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Health Management and Education

Health Management and Education

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Diabetes: Know your numbers

 Targets for diabetes control

Fasting Blood Sugar Between 80-130 mg/dL
2 hours after Meal Blood Sugar Less than 180 mg/dL
HgbA1C Less than 7%
Blood Pressure Less than 140/90 mmHg
HDL Men: Greater than 40 mg/dL; Women: Greater than 50 mg/dL
Triglyceride Less than 150 mg/dL

*Cholesterol levels are individualized. Most people with diabetes require a statin medication. Discuss your cholesterol treatment with your provider.

-Guidelines of the American Diabetes Association's Clinical Practice Recommendations

Note: Improved body weight can help you reach your target goals. As little as 10-15 pounds weight loss can improve your diabetes control.


Patient getting her blood drawnHemoglobin (HEE-mo-glo-bin) A1C is a non-fasting blood test that measures a person's average blood glucose level over the past 2 to 3 months. Hemoglobin is the part of a red blood cell that carries oxygen to the other cells in the body.  Sugar (glucose) in the bloodstream sticks to red blood cells; when the blood sugar is high across time, more sugar sticks to those red blood cells.  Because red blood cells live for about 3 months, the A1C test shows the amount of sugar that has attached to those blood cells during that time.

Think of your A1C like a batting average.  Even though each individual game is important, your batting average tells you how well you are doing overall.

The Hemoglobin A1C values have different numbers than you see on your glucose monitor.  This laboratory value is measured as a percentage (6.0%, 8.9%) and blood sugar is measured in mg/dL (135mg/dL, 230mg/dL).  The “A1C thermometer” below shows the relationship between A1C and blood sugar.  Even if your A1C is high now, reducing it by 1% can decrease your risk of certain complications (kidney, eye, and nerve problems) by one third or 30%.