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.
Maybe you are not experiencing any symptoms. Why is monitoring these numbers still important? 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.
"Next time you visit your health care provider, be sure to ask for your critical health numbers to be screened and develop a plan, which may include diet, exercise and medication, to manage them," said Daniel W. Jones, M.D. and past president of the American Heart Association. Find out what else Dr. Jones has to say about monitoring your health numbers by watching this video.
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:
The American Heart Association has a variety of tools available to help you track these critical health numbers including:
This content was last reviewed on 7/5/2012.