Diabetes Awareness Month is a perfect time for those people with diabetes to review their ABCs!

stands for A1C

A1C is a blood test that represents your blood sugar average for the past 2-3 months.

A1C is recommended to be less than 6.5% to prevent long term diabetes complications.

A1C at goal can be achieved by a good diet, exercise, and medications if needed.

Get your A1C checked every 3-6 months.

stands for BLOOD PRESSURE 

People with diabetes often have high blood pressure, so it is important to get it checked regularly.

Normal blood pressure should be less than 130/80.

Avoid adding salt to your food or eating processed foods high in sodium, such as canned soups and salty snacks.

Maintaining your blood pressure in the normal range will help prevent heart attacks, stroke and kidney disease.

stands for CHOLESTEROL 

People with diabetes should have cholesterol levels lower than those without diabetes. High cholesterol levels increase the risk of heart attack, stroke and decreased blood flow to all parts of the body.

A cholesterol blood test includes four numbers:

Total cholesterol should be less than 200 mg/dl

HDL or “good cholesterol” (H is for happy) should be 45 mg/dl or greater

LDL or “bad cholesterol” (L is for lousy) should be 70 mg/dl or less

Triglycerides should be 150 mg/dl or less

Knowing your ABCs can help you continue to improve your management of your diabetes!

This week’s Diabetes Management Tips by  Jan Levesque, APRN, MSN, FNP-BC.

Jan specializes in diabetes care in addition to her extensive background in family medicine.  She received her Bachelor of Science in nursing and as a Registered Nurse (RN) from Rivier College in Nashua, N.H., and her Master of Science in Nursing as a family practice nurse practitioner (APRN) from the University of New Hampshire. Jan has developed and coordinated diabetes education for the Diabetes Center at Memorial Hospital in North Conway, N.H. and for the Elliot Center for Wound Care  and Hyperbaric Medicine in Manchester, N.H.  She has experience managing patients of all ages with Type 1, Type 2, and gestational diabetes. Jan works with DMC Primary Care patients, referred from any of our providers, to help them manage their diabetes with an emphasis on improving overall health.