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Why Your A1c Matters
In a nutshell: your A1c is one of the clearest indicators of your risk for developing diabetes complications like neuropathy , retinopathy , nephropathy , and severe infection in any part of your body that requires healing.
For instance, a small cut on your toe could become infected due to high blood sugars, struggle to heal, and become severe enough that the infection could lead to an amputation.
The general guidelines from the American Diabetes Association recommend an A1c at or below 7.0 percent for the best prevention of diabetes complications. Your risk of developing a diabetes complication continues to drop as your A1c drops closer to 6 percent.
Some people with diabetes aim for A1c levels in the 5s and lower especially those who follow strict low-carb diets like the ketogenic diet and the Bernstein diet. However, this hasnt been proven in research as especially necessary, nor is it reasonably achievable for the larger population of people with diabetes.
Its also important to remember that your blood sugar levels and your A1c are just information that tells you whether your body needs more or less of factors like insulin, other diabetes medications like Metformin, changes in your nutrition, and changes in your exercise.
If you dont like the number youre seeing on your glucose meter or your A1c results, use that number as motivation to make changes in how you safely manage your diabetes in order to get different results.
Can Children Have Prediabetes
2019 study involving 5,786 people, 18% of the 2,606 adolescents those aged 1218 years had prediabetes. Among the 3,180 young adults, the prevalence was 24%.
Many children who develop type 2 diabetes do not receive a diagnosis until adolescence. This is, in part, puberty hormones can make it harder for the body to regulate insulin. Parents and caregivers can help prevent diabetes in children by encouraging them to eat a balanced diet and engage in plenty of physical activity.
/7heart And Blood Vessels
Given that high blood sugar can cause blood vessel damage, a diabetic is always at an increased risk of cardiovascular complications including stroke and heart disease. In addition, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , people with diabetes are also more likely to have other conditions that raise the risk for heart disease including high blood pressure.
Diabetes Uk Show How To Test Feet For Diabetic Feet Sensitivity
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Over a period of six years, research findings gathered in North Karelia, Finland, identified three factors that influence the risk of hyperglycaemia. Hyperglycaemia is the medical term to describe high blood sugar, the NHS clarifies. People who have type 2 diabetes may notice their blood sugar is too high when they feel extremely thirsty, they’re urinating frequently, and feel weak or tired.
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Still Frustrated With Your Blood Sugar And A1c Results
Your blood sugars and your insulin or medication needs never stay in one place. If you gain weight or lose weight, your insulin and medication needs will change. If you become more active or less active, your needs will change. If you make drastic or even small changes to your nutrition, your needs will change!
Working with your diabetes healthcare team, and diabetes coaches who can teach you how to make changes in your overall diabetes management plan are essential. Diabetes is a lifelong learning process.
Take a deep breath and be patient. If you dont like what youre seeing on your glucose meter, dont get madget studying! Take good notes and work with your team to make changes to reach your goals.
Symptoms Of High Blood Sugar In The Morning
If you wear a continuous glucose monitor , or if you routinely check your blood glucose every morning, you can see whether or not you are experiencing early morning hyperglycemia. In addition, you may also experience some of the signs and symptoms of hyperglycemia, which may include:
- Frequent and excessive urination
Diabetes Is Harder To Live With Than Prediabetes
People with prediabetes have a higher risk of heart disease and stroke. The risk of serious health problems increases even more for people with diabetes.
Diabetes affects every major organ in the body. People with diabetes often develop major complications, including kidney failure, blindness, and nerve damage. Nerve damage can lead to amputation of a toe, foot, or leg. Having diabetes can also double the risk of depression. That risk increases as more diabetes-related health problems develop. All can sharply reduce quality of life.
Glycosylated Hemoglobin Or Hemoglobin A1c
Reflects average blood sugar levels over the preceding 90-day period. Elevated levels are associated with prediabetes and diabetes. Individuals with diabetes have an increased risk of a cardiac event. A person with diabetes has the same risk for heart attack as a person without diabetes, who has experienced one heart attack, having a second heart attack. Aggressive global preventive risk reduction efforts, such as lower LDL targets, diet, exercise and blood pressure control, are recommended.
Goal values :
- A range of 5.7-6.4 percent indicates an increased risk for development of diabetes , and lifestyle interventions may be beneficial.
- A value equal or greater than 6.5 percent is considered diabetes.
This test may be measured any time of the day without fasting.
Glycosylated hemoglobin is blood glucose attached to hemoglobin . This test is often called the “diabetes report card.” It reflects the average blood sugar for the two to three month period before the test.
To calculate the average blood glucose level from the HbA1C:
HbA1C level x 33.3 86 = average blood glucose level for the past 90 days. HbA1C can be helpful to track diabetes control over time.
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Can Prediabetes Be Reversed
For some, prediabetes is reversible if it is the simple result of weight gain and unhealthy habits. For many, however, prediabetes is the result of the bodys gradual destruction of beta-cells.
Beta-cells play a critical role in insulin production. More and more research today regarding type 2 diabetes demonstrates that approximately 60 percent of people with type 2 diabetes are experiencing a lack of insulin production through beta cell dysfunction and destruction.
It is now well recognized that 2 factors are involved: impaired function and insulin resistance, explains John E. Gerich, MD, in a study published by the Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Prospective studies of high-risk populations have shown insulin-resistance and/or insulin-secretory defects before the onset of impaired glucose tolerance.
This means that while you should absolutely still pursue healthier habits around nutrition, exercise, weight-loss, sleep, quitting smoking, the gradual progression of your disease means your diagnosis is here to stay.
That being said, making any changes you can in your habits can play a tremendous role in whether or not you need to start taking diabetes medications or if you need to start insulin injections to help bring your blood sugars down to a healthy level.
Read more on reversing diabetes: Is Type 2 Diabetes Reversible?
Prediabetes is diabetes. The sooner you take action, the sooner you improve your health.
What Are The Symptoms Of Low Blood Sugar
- Difficulty speaking
- Muscle weakness
If you are experiencing an extremely low blood sugar, which is anything less than 40 mg/dL, that is not responding to fast-acting glucose or glucagon, and you have taken fast-acting insulin within the previous 2 hours, call 911 and seek immediate emergency medical attention.
This condition can be life-threatening if not treated.
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Techniques To Manage Your Blood Sugar In The Morning
Based on your glucose levels and trends, there are a few things you can do to manage your glucose levels so they dont run high in the morning. Some of these strategies focus on adjusting medications to better suit your needs. Other strategies include adjusting your exercise routine, as well as what and when you are eating before bed.
If your glucose levels are in range before bed, they may rise throughout the night without enough insulin. This can be especially true for people who take long-acting insulin in the morning, since it may be wearing off before your next dose.
Consider changing the time of day when you take your long-acting insulin. You may also benefit from switching to either twice-daily basal insulin or ultra-long-acting insulin, or from starting on an insulin pump. Read our article, Are You on the Right Kind of Insulin, to learn more.
Check your blood glucose during the night between 3 am and 8 am. If you are running high during these hours, you may be experiencing the dawn phenomenon.
Talk with your healthcare team about finding the best nighttime insulin regimen for you. If you take basal insulin, you may need to delay the timing of your dose to as close to bedtime as possible. Another option is to try an insulin pump or automated insulin delivery system. AID systems will automatically adjust your basal insulin doses throughout the night to help keep your glucose levels stable.
Understand Nutrition And Adjust Your Diet
What you choose to eat and drink can have a major impact on not only your waistline, mood, and well-being, but also on your blood sugar levels.
All macronutrients can affect your blood sugar to some degree so developing a good understanding of how they affect your blood sugar will enable you to be proactive and prevent blood sugar swings.
Carbohydrates have the greatest impact on your blood sugar, which is why many people with diabetes can benefit from following a low- to medium-carb diet . The fewer carbs you eat, the less insulin you need to take, which makes diabetes management easier.
However, you dont have to follow a low-carb diet if it doesnt work for you physically or mentally. As I wrote in my post about which diet is best for people with diabetes, it is very possible to have great blood sugar control on a medium carb diet, as long as you experiment, take notes, and learn to take the right amounts of insulin for the carbs you are eating.
It is very important to realize that we all react differently to carbs so you have to find the diet and foods that are right for you.
As an example, people react very differently to carbs like oats or sweet potato. Some people can eat oats with only a small increase in blood sugar while others see a quick spike. By simply knowing this, people struggling with a certain type of carb can choose to reduce their consumption or cut it out of their diet altogether.
Protein & fats
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Factors That Increase Your Risk Of Prediabetes
While mainstream media often depicts type 2 diabetes as the result of being overweight, not exercising, and eating unhealthy food, it is significantly more complex.
There are actually two pathways that lead to prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.
The first is basic insulin resistance, which means your body needs more and more insulin in order to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. At a certain point, the pancreas cant keep up with the demand, and blood sugars begin to rise.
The second is a genetic disposition that results in the gradual dysfunction and destruction of your pancreas beta-cells. Beta-cells play the leading role in insulin production, and many people with type 2 diabetes struggle to actually produce normal amounts of insulin.
Determining which group you are in isnt easy, or even possible for the average patient.
For patients in this second group, reversing diabetes isnt likely possible, but that doesnt mean you cant take steps towards improving your health isnt worthwhile.
The most important factors that increase your risk of prediabetes are:
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How To Lower Your A1c: The Complete Guide
We are always told that having a low A1c is an important goal in our diabetes management, but do you know why? Do you know what a good A1c target is, how to lower your A1c, and how quickly you can lower your A1c safely?
These are the questions I will answer in this comprehensive guide on what A1c is, how to lower your A1c, and why achieving a low A1c isnt the only goal when it comes to diabetes management.
/7how Diabetes Affects Different Parts Of The Body
Diabetes is a condition that needs to be managed on a daily basis. High blood sugar can often lead to increased thirst, the need to pee frequently, tiredness, blurred vision, and unintentional weight loss. Furthermore, uncontrolled blood sugar levels can also cause damage to tiny blood vessels in the body, which can make it difficult for blood to reach the organs. This in turn can be life-threatening. Having said that, one must keep an eye out for symptoms that may arise in different parts of the body.
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Diagnosing Prediabetes Type 2 And Type 1 Diabetes
Depending on which country or medical organization you ask, the qualifying numbers for normal versus prediabetes versus diagnosed type 1 or type 2 diabetes can vary slightly.
- HbA1c: 5.7 to 6.4 percent
- Fasting: 100 to 125 mg/dL
- 2 hours after a meal: 140 mg/dL to 199 mg/dL
Type 1 or 2 diabetes
- HbA1c: 6.5 percent or higher
- Fasting: 126 mg/dL or higher
- 2 hours after a meal: 200 mg/dL or higher
Please note:Type 1 diabetes tends to develop very quickly which means that by the time symptoms are felt, blood sugar levels are generally well above 200 mg/dL all the time. For many, symptoms come on so quickly that they are dismissed as the lingering flu or another seemingly ordinary virus.
By the time blood sugar levels are tested, many newly diagnosed type 1 patients will see levels above 400 mg/dL or higher. If you do suspect that you or a loved one has type 1 diabetes, visit your primary care or urgent care immediately and ask for a urine test to measure ketones in addition to testing blood sugar levels and A1c.
Read more about ketones at diagnosis in ourDiabetic Ketoacidosis Guide.
What Causes High Blood Sugar Levels In The Morning
Commonly known reasons why your blood sugar may be high in the morning include high-carb bedtime snacks and not enough diabetes medications.
Yet two lesser-known reasons may be causing your morning blood sugar woes: the dawn phenomenon and the Somogyi effect. These causes of high morning blood sugar levels are a result of body changes and reactions that happen while you are sleeping.
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