The National Kidney Foundation of Michigan (NKFM) is recognizing National Men’s Health Week from June 10-June 16, and Men’s Health Month this June, by educating men about preventing and controlling diabetes, which is the leading cause of kidney failure.
Approximately 13 million men have diabetes in the United States, which is 11.8 percent of all men ages 20 and older. Men with diabetes and their families can face devastating complications from unmanaged diabetes, especially since people with diabetes are at a high risk for heart attack and stroke. In addition to causing kidney failure, diabetes can also lead to blindness, loss of a toe or foot, and erectile dysfunction. Although diabetes is a serious, life-long condition, there is good news. Taking care of your diabetes and your health can help you avoid long-term health problems and enjoy a long and healthy life.
Men with diabetes can reduce their chances of having life-threatening complications by managing their A1C, Blood Pressure, and Cholesterol (ABCs of diabetes).
• “A” is for the A1C test. The A1C test shows you what your blood glucose has been over the last three months. The A1C goal for many people is below 7. High blood glucose levels can harm your heart and blood vessels, kidneys, feet, and eyes.
• “B” for blood pressure. The goal for most people is 130/80. High blood pressure makes your heart work too hard. It can cause heart attack, stroke, and kidney disease.
• “C” is for Cholesterol. Bad cholesterol (LDL) builds up and clogs your arteries. The LDL goal for most people with diabetes is below 100. Good cholesterol (HDL) helps remove cholesterol from your blood vessels. The HDL goal for most people is above 40.
For those with diabetes and those at risk for diabetes alike, it’s also important to maintain a normal weight and to exercise on a regular basis, and stop smoking.
It’s essential for men with diabetes to take action to reach their ABC targets in order to maintain their health. For more information, contact NKFM at http://www.nkfm.org or 800-482-1455.
For over a decade, the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan has been focused on reducing health disparities. The NKFM has received multi-year grants from the Centers for Disease Control and the HHS Office on Women’s Health to help tackle diabetes disparities. As part of these grants the NKFM will be highlighting the Controlling your Diabetes ABCs campaign. If you have diabetes, you are at high risk for kidney disease, heart attack, and stroke. But you can fight back. You can control the ABCs of diabetes and live a long and healthy life. Ask your healthcare provider what your A1C, Blood pressure, and Cholesterol numbers are and ask what they should be.