the Nutrition Facts on food packages. Limit the amount of salt you use when you cook and at the table. Choose foods naturally low in sodium, such as vegetables, fruits, dry beans and peas, and unprocessed meats, poultry, and fish.
• Limit how much you have of these kinds of fat:
• Keep your blood glucose on track. Know your A1C. The target for most people is below 7.
• Keep your blood pressure on track. The target for most people is below 130/80. If needed, take medicine to control your blood pressure.
• Keep your cholesterol level on track. The target for LDL cholesterol for most people is below 100. If needed, take medicine to control your blood fat levels.
• If you smoke, quit.
• Be physically active.
• Lose weight if you need to.
• Ask your health care team whether you should take an aspirin every day.
What’s a desirable blood pressure level?
Blood pressure levels tell how hard your blood is pushing against the walls of your blood vessels. Your pressure is given as two numbers: The first is the pressure as your heart pushes blood out into your blood vessels and the
second is the pressure as your heart rests. If your blood
pressure is higher than your target, talk with your health care team about changing your meal plan, exercising, or taking medicine.
Blood Pressure Results
|Targets for most people with diabetes||Below 130/80|
|My last result||———————-|
|My Target||Below —————–|
What are desirable blood fat levels?
Cholesterol, a fat found in the body, appears in several forms. If your LDL cholesterol, also called “bad” cholesterol, is 100 or above, you are at increased risk of heart disease and may need treatment. A high level of total cholesterol also means a greater risk of heart disease. But HDL cholesterol, also called “good” cholesterol, protects you from heart disease, so the higher it is, the better. You should keep your triglyceride— another type of fat—levels below 150. All of these target numbers are important for preventing heart disease. But the most important target to reach first is for your LDL cholesterol.
Target Blood Fat Levels for People with Diabetes
|My last Result||My Target|
|Total Cholesterol below 200||
|LDL cholesterol below 100||
|HDL cholesterol above 40 (men)||
|HDL cholesterol above 40 (women)||
|Triglycerides below 150||