VNA Answer Nurse: Q&A, Diabetes

Paula Thibideau is a Licensed Practical Nurse with the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) and coordinates all aspects of community wellness for the non-profit home healthcare agency.

If we have a family history of diabetes or high cholesterol, does that mean I’m at risk?

Doctors always want to know family history of any chronic condition. Though individuals may be predisposed to diabetes or high cholesterol, eating well and getting regular exercise are key factors to staying healthy. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns. Both diabetes and cholesterol levels can be detected with blood tests.   

How can a simple blood test tell me if I have diabetes?

When you take a blood sugar test, you will find out exactly how much sugar is in your blood at the time the test was taken. It’s important to understand your blood sugar level is directly related to the time you eat. If you get your blood sugar tested before you eat, after eating, or a few hours after you’ve had a meal, your blood sugar levels will be different.  According to the CDC, here are blood sugar ranges: 

Normal:            Fasting 90-100      Right after a meal 170-300   3 hours after eating 120-140

Pre-Diabetic:   Fasting 101-125    Right after a meal 190-220   3 hours after eating 140-160

Diabetic:          Fasting 126+          Right after a meal 220-300   3 hours after eating  200+ 

Why is diabetes something to be concerned about?

Diabetes is a chronic condition in which your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or it isn’t capable of using insulin like it should. When the there’s no insulin or not enough, the body’s cells block glucose from being used, blood sugar levels elevate and stay in the blood stream.  The long-term effects of high blood sugar leads to heart disease, kidney disease, stroke, vision loss and poor circulation

Do active people need to worry about cholesterol?

Maintaining a healthy cholesterol level includes both getting regular exercise and eating well, especially if someone is predisposed due to family history. Cholesterol contributes to the buildup of plaques in your arteries that can lead to narrowed or blocked arteries throughout your body. If left untreated, the arteries become narrowed and hardened putting individuals at risk for heart attack, high blood pressure and stroke.  

Put your health first, know your numbers. For information about diabetes or cholesterol, please visit or This article is intended for educational purposes only. For specific concerns, please speak with your doctor.

The Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) is committed to bringing trusted and quality private and home health care to Brevard County patients from Titusville to Barefoot Bay. For more information about VNA services, please visit