Pharmacy Corner
Diabetes: self-monitoring blood glucose & things to watch out for Other conditions that can affect your diabetes control

Recall List 1.

High blood pressure: What should my blood pressure be?

With diabetes, it is recommended that your blood pressure be6:

Systolic blood pressure (top number)Less than 130 mmHg
Diastolic blood pressure (bottom number)Less than 80 mmHg

If your blood pressure is at or below these targets, your chance of problems from your diabetes is lower!

Exercise and proper dieting can help lower your blood pressure. If your blood pressure isn’t at target with just exercise and diet, you will normally need to be started on blood pressure medication.

High cholesterol: What should my target blood cholesterol level be?

Cholesterol lowering is very important in most people with diabetes. A general rule of thumb is that your “low-density lipoprotein cholesterol”, LDL-C, “bad cholesterol” should be less than 2.0 mmol/L.7 You do need to memorize these numbers. Instead talk to you family doctor when you get blood work done to see where you stand and whether or not a cholesterol medication is necessary for you.

Again, exercise and proper dieting can help lower your blood cholesterol.


Smoking: I’ve been smoking most of my life. Does it really make a difference to quit now?

Smoking is bad for everyone, regardless of whether or not you have diabetes. It doesn’t matter how long you have smoked for, quitting will lead to health benefits!

In people with diabetes, it is especially important to quit smoking. All the chemicals in cigarette smoke affect blood vessel health which not only increases your risk of complications with diabetes, but can speed the process up2!


Tip: It is even more important to quit smoking in persons with diabetes. This is because diabetes raises the risk you have of getting specific heart diseases, like a heart attack or stroke. Smoking raises this risk even more!

Talk to your pharmacist about possible smoking cessation strategies.


Point: Good control of blood sugars early on protects against complications and problems with diabetes down the road, but management of other health conditions is just as important.