Staying healthy with good control of type 2 diabetes
There are many ways you, your family, and your diabetes doctor and nurses will know if your diabetes is in good control.
Blood sugar records
The doctors and nurses will:
- Look at your blood sugar records
- Download your blood sugar meter readings when you come to appointments
- Look for trends in your blood sugars and can make suggestions for changes you can make to better control your blood sugars
Every 3 to 4 months when you come for appointments you will have a test called A1c.
The nurse will do a finger stick and get a small drop of blood from your finger. In less than 10 minutes you will get the result.
The result is the average amount of sugar in your blood stream in the past 3 to 4 months.
The higher your blood sugar during the past 3 to 4 months, the higher the A1c will be.
For all kids under age 18 the A1c needs to be 7.5 percent or lower. 7.5 percent is the same as an average blood sugar of 185.
Doing an A1c gives your doctors and nurses a view of what is happening over time, like a movie. A blood sugar check, like you do at home, only gives “1 picture” or a snapshot.
Hemoglobin A1c level compared to daily blood sugar levels:
|A1c (%)||Average blood sugar (MG/DL)|
High blood sugar over a long period of time causes damage to your kidneys, blood vessels, eyes, and nerves.
Keeping your A1c normal or near normal will help your organs stay healthy and lower your chance of having problems, such as:
- Kidney damage that can lead to kidney failure
- Blood vessel damage that can lead to heart attack and stroke
- Eye problems that can lead to poor vision or blindness
- Nerve damage that can cause pain like pins and needles in the feet and legs
- Skin infections and sores that do not heal and could lead to a surgery to remove a toe, foot, or leg
- Yeast infections in the groin
- Sexual problems, such as not being able to get an erection
Compared to the A1c result, the chart below shows the risk of getting:
- Eye diseases (retinopathy)
- Kidney disease (nephropathy)
- Nerve disease (neuropathy)
Your doctors and nurses want to teach you how to take good care of yourself so these things do not happen to you.
It is important for you to:
- Get your A1c checked at each diabetes visit every 3 to 4 months.
- Get your blood pressure checked at each diabetes visit every 3 to 4 months.
- Get your urine checked each year for a protein called microalbumin. This will be done when you come for your diabetes visits.
- Get your blood checked for cholesterol and other fats in your blood at the time you find out you have diabetes and every 1 to 2 years after that.
- See an eye doctor (optometrist or ophthalmologist) as soon as possible after you find out you have diabetes and each year after that. Early signs of eye problems can be treated.
- Be active and eat healthy low fat food to lower your chance of heart disease.
- Be sure to see your diabetes doctor right away if you have:
- Burning, numbness, or tingling in your feet or legs
- Sores that do not heal