5 Simple Ways To Lower Your A1c This Week
The A1C blood test is a simple test that analyzes your glucose (blood sugar) levels by measuring the amount of glycated hemoglobin in your blood. Hemoglobin is a protein in your red blood cells; when glucose enters the blood, it attaches to the hemoglobin. The result is glycated hemoglobin. The more glucose in your blood, the higher your glycated hemoglobin. The A1C is a valuable indicator of how well your diabetes management plan is working. While your individual A1C goal will depend on factors including your age and your personal medical profile, most people with diabetes aim to keep their A1C below 7 percent. By keeping your A1C number within your target range, you can reduce the risk of diabetes complications. While it is important to develop a long-term diabetes management plan with your physician, there are several steps you can take right away to help reduce your A1C. Small changes add up, so consider trying some of these strategies to lower your A1C this week. 1. Try Short Sessions of High Intensity Exercise According to research presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2015, type 2 diabetes patients who did 10 minutes of exercise three times a day, five days a week at 85 percent of their target heart rate had a twofold improvement in A1C levels compared to patients who exercised for 30 minutes a day at 65 percent of their target heart rate. Be sure to check with your doctor before trying high intensity exercise, and wear a heart rate monitor so you don’t overdo it. 2. Shrink Your Dinner Plate Instead of a large dinner plate for your meals, use a smaller salad plate. This simple swap can trick your eyes and brain into thinking you’re eating more than you really are, and you’ll feel satisfied with less food. It’s especially helpfu Continue reading >>
26 Week Update And Cheating On Medical Tests
Dear Diary, 26 weeks of the pregnant. I feel like a McMansion, but according to pictures and other people I don't look nearly as big as I feel. Ratio of appetite vs. tolerance for food in my stomach: unbalanced Patience for toddler shenanigans: scant Number of Busytown Mysteries episodes I let Edwin watch this week so I could get a nap: MANY Number of naps I was actually able to take: NONE The weather in City B: unbearable and being a total douche OK, I don't want to complain too much. I generally feel pretty good. Edwin is generally hilarious and fun to be around. So instead, I'll tell the story of how I cheated on my glucose tolerance test. A little background here. At my first glucose tolerance test (when I was pregnant with Edwin), nobody told me how drinking 50 grams of glucose on an empty stomach first thing in the morning can make you feel like you're going to pass out and die. So I was a little taken aback by that, and when I mentioned feeling like I might pass out and die when my OB came into the room, she waved me off and basically said, "Well, DUH." So this time around, I started dreading the glucose test. It was an irrational amount of dread, as in I dreaded this test more than I dread the pain of childbirth. I considered refusing it, but I didn't want to be labeled a difficult patient. I'm sure they've already flagged my file "UNSTABLE", and I just don't want to make any more trouble. So I went, and brought the BHE and Edwin with me. First of all, it took me way longer than 5 minutes to drink that crap. I was drinking it pretty slowly, and trying to entertain Edwin at the same time. I was also sipping from a water bottle the whole time, thinking that maybe this would help me not feel so sick. After about 15 minutes, I had maybe two or three gulps of stuff l Continue reading >>
Diabetes: How To Cheat
A1C's don't lie. I don't personally use this statement when talking to patients because I find it a little too harsh. The second you offend a patient is the second they stop listening to you, so I always choose my words carefully in the office. But the truth, though harsh, is that A1C's really do not lie. The problem is that they do not tell you the exact truth. We see patients every 3 months for routine diabetes visits. Many patients modify the truth of exactly what went down during those 3 months. Modification runs the spectrum of simple omission, to sugar-coating (the irony), to flat-out fabrication. Parents are sometimes the offenders, but more often than not it is the teenagers. Teenagers long for independence with everything and then quickly find complete diabetes independence to be too overwhelming. But pride/embarrassment/immaturity often prevent them from coming clean and asking for help, so instead they simply lie. Blood sugars - how does one lie about thee? Let me count the ways! Some simply write down false numbers into a log book and then conveniently "forget" their BG meter at home. Others have parents who check their BG meter but do not actually SEE them doing the BG check, so those kids have to get craftier. They find out that they can dilute their blood to lower the BG numbers, whether it be with a generous swab of an alcohol pad or simply mixing their blood with water. Others don't bother to prick their fingers, so they just check blood sugar levels with anything other than blood. They use regular soda, juices, and my personal favorite -- control solution! Because who really uses control solution for it's true purpose? Who even knows what control solution's real purpose is?! The beauty of "checking your BG" with control solution is that you'll get a pe Continue reading >>
- American Diabetes Association® Releases 2018 Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes, with Notable New Recommendations for People with Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes
- Leeds diabetes clinical champion raises awareness of gestational diabetes for World Diabetes Day
- Diabetes doctors: Which specialists treat diabetes?
Diabetic Teen Accused Of Cheating And Thrown Out Of Driving Test For Having Blood Glucose Monitor
A diabetic teenager was left 'humiliated' after she was accused of cheating and thrown out of her driving theory test – for taking her blood glucose monitor in with her. Lowri Jones, 17, says she told officials she needed the device at all times, and they gave her permission to take it in with her. But, partway through her test she was escorted from the building in tears and disqualified after Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) officials in Chester deemed it an “ inappropriate” item. Lowri, who has suffered from type one diabetes since the age of 12, said she felt humiliated and ran to her mum in tears. She said: “When I arrived, I explained to them that I was diabetic so I would have my reader on me. “It's important that I keep that with me because I've had fits in the past. “I was told it was okay, the staff saw me go in and sit down but with 10 questions left, my reader was taken off me and I was led out. “I was told I’d been disqualified for taking an item in with me and asked to gather my things and leave.” Type one diabetics use their blood glucose monitor throughout the day to monitor and assess the effectiveness of their insulin doses. According to the DVSA website, theory test rules state all personal items must be locked away and are not allowed to be taken in to the test environment. Lowri, from Northop, Flintshire, in north Wales said: “It was really humiliating and people were probably thinking I was cheating when I wasn’t. It was so embarrassing and it’s not my fault I need my blood reader. I went up to my mum in tears afterwards, I was so embarrassed.” Lowri's mum Nia Pritchard slammed DVSA officials. She said: “It is a serious condition and Lowri has suffered fits from which I’ve had to physically revive her and for Continue reading >>
Things That Impact A Fasting Glucose Blood Test
A fasting blood sugar level is usually ordered by a physician either to check for a new diagnosis of diabetes or to monitor a person who is known to have diabetes. Ideally fasting blood sugar is tested shortly after you get up in the morning, 8 to 12 hours after eating or drinking anything other than water. The normal range is from 70 to 99 mg/dL. Levels above 100 mg/dL may indicate impaired glucose metabolism. Various factors can affect fasting blood sugar levels. Any foods eaten within 8 hours of the test may cause glucose levels to be elevated. After food is digested, higher levels of glucose remain in the blood for some time. Alcoholic beverages consumed even the night before the test may cause a drop in blood sugar. Medications such as corticosteroids, estrogen -- present in birth control pills, some diuretics, certain antidepressants, anti-seizure medication and even plain aspirin can increase glucose levels. Glucose levels can be decreased by medications that include insulin, oral hypoglycemic agents, anabolic steroids and even acetaminophen. Exercise can cause an increase or a decrease in blood sugar levels. During exercise, insulin becomes more efficient. This effect can persist, lowering blood sugar levels for hours afterward. An hour of afternoon exercise may lower glucose levels until the next morning, affecting the fasting blood sugar test. Exercise can also affect glucose levels by releasing adrenaline. This raises blood sugar temporarily. Physical exertion or other activities that cause excitement may increase fasting sugar levels if performed shortly before the test. Many medical conditions can affect blood sugar levels, such as liver disease, disorders of the pancreas and disorders of the thyroid gland. Acute and severe trauma -- such as major surgery, Continue reading >>
- Postprandial Blood Glucose Is a Stronger Predictor of Cardiovascular Events Than Fasting Blood Glucose in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, Particularly in Women: Lessons from the San Luigi Gonzaga Diabetes Study
- Home blood glucose test: How to test for diabetes at home
- Diabetes and Blood Clots: 3 Things You Need to Know
Stop Spiking Those Sugars!
Many people (and their doctors) use A1C and fasting blood glucose levels to gauge their diabetes control. But those numbers only tell half the story. To prevent organ damage, we also have to keep glucose from spiking after meals. How can we do that? Do You Spike? If you just check your blood glucose levels in the morning and maybe at bedtime, you will miss these spikes. Say your numbers at those times usually run about 125 mg/dl. If your blood sugar levels were like that all day, your A1C would be about 6.0%. But maybe when the doctor tests your A1C, it might be closer to 7.6%. You know then you are spiking after meals high enough to raise your average sugar to 170, which means spiking well over 200. You can find a good calculator for converting A1C to average glucose here. Glucose levels above 140 can lead to inflammation of blood vessels and organs. The higher the spike goes and the longer it lasts, the more damage there is likely to be. With any type of diabetes, we want to get those spikes down, and it takes a lot of monitoring and experimenting to get it right. Gary Scheiner, MS, CDE, who has Type 1, wrote here that for Type 1s, it’s about managing your insulin so that it peaks when blood glucose is peaking and drops off when glucose levels do. You can only do that with fast-acting insulin injections or a pump. But even then, you have to know how much a given meal is likely to raise your sugar to know how much to give and when to give it. Scheiner recommends testing about an hour after completing a meal or snack. That’s when sugar levels tend to be highest. Jenny Ruhl at Diabetes Update says different people and different foods spike differently. So to find the very highest spike, you might have to try different times. “Meals heavy in fat digest more slowly t Continue reading >>
Does Cinnamon Help Lower Blood Sugars?
The use of cinnamon to help treat diabetes remains controversial. We know that cinnamon is so good at controlling one’s blood sugar that you can cheat on a diabetes test by consuming two teaspoons of cinnamon the night before your glucose tolerance test. That’s where they make you drink some sugar water to see how well your body can keep your blood sugar levels under control, and if you eat those two teaspoons right when the test starts or 12 hours before you can significantly blunt the spike. Even a teaspoon a day appears to make a significant difference. A review of the best studies done to date found that the intake of cinnamon by type 2 diabetics or prediabetics does lower their blood glucose significantly. So what’s the controversy? Well, as I described in my video The Safer Cinnamon, cassia cinnamon, also known as Chinese cinnamon (probably what you’re getting at the store if it just says “cinnamon”) contains a compound called coumarin which may be toxic to the liver at high doses. Originally the concern was mainly for kids during Christmas-time where they might get an above average exposure, but more recently some researchers suggest that kids just sprinkling some cassia cinnamon on their oatmeal a few times a week might exceed the recommended safety limit. As you can see in the above video just a quarter teaspoon of cinnamon a few times a week may be too much for little kids, and if they’re eating that cinnamon-sprinkled oatmeal more like every day they can bump up against the limit for adults. So a teaspoon a day of cassia cinnamon might be too much for anyone, but can’t we just switch from cassia cinnamon to Ceylon cinnamon and get the benefits without the potential risks? Without the risks, yes, but we’re no longer so sure about the benefits Continue reading >>
For The Pregnant Mom Who Failed Her Sugar Test… What You Really Want To Know
Recently, I got a text from a friend who is pregnant with twins. She said, “I just failed my sugar test and have to go back for the three-hour test… I’m sort of a sobbing mess about it right now, and I remember you saying you had gestational diabetes. Any words of advice?” It’s true. I actually had gestational diabetes with both of my pregnancies, though I’ve never written about it here. I was, of course, happy to share a little bit of my experience with my friend, but – since reaching through the phone to give her a hug wasn’t really an option – I mostly tried to encourage her that this wasn’t the WORST thing ever. I could absolutely relate to her feelings of worry, guilt, and sadness over the first (and, in my case, second) failed tests; but, for me, gestational diabetes ended up almost being a blessing in disguise. I was lucky enough to be able to manage mine through dietary changes both times and, in the end, delivered perfectly healthy little 7 pound babies. Other than the inconvenience and stress of having to prick my finger to take my sugars five times a day and not being able to eat donuts, gestational diabetes really was just a good incentive to eat healthier and get more physical activity during my pregnancies. I figured there are probably other mamas-to-be out there in similar situations (waiting to take the 3-hour test or recently diagnosed with GD), who might also benefit from hearing about my experience. So, below is my story with a few “words of advice” sprinkled in. First though, and hopefully this goes without saying, but just in case: I’m not a medical expert. If you have (or might have) gestational diabetes, you need to work with your doctor to make the necessary changes in your diet (and, possibly, figure out medications) to Continue reading >>
Hack My Blood Sugar Readings.
I finally got around to buying a glucose meter and I have been playing around with it lately, and it seems like my blood sugar jumps all over the place. I tested yesterday morning after an overnight fast, and my blood sugar was 92, I then ate a breakfast of chicken breast, sweet potato, onion, and asparagus (60 grams carb) and an hour later my blood sugar was 100, 2 hours later it was 92. For dinner I ate a pound of ground beef with 2 carrots, one sweet potato, and half a green papaya, and my blood sugar didn't even budge, it stayed at 92. I forgot to check my fasting blood sugar this morning and I ate a typical breakfast of salmon with a small green plantain and two carrots, this was about 42 grams of carbs and the same amount of protein, this was at 7 am and I didn't eat again until 1 pm. Right before I ate, I measured my blood sugar and it was at 133!! I cooked about a pound of sweet potato and ate it with coconut milk and some gelatin, around 83 grams of carbs and measured an hour later and my blood sugar was only 114. What confuses me a bit is the fact that I had a high reading 6 hours after eating my breakfast. I would think that my blood sugar would be low from lack of food but it was the opposite way around, eating a high carb meal reduced my blood sugar. Is this possible? Was my liver pumping out glucose into my blood stream during those 6 hours? Elevated cortisol. Normal Blood Sugar Range Your Search For Normal Blood Sugar Range Ends Here. Find All Details You Needed. JeevesKnows.com UPDATE: I have been testing today and my fasting blood sugar upon waking up was 85. I ate a big breakfast of about a pound and a half of sweet potato, 8 ounces of chicken breast and a bit olive oil, and an hour later my blood sugar was 77!! WHAT THE [email protected]!^... Why was there no spike? Continue reading >>
Prediabetes For Dummies Cheat Sheet
Prediabetes affects approximately 60 million people in the United States alone. Left untreated, the condition can lead to diabetes and serious long-term health problems. Prediabetes can be stopped and even reversed through changes in diet and exercise. Get healthy by figuring out whether you’re at risk for prediabetes; knowing what blood glucose levels identify prediabetes and diabetes; having other medical tests done to monitor your health; and improving your eating habits. Getting Screened for Prediabetes The American Diabetes Association recommends that physicians screen their patients for prediabetes starting at age 45. As long as a screening is normal, you should repeat it at three-year intervals. Screening is especially important for people who answer yes to these questions: Do you have a relative with type 2 diabetes or heart disease? Are you overweight or obese? Do you have high blood pressure? Do you have a sedentary lifestyle? Do you have high levels of triglycerides and/or low levels of HDL cholesterol, both being types of fats measured in a blood test? Do you belong to a higher-risk ethnic group such as African American, Latino, Asian American, or Pacific Islander? Do you have “apple-shaped” rather than “pear-shaped” weight distribution? This means your excess weight is around your stomach rather than your hips. For women who have had children, did you develop diabetes during the pregnancy or have a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds at birth? For women, is there a history of polycystic ovarian syndrome, a condition that may include lack of periods, infertility, and increased hair on the body? Blood Test Results That Identify Prediabetes Prediabetes is a silent condition: You likely will not experience any symptoms from it. But allowing prediabete Continue reading >>
7 Things To Know About Fasting Blood Sugar Test
1. For a fasting blood sugar test normally you will need to fast for eight hours. Make sure to verify the specific fasting time though, because in some cases additional testing may require a fast of up to sixteen hours. Usually the physician or lab will specify the fasting time, and if you are not sure call and ask. 2. A blood sugar level chart can help track blood sugar levels both after fasting and after eating, and may be very helpful to your physician. Notations on foods eaten will show how these foods affect your blood sugar levels, and can help your doctor determine the best treatment for you. 3. Always fast for at least the minimum amount of time specified for the fasting blood sugar test you are having done. If you cheat and have a morning snack this can cause your levels to go up higher, and may cause your physician to diagnose you with diabetes when you do not have this disease. 4. Knowing your normal blood sugar levels is important, and you should also be aware of the high blood sugar symptoms. This will allow you to get help if any medical complications occur. A glucose tolerance test may be done as well as the sugar level test, to evaluate how well your body handles glucose. 5. You can have water before a fasting blood sugar test, as long as it is plain water without any flavor or sugar added. In fact you are encouraged to drink water, because it is harder to draw blood if you become dehydrated. 6. One of the consequences of blood sugar too high is full blown diabetes, and possibly insulin shots to control this condition. If your fasting level is 125 mg/dL or above you are considered diabetic. 7. Normal results for a fasting blood sugar test should be less than 100mg/dL. If the results are higher than this it can be an indication that there is a problem whi Continue reading >>
High Blood Sugar In Ketogenic Dieters! Plus A Special Surprise (hint: Genotypes And Metabolism)!
A while ago Michael and I were discussing future article topics. There are truly a plethora of avenues to go down in this area of research and there is no lack of things to research and comment on. But even though I have a couple of pretty cool MCT articles sitting around on my desk, I want an interesting topic. I want something new. Something challenging. Besides, everyone is drinking the MCT koolaid these days. It’s become passe. (Also, it upsets my stomach and I have a personal vendetta against it. So there.) What’s new? There has to be something new! Michael pointed me to one of his old articles on physiological insulin resistance as an idea. I brushed it off at first. Dismissed it as a quirk. But then I thought about it. WHY does blood glucose rise in response to a low carb diet? It truly is an interesting question. What does it say about low carb diets if they induce an almost diabetic effect on circulating glucose? Thus my research began. This short abstract confirmed that it is normal for people on low carb diets to experience a rise in blood glucose levels. Because it’s a non-open journal (shame!), there’s a one-sentence explanation given: A decrease in first-phase insulin secretion may partially contribute to the short-term LC/HFD-induced increase in postprandial plasma glucose levels. First phase insulin secretion? There’s a first phase? So… There’s more than one phase to insulin secretion? I had no idea. Call me ignorant but I had no idea until this point that there was more than one phase to insulin secretion. This article delves deeper into the signaling involved in (what I learned is called) biphasic insulin secretion. The first phase of insulin secretion lasts approximately 10 minutes, and the second phase of insulin secretion picks up afte Continue reading >>
Foods To Avoid Before A Glucose Tolerance Test During Pregnancy
Between 26 and 28 weeks of pregnancy, you will have a glucose screening test to check your blood sugar levels. If the screening test results are high, your doctor will perform a glucose tolerance test in order to diagnose gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes puts you and your baby at risk for immediate and long-term health consequences. It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions before the test to ensure an accurate test result and to follow a diet and exercise routine if you are diagnosed with this condition. Video of the Day For your glucose tolerance test, your practitioner will take a fasting blood draw to determine your blood sugar levels. You will then drink a glucose solution, and your blood will be tested once an hour for three hours. You will stay at the doctor’s office the entire time, so bring something to entertain yourself, arrange for child care for older children and have a snack on hand to eat after the blood draws are complete. If two or more of your blood readings are abnormal, you will be diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Eating the Day of the Test According to the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse, you need to abstain from eating anything for at least eight hours prior to your glucose tolerance test. Eat a healthy meal the night before the test. From then on, you are only allowed sips of water. Typically, this test is scheduled for first thing in the morning, so most of the time you are fasting you are asleep. Consider having someone drive you to and from the test if you’re concerned about low energy levels from fasting. According to MedlinePlus, you can eat your standard diet leading up to the test. You may be advised that you need to eat at least 150 grams of carbohydrates per day for three days leading up to the Continue reading >>
The Gestational Diabetes Controversy
This post is not necessarily about how to fix gestational diabetes – elevated blood sugar during pregnancy. Although, if you are suffering from this condition, I would advise consuming frequent, calorie-dense (warming) high-carb meals and snacks and getting as much rest, relaxation, and sleep as possible. Anything that you perceive as destressing will help. And that brings us to the first point that you should know, not just about pregnancy complications like preeclampsia and gestational diabetes, but most “conditions” and “diseases…” High blood sugar is an adaptive response. While this an oversimplification, stress impairs the ability of glucose to get into cells and trigger proper production of ATP. In response to this, blood sugar rises to overcompensate and deliver vital glucose. It’s not necessarily a condition to be waged war against. In fact, if you were to attempt to starve yourself of carbohydrates or other silliness to get this single number down, you would likely encounter a long list of declines in other areas, all signifying an intensification of stress activation, all much worse for the mother and the fetus than just allowing the body to manage the problem as it sees fit. Yes, this is a big 180 of course, to actually look at the body as intelligent, and trust even things like high blood sugar as being just a sign that something has gone awry rather than assuming it is the problem. Fever is a mechanism to fight disease, not something to be controlled. Swelling is a reaction to fight damaged tissue, not something to be suppressed with a block of ice. They may seem like problems on the surface, but the unifying theme is that there is a root cause of distress leading to such adaptive changes. Always look for root problems, and seek to understand Continue reading >>
- Women in India with Gestational Diabetes Mellitus Strategy (WINGS): Methodology and development of model of care for gestational diabetes mellitus (WINGS 4)
- Leeds diabetes clinical champion raises awareness of gestational diabetes for World Diabetes Day
- Gestational Diabetes: The Overlooked Form of Diabetes
How To Beat Diabetes: Simple Test To Show If You Need Treatment
If you're in an at-risk group, you can get a free annual blood-glucose test The earlier diabetes is picked up, the better the prognosis, expert says One in three of us has raised blood-sugar levels, research suggests Some experts call these levels 'stage one diabetes' or 'pre-diabetes' So you think you might be at risk of type 2 diabetes — what next? If you are in one of the at-risk groups (over 25 and from a South Asian or Afro-Caribbean background, or Caucasian and over 40, particularly if you are overweight, obese or have a family history of diabetes) you can ask your GP for a free annual blood-glucose test. 'All the evidence shows that the earlier diabetes is picked up the better the prognosis, as it allows for better blood glucose control,' says Professor Anthony Barnett, a leading diabetes researcher based at Birmingham's Heartlands Hospital. 'A GP screening is best in a high-risk individual because it is free and they can then offer immediate treatment.' If you don't qualify for this, some chemists, such as Lloydspharmacy, will do a risk assessment involving a questionnaire looking at such factors as weight, age, diet and family history. If this indicates you are at risk of diabetes, you will be given a simple finger-prick blood test which checks your levels of glucose and gives immediate results. If your levels are above normal, you will be asked to come back and do a second test after fasting overnight. There are home test kits, which will give you the same reading as a pharmacy test, but a pharmacist's interpretation will be more informed, says Professor Barnett. People with borderline readings may benefit from a discussion with their GP, he adds. To get the most accurate result from a home test kit, he suggests taking it at least 1-2 hours after a meal, or Continue reading >>