Improve Your Health

Five Numbers Diabetics Need to Know

About The Author

Carol Hirn

RN Quality Improvement Coordinator

Network Health

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According to the American Diabetes Association, more than 10 percent of Wisconsin’s adult population has diabetes. Many of these people don’t know they have diabetes and those who do sometimes don’t take the necessary steps to manage it. Having uncontrolled diabetes can significantly impact your overall health.

That’s because diabetes predisposes people to be at high risk for a number of health conditions including heart disease, stroke, nerve damage, kidney disease, premature blindness, and much more. It can potentially affect nearly every part of your body. So it’s imperative to establish a treatment plan with your personal doctor and reevaluate it regularly to successfully manage the condition.

Working with your personal doctor is the key. He or she can evaluate your situation and determine the best steps to get your diabetes under control. Here are five factors you’ll likely monitor or work on improving:

  • A1C – This measures your average blood sugar over the past 90 days. A higher A1C may indicate your diabetes needs to be better controlled.
  • LDL Cholesterol – This is a measurement of your low-density lipoprotein, otherwise known as “bad” cholesterol. A higher LDL level may indicate a buildup of cholesterol in your arteries and lower heart function.
  • Blood Pressure – A higher blood pressure puts you at an increased risk for heart attack and stroke.
  • Kidney Function – Elevated levels of Albumin and Creatinine may indicate uncontrolled diabetes.
  • Dilated Eye Exam – Increased blood sugar can lead to impaired vision. Identifying eye disease early can make a major impact in preventing premature blindness and other eye conditions.

Network Health offers its Diabetes Rewards Program to encourage people to take steps to manage their diabetes. Participants are able to earn points when they successfully manage their A1C, LDL, cholesterol, blood pressure and get a kidney screening and dilated eye exam. These points can be redeemed for gift cards and other rewards.   They also have trained nurse health coaches available to work with members with diabetes and empower them to take charge of their health.

To learn more about managing diabetes, reach out to a personal doctor. To find a personal doctor near you, reach out to your health insurance provider.

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