What To Do If Your A1c Is 59
An A1c of 5.9 falls into the prediabetic range between 5.7 and 6.4. People with prediabetes are likely to get type 2 diabetes within 10 years unless they make serious changes to their lifestyle.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. Type 2 means that your body still produces insulin but isnt using it properly. Many people can control their blood sugar levels with lifestyle changes while others may need insulin or other medications to manage it.
Keep an eye on your blood sugar by testing at home. Its easier than ever and there are a variety of affordable blood glucose monitors available.
A prediabetes A1c reading is a call to action. At a minimum youll need to make some lifestyle changes. You and your doctor can discuss whether medication is necessary.
How Often Do You Need To Take An A1c Test
If your blood sugar levels have remained stable and your A1C is within your target range, the American Diabetes Association recommends getting the test two times a year. If your therapy has changed or you are not meeting your blood sugar targets, the ADA recommends getting the test four times per year. This simple blood draw can be done in your doctors office.
The A1C test results provide insight into how your treatment plan is working and how it might be modified to better control the condition. Often, your blood sample is sent out to a lab, though some doctors can use a point-of-care A1C test, where a finger stick can be done in the office, with results available in about 10 minutes.
While in-office tests can be used to monitor the disease, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases notes that most point-of-care tests should not be used for diagnosis. That can only be done by lab tests certified by the NGSP, an organization that standardizes A1C test results. Any in-office test results pointing to a change in your health should be confirmed by conventional lab tests.
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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What Is A Good A1c Level
According to the CDC, a normal A1C level is below 5.7, a level of 5.7 to 6.4 indicates prediabetes, and a level of 6.5 or higher would indicate diabetes.
Within the 5.7 to 6.4 prediabetes range, the risk for developing type 2 diabetes goes up each time the number increases.
While levels below 4.0 are theoretically possible, they aren’t common. Similarly, it would be extremely rare to have an A1C over 15.0.
What Does The A1c Test Mean
The glucose in our blood sticks to protein or red blood cells to form hemoglobin A1C. These red blood cells are alive and function for 3 months before they die. Therefore, doctors recommend an A1C test to see how much sugar has been bounded for over the last 3 months. Haemoglobin AIC shows the sugar or glucose blood concentration. Higher sugar concentration, higher levels of A1C test, and low sugar concentration in the blood mean a low level of hemoglobin A1C test results.
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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.
High Levels Of Hemoglobin:
A high level of hemoglobin A1C can be because of several factors such as:
- Uraemia is a kidney disease where blood causes a high level of urea this giving false elevated levels of hemoglobin.
- Certain long-term use of medications can also cause high levels of hemoglobin .
- High levels of triglycerides Thyroid diseases.
- Polycythaemia: a bone marrow disorder
To view the list of factors that may cause a high or low A1C result, please click here.
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What Is Hemoglobin And A1c Test
Hemoglobin is a protein in our red blood cell that carries an important component for our survival: oxygen to the rest of the body making hemoglobin an essential aspect of our blood. And this gives the blood its red color.
The hemoglobin A1C test conducted tells the average levels of blood sugar level for the last 3 months. People who suffer from diabetes are prescribed to undergo this test to see their range of blood sugar levels.
Overnight Spiced Peanut Butter Oatmeal
The oatmeal, peanut butter, apple, and milk in this breakfast deliver a balance of fiber, healthy fat, and protein. Make this recipe the night before and enjoy your breakfast no matter how hectic your morning might be!
Variations: Try this recipe with almond butter instead of peanut butter, and any kind of fruit that you like to mix it up.
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What Does A Value Of A1c 59 Mean
This test may be used to diagnose diabetes, but it is better for monitoring the disease progress. It is also better for tracking the effectiveness of lifestyle intervention. After all, it shows the average of last two to three months.
For a person not living with diabetes, 4% to 5.6% A1c is a normal range. Values between 5.7% and 6.4% indicated prediabetes. In contrast, any value above 6.5% confirms the diagnosis of diabetes. Thus, for a person not diagnosed with diabetes earlier, an A1c of 5.9 may indicate prediabetes.
However, these results would be interpreted quite differently for those living with diabetes. For most people with diabetes, the target of the therapy is to achieve an A1c of 6.5% or lower. Thus, A1c of 5.9 may indicate excellent results. In addition, it shows that the therapy or lifestyle interventions are highly successful in an individual. It is vital to know that those living with diabetes should always agree on the A1c target with the treating doctor. For most young adults with diabetes, the recommended target is 6.5%. However, for older adults, even a higher target of A1c 7% is quite acceptable.
Family History Of Type 2 Diabetes
Prediabetes has a hereditary factor. If someone in your immediate family has T2Dor has had T2D in the pastyou are more likely to develop prediabetes and type 2 diabetes yourself.
Your race and ethnicity also affect your likelihood of developing prediabetes. There is a genetic component, but research has shown that racial disparities in who develops diabetes have more to do with socio-economic status and the accessibility of health care and healthy food in your community than your genes.
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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.
Eat A Balanced Diet With Proper Portion Sizes
Its best to check with a CDCES or registered dietitian/nutritionist to determine what a balanced diet and appropriate portion sizes mean for you. But a great rule of thumb is to fill half of your plate with veggies, a quarter with protein, and a quarter with whole grains, says Turkel. If you like fruit, limit your portion to a small cup, eaten with a little protein or lean fat to help you digest the carbohydrates in a way that is less likely to spike your blood sugar.
Also, avoid processed foods as much as possible, and try to avoid sugary sodas and fruit juice, which are high in carbs and calories, and thus can lead to spikes in blood sugar and contribute to weight gain, according to the ADA.
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A Standard Blood Glucose Test
This requires you to fast before a blood test, so your PCP or endocrinologist can check the level of glucose in your bloodstream at any given time.
Ideally, fasting glucose levels should be 99 mg/dL or lower. If your fasting blood glucose levels are between 100 and 125mg/dL, it could be considered prediabetes, says Martha McKittrick RD.
I like to have people get a second test done, to make sure its accurate, she says.
A reading higher than 126 mg/dL indicates diabetes.
Symptoms Of Low Blood Sugar
- Weight fluctuations
If your blood sugar is too low, the best thing to do is to eat a balanced meal based on the data youve collected since you started tracking your blood sugar after eating.
If you dont have enough data just yet, start with something thats moderate in carbohydrate and also contains some protein and healthy fats. An apple with some nut butter is a good option, as is meat or seafood with some vegetables cooked in olive oil.
Clearly, theres a huge range in the effects different types of food have on your blood sugar.
Thats why tracking your blood sugar 1 hour after eating and your blood sugar 3 hours after eating over a few weeks can be such a valuable tool.
When youre learning how to improve your blood test results and optimize your long term health and longevity, you must have data as the foundation.
Your blood sugar is one of the fundamental indicators of your current and future health, and if you focus on this one metric alone, all the other biomarkers in your annual labs are likely to improve as well.
Ready to get to work on improving your own blood sugar levels? Interested with working with an online functional medicine doctor? The Mini Health Review as an easy first step to getting started: .
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Check Your Blood Sugar Levels As Your Doctor Has Directed
Work with your doctor to determine if you should check your blood sugar and how often. You may be tempted to pick up an A1C home testing kit, but Dodell says having your A1C checked by your doctor every three to six months is sufficient. A better idea is to use a continuous glucose monitor. He recommends checking your time in range to see if you are at the optimal level. For many people that is 70 to 180 milligrams per deciliter , according to ADA guidelines.
Understanding your A1C levels is an important part of your overall diabetes management. If you have any questions about your A1C or what it means, dont hesitate to ask your doctor.
Additional reporting by Mikel Theobald
What Causes Prediabetes
is a hormone made by your that helps your body convert glucose into fuel. When you eat a meal, the carbohydrates in your food are converted into glucose, otherwise known as blood sugar.
That glucose stays in your bloodstream until your pancreas releases insulin. The insulin acts like a key that opens your cells to allow the glucose to enter, where its then used to fuel your body.
Without insulin or when insulin is not working effectively, that glucose stays stuck in your bloodstream and accumulates, causing your blood sugar to rise.
During, your pancreas can still produce insulin, but that insulin gradually becomes less effective at helping the glucose into your cells.
Prediabetes is an indicator that your body is beginning to stop using insulin as efficiently as it should. In other words, your body is starting to become resistant to insulin.
When your body resists insulin, the glucose levels in your blood rise, which is how you develop prediabetes and, if that process is not stopped and allowed to progress, type 2 diabetes.
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Can Your A1c Be Too Low
As described above, the answer to this question depends almost entirely on how often you experience hypoglycemia . If you never experience hypoglycemia, your A1c technically cannot be too low. Some people achieve A1c levels below 5% by following a very strict diabetes management and diet regimen and have almost no blood sugar fluctuations.
HOWEVER, if you often experience hypoglycemia, that will result in an artificial low A1c reading because your hypoglycemia events are lowering your blood sugar average. In that case, focusing on increasing time-in-range is much more important than further lowering your A1c. In fact, you may even benefit from a slightly higher A1c with fewer blood sugar fluctuations.
Its also important to note that lowering your A1c below the recommended range of 6-7% hasnt been proven to provide any health benefits. Therefore, a very low A1c shouldnt be a goal in itself.
Setting Your Goal Regarding The A1c Test Levels:
According to the American diabetes association, an A1C level below 7.0% is considered good control. At the same time, a goal of 6.5 % A1C level is recommended by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists.
According to the American diabetes association, if you reduce your hemoglobin A1C level by 1%, you would have decreased your molecular vascular complication by 10% even though you have not reached your goal.
To see information regarding your A1C level goal, please click here.
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Symptoms Of High Blood Sugar :
- Feeling fatigued and sleepy, especially after meals
- Poor brain function and focus
- Increased thirst
- Weight fluctuations
But what does it mean if you eat something clearly unhealthy, like a candy bar or burger, and your blood sugar does not elevate over the 120 mg/dL mark?
This means your body is adapting to the rise in blood sugar very well!
This is a good thing. You have a very healthy body. However, if you continue to eat processed foods high in starch and sugars, over time your body will slowly lose this ability to adapt. This is not a good practice.
Want to know some foods that commonly convert quickly to sugar and cause a rapid high spike in blood sugar?
- White foods: white rice, white potato, all forms of sugar
- Refined grains: bread, pasta, crackers, baked goods, cereals, chips
- Candy and sweets
- Soda, juice, sweetened drinks
Consumption of processed sugar increases your risk for many chronic diseases including obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease .
If your blood sugar is too high, or if youre simply experiencing some of the symptoms of high blood sugar after eating, the best thing you can do is to exercise. Exercise clears sugar from the blood so that it can be used as a fuel source for your muscles.
If your test results are consistently outside the healthy range, heres what you do:
Need a blood test to check your blood sugar related biomarkers? if you are in the US, to order your own blood test.
What Are The Treatments For Prediabetes
If you catch it early, prediabetes can usually be reversed with diet and exercise. Depending on how high your blood sugar is when youre first diagnosed, your doctor might elect to put you on one medication or a combination in order to get your glucose back down to a healthy level.
Going on medication for prediabetes treatment is not cut and dry, Antonucci says. Your blood sugar levels, A1C, medical history, and other complications might put you in a situation where medication should be added to your treatment plan to avoid type 2 its case by case, so work with your doctor to arrive at the best treatment for you.
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