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- It's National Diabetes Awareness Month! Do you know your ABC's?
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Tuesday, November 7, 2017
November is National Diabetes Awareness Month!
Know your ABC's for managing diabetes!
Remember the saying "all I really need to know I learned in kindergarten?" Those ABC's were important! When managing diabetes, it's as easy as knowing your ABC's. According to National Institute of Health, knowing your diabetes ABCs will help you manage blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol. Don't forget smoking. Stopping smoking, if you smoke, also helps manage this chronic disease.
A for Blood glucose, the A1C test
Every three months get an A1C test. A1C tests your average blood glucose level. For many, below 7 is a goal. Always work with your health care team to determine your goal.
B for Blood pressure
The blood pressure goal for most people with diabetes is below 140/90 mm Hg. Ask your health care provider what your goal should be.
C for Cholesterol
You have two kinds of cholesterol in your blood: LDL and HDL. LDL or "bad" cholesterol can build up and clog your blood vessels. Too much bad cholesterol can cause a heart attack or stroke. HDL or "good" cholesterol helps remove the "bad" cholesterol from your blood vessels. Ask your health care team what your cholesterol numbers should be.
S for Stop smoking
Not smoking is especially important for people with diabetes because both smoking and diabetes narrow blood vessels. Blood vessel narrowing makes your heart work harder. If you smoke or use other tobacco products, stop. Ask for help. You can start by calling the national quitline at 1-800-QUITNOW or 1-800-784-8669. For tips on quitting, go to SmokeFree.gov .
Knowing your ABC's gives you the ability to prevent the long-term harmful effects of diabetes. Diabetes can be a risk factor for heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, nerve damage, and eye disease.
University of Illinois Extension, Nutrition and Wellness program offers research-based information online at University of Illinois Extension, Your Guide to Diet & Diabetes http://extension.illinois.edu/diabetes2/. Watch for our classes, I on Diabetes and Eating to Reduce the Risk of Diabetes and read the Nutrition Nosh Blog at our local website http://web.extension.illinois.edu/blmp/ to learn more about this chronic disease. For more information on diabetes, please contact Susan Glassman, Extension Educator, Nutrition and Wellness at 815-224-0889.