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Diabetes Knowledge

Diabetes Management Numbers Explained

9/30/2021 by mySugr

Diabetes Management Numbers Explained

Diabetes truly is a numbers game. While your daily blood sugar numbers might be the first things that spring to mind, there are additional numbers to consider. By keeping track of important numbers, you can lower your risk of serious complications in the future.

What numbers do you need to know as a person with diabetes? What do they mean? What should your numbers be? Here’s a closer look at the most important diabetes management numbers you’ll want to keep track of.

Daily blood sugar numbers

Your daily blood sugar checks help you stay informed about what’s going on with your diabetes. While it’s true that these numbers can reflect your diabetes management, we know as well as anyone that those numbers can be a little unpredictable at times.  Keep in mind that even these important numbers are only information and do not define you! 

When you check your blood sugar, you can start seeing what makes those numbers go down or up. You may notice when you’re more active, your blood sugar numbers go down. When you eat certain foods or get stressed, you may notice those numbers go up.

A blood glucose meter lets you check your blood sugar. Target blood sugar levels generally should be[i]:

  • Before a meal – 80 to 130
  • Two hours after a meal – Under 180

Remember, your health care team may also have target goals they want you to work to meet. Talk to your doctor about your personal target blood sugar level.

A1C numbers

An A1C test lets you see your average blood sugar level over the past two or three months. Here are a few important things to know about your A1C:

  • Your A1C level should be checked 2-4 times per year.
  • You may need to have your A1C checked more often if your treatment changes or your number is higher than your target goal.
  • For most adults who have diabetes, the A1C goal is 7% or lower.[ii] That means you have an average blood sugar of 154 mg/dL.

Also here, A1C goals can be individuell and should be set together with your doctor or diabetes team.

Blood pressure numbers

Blood pressure refers to the force of blood that is pumping through your arteries when the heart beats. Did you know that people with diabetes are twice as likely to have high blood pressure?[iii] When left untreated, high blood pressure can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.

In general, your target blood pressure range should be 120/80 mmHG or lower.[iv] However, for adults with diabetes your doctor may recommend that you aim for less than 140/80 mmHG. It’s important to talk to your healthcare team about your unique blood pressure goals.

Cholesterol numbers

If you have diabetes, high cholesterol is another risk factor for heart disease you need to watch. According to Cleveland Clinic, diabetes can also affect cholesterol levels.[v] Even if you’re staying on top of your blood sugar, you may have decreased good cholesterol and higher bad cholesterol levels.

Total cholesterol should be less than 200 mg/dL. LDL (bad) cholesterol should be under 100 mg/dL. Your HDL (good) cholesterol should be 40 mg/dL or higher.[vi]

Got your numbers? What’s next?

Following up on your numbers and following a solid diabetes management routine can help you stay on top of your diabetes and overall health. 

Once you know your numbers and why they are important, here are a few more tips to help you thrive:

  • Keep all those important diabetes numbers in one location. Why not try keeping them in an app (like mySugr!) on your phone or in a journal.
  • Talk to your healthcare team about your target goals and devise a plan together to help you meet them.
  • Build healthy habits that will make a difference to your numbers, such as following your treatment plan, eating healthy meals and snacks, and getting more active.
  • Take advantage of the support system around you. Your family and friends want you to succeed, and they can give you the boost you need to stay motivated as you work towards your goals.
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The mySugr website does not provide medical or legal advice. mySugr blog articles are not scientific articles, but intended for informational purposes only.
Medical or nutritional information on the mySugr website is not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult a physician or health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.


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