Control of Blood Glucose Levels
Many years ago it was thought that proper control of blood glucose levels did not have any effect on developing and/or progression of damage to the body from diabetes. We now know that is not true. The consistent control of blood glucose can have a dramatic effect on the person’s health secondary to diabetes.
Blood Pressure Control
Maintaining a blood pressure below 130/80 is also important in lowering the risk of damage from diabetes. In people with just a 10 point increase of systolic or diastolic blood pressure, they have a 5% to 30% increased risk of developing diabetic retinopathy due to changes in vascular blood flow.
The American Diabetes Association recommends a LDL cholesterol level below 100mg/dl to lower the risk of damage in people with diabetes.
Blood Glucose Monitoring
HbA1c is a form of hemoglobin used primarily to identify the average blood glucose concentration over a prolonged period of time. It is formed by hemoglobin’s normal exposure to high blood glucose levels. The HbA1c levels represent the average blood glucose level over the previous 4 weeks to 3 months.
Blood glucose levels as measured by the HbA1c should be 4% to 5.9% in healthy people. People with diabetes type 2 should have a level of HbA1c between 6% to 7%. A HbA1c level in this range indicates that a person has been adequately controlling their blood glucose level. Small changes in the control of diabetes over years of time can make a significant difference in complications related to diabetes including reduced risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. The Diabetic Control and Complication Trail revealed that people receiving intense insulin treatment versus conventional insulin treatment were less likely to develop or have progression of diabetic retinopathy. Conventional treatment consists of receiving 1 to2 insulin injections per day. Intense treatment consists of insulin injections at least 3 times per day based on self blood glucose monitoring. There was a 5 times greater risk of progression of diabetic retinopathy with conventional versus intense insulin treatment.
It is extremely important that a person with diabetes follow their diet plan, follow a fitness program and closely monitor their blood glucose levels.