So, what is your diabetes dashboard and why should you care about it?
Much like your car's dashboard tells you important information you need you need to know about your vehicle, your diabetes dashboard can help you safely manage your diabetes. If you read and pay attention to these numbers, they can tell you a lot about your situation. Just like your car, if you don’t know what the gauges and numbers mean in relation to where you're going, then you could be in real trouble.
For instance, driving 55 mph in a 55 mph zone is acceptable. Similarly, having a glucose reading of 180 about an hour after a meal is acceptable. Having the same reading 3 hours after a meal, however, is not acceptable. You wouldn't cover up your car's dashboard, so don't cover up your important lab results!
Your physician, like your mechanic, knows how these numbers affect your health and wellbeing, but unlike most mechanics, physicans can't make a pitstop at your home or work to give you a tune up! This is your responsibility!
So, let’s take a look at the normal goal values for typical labs you and your doctor will likely be reviewing regularly to ensure you do not end up broken down on the side of the road. If you need help, remember, a lot of articles here are aimed at helping you regulate these numbers.
Fasting Plasma Glucose (FPG)
Here are the FPG numbers you should be aiming for!
- 70-130 mg/dL (fasting or before meals)
- <180 mg/dL (1-2 hours after start of meal)
- ≤95 mg/dL (gestational diabetes; fasting or before meals)
- ≤140 mg/dL (gestational diabetes; 1 hour post-meal)
- ≤120mg/dL (gestational diabetes; 2 hours post-meal
Your FPG is a test that is taken upon rising in the morning, before you have eaten, or, it may be taken at any time when you have not eaten for at least 8 hours. Many individuals do only this test. However, this is only one moment in time. This moment may be normal, while afternoon or evening numbers may prove abnormal. Be in the know! Check yourself at least occasionally at other times.
Moderate complex carbohydrate intake and limited fat intake have been indicated as appropriate dietary measures to reduce fasting plasma glucose to within normal limits.
When diet is unsuccessful, medications may help. Talk to your physician to discuss your numbers or the risk factors associated with Metabolic Syndrome and pre-diabetes.
Here are the recommended A1C numbers.
≤ 7.0% according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA)
≤ 6.5% according to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE)
Your A1C number requires dietary change lasting at least 2-3 months before showing substantial improvement. Although it is cumulative over 3 months, the test is weighted toward the last week or two of numbers. However, don’t think making changes for the last week is going to hide bad habits for the rest of the month! Your red blood cells store the history of your diet and your HgbA1C will tell the story as it occurred.
IMG02 CARROTSOUP (NOT UPLOADED;FAILED)
<150 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL)
Borderline high triglycerides = 150 to 199 mg/dL
High triglycerides = 200 to 499 mg/dL
Very high triglycerides = 500 mg/dL or high
Although triglycerides are a fat, the number one way to decrease the creation of more triglycerides in the bloodstream is to decrease total carbohydrate intake from pastas, cereals, fruits, cow’s products, candy, pastries, and bread. The addition of omega-3 fatty acids from freshly ground flaxseed and fish oil containing optimal amounts of eicosopentanoic acid (epa) have also been shown to help decrease triglycerides substantially.
Exercise is documented as the number one way to decrease elevated triglyceride levels followed by decreasing excessive carbohydrates in the diet. Increasing omega-3 fatty acids and fiber in the diet are also very important for improving this number.
This number is determined by an equation: HDL + LDL + 20% of your triglyceride level
Desirable: Less than 200 mg/dL
Borderline high: 200–239 mg/dL
High: 240 mg/dL and above
Optimal: Less than 100 mg/dL
Near optimal/above optimal: 100–129 mg/dL
Borderline high: 130–159 mg/dL
High: 160–189 mg/dL
Very high: 190 mg/dL and above
Good: >50 mg/dL
Normal: >40 mg/dL
Less than 40 mg/dL becomes a major heart disease risk factor
60 mg/dL and above helps protect against heart disease
Cholesterol is a necessary hormone in the body and plays a vital role in repairs. However, in excessive amounts, plaque begins to form in the blood vessels and clots can negatively impact health. Addressing the two types of cholesterol are an important part of every healthy regimen.
HDL is known as the “good” cholesterol. This number is improved through exercise. This number represents the cholesterol that is basically being flushed away or out of the body.
LDL is known as the “bad” cholesterol. This number is improved through exercise, increased fiber sources such as psyllium fiber, oat fiber, vegetables, fruits, and reduction of total calorie and fat intake.
Genetics play a role in cholesterol numbers. However, increasing psyllium fiber in the diet through supplementation can make a substantial improvement in the numbers. Taking a slow and methodical approach to adding fiber can ensure avoidance of gastric upset. Please talk to your physician for more information.
So in the end, what do all these numbers mean for your health? Preventing out of control lab numbers and ensuring the best health possible can be accomplished by following these three steps:
• We need to move
• We need to reduce stress
• We need to increase our fiber intake
Enjoy your health and have a Blast!