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Health Information for the Public

Do You Have Diabetes?

Your Choice for Change - Honoring the Gift of Heart Health for American Indians

Section Six - Protect Your Heart: Take Good Care of Your Diabetes for Life

Have Your Blood Glucose Checked

Your doctor can test your fasting blood glucose.

Check the chart to see if your blood glucose level is normal.

Sally's fasting glucose level is 120 mg/dL. She has prediabetes.

126 mg/dL or higher
100 mg/dL to 125 mg/dL
Less than 100 mg/dL

What Are the ABCs of Diabetes Control?

  • A is for the A1C test. This test measures how your blood glucose has been for the last 3 months. It lets you know if your blood glucose has been under control. Get this test done at least twice a year.
    Number to aim for: 7% or lower

  • B is for blood pressure. The higher your blood pressure, the harder your heart has to work. Get your blood pressure checked at every doctor's visit.
    Numbers to aim for: below 120/80 mmHg

  • C is for cholesterol. "Bad" cholesterol—or LDL—builds up and clogs your arteries. Get your blood cholesterol tested at least once a year.
    Number to aim for: below 100 mg/dL

Sally: "My doctor told me I need to know the ABCs of diabetes control to prevent and control type 2 diabetes."

Be Sure To Ask Your Doctor

  • What are the results of my A1C, blood pressure, and cholesterol tests?
  • If my numbers are not normal, what actions should I take to lower my ABC numbers?
  • How can I find a local diabetes program for education and support?

If you have prediabetes or diabetes, it is important to work with a team of health care providers, such as a doctor, diabetes educator, and registered dietitian. Learn how to take care of your ABCs and empower yourself.

Lose a Little, Win a Lot

Sally: "I am not waiting to get diabetes. I am taking steps now to prevent it. I walk every day for 40 minutes, and I eat smaller portions. I have lost 8 pounds."

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Public Health Service
National Institutes of Health
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
NIH Publication No. 08-6340
June 2008

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