The ""Control Your Diabetes. For Life."" educational campaign kicks off this month. The National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) developed the campaign, jointly sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with the support of more than 200 partner organizations.
The message is: People with diabetes who keep their blood glucose (sugar) as close to normal as possible soon after they are diagnosed have fewer problems with their eyes, nerves, and kidneys. They also have fewer heart attacks later in life.
Glucose levels are measured by a blood test—called the A1C test—that averages a person's glucose range over the past two to three months.
"This is very important for people with diabetes to know," says Griffin P. Rodgers, M.D., Director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). "Diabetes is a serious disease. Managing it is not easy, but the benefits are worth the effort. Keeping your blood sugar in a target range that is safe for you reduces the chances of serious health problems later on."
"Everyone's target range is different, so talk with your healthcare team about the best target goal for you," says NDEP Director Joanne Gallivan, M.S., R.D. "Also, controlling blood pressure and cholesterol can lower your risk for heart attacks and other diabetes complications."