March 3, 2006, Newsletter Issue #44: Monitoring your diabetes

Tip of the Week

There are several tests that are normally done for the person with diabetes, to monitor their health and control of the disease. These tests include: 1) blood glucose testing, 2) hemoglobin A1C, 3) lipid levels, and 4) microalbumin.

Blood glucose is monitored from once a day to four times a day, at the direction of the physician. Using a lancet device to obtain a drop of blood for your finger is the most common way of checking blood glucose. Additionally, your physician may have a lab draw blood samples to compare lab results with your daily fingerstick results.

Hemoglobin A1C reflects the overalls status of your disease. Normal values are less than 6.0. This test shows how well your disease is controlled and will be above normal values if your blood sugars tend to be high on a regular basis.

Lipid levels are evaluated to monitor the effects of your diabetes on the cardiovascular system. It is not uncommon to have elevated cholesterol and triglycerides when your blood sugars are not well-controlled. This places you at risk for heart attack and stroke.

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