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The HealthCare Ministries of Mathews United Methodist Church

| Back to the HealthCare Ministries Homepage | The Ministry of Caring | Health Fair 2004 |
| Blood Pressure: The Silent Killer | Focus on Cholesterol | About Diabetes |


Diabetes is a disease that threatens to cause blindness, heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, and amputations.  The body either doesn’t produce enough insulin or becomes insulin resistant and is unable to use the insulin as needed to control blood sugar levels.  The hormone, insulin, is needed by your body to convert sugar, starches, and other foods into energy.  The specific causes of diabetes are unknown, but, genetics and environmental factors seem to affect the potential of developing diabetes.  These factors include obesity and lack of regular exercise


According to the American Diabetes Association, “There are 18.2 million people in the United States, or 6.3% of the population, who have diabetes. While an estimated 13 million have been diagnosed with diabetes, unfortunately, 5.2 million people (or nearly one-third) are unaware that they have the disease.  Are you at risk for this disease?  All races are at risk, although diabetes is more common in African-Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, and Pacific Islanders.  Take the “Diabetes Risk Test” by going to the following link, http://www.diabetes.org/risk-test.jsp.


Some ways to lower your risk of developing diabetes are: maintaining a healthy weight, regular exercise, and a diet low in fat and high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grain foods.


What is…Hemoglobin A1C?


If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, chances are you have heard your doctor mention a blood test called HbA1C.  It is a test that helps your doctor know how your blood sugar has been over the past two to three months.  The test, also referred to as A1C, reveals how much sugar is attached to the hemoglobin in your red blood cells.  The longer the blood sugar remains high, the more sugar that attaches to the hemoglobin or other substances.  What does this mean?  It means that the longer your blood sugar is higher than it should be, the higher the chance of complications related to diabetes.  These complications include risk of eye, kidney, heart, and nerve damage.  Your target value for this blood test is 7% or less.  By reducing you’re A1C by just one percent can reduce the risk of developing complications related diabetes.


Are you monitoring your blood glucose (sugar) levels at home?  See below for target levels.  Keep a diary of your readings and take them with you to each doctor’s appointment. 


Target Blood Sugar Levels
Before Meals or upon waking:
80 –120mg/dl
At Bedtime:
100 – 140mg/dl

(The American Diabetes Association’s recommended guidelines for a healthy range of blood sugar levels.)


For more information, call 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) Monday through Friday, 9 am - 8 pm (EST) or the local SC office at 1-888-DIABETES (1-888-342-2383).

American Diabetes Association
2711 Middleburg Drive
Suite 110
Columbia, South Carolina, USA, 29204
Telephone: 803.799.4246
Fax: 803.799.5792


| Back To The HealthCare Ministries Homepage | The Ministry of Caring | Health Fair 2004 |

| Blood Pressure: The Silent Killer | Focus on Cholesterol | About Diabetes |
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This webpage was last revised on 25 October 2008