What Should I Do if I Have Diabetes?

Know your A1C level, the screening test for blood sugar levels. In general, for every 1 percent reduction in an A1C blood test, the risk of developing complications such as eye, kidney and nerve disease is reduced by 40 percent.

Control your blood pressure. Blood pressure control can reduce cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke) by approximately 33 to 50 percent and can reduce eye, kidney and nerve disease by approximately 33 percent.

Keep cholesterol in check. Improved control of cholesterol or blood lipids (HDL,LDL, triglycerides) can reduces cardiovascular complications by 20 to 50 percent.

Check your eyes, kidneys and feet. Heading off problems before they progress to more serious conditions is essential to protecting your health.

Proper management of diabetes, through diet, exercise, and/or with medication can help prevent serious and possibly life threatening complications. It is important to work with your doctor to better learn about controlling the disease by participating in self-management classes.

Learn more on the The Diabetes Epidemic: An Inside View
Approximately 762,000 Pennsylvania adults have been diagnosed with diabetes and the number keeps climbing. Member physician Wilfred Victorina, MD, FACE, discusses the influence of lifestyle.