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Diabetes: Lower Your Heart Disease Risk - Topic Overview

Watch and track your levels

  • Test your blood sugar levels. Know your blood sugar goals. Test your levels at home, and get your diabetes A1c tests on schedule. Every day, do your best to keep your blood sugar about the same, within your target range.
  • Know your blood pressure. For most people who have diabetes, the ideal blood pressure is below 120/80. High blood pressure is 140/80 or higher when you have diabetes. In between these two levels is called prehypertension. Many people who have diabetes or prehypertension can help lower their blood pressure by eating healthy foods, getting regular exercise, and reaching and staying at a healthy weight. If you have diabetes and your blood pressure is higher than 140/80, your treatment may also include blood pressure medicine.
  • Know your cholesterol. Get your cholesterol tested on schedule. Know your LDL and HDL cholesterol numbers, and ask your doctor what your cholesterol goal is. LDL is the "bad" cholesterol, the kind that can clog your arteries. HDL is the "good" cholesterol. A high level of HDL can help protect you from a heart attack.

Keep good health at the top of your list

  • Work closely with your health professionals. Make sure that each doctor you see has all of your medical information, including test results. If you have questions about tests, medicines, exercise, or a healthy diet, talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian.
  • Don't smoke. Smoking can make diabetes worse. Smoking raises your risk of a heart attack or stroke. If you need help quitting, talk to your doctor about stop-smoking programs and medicines. These can make it easier to quit for good.
  • Take your medicine every day, as prescribed. Medicines work only as long as you are taking them.
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: January 17, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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Is This Normal? Get the Facts Fast!

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Low
0-69
Normal
70-130
High
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Your level is currently

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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