Know Your Diabetes Health Numbers

Keep track of your health numbers
Keep track of your health numbers

Monitoring your weight and knowing how much you should weigh is just one of many diabetes health numbers you need to know.

In order to maintain good health, every diabetic should know a number of different figures relating to their bodies.

These include height, weight, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Type 2 diabetes is associated with being overweight and obese, and maintaining a healthy weight allows easier control of diabetes. The following health numbers also affect your cardiovascular health.

Print out, fill in and cut out the following table:

Essential numbers for diabetic health
HbA1c
(%)
Ave. Blood Glucose
(mmol/L)
Age ___ years
Height ___ metres/ft
Weight ___ kg/stone
Waist ___ inches/cm
Blood pressure ___ mm/Hg
Blood glucose ___ mmol/L
Blood cholesterol ___ mmol/L

Are there other essential numbers I need to remember for diabetic health?

Yes, but the numbers above can help in a variety of diagnostics. They could indicate to you a danger of heart attack or stroke.

Once your medical history, gender and health history are understood, a clearer diagnosis can be reached.

I can’t fill in the form above. Why do I need to do it?

Most people will be able to determine their age, height and weight, but this does not make these numbers any less important. These figures are essential to calculate your body mass index.

Why do I need to know my waist circumference?

Your waist shows how much abdominal fat you have, and increased girth can signify an increased risk of cardiovascular disease or diabetes.

Weight gain can also be a sign of ‘insulin resistance.’ You should measure around your relaxed stomach at belly button level.

Men who have a waist circumference of 94-102cm face a 1.5-2 times greater risk of suffering from cardiovascular disease .

Those who have a waist over 102 cm face an increased cardiovascular risk of 4-6 times.

For women, a waist from 80-88 cm increases cardiovascular risk by 1.5-2 times, whilst a waist in excess of 88cm increases risk by 2.6 times.

Click here for more on diabetes and obesity and pre-diabetes.

As a diabetic, why do I need to know my blood pressure?

Every diabetic person should know their blood pressure. Having consistently high blood pressure could increase the risk of developing heart disease. Having your blood pressure taken should be part of regular diabetic check ups, although some people prefer to measure at home using a blood pressure meter.

For people who have diabetes, optimum systolic pressure should be under 130mmHg, whilst diastolic pressure should be under 80mmHg.

As a diabetic, why do I need to know my blood glucose levels?

Having high blood glucose levels can damage the small blood vessels, increasing complications such as eye diseases, kidney disease, nerve disease and cardiovascular disease.

Testing your blood glucose will probably be a big part of your life as a diabetic, but you may also be tested by a GP or at a diabetes clinic. Before meals you should aim for between 4-7mmol/l, and 90 minutes after a meal less than 10mmol/l.

At bedtime, diabetics should look to keep blood glucose around 8mmol/l. Keeping blood sugar levels within these limits greatly reduces the chance of complications.

As a diabetic, why do I need to know my cholesterol?

Knowing your blood cholesterol is another essential. Even having a slightly higher cholesterol level could increase your risk of developing heart disease.

Go to your GP to have your cholesterol accurately measured, and aim to keep your cholesterol beneath 4mmol/l.

Once you have obtained a cholesterol reading, a doctor can compare it against your age, sex, blood pressure, history of smoking, and type of diabetes. From this, a doctor can glean a 10-year coronary risk, divided into high, medium and low risk.

High risk means you have more than a 30% chance of heart attack or stroke in the next 10 years. Medium risk means that you have a 15-30% risk, whilst low risk is below 15%.

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