Here's what researchers know about controlling blood glucose (blood sugar) in people with diabetes: It's not easy, but it can be done. It takes hard work. And it can save your life.
An important new study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) shows that tight control of blood glucose can reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes-the number one killer of people with diabetes-by more than half.
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For most people with diabetes, keeping blood glucose under tight control isn't easy. The latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest that fewer than 45 percent of Americans with diabetes are reaching the level of control seen in the NIH study. But it can be done, and the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) has materials that can help.
The National Diabetes Education Program's Control Your Diabetes. For Life. campaign materials teach people with diabetes how to know their ABCs-what their A1C (a test of blood glucose), Blood pressure, and Cholesterol numbers are, what they should be, and how to work with their health care team to reach those goals. The materials also offer ideas for sticking to a healthy eating plan, ways to stay active with regular physical activity, and other tips for feeling better and staying healthy.
NDEP materials are easy to read, and available in English, Spanish, and in 15 Asian and Pacific Islander languages. They have been tailored for groups at high risk for diabetes, including American Indians and Alaska Natives, African Americans, and Hispanics/Latinos. And all NDEP materials are based on science, backed by the federal government, and copyright free.
For people with diabetes, controlling blood glucose-along with blood pressure and cholesterol-can save their sight, their limbs and their life.