Diabetes is a common condition in the United States. More specifically, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that around 34.2 million individuals are currently living with diabetes. That’s a whopping 10.5% of the national population.
With a disease that’s so widespread, it is important to work towards improved treatment and prevention. For adults with diabetes, it can be difficult to keep blood sugars under control. This is both dangerous and concerning, as having high blood sugar can lead to some serious health complications. Potential complications of high blood glucose levels include kidney neuropathy, cardiovascular disease, and problems with the eyes, nerves, and other organs.
A Negative Trend in Blood Sugar Control
According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, between the years 1992 and 2002, around 44% of the diabetic individuals being sampled showed control over their blood glucose levels. Then, from 2007 to 2010, there was an impressive amount of improvement—approximately 57.4% had control over their blood sugar.
However, a new trend has arisen. Between 2015 and 2018, statistics plummeted back to just over 50%.
Interestingly enough, a similar trend seemed to occur with control over blood pressure, as well. Thus, while hypertension management seemed to have been improving over the years, it took a backward turn around the same time as blood sugar control.
When an individual with diabetes doesn’t have adequate control of their blood glucose levels, they are at an increased risk of complications. Although it’s difficult to precisely say why diabetic Americans are becoming less able to control their blood sugar, some theories are worth paying attention to. Achieving glycemic control isn’t a simple feat. It is a complicated process to maintain levels and, in extreme cases, attempts to control blood glucose levels can result in hypoglycemia, a life-threatening condition.
How to Maintain Control Over Blood Sugar
There are several ways that individuals with diabetes can reclaim control over their blood sugar levels.
One of the essential parts of diabetes treatment involves regularly checking blood sugars to ensure that levels remain in a healthy range. Generally, these tests are performed using a simple finger prick test. Patients can also get a hemoglobin A1C test to track their levels over longer periods of time.
By reaching a healthy weight, it is also possible for individuals to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. Overall, through increasing physical activity and eating a healthier diet, it’s possible to obtain better control over blood sugar levels—whether or not you have been diagnosed with diabetes.
To effectively manage diabetes, it’s important that patients put in the necessary effort. Most notably, this involves managing blood sugar levels and achieving healthy levels of blood pressure and LDL cholesterol.
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, it’s never too soon to take care of your blood glucose levels. Achieving glycemic control isn’t something that should be neglected for any amount of time—the longer your blood sugar isn’t under control, the more likely it is that you will risk developing complications. If you are currently struggling to maintain glycemic control, contact your doctor for additional tips and tricks to help keep your levels under control.