​Diabetes has the potential to impact many parts of the body. Some of these include the heart, brain, eyes, mental health and the feet. It is important to ensure that regular check-ups are performed in order to catch potential problems before they progress. Using the 'ABC's of Diabetes' is great way to keep track of your overall health with diabetes.

A - Hemoglobin A1C: This test reflects the average of what the blood sugar has been doing for the last two-to-three months. The goal at The Polyclinic is

B - Blood Pressure: Elevated blood pressure can lead to problems with the heart, eyes, and kidneys. The goal is

C - Cholesterol: LDL or "bad" cholesterol can build up and clog blood vessels which can lead to a heart attack or a stroke. The LDL goal is

D - Depression: Studies show that people with diabetes have a greater risk for depression than those without diabetes. Depression can get in the way of self- care. Polyclinic providers administer a "Patient Health Questionnaire 9" (PHQ9) to assess if depression is an issue.

E - Eyes: Diabetes can affect the eyes. An annual eye exam is recommended for people with diabetes.

F - Feet: Diabetes can cause damage to the nerves of the feet. A diabetic foot exam should be performed at every visit with the doctor.

All of these factors are crucial in protecting the health of people with diabetes. Our Diabetes Education and Nutrition services department can help people learn how to stay healthy with diabetes for a lifetime. Learn about healthy eating, exercise, medication, preventing complications, and how to stay motivated. Call 206-860-2208 for more information.

November 17, 2015 | by Tracey Graber RD, CDCES