If you suffer from diabetes It is important that you know some basic health numbers that can help you stay in control of your health, and contribute to a much longer and healthier life.
According to the American Heart Association, paying attention to your blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight is extremely important if you live with diabetes, since you are twice as likely to develop heart disease, strokes or heart failure and die from them.
The five key numbers that all people with diabetes should routinely measure are:
• BMI (body mass index): Your BMI is an estimate of body size from height and weight that is used to help determine if you are overweight or obese. A normal BMI generally ranges from 18.6 to 24.9 and can be calculated at home using a BMI calculator or at the doctor’s office.
• Blood pressure: Blood pressure is the force with which blood pumps through your body when your heart beats, and it is a sign of heart health. A healthy blood pressure for most people is less than 120/80, but your doctor may give you a different goal based on your diabetes. Blood pressure can be measured at home if you have a blood pressure monitor, or at the doctor’s office.
• A1C: Your A1C is a measure of your average blood glucose levels over the past two to three months. A healthy A1C for a person with diabetes is 7 percent or less. A1C is measured by a blood test and should be checked at least every 6 months if you have diabetes.
• Cholesterol: Cholesterol is a waxy substance in the blood. If cholesterol levels are too high, they can cause fatty deposits in the blood vessels that can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Cholesterol is measured by a fasting blood test in the doctor’s office.
• Renal function: Early detection of chronic kidney disease (CKD) can make a big difference. A simple test that is often overlooked is the UACR (the ratio of albumin to creatinine in urine) which can detect the first signs of a problem. Kidney function is measured in the doctor’s office and should be done every year.
Coronavirus: risk factor
Type 2 diabetes is also a risk factor for serious covid-19 complications, so it is more important than ever for people living with diabetes to be aware of critical numbers and to keep their diabetes under control.
Diabetes management for Hispanics and Latinos, who have a 50% chance of developing type 2 diabetes and suffering devastating complications from it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) .
For her part, the spokeswoman for Know Diabetes by Heart, Lupe Barraza who suffers from type 2 diabetes stressed the importance of taking control and knowing the options to manage your diabetes.
“Managing key health numbers can help you prevent diabetes complications, such as heart failure and kidney disease,” says Barraza.
“You don’t have to wait until you get sick to go to the doctor. You and your doctor should work together now to prevent you from getting sick,” he emphasized.