What Are Foods I Can Eat To Lower My Number
- Monitoring your carbohydrate intake is essential to lowering blood glucose levels and therefore A1C levels. The foods you eat can have a direct impact on your blood glucose. Carbohydrate examples include potatoes, rice, bread, fruit, milk,and other starchy foods. When too many carbs are eaten, the blood sugar may rise too high. Frequent blood sugar spikes will be reflected as a high A1C level.
- Lower carb recipes and diabetes friendly meals will help lower blood sugar levels and therefore be reflected as a lower A1C level. Be careful of hidden sources of carbohydrate. These include breading on meat, sauces, and low fat dressings.
- Label reading is important when grocery shopping. Check the total carbohydrates on the label in order to stay in your ideal carbohydrate range. Try to focus on measuring carbs and eating non-starchy vegetables, lean meats and unsaturated fats. Eating 3 medium size meals each day and 1-2 snacks will also help stabilize blood sugar.
- Be sure to ask your health care provider for individualized advice regarding any changes you would like to make in your eating habits including cooking tips, lower carb snacks and eating out with diabetes. Planning ahead will increase your chances of success regarding your diet and will help you include diabetes friendly comfort foods.
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What Is The A1c Test
The A1C test is a blood test that provides information about your average levels of blood glucose, also called blood sugar, over the past 3 months. The A1C test can be used to diagnose type 2 diabetes and prediabetes.1 The A1C test is also the primary test used for diabetes management.
The A1C test is sometimes called the hemoglobin A1C, HbA1c, glycated hemoglobin, or glycohemoglobin test. Hemoglobin is the part of a red blood cell that carries oxygen to the cells. Glucose attaches to or binds with hemoglobin in your blood cells, and the A1C test is based on this attachment of glucose to hemoglobin.
The higher the glucose level in your bloodstream, the more glucose will attach to the hemoglobin. The A1C test measures the amount of hemoglobin with attached glucose and reflects your average blood glucose levels over the past 3 months.
The A1C test result is reported as a percentage. The higher the percentage, the higher your blood glucose levels have been. A normal A1C level is below 5.7 percent.
What Changes They Have Made To The A1c Guidelines
For most adults, the American Diabetes Association currently recommends an A1C of less than 7%, a TIR of over 70%, and a time below the range of less than 4%. In past years, the Standards of Care contained an A1C Testing section that advised diabetics to test their A1C two to four times a year with an A1C target of less than 7%.
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What Is Hb A1c Test
The HbA1c test, or the glycated haemoglobin A1c test, is a blood test that can be taken at any time as you dont need to fast before taking the test. It indicates what your average blood glucose levels are over the past 3 months, by measuring the percentage of blood glucose that has attached to haemoglobin. Haemoglobin is the oxygen carrying protein found in red blood cells.
It is normal for all people to have some glucose attached to haemoglobin. In people with diabetes, the higher the blood glucose levels are, the more glucose you have attached to haemoglobin. A HbA1c level of 6.5% or higher, on two separate tests, can indicate that you have diabetes. Whereas a HbA1c level between 5.7 and 6.4% can indicate prediabetes. Levels below 5.7% are considered normal. In other words, higher A1c percentages indicate an increased risk of diabetes.
The HbA1c test should not be used alone to diagnose diabetes. It should be used in combination with other blood glucose tests.
Blood Glucose Conversion Tables
Millimoles per liter or milligrams per deciliter? There are two different ways of measuring blood glucose levels: It can either be in terms of a molar concentration, measured in mmol/L or a mass concentration, measured in mg/dL. Most blood glucose meters are prefixed to measure in one or the other. This avoids accidental switching which could be fatal. However, you still have to be aware of the different measurement units: If information are listed in the units your meter does not support, you need to convert the values. mg/dL 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 65 70 75 80 85 90 mmol/L 0.6 0.8 1.1 1.4 1.7 1.9 2.2 2.5 2.8 3.1 3.3 3.6 3.9 4.2 4.4 4.7 5.0 mg/dl 95 100 110 120 130 140 150 160 170 180 190 200 210 220 230 240 250 mmol/L 5.3 5.6 6.1 6.7 7.2 7.8 8.3 8.9 9.4 10.0 10.5 11.1 11.7 12.2 12.8 13.3 13.9 mg/dL 260 270 280 290 300 325 350 375 400 425 450 475 500 525 550 575 600 mmol/L 14.4 15.0 15.5 16.1 16.7 18.0 19.4 20.8 22.2 23.6 25.0 26.4 27.8 29.1 30.5 31.9 33.3 mmol/L in mg/dL, conversion factor: 1 mmol/L = 18,018 mg/dL mmol/L 0.6 0.8 1 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.8 2 2.2 2.4 2.6 2.8 3 3.3 3.6 4 4.5 mg/dL 11 14 18 22 25 29 32 36 40 43 47 50 54 59 65 72 81 mmol/L 5 5.5 6 6.5 7 7.5 8 8.5 9 9.5 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 mg/dL 90 99 108 117 126 135 144 153 162 171 180 198 216 234 252 270 288 mmol/L 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 mg/dL 306 324 342 360 378 396 414 432 450 468 486 505 523 541 559 577 595 Hightlight productContinue reading > >
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High Risk For Hypoglycemia Or Presence Of Hypoglycemia Unawareness
Noninsulin-dependent medications such as metformin, SGLT2 inhibitors, GLP-1 receptor agonists, or DPP-4 inhibitors are preferred for patients who are prone to hypoglycemia or have hypoglycemia unawareness. Insulin secretagogues should be avoided. If insulin is needed, levemir and degludec have a lower incidence of hypoglycemia than glargine or NPH .
Small Changes In Temperature Equipment Or Sample Handling
Even when the same blood sample is repeatedly measured in the same lab, the results may vary because of small changes in temperature, equipment, or sample handling. These factors tend to affect glucose measurementsfasting and OGTTmore than the A1C test.
Health care professionals understand these variations and repeat lab tests for confirmation. Diabetes develops over time, so even with variations in test results, health care professionals can tell when overall blood glucose levels are becoming too high.
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What Is A High A1c
A1C results show the percent of glucose and hemoglobin bound together in your bloodstream. For example, a 5% A1C indicates five out of every 100 hemoglobins are glycated. The higher your A1C, the greater the risk of developing complications.
The A1C ranges for normal, prediabetes, and diabetes are:
- Normal: Less than 5.7%
- Prediabetes: 5.7% to 6.4%
- Diabetes: 6.5% or higher
Talk to your healthcare provider if your A1C is in the prediabetic range. Prediabetes is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes. A diet change, increased activity, and moderate weight loss can help improve blood sugar control to prevent diabetes.
Setting And Modifying A1c Goals
Numerous factors must be considered when setting glycemic targets. The ADA proposes general targets appropriate for many patients but emphasizes the importance of individualization based on key patient characteristics. Glycemic targets must be individualized in the context of shared decision making to address the needs and preferences of each patient and the individual characteristics that influence risks and benefits of therapy for each patient.
The factors to consider in individualizing goals are depicted in . is not designed to be applied rigidly but to be used as a broad construct to guide clinical decision making in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. More stringent control may be recommended if it can be achieved safely and with acceptable burden of therapy and if life expectancy is sufficient to reap benefits of tight control. Less stringent control may be recommended if the life expectancy of the patient is such that the benefits of an intensive goal may not be realized, or if the risks and burdens outweigh the potential benefits. Severe or frequent hypoglycemia is an absolute indication for the modification of treatment regimens, including setting higher glycemic goals.
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How Often Do You Measure A1c
Your doctor will want to see what your A1C results is 2-4 times a year, and will typically order this lab with other important labs when its time for your blood draw. You can buy at home A1c test kits at your local pharmacy for approximately $20-$40. The kits in this price range usually include 2 tests and you can see the results in about 5 minutes. It is possible to see a significant change in your A1C in a one month time period, but the test typically isnt done too often because red blood cells only turnover about every 120 days. On the plus side, if you have made some changes in the month prior to going to visit your doctor, those positive changes in the last 30 days are going to make more of an impact on your result than what you did 2 months ago.
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What Is The Cost Benefit Of Lowering A1c
Recently the ADA published analysis diabetes costs. They showed total estimated costs of $327 billion with $237 billion on direct costs and $90 billion in indirect costs.5Economic costs of diabetes continues to rise.
Data from numerous studies show that better A1C results in lower total healthcare costs.6 A study using claims data from a large health maintenance organization showed that the group of mainly type 2 patients whose A1C was lowered by 1% experienced lower total health care costs in the range of $685 to $950 less per year compared to people who had no A1C improvement.
Another analysis from a large managed care organization showed that total diabetes-related costs for people whose A1C was greater than 7% was $1,540 per patient during the 1-year follow-up. This was 32% higher than the total diabetes-related costs for people whose A1C was at or below 7%.
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What Does This Mean For People Wondering About Their Diabetes Risk
For individuals who havent received a diagnosis of diabetes, Dr. Villacreses says, one important lesson from these fidings is that you should not feel 100% reassured if your A1c number is less than 6.5% that you are do not have diabetes. A test result that is greater than 6.4% defines the beginning of diabetes, so you may have prediabetes or have already progressed to type 2 diabetes.
The sooner you receive a diagnosis regarding your diabetes status, the earlier treatment can begin. This is important because by understanding your risks, and making the necessary lifestyle changes, you can prevent prediabetes from progressing or even reverse the type 2 diabetes.
In addition, she says, patients should feel comfortable asking their doctor about the choice of tests and indicate your desire to skip the A1c, and have one of the other more reliable screening methods, while more time consuming, to determine if you are at risk for pre-diabetes or diabetes.
Dr. Villacreses has received research funding and speaking fees from a variety of pharmaceutical companies but none that pose a conflict in this research. Dr. Christofides has no relevant financial disclosures.
What Are Some Top Tips For Lowering A1c
Your A1C score is a helpful tool, Dodell says, but it is not the only indicator of how healthy you are.
For example, you could hit your A1C goal but still have wide fluctuations in your blood sugar levels, which is more common among people who take insulin. Youll need to bring these day-to-day fluctuations under control, since they can lower your quality of life and increase your risk of complications, he says.
Think of your diabetes as you would a job, Dodell says. It takes work, but the time and effort you put into it can result in good control and an improved quality of life. The key to reaching your A1C goal is trying to follow a healthy lifestyle, he says.
Making these changes can help you improve your day-to-day blood sugar management and lower your A1C.
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Start An Exercise Plan You Enjoy And Do It Regularly
Find something you enjoy doing that gets your body moving take your dog for a walk, play a sport with a friend, or ride a stationary bike indoors or a regular bike outdoors.
A good goal is to get 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, recommends Jordana Turkel, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator at Park Avenue Endocrinology and Nutrition in New York City. This is also what the ADA recommends. Different types of exercise can lower your A1C by making the body more sensitive to insulin, Turkel says. She encourages her patients not to go more than two days in a row without exercising, and to aim for two days of strength training.
Be sure to check with your healthcare provider before embarking on an exercise plan, though. He or she can come up with an individualized plan for you.
And if you monitor your blood sugar daily, check it before and after exercise. As the Joslin Diabetes Center at Harvard Medical School explains, exercise can cause your blood sugar to rise, as more is released from the liver, and blood sugar to fall, due to increase insulin sensitivity. Fluctuations in your blood sugar levels can result if you arent careful. This is particularly important if you are on insulin or another diabetes medication that causes insulin secretion, such as include sulfonylureas, such as Amaryl , and glinides, such as Prandin and Starlix .
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How Often Do You Need The Test
Your doctor probably will have you take the A1c test as soon as youâre diagnosed with diabetes. Youâll also have the test if your doctor thinks you may get diabetes. The test will set a baseline level so you can see how well youâre controlling your blood sugar.
How often youâll need the test after that depends on several things, like:
- The type of diabetes you have
- Your blood sugar control
- Your treatment plan
Youâll probably get tested once a year if you have prediabetes, which means you have a strong chance of developing diabetes.
You may get tested twice each year if you have type 2 diabetes, you don’t use insulin, and your blood sugar level is usually in your target range.
You could get it three or four times each year if you have type 1 diabetes.
You may also need the test more often if your diabetes plan changes or if you start a new medicine.
Itâs not a fasting test. You can take it any time of day, before or after eating.
People with diseases affecting hemoglobin, such as anemia, may get misleading results with this test. Other things that can affect the results of the hemoglobin A1c include supplements, such as vitamins C and E, and high cholesterol levels. Kidney disease and liver disease may also affect the test.
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What Can I Learn From Converting My Hba1c To Average Blood Glucose Level
Converting your lab test HbA1c to average blood glucose level can be useful to compare your own average blood glucose results.
If, for example, your own average blood glucose results are lower than the average provided by the calculator, this suggests you may not be testing during periods of the day when your blood glucose levels are higher, which could include after meals.
You may therefore wish to carry out more blood glucose testing at different times of day to see if you are experiencing high results that you may not otherwise be aware of.
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What Does A1c Measure
You may be wondering what makes this test different, especially if you already check your blood sugar multiple times a day. The A1C test goes by a few names, including glycosylated hemoglobin, glycated hemoglobin, or hemoglobin A1C . All of these names hint at what is being measured the amount of sugar attached to hemoglobin.
Hemoglobin is a protein found inside red blood cells, and its job is to carry oxygen to the lungs and all of the cells in your body. Glucose enters your blood stream and sticks, or glycates, with the hemoglobin. The higher your blood glucose, the more sugar-coated or glycated the hemoglobin becomes.
Since the lifecycle of a red blood cell is about four months, the A1C percentage reflects average blood sugar levels detected on hemoglobin cells of varying ages days, weeks, or months old. If your blood glucose control has generally been steady, your hemoglobin cells will not be highly sugar-coated, or glycated, leading to a lower A1C value.
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Risks Of Chronic High Blood Glucose Level
You already know how to calculate A1c levels, but what should you do with the result? If your level is less than 5.7% – congratulations – this is a normal A1c level, and you have nothing to worry about. Maintain your healthy habits and keep your blood sugar level low.
If you drifted into the prediabetes group – that’s a red flag. You’re at a high risk of diabetes, but there is still hope. Check out the How to lower A1c? section for some hints. Do not neglect this result, as chronic high blood sugar levels can lead to severe consequences, including:
- Increased risk of cardiovascular diseases – myocardial infarction or brain stroke
- Problems getting pregnant
- Diabetic foot, potentially leading to amputation!
If your A1c level is equal to or higher than 6.5%, you may be diagnosed as diabetic. If this is your result, book an appointment with your doctor immediately!