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Diabetes and Heart Disease

Preventing Heart Disease by Managing Your Diabetes

To make sure your diabetes treatment is working, experts recommend following the "ABCs":

  • A1c: This is a blood test that provides a rough assessment of blood sugar control for the previous three months. An A1c level less than 7 is ideal for most people with diabetes.
  • Blood pressure: Most people with diabetes should maintain a blood pressure below 130 over 80.
  • Cholesterol: An LDL less than 100 and an HDL greater than 40 are the goals for most people with diabetes.

If you smoke and have diabetes, it's time to quit. Set a quit date and talk to your doctor. And don't be discouraged if you've tried to quit before but didn't succeed. New treatments can increase your chances of quitting for good.

Nearly everyone with diabetes can benefit from increasing physical activity. Going for a daily walk is one of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce your risk for heart disease. Exercise also helps keep blood sugar under better control. 

Some people with diabetes should take a daily aspirin to protect against heart disease. Your doctor can tell you if daily aspirin is right for you.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Michael Dansinger, MD on June 25, 2013

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If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

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