What Is The A1c Test
The A1C test is a simple blood test that measures your average blood sugar levels over the past 2 or 3 months. The test is done at a lab or your doctors office in addition tonot instead ofregular blood sugar testing you do yourself.
A1C testing is part of the ABCs of diabetesimportant steps you can take to prevent or delay health complications down the road:
- A: Get a regular A1C test.
- B: Try to keep your blood pressure below 140/90 mm Hg .
- C: Manage your cholesterol levels.
- s: Stop smoking or dont start.
The A1C goal for most adults with diabetes is between 7% and 8%, but your goal may be different depending on your age, other health conditions, medicines youre taking, and other factors. Work with your doctor to establish a personal A1C goal for you.
Living With Type 1 Diabetes:
Life with type 1 diabetes poses lifelong challenges for every member of the family.
People with type 1 diabetes should:
- Test blood glucose levels three or more times per day and adjust their insulin through injections or an insulin pump.
- Ensure insulin doses are balanced with food intake and level of daily activity. People with type 1 diabetes may experience low and high blood sugar levels, which should be carefully monitored and managed.
While living with type 1 diabetes requires a certain amount of daily structure, newer pumps and insulin products have provided more flexibility in the management of this condition.
A healthcare provider can provide advice to help properly manage blood glucose levels.
How Can I Lower My Morning Blood Sugar
How can high blood sugar levels in the morning be controlled?
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What Are Common Complications From Living With Diabetes
- Over time, diabetes can damage arteries, which may result in high blood pressure.
- If not controlled, this can lead to stroke, heart failure or heart attack.
- People with diabetes need to keep their blood pressure and cholesterol under control.
- Kidney damage can develop in some people with diabetes.
- If left untreated, this can lead to more severe kidney damage or kidney failure.
- If you have diabetes, you should have your kidney function tested regularly.
Did You Know?
A healthcare provider can help with monitoring blood glucose levels, as well as ensuring that necessary preventive care treatments and advice are received in a timely manner.
- Diabetic eye disease can lead to loss of vision and blindness.
- Regular eye exams can help find problems that can be treated if found early.
Lower Limb Amputation
- Over time, diabetes can damage sensory nerves, especially in the hands and feet.
- As a result, people with diabetes may not feel a foot injury, such as a blister or cut. Even a small injury, if left untreated, can quickly become infected. This can lead to serious complications such as amputation.
- People with diabetes should regularly check their feet and skin for ulcers and wounds .
Question: How Do I Know Which Foods Are Best For Me To Eat
Keep a food journal to track meals and snacks as well as post meal blood sugar levels. This can be an insightful tool to learn how different foods and different quantities of foods affect your blood sugar so that adjustments can be made at future meals or snacks. For example, you may notice that when you eat a meal rich in vegetables, you see healthier blood sugar results.
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Symptoms Of Low Blood Sugar Level
Hypoglycemia is a condition in which your blood sugar levels are too low. It can occur if you dont eat for a while or have diabetes and take too much insulin.
Symptoms of hypoglycemia can include:
- Having a fast heartbeat
If you have diabetes and think you might be experiencing hypoglycemia, its essential to check your blood sugar levels immediately. Furthermore, if theyre low, eat or drink something that will raise your blood sugar levels quickly, such as fruit juice, hard candy, crackers with peanut butter, or milk.
If an individual has diabetes, they need to keep their blood sugar levels. One can do this by managing their blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.
HealthifyMe can help you get started. Many people with type 2 diabetes have reversed their diabetes after losing just a few kilograms. These fantastic results show that, with the proper diet and lifestyle changes, its possible to manage diabetes within a few months. It is very inspiring! Book a consultation with an experienced HealthifyMe coach to learn more about your risk for diabetes.
HealthifyMe addresses the underlying issue. By examining your medical history, evaluating your medications, and analysing diagnostic test results, we get to the bottom of the problem and give you more insight into your situation.
When Things Go Awry
When we eat food, the pancreas goes to work, releasing enzymes that help to break down food and hormones that help the body handle the influx of glucose. One of these hormones is insulin, and it plays a key role in managing glucose levels in the blood.
And here is where things can go wrong. If the pancreas doesnt make enough insulin or stops making it altogether, in the case of type 1 diabetes glucose levels in the blood can rise too high. Another scenario is that the pancreas makes enough insulin but the cells have trouble using it properly, causing blood glucose levels to rise. This is called insulin resistance and is the hallmark of type 2 diabetes.
In the short term, high blood glucose levels can make you feel downright bad. Thirst, frequent trips to the bathroom, fatigue, and weight loss are all symptoms of high blood glucose . If not treated, more serious issues can occur, such as diabetic ketoacidosis . Chronic high blood glucose levels can lead to complications such as heart, kidney and eye disease, as well as nerve damage. So, its all about the blood glucose.
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Consequences Of Blood Sugar Levels
Whilst most symptoms of low and high blood sugar levels are mild, they can worsen if left untreated and sometimes have long term consequences and/or complications. Overtime, a high blood sugar level is what can cause consequences. Lack of treatment can cause severe damage to the blood vessels and lead to complications such as:
- Damage to the eyes and/or loss of vision
- Nerve problems in the feet leading to infections
To avoid long term consequences and complications, it is advised to take all precautionary measures and treat your blood sugar level so that it can be maintained at your ideal reading. So do so, follow all treatment methods, stay on track with checking your level daily and seeking help if symptoms persist.
If you have any more questions, here are a few of the most frequently asked questions which may answer your concerns:
Symptoms Of Blood Blood Sugar Levels
Symptoms of blood sugar levels differ depending on if it is high or low. To determine which way the blood sugar have moved, the symptoms for each are typically:
|High Blood Sugar Symptoms|
|Slow healing wounds||Turning pale|
If symptoms are left untreated, more extreme circumstances can happen such as fainting, weakness, disorientation, vomiting and dehydration. When you notice symptoms, usually more than one at one time, it is advised to see a doctor right away.
It is important to get the right treatment so that you can return to a healthy normal blood sugar level and inhibit it from occurring again.
Treatment methods vary from the severity of the blood sugar level, whether it is high or low and if the patient has existing medical conditions, such as diabetes. Here are ways in which blood sugar levels can be treated:
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What Does The A1c Test Measure
When sugar enters your bloodstream, it attaches to hemoglobin, a protein in your red blood cells. Everybody has some sugar attached to their hemoglobin, but people with higher blood sugar levels have more. The A1C test measures the percentage of your red blood cells that have sugar-coated hemoglobin.
Diabetes Tracking And Treatment
- Follow your diabetes treatment plan: Understand the treatment plan before leaving the healthcare providers office and discuss barriers that could prevent you from following the program. Attend all follow-up visits.
- Consistently take prescribed medications: If a healthcare provider has prescribed medications to reduce blood sugar levels, take them regularly. Some people only take medication when they arent feeling well, but these medications dont work unless taken consistently.
- Monitor and track blood sugar: Regular blood sugar monitoring is the most important step in diabetes management, according to the CDC. Healthcare providers can inform patients of different types of meters and help patients find the best one for them. Providers can also tell patients how often to check their blood sugar and what their target blood sugar range is.Keep a log of your blood sugar levels to look for patterns and triggers for blood sugar spikes and lows. If you wear a continuous glucose monitor, you can use the data. Learning what causes blood sugar to rise or decrease can help you create a plan to keep it consistent.
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How Does Haemoglobin A1c Return An Accurate Average Measurement Of Average Blood Glucose
When the body processes sugar, glucose in the bloodstream naturally attaches to haemoglobin.
The amount of glucose that combines with this protein is directly proportional to the total amount of sugar that is in your system at that time.
Because red blood cells in the human body survive for 8-12 weeks before renewal, measuring glycated haemoglobin can be used to reflect average blood glucose levels over that duration, providing a useful longer-term gauge of blood glucose control.
If your blood sugar levels have been high in recent weeks, your HbA1c will also be greater.
What Are Considered Normal Blood Sugar Levels
You might not have diabetes now, but do you know the risk factors?
In 2015, 22% of Canadian adults were pre-diabetic and the number of Canadians suffering from diabetes has increased by 44% in the last 10 years. As the leading cause of blindness, kidney problems, and non-trauma amputations, it is important to protect ourselves against diabetes.
But its not all bad news, diabetes is often a preventable disease. Knowing whether you have normal blood sugar levels is one of the best indicators of risk. If your blood sugar levels are high, mindful eating and lifestyle changes can reduce your risk of developing diabetes.
Read on for all the hottest tips on how to manage your blood sugar levels and prevent diabetes.
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Sugar Starch And Fiber Are All Carbs
Carbohydrates come in three forms: sugar, starch, and fiber. Getting the right balance of sugars, starches, and fiber is key to keeping blood sugars in a healthy range. It helps to know that:
- Added sugars raise the blood sugar quickly. Foods with added sugar make blood sugars spike. You might see sugar, corn syrup, dextrose, sucrose, or fructose listed on the food label. Foods that naturally contain sugar dont cause blood sugar to rise as quickly as added sugars and are more nutritious.
- Some starches raise the blood sugar slowly. In general, starches that are less processed tend to raise the blood sugar more slowly. These include foods like brown rice, lentils, and oatmeal. Foods that are processed a lot, like white rice and white bread, raise the blood sugar quickly.
- Fiber helps slow down sugar absorption. A diet with plenty of fiber can help people with diabetes keep blood sugar levels in a healthy range. The fiber in foods helps carbs break into sugar slower. So thereâs less of a peak when blood sugar spikes. Good sources are whole fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, and whole grains. Fiber also helps you feel full, and it keeps the digestive system running smoothly.
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The Standard Possible Results
- Prediabetes: FPG â¥ 100 mg/dl, but < 126 mg/dl
- Diabetes: FPG â¥ 126 mg/dl
You also need to be fasting for an OGTT, and you will need to set aside extra time. You should also check with your lab to see if you need an appointment. In an OGTT, you drink a solution with 75 grams of sugar â for context, that is the amount in 2 cans of soda. Your blood will be drawn two hours later to assess prediabetes.
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Language Matters In Diabetes
Words make a difference when youre talking about diabetes. Thats especially true in the context of blood sugar levels and how someone manages their health.
Here are some suggestions on language choices when talking with someone about their blood sugars and glucose levels.
- Try to avoid using terms like good or bad for higher or lower blood sugars.
- Instead, try to not tie value judgments to these numbers. Think about them as just numbers, in range or not, and pieces of data to help make a decision in diabetes care. Sometimes glucose numbers are too low or too high, and its helpful for the person with diabetes to understand why those glucose fluctuations are happening.
How Precise Is The A1c Test
When repeated, the A1C test result can be slightly higher or lower than the first measurement. This means, for example, an A1C reported as 6.8 percent on one test could be reported in a range from 6.4 to 7.2 percent on a repeat test from the same blood sample.3 In the past, this range was larger but new, stricter quality-control standards mean more precise A1C test results.
Health care professionals can visit www.ngsp.org to find information about the precision of the A1C test used by their lab.
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What Are The Symptoms Of High Blood Sugar
The symptoms of high blood sugar can vary depending on severity.
Early signs and symptoms of high blood sugar
When your blood sugar is around 200 mg/dL, but not yet dangerously high, you may experience the following symptoms:
- Increased thirst
- Shortness of breath
If you are experiencing any of the later-stage symptoms of high blood sugar, seek immediate medical attention.
Recommended Target Blood Glucose Level Ranges
The NICE recommended target blood glucose levels are stated below for adults with type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes and children with type 1 diabetes.
In addition, the International Diabetes Federations target ranges for people without diabetes is stated.
The table provides general guidance. An individual target set by your healthcare team is the one you should aim for.
|Target Levels by Type|
*The non-diabetic figures are provided for information but are not part of NICE guidelines.
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What Is Borderline Diabetes
Some people use the term borderline diabetes to refer to prediabetes. Prediabetes is a term used by medical professionals and is a condition that may occur before a person develops type 2 diabetes.
Also known as impaired fasting glucose or glucose intolerance, prediabetes occurs when your blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but theyre not quite high enough to be considered a sign of diabetes.
During the prediabetes phase, your pancreas still produces enough insulin in response to ingested carbohydrates. But the insulin is less effective at removing the sugar from the bloodstream, so your blood sugar remains high. This condition is called insulin resistance.
If you have prediabetes, you should know youre not alone. In 2019, it was estimated that 96 million adults in the United States were diagnosed with prediabetes, which translates to around 1 in 3 adults.
Having prediabetes doesnt mean youll definitely develop diabetes. But its important to make changes to your diet and lifestyle to prevent the condition from progressing.
In fact, its estimated that between 15% to 30% of people with prediabetes will develop diabetes within the next 3-5 years if no lifestyle changes are made.
Someone with insulin resistance in its early stages can develop type 2 diabetes if it continues long enough.
But prediabetes doesnt usually cause any symptoms and only
With modest weight loss and exercise, study participants reduced their risk of developing diabetes by 58% over 3 years.
What Levels Of Blood Sugar Are Dangerous
If you live with diabetes, you probably know that life with the condition is similar to walking on a tightrope.
Staying in range without too many high and low blood sugars is a constant balancing act.
But what levels of blood sugar are actually considered dangerous?
This article will explore the issue and provide advice for how you can help manage both the highs and lows of diabetes, literally!
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