Do you know your numbers? Diabetic Health

Do you know your numbers? Diabetic Health 

Being diagnosed as diabetic can often be a difficult and scary time. You may find yourself inundated with lots of information and not take in a lot of the facts you are given. Being diabetic means that some of the targets for health monitoring are slightly different to someone who isn’t diabetic.

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) set and review guidelines for health, providing guidelines for monitoring for people with diabetes. It is helpful to be aware of these targets in preparation for your annual review for diabetic care.

Blood glucose level (HbA1c targets)

  • Below 48 mmol/mol or 6.5%
  • This figure should be an individualised target taking into account factors such as exercise, work requirements and likelihood of risks and complications of hypoglycaemia.
  • People without diabetes tend to have readings of 15 – 37 mmol/mol (3.5-5.5%)

Blood pressure targets

  • These are two different depending on the type of diabetes you have and they may be lower if you have any other complications such as diabetic retinopathy and nephropathy (kidney disease).
    • Type ONE diabetes
      • Below 135/85 mmHg
    • Type TWO diabetes
      • Below 140/80mmHg

Blood cholesterol targets

  • Although NICE do not offer targets for cholesterol levels specifically for people with diabetes, it is still important to measure them annually as it allows you and a medical practitioner to assess risks of heart disease and other long term diabetic complications.
  • Charity Diabetes UK lists the following targets
    • Total cholesterol level – under 4.0 mmol/L
    • LDL level – below 2.0 mmol/L
    • HDL level – at least 1.0 mmol/L (men) and 1.2mmol/L (women)
    • Triglyceride levels – less than 1.7mmol/L

Kidney function

  • Albumin/creatinine ratio: Less than or equal to 2.5mg/mmol (men) and 3.5 mg/mmol (women)

Body Mass Index (BMI)

  • BMI is important as obesity can increase risks of diabetic complications. These will also differ depending on ethnicity. BMI may also provide a false result if you have a large muscle mass to fat ratio and if you are in doubt speak to a healthcare professional.
    • Underweight: less than 18.5
    • Healthy: 18.5 to 24.9 (18.5 to 22.9 for Asians)
    • Overweight: 25 to 29.9 (23 to 24.9 for Asians)
    • Obese: 30 to 39.9 (25 to 34.9 for Asians)

The following numbers are correct as of the date of writing