A person with diabetes is believed to be more aware of her/his condition and has a better prognosis, the likely course of a medical condition, of her/his situation. It is necessary that a diabetic should be more cautious about eating habits, lifestyle and blood glucose monitoring pattern. Besides periodic blood sugar measurement, patients also need to be aware of the ABC of diabetes control.
A is for A1C (or HbA1C)
A1C, also known as HbA1C is glycated hemoglobin test and glycohemoglobin (blood test) which is done to determine your average blood sugar level over the past two-three months. An ideal A1C level is less than 7%. This test is also taken to diagnose diabetes.
Most of the patients are familiar with fasting plasma glucose (FPG) post meal or postprandial plasma glucose (PPG) levels which should be below 120 and 160 mg/dl respectively, which are valuable indicators of current blood sugar.
Fasting plasma glucose also called fasting glucose test is a test that is done to diagnose diabetes or prediabetes after several hours of fasting.
Postprandial plasma glucose (PPG) is a blood sugar test conducted two hours post meal.
Less stringent A1C goals (such as <8%) may be appropriate for patients with a history of severe low blood sugar, limited life expectancy, advanced vascular complications and those with long-standing diabetes in whom the general goal is difficult to attain. Vascular complications refer to the blood vessels disease. Patients who are meeting treatment goals are advised to perform the A1C test at least two times a year and quarterly in patients whose therapy has changed or who are not meeting the desired goals.
B stands for Blood Pressure
Blood pressure management in patients with Diabetes is crucial. BP should be below 130/ 80 mm Hg. It is not well controlled in patients with Diabetes Higher BP indicates greater stress on your heart, kidney and eyes. So, one must keep a check on her/his blood pressure. There are certain predictors of BP control in patients with Diabetes seen in primary care clinics.
C stands for cholesterol
A complete lipid (organic compounds insoluble in water and soluble in organic solvents) profile test will measure your good cholesterol (HDL), bad cholesterol (LDL), triglycerides and total cholesterol. HDL, which is high-density lipoproteins, helps in removing cholesterol from arteries whereas LDL, the low-density lipoproteins, is the main source behind the accumulation of cholesterol and blockage in arteries. Triglycerides are a type of fat in the blood which can make you prone to heart disease. If medications are prescribed to control blood pressure or cholesterol, patients are advised to make sure to have it on time and not to skip or alter doses without discussing with their doctors.
To prevent diabetes, make sure you change your sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy eating habits. If already afflicted with diabetes, remember that regular blood sugar monitoring is the key to giving a person the information s/he needs to avoid long-term complications.
Written by: Dr. R Murthy
Edited by: A. Kumar