Blood Pressure and Glucose Monitoring
Individuals with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes are more likely to have high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, and, of course, high blood sugar. They are also likely to be overweight/obese. All of these factors increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and other serious health complications.
If you have prediabetes or diabetes, it is crucial to carefully monitor blood cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, and weight as a first step in controlling the disease and improving the quality of your health.
Why is monitoring these numbers still important?
Maybe you are not experiencing any symptoms yet but keep in mind that there are no symptoms for people with prediabetes, and diabetes may be severe before there are any warning signs. Likewise, people have no way of knowing they have high cholesterol or high blood pressure without being tested.
When you visit Armstrong Pharmacy we encourage you to share your numbers with our pharmacists for interpretation and we will help you develop a plan, which may include diet, exercise and medication, to manage them.
Perhaps one of the best decisions you can make to maximize your health is to authorize our pharmacists to review and record your lab result(s). Medication reviews to assess the effectiveness of your medication are always most helpful when measured against your lab results and historical recordings of the dots. Some of our pharmacists have taken advanced training in interpreting your laboratory results. Their knowledge will help you maximize your health.
How Critical Numbers are Monitored
By drawing blood, your health care provider can conduct a blood lipid profile to check your blood cholesterol and glucose tests to check your blood sugar. Your blood pressure and weight are even easier to check with a blood pressure monitor and scales respectively. Between doctor visits, you can monitor and track your blood sugar, blood pressure, and body weight
Easy-to-use home glucose monitors, blood pressure monitors, and bathroom scales are readily available at large discount retailers and pharmacies. By keeping track of your numbers on your own, you will be able to better manage your health.
It is recommended that individuals keep these critical health numbers within the following ranges:
Blood sugar: The amount of sugar (glucose) in the blood
Prediabetes — HbA1c (glycosylated hemoglobin) less than 6%
Diabetes — HbA1c (glycosylated hemoglobin) less than 7%
Pre-meal glucose — 70 to 130 mg/dl
Post-meal peak glucose — <180 mg
Blood sugar is measured by the amount of glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) in your blood. An HbA1c test gives you a picture of your average blood sugar control for the past 2 to 3 months and provides you with a better idea of how well your diabetes treatment plan is working.
Blood pressure: The force of blood against the arteries when the heart beats and rests
Less than 130/80 mm Hg
Blood pressure is typically measured by a device that uses the height of a column of mercury (Hg) to reflect the circulating systolic and diastolic pressures. Systolic pressure (top number) is the peak pressure in the arteries, and diastolic pressure (bottom number) is the lowest pressure.
Blood cholesterol: A waxy substance produced by the liver
A total cholesterol score of less than 180 mg/dL is considered optimal.
Because cholesterol is unable to dissolve in the blood, it has to be transported to and from the cells by carriers called lipoproteins. Low-density lipoprotein (or LDL) cholesterol, is known as “bad” cholesterol; high-density lipoprotein (or HDL) cholesterol, is known as “good” cholesterol.
If your critical numbers are not at the target level, work with your health care provider or pharmacist to develop a plan to reach these goals.