Do You Know Your Numbers?: Health Status Values That Everybody Should Know In Assessing Diabetes

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by R. Keith Campbell Rph, FAADE, CDE

A friend of mine introduced me to his 3 year-old granddaughter the other day. She was quite a character and asked me if I knew my numbers. Before I could answer, she stated, "I know my numbers!” She began to count everything around us and was proud that she could add. When she finished, I told her that I also knew my numbers, but they were numbers that related to my health status. Many people do NOT like to share their numbers, especially things like age, weight, body mass index, their A1C number and if their blood sugars are high.

Diabetes is one of the few diseases that is diagnosed based on the results of a lab test or two. If your fasting (morning) blood sugar level is above 125 mg/dL; or if your random blood glucose is above 199mg/dL; or your hemoglobin A1C is above 6.4 % you have diabetes. There are many other numbers that those of us with diabetes should know AND be willing to share will all of our health care providers. If you do not know the following values, you should. In addition, you should have these values checked on a regular basis to make sure that your treatment program is working to keep you as healthy as possible.

For Glycemic Control, know your A1C and hopefully it will be less than 7 % or a value that you have worked out with your physician or diabetes educator. Your blood sugar before breakfast should be between 90-130 mg/dL and your after meal blood glucose should be less than 140 to 180 mg/dL. Know how much you weigh, how much you should weigh, and your height.

For Lipid Control, know your LDL cholesterol (less than 100 mg/dL or < 70 if you have heart risk); Triglycerides (<150 mg/dL); HDL Cholesterol (> 50 for women and > 40 mg/dL for men); Non-HDL (< 130 mg/dL); and ApoB (<80 mg/dL). It is very important that you know your blood pressure (less than 140 mm Hg over 80 mmHg). I recommend that you buy a home monitor for blood pressure and check your blood pressure often. Be sure that you see your health care provider and get your kidney status evaluated; liver function tests; your vitamin D (25- hydroxyvitamin D) levels; your thyroid function evaluated. If you are male, have your testosterone levels checked. The bottom line of good diabetes care is to know your target lab values and follow a treatment program that gets you to where you need and hopefully want to be. You WILL feel better and do better!

Health care professionals, be sure that your patients know their numbers and encourage them to share their values with you their next visit.

About The Author

R. Keith Campbell RPh, FAADE, CDE is a leader in the field of diabetes, named the “Outstanding Health Care Educator in the Field of Diabetes in the U.S.” by the American Diabetes Association, having published more than 650 articles, serving on numerous boards (including the American Association of Diabetes Educators), and co-developing the popular CADD ambulatory infusion pump.

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author, and do not represent the views of DiabetesProductSource, Kestrel Health Information, Inc., its affiliates, or subsidiary companies.

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