Ultimate Guide To The A1c Test: Everything You Need To Know
The A1C is a blood test that gives us an estimated average of what your blood sugar has been over the past 2-3 months. The A1c goes by several different names, such aswa Hemoglobin A1C, HbA1C, Hb1C, A1C, glycated hemoglobin, glycohemoglobin and estimated glucose average. What is Hemoglobin? Hemoglobin is a protein in your blood cells that carries oxygen. When sugar is in the blood, and it hangs around for a while, it starts to attach to the red blood cells. The A1C test is a measurement of how many red blood cells have sugar attached. So, if your A1C result is 7%, that means that 7% of your red blood cells have sugar attached to them. What are the Symptoms of a High A1C Test Level? Sometimes there are NO symptoms! That is probably one of the scariest things about diabetes, your sugar can be high for a while and you may not even know it. When your blood sugar goes high and stays high for longer periods of time you may notice the following: tired, low energy, particularly after meals feel very thirsty you may be peeing more than normal, waking a lot in the middle of the night to go dry, itchy skin unexplained weight loss crave sugar, hungrier than normal blurred vision, may feel like you need new glasses tingling in feet or hands cuts or sores take a long time to heal or don’t heal well at all frequent infections (urinary tract, yeast infections, etc.) When your blood sugar is high, this means the energy that you are giving your body isn’t getting into the cells. Think about a car that has a gas leak. You put gas in, but if the gas can’t get to the engine, the car will not go. When you eat, some of the food is broken down into sugar and goes into your bloodstream. If your body can’t get the sugar to the cells, then your body can’t “go.” Some of the sugar tha Continue reading >>
Diabetes And Alcohol
Tweet There is no need for people with diabetes to give up alcohol simply because of their diabetes. Although alcohol does have an effect on blood sugar levels, with a few precautions and careful management, people with diabetes can also enjoy a drink. There are also alcohol substitutes for those who abstain. In fact, diabetes alcohol guidelines are the same as for the general population. Read about alcohol's effect on blood sugar What are the recommended alcohol guidelines for people with diabetes? The guidelines are two units for women and three units for men. However, it is worth being aware how many units a drink contains. In some cases, a glass of wine will constitute two units, and a pint of beer can even reach three units. How much alcohol do drinks usually contain? If you have diabetes and are wondering how much alcohol you should drink, it is worth reading the following list to see how much alcohol is contained in each type of drink. One unit (approximate measure): 1/2 pint of standard strength beer, lager or cider 1 pub shot/optic/measure (50ml) of sherry or vermouth 1 pub shot/optic/measure of spirit (25 ml), eg gin, vodka or whisky. So if I have diabetes I can drink as usual? Not quite. People with diabetes need to be extra careful with alcohol. Alcohol intake significantly increases the risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels). If your diabetes is already well under control, a moderate amount of alcohol may be fine either before, during or soon after a meal. Even if you have a drink, this may not influence short-term blood glucose levels. However, there are some precautions to be taken care of. What do I need to be careful of when it comes to diabetes and alcohol? Avoid drinking on an empty stomach, as this will quickly increase the amount of alcohol i Continue reading >>
Diabetes And Alcohol: Do The Two Mix? (part 1)
A nice glass of Chianti…a cold beer on a hot summer day…celebrating with a flute of champagne. There are so many ways that alcohol is integrated into both everyday life and special occasions. Granted, not everyone drinks alcohol, but many people do. And when it comes to the question, "Can I drink alcohol if I have diabetes?" the answer is about as clear as that for "Is a low-carb diet good for diabetes?" In other words, the answer really is, "It depends!" It’s important to mention right off the bat that there are certainly many reasons why people should not drink alcohol. Some may be related to diabetes and some may be related to other reasons. Therefore, it’s important to discuss this issue with your health-care provider if you have any doubts or concerns. And if you’re newly diagnosed with diabetes or starting on a new medicine, it’s worthwhile bringing up the topic if your provider doesn’t. While you’d be hard-pressed to find any health organization actually recommending that you drink alcohol, you might take some comfort in knowing that the American Diabetes Association, the American Heart Association, and even the American Cancer Society agree that drinking alcohol in moderation is certainly not off-limits to most people. But back to diabetes and alcohol. What’s the concern here? And why should some people with diabetes not drink alcohol? To answer these questions, it’s helpful to understand a little bit about how alcohol is processed in the body. The body treats alcohol as a drug, not as a food product. This means that, when you drink any type of alcoholic beverage, your liver kicks into high gear, preparing itself to “detoxify” the body of this “poison” (I’m using these words for dramatic effect). Essentially, the liver has to metabo Continue reading >>
Is It Safe To Mix Metformin And Alcohol?
If you’re taking metformin to treat your diabetes, you may be wondering how this drug affects your ability to drink safely. Drinking alcohol can affect your diabetes symptoms directly, but there are additional risks if you drink alcohol with metformin. This article gives you information on how alcohol interacts with metformin and also how drinking alcohol can affect your diabetes. With any medicine you take, you should be aware of interactions that can happen if you use other substances. Metformin and alcohol can interact to increase your risk of harmful effects. You are at much greater risk of these effects if you frequently drink a lot of alcohol or you binge drink (drink a lot in short periods). These effects include an extremely low blood sugar level, called hypoglycemia, and a condition called lactic acidosis. Hypoglycemia Drinking alcohol while you’re taking metformin may cause extremely low blood sugar levels. Some symptoms of low blood sugar levels can be similar to symptoms of having too much alcohol. These include: drowsiness dizziness confusion Tell the people who are with you while you drink that you have diabetes. They can help you watch for these symptoms. If you or the people around you notice these symptoms, stop drinking and eat something right away to help increase your blood sugar level. If your symptoms of hypoglycemia are severe, such as losing consciousness, and you do not have a glucagon hypoglycemia rescue kit, someone with you should call 9-1-1. A glucagon hypoglycemia rescue kit includes human glucagon (a natural substance that helps balance your blood sugar level), a syringe to inject it, and instructions. You can use this kit for severe hypoglycemia when eating food will not help. If you are not familiar with this kit, talk to your doctor Continue reading >>
Can I Drink Alcohol If I Have Type 2 Diabetes?
Studies have shown that moderate alcohol consumption may have favorable effects, such as raising good cholesterol (HDL) and lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease. Some studies suggest that moderate alcohol consumption may even reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The most important rule is to keep consumption moderate. The American Heart Association defines moderate alcohol consumption as one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men. One alcoholic beverage is measured as a 12-ounce beer, 5-ounce glass of wine, or 1.5-ounce distilled spirits (vodka, whiskey, gin, etc.). On the other hand, excessive alcohol consumption or binge drinking, defined as more than five alcoholic beverages in a two-hour time span for men and four for women, can increase the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. Excessive consumption can also make glucose control a challenge by increasing weight and insulin resistance. If you do decide to drink alcohol, some options are better than others. In addition, if you have diabetes there are certain considerations you must take in order to stay safe. Alcohol consumption can result in increased insulin production, which can lower blood sugars. The American Diabetes Association recommends that persons with diabetes be educated on the recognition and management of delayed hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) when drinking alcohol, especially if those persons are using insulin or other medications that can cause blood sugars to drop. What types of alcohol should I avoid and what should I choose instead:It’s wise to avoid sugary drinks made with juice mixers, added sugar, and syrups, because they can add excess calories and sugar. These types of beverages can spike blood glucose levels and can cause weight ga Continue reading >>
The Beer And Blood Sugar Effect
Yes, I have type 1 diabetes and I can drink beer. In fact, I'm a craft beer lover who's pretty passionate about trying new brews and supporting my local beer makers (who invent awesomeness in a mug). The fact that I'm pancreatically-challenged changes nothing about that. Over the years, I've lost count of the times I've heard folks wonder whether PWDs (people with diabetes) are able to drink anything, particularly beer. And I've been amazed to meet medical professionals who take the lazy way out and just tell patients that any drop of alcohol is off-limits. This very directive came my way early in the year, from a general practitioner who clearly didn't make the cut when I was searching for a new family physician. Obviously, I'm not a doctor. But in my 16 years of legally drinking countless beers, I would like to think I've learned a thing or two -- particularly that YES, you can and should be able to enjoy beer with diabetes if you want to, of course doing so responsibly in the context of society and your health. Until this past summer, I never thought too deeply about the specifics of beer influencing my diabetes management. Sure, I knew it raises my blood sugar in the short-term, and can increase my hypo risk over the ensuing hours and next day. But that's about it. The general information available online isn't particularly helpful, either. Try searching for "beer and diabetes," or toss "blood sugar" into the Google mix, and you'll find boring, cautious bits of information that are certainly not practical. You might find general info that a light beer or "regular" 12-ounce beer has a certain number of carbs, but it's quickly followed by "don't drink more than X servings and to talk to your doctor." Of course, beer affects different people in different ways, so it's Continue reading >>
Diabetes And Alcohol: What You Need To Know
If you are meeting a friend for a drink after work or attending a holiday party where alcohol is being offered, is it a health risk or a benefit? The medical and nutrition literature reports that moderate consumption of alcohol can offer some health benefits, particularly for your heart. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005 defines drinking in moderation as no more than one drink per day for women or two drinks per day for men. One drink, by definition, is a 12-ounce beer, eight-ounce glass of malt liquor, five ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor. Moderate alcohol consumption may reduce the risk of having a heart attack or stroke, lower the risk of developing gallstones, and prevent the development of type 2 diabetes in people with pre-diabetes. Studies show that those benefiting from moderate consumption are middle-aged and older adults. It is not recommended, however, that anyone begin drinking or drink more frequently on the basis of health considerations. Drinking more than the recommendation is harmful to your health. Excessive alcohol consumption increases the risk of adverse health consequences. Over time, excess alcohol can cause cirrhosis of the liver and heart damage, increase the risk for cancer and pancreatitis, and increase the occurrence of injuries due to impairment. Alcohol consumption must be evaluated in reference to any health conditions or prior history of alcohol abuse. Many prescription medications are contraindicated with even moderate intake of alcohol. In cases of a medical condition, regardless of medication, alcohol consumption should be discussed with a healthcare provider. People with diabetes can consume alcohol in moderation if they are prepared and regularly monitor their blood glucose. Take into consideration the medication Continue reading >>
Alcohol And Diabetes: How Does It Affect Blood Sugar Levels?
For many people, a glass of alcohol here and there does not pose a problem. However, for those with health conditions, such as diabetes, alcohol can affect blood sugar levels and pose a health risk. Understanding what you are consuming and how alcohol influences blood glucose levels is particularly important for people with diabetes. Alcohol can interfere with blood sugar levels. People with diabetes should sip drinks slowly and not drink on an empty stomach. Alcohol and the body Alcohol is a depressant; it is classed as a "sedative-hypnotic drug" because it depresses the central nervous system. Every organ in the body can be affected by alcohol. Once consumed, it is rapidly absorbed by the stomach and small intestine and enters the bloodstream. In an average person, the liver can breaks down roughly one standard drink of alcohol per hour. Excess alcohol moves throughout the body. The amount not broken down by the liver is removed by the lungs,kidneys, and skin in urine and sweat. How alcohol affects a person's body depends on how much they consume. At low doses, alcohol can act as a stimulant - people may feel happy, or become talkative. Drinking too much alcohol, however, can impair the body. Alcohol and blood sugar levels A person's overall health plays a big role in how they respond to alcohol. People with diabetes or other blood sugar problems must be careful when consuming alcohol. Alcohol consumption can interfere with blood sugar as well as the hormones needed to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Frequent heavy drinkers can wipe out their energy storage in a few hours. Over time, excessive alcohol consumption can reduce the overall effectiveness of insulin. This results in high blood sugar levels. Many people with alcoholic liver disease also have either gluc Continue reading >>
Association Between Alcohol Intake And Hemoglobin A1c In The Korean Adults: The 2011-2013 Korea National Health And Nutrition Examination Survey
Abstract Although alcohol consumption is commonly encountered in clinical practice, few studies have investigated the clinical significance of alcohol intake on the use of the hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) level. This study was performed to investigate the association between alcohol intake and HbA1c level in the general population. Among the 24,594 participants who participated in the 2011–2013 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES), 12,923 participants were analyzed in this study. We excluded diabetic patients currently taking antidiabetes medication. We compared the HbA1c level and proportions of patients with an HbA1c level of ≥5.7%, ≥6.1%, and ≥6.5% according to the fasting plasma glucose (FPG) concentration range and the amount of alcohol intake. The average amounts of daily alcohol intake were categorized into three groups: 0 g/day, <30 g/day, ≥30 g/day. Results The mean HbA1c level was 5.65%, and the mean FPG concentration was 95.3 mg/dl. The percentages of patients with an HbA1c level of ≥5.7%, ≥6.1%, and ≥6.5% were 42.6%, 13.4%, and 4.5%, respectively. The average amount of alcohol intake was 12.3 g/day. The percentages of subjects with alcohol intake 0, <30, and ≥ 30 g/day were 16.5%, 69.7%, and 13.8%, respectively. There was a significant positive relationship between alcohol intake and FPG concentration (P < 0.001), the prevalence of impaired fasting glucose (P < 0.001), and the prevalence of diabetes (P < 0.001). However, there was no significant relationship between the alcohol intake and HbA1c level. Overall, the adjusted HbA1c levels decreased across alcohol intake (5.70% ± 0.01%, 5.66% ± 0.01%, and 5.55% ± 0.01%) after adjustment for confounding factors such as age, sex, FPG concentration, college graduation, smo Continue reading >>
- A Novel Intervention Including Individualized Nutritional Recommendations Reduces Hemoglobin A1c Level, Medication Use, and Weight in Type 2 Diabetes
- A Novel Intervention Including Individualized Nutritional Recommendations Reduces Hemoglobin A1c Level, Medication Use, and Weight in Type 2 Diabetes
- Type 1 diabetes as common in adults as children, but many adults misdiagnosed
Type 2 Diabetes And Alcohol: Proceed With Caution
Alcohol can worsen diabetes-related nerve damage.(RON CHAPPLE STOCK/CORBIS)Hoping for a beer at the ball game, or a glass of wine with dinner? If you have type 2 diabetes, that's probably OK as long as your blood sugar is under control, you don't have any complications that are affected by alcohol (such as high blood pressure), and you know how the drink will affect your blood sugar, according to the American Diabetes Association. An alcohol-containing drink a day might even help your heart (though if you don't already drink, most experts say that's not a reason to start). In moderation, alcohol may cut heart disease risk According to a study by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health, women with type 2 diabetes who drank relatively small amounts of alcohol had a lower heart-disease risk than those who abstained. A second study found that men with diabetes had the same reduction in heart risk with a moderate alcohol intake as non-diabetic men. In general, the recommendations for alcohol consumption for someone with type 2 diabetes are the same as anyone else: no more than two drinks per day for men and no more than one drink per day for women. (Make sure to measure: A drink serving is 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor such as scotch, gin, tequila, or vodka.) People with diabetes who choose to drink need to take extra care keeping food, medications, alcohol, and blood sugars in balance. Janis Roszler, RD, a certified diabetes educator in Miami, Fla., recommends: Mixing alcoholic drinks with water or calorie-free diet sodas instead of sugary (and calorie- and carbohydrate-laden) sodas and other mixers. Once you have had your drink, switch to a non-alcoholic drink, such as sparkling water, for the rest of the evening. Make sure yo Continue reading >>
How To Lower Your A1c
By the dLife Editors Many aspects of diabetes are out of your control. Your A1C does not have to be one of those uncontrollable variables. The following tips will help you get your numbers into a better range. Continue reading >>
Glycemic Effects Of Moderate Alcohol Intake Among Patients With Type 2 Diabetes
A multicenter, randomized, clinical intervention trial Abstract OBJECTIVE—In a randomized controlled trial, we assessed the effect of daily moderate alcohol intake on glycemic control in the fasting and postprandial states in patients with type 2 diabetes who previously had abstained from alcohol. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—We randomly assigned 109 patients (41–74 years old) with established type 2 diabetes who abstained from alcohol to receive 150 ml wine (13 g alcohol) or nonalcoholic diet beer (control) each day during a 3-month multicenter trial. The beverages were consumed during dinner. Diet and alcohol consumption were monitored. RESULTS—During the intervention, 17% of participants (12% from the alcohol group) dropped out, leaving 91 who completed the trial. Within the alcohol group, fasting plasma glucose (FPG) decreased from 139.6 ± 41 to 118.0 ± 32.5 mg/dl after 3 months compared with 136.7 ± 15.4 to 138.6 ± 27.8 mg/dl in the control subjects (Pv = 0.015). However, alcohol consumption had no effect on 2-h postprandial glucose levels (difference of 18.5 mg/dl in the control group vs. 17.7 mg/dl in the alcohol group, Pv = 0.97). Patients in the alcohol group with higher baseline A1C levels had greater reductions in FPG (age-adjusted correlation −0.57, Pv < 0.001). No significant changes were observed in the levels of bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase, alanine aminotransferase, or aspartate aminotransferase, and no notable adverse effects were reported. Participants in the alcohol group reported an improvement in the ability to fall asleep (Pv < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS—Among patients with type 2 diabetes who had previously abstained from alcohol, initiation of moderate daily alcohol consumption reduced FPG but not postprandial glucose. Patients with hi Continue reading >>
A Glass Of Wine May Have Health Perks For People With Type 2 Diabetes
Tuesday, October 13, 2015 A daily glass of wine with dinner may offer modest health benefits for people with type 2 diabetes, according to a new study led by Israeli researchers. The results add to a controversial — and still inconclusive — body of evidence supporting the positive effects of moderate alcohol consumption on cardiovascular function. The study tested the effect of daily wine intake on cholesterol levels, blood sugar, and other health markers in people with type 2 diabetes, a group at increased risk for heart disease because of their condition. In one of the longest randomized trials of alcohol consumption, 224 middle-aged men and women with well-controlled diabetes were assigned to drink a five-ounce (oz) glass of red wine, white wine, or mineral water with their evening meal every night for two years. All of the participants were alcohol abstainers prior to enrollment, and all were counseled to follow a Mediterranean diet. The amount of wine used in the study falls within health organizations’ guidelines for moderate drinking, defined as no more than one drink per day for women, or two drinks for men. One drink is equivalent to 5 oz of wine, 12 oz of beer, or 1.5 oz of hard liquor. Compared to those who drank water, participants who drank red wine increased their HDL, the so-called good cholesterol, by 2 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl) and decreased their total cholesterol to HDL ratio — changes that indicate a modest improvement in cardiovascular health. High HDL levels are thought to be protective against heart disease and stroke, although the benefits of raising HDL cholesterol have been called into question recently by experts. White wine consumption did not alter cholesterol levels, but did lower participants' fasting blood sugar levels and Continue reading >>
How Does Drinking Alcohol Affect Diabetes And Raising Blood Sugars?
Small amounts of alcohol will not hinder your control over diabetes but there are some precautions that diabetics should take to make sure that alcohol can be safely enjoyed. If you are diabetic and are currently treated with either tablets or insulin the main risk of consuming alcohol is hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia, which most diabetics already know, is when your blood sugar level drops down to an unsafe level. A major problem with drinking alcohol as a diabetic is that other people will have trouble knowing whether you are experiencing hypoglycemia or if you are simply intoxicated. Many of the early warning signs of hypoglycemia are mimicked by alcohol and friends may not seek help for you until you lose consciousness, and maybe not even then. Another problem with a diabetic consuming alcohol is the potential weight gain. Gaining weight while battling diabetes will cause a diabetic to lose control over their disease. There is also the lapse in judgment that comes with drinking. impaired judgment could lead to you eating a whole bunch of things you shouldn’t be eating. Moderation, awareness and good judgment are key when a diabetic is consuming alcohol. It’s good to remember that just because you may be out having a grand old time doesn’t mean that you are taking a vacation from your diabetes. You still need to check your blood sugar levels and look for signs that something is not right. If you are going to drink... Experts consider a sensible drinking limit to be 2-3 alcoholic drinks per day for people without diabetes. Diabetics should drink less, especially those with type 1 diabetes, and should always eat while drinking. They should also check their glucose levels before drinking. It's also very important to let your doctor know if you drink so that he can tak Continue reading >>
Diabetes And Alcohol
If you have diabetes, drinking alcohol may cause your blood sugar to either rise or fall. Plus, alcohol has a lot of calories. If you drink, do it occasionally and only when your diabetes and blood sugar level are well-controlled. If you are following a calorie-controlled meal plan, one drink of alcohol should be counted as two fat exchanges. It is a good idea to check with your doctor to see if drinking alcohol is safe for you. Here are some other ways that alcohol can affect diabetes: While moderate amounts of alcohol may cause blood sugar to rise, excess alcohol can actually decrease your blood sugar level -- sometimes causing it to drop into dangerous levels, especially for people with type 1 diabetes. Beer and sweet wine contain carbohydrates and may raise blood sugar. Alcohol stimulates your appetite, which can cause you to overeat and may affect your blood sugar control. Alcoholic drinks often have a lot of calories, making it more difficult to lose excess weight. Alcohol may also affect your judgment or willpower, causing you to make poor food choices. Alcohol can interfere with the positive effects of oral diabetes medicines or insulin. Alcohol may increase triglyceride levels. Alcohol may increase blood pressure. Alcohol can cause flushing, nausea, increased heart rate, and slurred speech. These may be confused with or mask the symptoms of low blood sugar. People with diabetes who drink should follow these alcohol consumption guidelines: Do not drink more than two drinks of alcohol in a one-day period if you are a man, or one drink if you are a woman. (Example: one alcoholic drink = 5-ounce glass of wine, 1 1/2-ounce "shot" of liquor or 12-ounce beer). Drink alcohol only with food. Drink slowly. Avoid "sugary" mixed drinks, sweet wines, or cordials. Mix liquor Continue reading >>