Diabetes Management FAQs
Q: How do you manage diabetes?
A: If you have diabetes, it is important to maintain your blood sugar at ideal levels. Effective control of blood sugar may prevent or delay the start of diabetes complications, including nerve, eye, kidney and blood vessel damage.
Q: What blood sugar levels are normal? How do I know my levels?
A: The A1C test is one of the most important tests for people with diabetes. It shows an average blood sugar level for the past 2-3 months. It helps people with diabetes understand how they’ve been doing, while at-home tests show a snapshot of current blood sugar levels.
- Normal levels - less than 5.7%
- Pre-Diabetes levels - between 5.7-6.4
- Diabetes levels - 6.5% and greater
- < 7.0% - diabetes in control
- > 7.0% - uncontrolled diabetes
Q: How do I make sure my diabetes are under control?
A: The first step in taking charge of your diabetes management is to know your numbers.
At Every Visit
- Review blood glucose
- Fasting - target below 100 mg/dl
- Before a meal – target between 70 to 130 mg/dl
- 2 hours after a meal – target below 180 mg/dl
- Check blood pressure - target below 130/80 mm Hg
At Least Every 3 to 6 Months
- Take A1C test - target levels below 7% or 154 mg/dl
At Least Once a Year
- Get a physical exam
- Take LDL cholesterol levels
- Target below 100 mg/dl
- If you have additional cardiac risk, aim to be below 70 mg/dl
- Take HDL cholesterol levels
- Men – target above 40 mg/dl
- Women - target above 50mg/dl
- Measure triglyceride levels – target below 150 mg/dl
- Get a dilated eye exam
- Check for kidney damage by getting a microalbumin urine test - target below 30 μg/mg
- Immunizations - Get a flu shot annually and get a pneumovax once.
Additional Diabetes Resources
The Division of Diabetes Translation (DDT) is a part of the CDC. Their mission is to “reduce the preventable burden of diabetes through public health leadership, partnership, research, programs, and policies that translate science into practice.”
Released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2014, the National Diabetes Education Fact Sheet provides national estimates and general information on diabetes and pre-diabetes.
The American Diabetes Association is a US organization dedicated to helping people affected by diabetes. ADA’s key functions are funding diabetes research and providing information to patients and health care workers.
Visit their website, or call 1–800–DIABETES (800-342–2383) for more information.