Skip Navigation Bar
NIH MedlinePlus the Magazine, Trusted Health Information from the National Institutes of Health

Type 2 Diabetes

Step 2: Know Your Diabetes ABCs

Talk to your health care team about how to manage your A1C (blood glucose or sugar), Blood Pressure, and Cholesterol. This will help lower your chances of having a heart attack, a stroke, or other diabetes problems. Here's what the ABCs of diabetes stand for:

Actions you could take:

  • Ask your health care team what type of diabetes you have.
  • Learn why diabetes is serious.
  • Learn what your A1C, blood pressure, and cholesterol numbers are
  • What should your ABC numbers should be
  • What you can do to reach your targets

A for the A1C test.

The A1C test shows you what your blood glucose has been over the last three months. The A1C goal for many people is below 7. High blood glucose levels can harm your heart and blood vessels, kidneys, feet, and eyes.

B for Blood Pressure.

Your blood pressure goal should be below 140/80 unless your doctor helps you set a different goal. High blood pressure makes your heart work too hard. It can cause heart attack, stroke, and kidney disease.

C for Cholesterol.

Ask what your cholesterol numbers should be. LDL or "bad" cholesterol can build up and clog your blood vessels. It can cause a heart attack or a stroke. HDL or "good" cholesterol helps remove cholesterol from your blood vessels.

Couple walking, carrying weights

Diabetes HealthSense

Find tools and programs that can help you with making lifestyle and behavior changes. Diabetes HealthSense also includes research articles on lifestyle changes and behavioral strategies.

Fall 2014 Issue: Volume 9 Number 3 Page 15