Avoid Complications with Diabetes


Brad Bowman, MD

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You treat your type 2 diabetes to keep your blood sugar levels in the normal range. But having “normal” numbers is not the only reason for taking medication, eating right, and exercising. Following your treatment plan also decreases your chance of developing complications or at least minimizes their severity if they do occur.

Complications of type 2 diabetes are more likely and more severe when your average blood sugars are abnormally high over time. And how can you tell if your blood sugar average is running high? The hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) test provides a glimpse into your average blood sugar levels over the past several months. A result of 7% or lower indicates good control during that time period. Getting and staying in good control helps you avoid damaging the very small blood vessels in the body; damage to these blood vessels is the cause of most diabetes complications.

Managing diabetes goes beyond focusing on blood sugar levels—you’ve got to commit to living a healthy life, staying active, eating well, and minimizing stress. Follow these tips to get on the right path.

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Review Date: Apr 18, 2017

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