People with type 2 diabetes should work with their doctors to set individual goals to manage the ABCs of diabetes — that's A for A1C, B for blood pressure and C for cholesterol.

America's Diabetes Challenge: Get to Your Goals is a program from Merck, the American Diabetes Association and iHeart Media to raise awareness among people with type 2 diabetes about the importance of working with their doctors to set and reach their A1C goals. The program also aims to help them learn if they are at risk of low blood glucose and how to help reduce that risk.

A1C is a test that shows what your average blood glucose has been over the past two to three months.

Living with diabetes and getting to an A1C goal isn't easy, but it's possible. As a way to further support the millions of Americans living with type 2 diabetes, America's Diabetes Challenge is asking people to share their experiences living with the disease or supporting someone who has it. Maybe you're having difficulty reaching your A1C goal, eating healthy foods or visiting your doctor regularly. Or, maybe you're proud that you reached your A1C goal through sticking to your individualized diabetes management plan.

America's Diabetes Challenge also offers many resources, including tips to help people with type 2 diabetes work with their doctors to reach their goals, diabetes-friendly recipes and questions they can ask their doctors about blood glucose control. People with type 2 diabetes can share their stories and access these resources by visiting www.AmericasDiabetesChallenge.com.

DID YOU KNOW?

NEARLY

30 MILLION

Nearly 30 million people in the U.S. are living with diabetes.

90-95%

90-95 percent have type 2 diabetes.

RALLYING AMERICANS TO ACCEPT THE CHALLENGE

Through America's Diabetes Challenge, Merck has teamed up with the American Diabetes Association, iHeart Media and several important voices to reach the millions of people affected by the disease and to speak about how important it is for those living with type 2 diabetes to work with their doctors to set and reach their A1C goal. This year, the program is encouraging people to share their personal stories about living with the disease or supporting a loved one who has it.

Award-winning artist Tim McGraw is a strong believer in making healthy choices, and that's why he is encouraging people to join him in challenging their family and friends with diabetes to get to their A1C goals.

In the U.S., African Americans and Hispanics/Latinos are nearly twice as likely to develop type 2 diabetes as non-Hispanic whites. To support these at-risk communities, Merck has also continued its partnerships with celebrated film, stage and television actress, S. Epatha Merkerson, and Chef Leticia Moreinos Schwartz. Together, they will be sharing their personal stories to inspire African Americans and Hispanics/Latinos to do the same.

UNDERSTANDING A1C

of adults with diabetes are not at their A1C goal

A main goal of type 2 diabetes management is to keep your blood glucose under control and to reach the A1C goal you've established with your doctor. About one-third of adults with diabetes are not at their A1C goal. The American Diabetes Association recommends that people with diabetes have an individualized A1C goal; the goal for many adults with diabetes is less than 7 percent. A higher or lower goal may be appropriate for some people, which is why it is important for people with diabetes to speak with their doctors about what goals are right for them.

CONTROLLING BLOOD GLUCOSE

Many people with diabetes are aware of the importance of controlling high blood glucose through diet, exercise and medicine (if prescribed), but they may not know that blood glucose can also go too low. This is known as hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia may be caused by skipping meals, excessive exercise and certain diabetes medicines, and can make you feel shaky, dizzy, sweaty or hungry and, sometimes, faint. If left untreated, hypoglycemia may lead to a seizure or loss of consciousness. People living with diabetes should work with their doctors to learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of both high and low blood glucose, and talk to their doctors if they are experiencing any problems with high and low blood glucose.

SHARE YOUR STORY

If you are one of the millions of Americans living with type 2 diabetes, or if you would like to support those with the disease, we want you to know YOUR VOICE MATTERS – SHARE YOUR STORY TODAY.