The ABCs of Diabetes: A1C, Blood Pressure, and Cholesterol

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What is A1C in Simple Terms

Hemoglobin a1c and blood pressure

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An A1C blood test measures the percentage of hemoglobin the oxygen-carrying protein in your red blood cells coated with sugar. It measures your average blood glucose sugar level over the past two to three months. The A1C test gives you and your health care provider a measure of your progress. Most people with diabetes should have an A1C test every three to six months; people who are meeting their treatment goals may need the test only twice a year. Why is it important? The A1C test is a good measure of how well your glucose is under control.

It can also be a good tool for determining if someone with prediabetes is progressing toward or has developed type 2 diabetes. Adults over age 45 with hypertension, obesity, or a family history of diabetes also are advised to get an A1C test because they have a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Finding out you have an elevated A1C is a cue to make positive changes to your lifestyle. What do the numbers mean? What should my numbers be? Based on your health status, age, and risk factors, you and your health care provider should determine an A1C goal for you. Blood pressure is the force of blood flow in your blood vessels.

A blood pressure test reveals hemoglobin a1c and blood pressure readings. The top number is the systolic blood pressure, which measures the pressure as your heart beats and pushes blood through your blood vessels. The bottom number is the diastolic blood pressure, which measures the pressure when your blood vessels relax between heartbeats. People with diabetes should have their blood pressure checked at every appointment with their care provider.

When your blood pressure is too high, your heart has to work harder, raising your risk for heart attack, stroke, eye problems, and kidney disease. Treating high blood pressure with diet, lifestyle changes, and medication if needed is important to prevent health complications. Exercising regularly, limiting sodium to 1, mg per day, and eating sufficient amount of fruits, vegetables, hemoglobin a1c and blood pressure, and hemoglobin a1c and blood pressure dairy foods can help you control blood pressure.

Cholesterol is a waxy, fatlike substance found in every cell in your body. Cholesterol is also in foods that have animal origins, such as meat, poultry, seafood, and full-fat dairy products. There are several morning sickness and weight loss of cholesterol, two of which are important for people with diabetes to monitor.

Low-density lipoproteins LDL are considered bad cholesterol and can lead to the buildup of plaque in blood vessel walls, which can cause heart attack or stroke. High-density lipoproteins HDL are considered good cholesterol and appear to protect against heart disease. Triglycerides are a form of fat made in the body. People who are overweight or obese, hemoglobin a1c and blood pressure, are physically inactive, smoke, or consume large amounts of alcohol or carbohydrate are more likely to have elevated levels of triglycerides, which increases risk for heart disease, hemoglobin a1c and blood pressure.

A fasting blood test to assess your lipid profile—which measures total cholesterol, LDL and HDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels—should be done once a year. Eating more fruits and vegetables as well as fiber-filled whole grains, exercising regularly, losing weight if necessary, and maintaining good blood glucose control can help improve your cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Your doctor will determine how often you should have your cholesterol levels tested hemoglobin a1c and blood pressure the numbers you should aim for.

The ABCs of Diabetes:


Hemoglobin a1c and blood pressure