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    Achieving blood sugar control is important for people with type 2 diabetes

    Do you know how to control your blood sugar? If you are one of the 29 million Americans living with diabetes, learning the basics is a great first step to help you manage your condition.

    In fact, achieving blood sugar control is a crucial part of diabetes management because it can help reduce the risk of serious health problems such as blindness, amputation, heart disease and stroke. It’s not easy, so as a first step, it’s important to know your A1C (average blood sugar level over the past two to three months), and work with your doctor to set and attain a personal A1C goal.

    The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) recommends that many people with diabetes have an A1C of 6.5 percent or less, but a higher A1C goal may be appropriate for some people. Nearly half are not at an A1C of 6.5 percent or less, so it’s important for individuals living with diabetes to talk to their doctor about what A1C goal is right for them.

    With that in mind, AACE and Merck launched the Blood Sugar Basics: Get to Your Goals program to provide type 2 diabetes patients with tools to develop an individualized management plan with their doctor that can help them reach their A1C goal. The step-by-step program breaks down diabetes management in an easy, approachable way, and offers customized content to help you, your health care team (primary care providers, endocrinologists and/or diabetes educators), and your friends and family work together to set individual goals to manage the ABC’s of diabetes – A for A1C, also known as blood sugar, B for blood pressure and C for cholesterol.

    “Managing type 2 diabetes can be overwhelming, and while high blood sugar levels over time can lead to serious health problems, many patients do not think about these long-term issues,” says Etie Moghissi, MD, FACP, FACE. “People with type 2 diabetes can help reduce their risk of these complications by working with their doctor to set individual goals and come up with a management plan that works for them – including diet, exercise and medication, if prescribed. Because diabetes is a progressive disease sometimes changes are necessary – many people need to adjust their treatment plan over time to help them reach their blood sugar goals.”

    The Blood Sugar Basics: Get to Your Goals program is comprised of three missions:

    Mission No. 1 – Gather intelligence: get organized and talk to your doctor
    As a first step, meet with a member of your diabetes health care team to gather intelligence that will help you learn your A1C and understand how well you are currently managing your diabetes.

    Mission No. 2 – Finalize strategy: set goals and commit to a plan
    During your appointment, work with your health care provider to set an A1C goal that is right for you and develop an individualized treatment plan that fits your personal needs, including meal planning, physical activity and medication, when prescribed.

    Mission No. 3 – Regroup: check in with your doctor and assess your progress

    Check back in with your health care team to assess what worked for you and discuss the progress that you’ve made. If you haven’t met your blood sugar goals, don’t be discouraged – your doctor may change your treatment plan to help you achieve your A1C goal.

    You can learn more at, which offers important educational and interactive resources to help guide day-to-day blood sugar control, including understanding the symptoms and causes of both high and low blood sugar, a weekly meal planner and activity tracker, questions to ask your doctor, and a checkup chart and videos with tips for blood sugar management.

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