diabetestalk.net

My A1c Is 5.6 What Does That Mean

Quick A1c Calculator: All You Need To Know About A1c In 2017 (hba1c)

Quick A1c Calculator: All You Need To Know About A1c In 2017 (hba1c)

Have you heard your doctor or friends mention the term ‘A1C’ (or ‘HbA1c’) and wonder to yourself what in the world does it mean? Or its could be familiar word, but you never really understood what it meant for you? (and too embarrassed to ask your nurse or doctor) Fret not. After reading this, you’ll know exactly what A1c is, what your ideal A1c should be, and how you can estimate A1c using an A1c calculator/converter. And I promise I’ll make it easy for you to understand. (And if you just want to use the A1c calculator, click here to go straight to it) What does A1c (HbA1c) stand for? HbA1C (used interchangeably with ‘A1c’) is a medical term, and refers to glycated haemoglobin. Haemoglobin is the oxygen-carrying molecule in your red blood cells. So this is actually a measure of how much glucose is attached to the haemoglobin in your red blood cells. It is done as a blood test, usually ordered by your doctor every 3 – 6 months if you have diabetes. You’ll see your result displayed as a percentage in your blood test report (eg if your A1c is 7%, it means that 7% of the haemoglobin in your red blood cells have glucose attached to them). Since your red blood cells typically live for approximately 8-12 weeks, your A1c number serves as a marker of your average blood glucose levels over the past 2 – 3 months. This is how a typical A1c (HbA1c) result will look like in your blood test report. What is a normal A1c level? And how about in diabetes/ prediabetes? A healthy person (with prediabetes or diabetes) has an A1c of 5.6% or less. A person with Prediabetes (high risk of developing diabetes in the future) usually has a A1c between 5.7% and 6.4% A person is diagnosed with Diabetes when his or her A1c is more than 6.5%. The higher your average blood glucos Continue reading >>

Five Things You Should Know About Prediabetes

Five Things You Should Know About Prediabetes

After announcing the expansion of Diabetes Stops Here and asking you which topics you’d like covered, we received a specific request for more information about prediabetes. A staggering 79 million Americans deal with this condition, and while it can lead to crippling health consequences, it can be avoided. Here are five things you should know about prediabetes: 1. What is prediabetes? Before people develop type 2 diabetes, they almost always have prediabetes, a health condition where your blood glucose is higher than normal but not as high as if you had diabetes. 2. How can I find out if I have it? Your doctor can give you a blood test to tell if you have prediabetes (the same test that’s used to test for diabetes). At your next doctor visit, ask if you should be tested for prediabetes. 3. What can I do if I have prediabetes? If you have prediabetes, there are important steps you can, and should, take. Early intervention can turn back the clock and return elevated blood glucose levels to the normal range. Losing weight is an important step for most people with prediabetes, and the amount doesn’t have to be huge to make a difference. A weight loss of just 10 to 15 pounds can really stack the odds in your favor. Coupled with 30 minutes of exercise each day and healthy food choices, you’ll be on your way. Talk with your doctor and visit our website to learn more about other ways you can prevent or reverse the condition. 4. Does this mean I’m going to develop type 2 diabetes? Prediabetes can lead to type 2 diabetes…but it doesn’t have to. Scientific studies show taking the above steps can often halt or at least slow down the progression of prediabetes so it doesn’t take a turn for the worse. 5. Where can I find help? You are not alone. It’s never too late Continue reading >>

All About The Hemoglobin A1c Test

All About The Hemoglobin A1c Test

People with diabetes used to depend only on urine tests or daily finger sticks to measure their blood sugars. These tests are accurate, but only in the moment. As an overall measurement of blood sugar control, they’re very limited. This is because blood sugar can vary wildly depending on the time of day, activity levels, and even hormone changes. Some people may have high blood sugars at 3 a.m. and be totally unaware of it. Once A1C tests became available in the 1980s, they became an important tool in controlling diabetes. A1C tests measure average blood glucose over the past two to three months. So even if you have a high fasting blood sugar, your overall blood sugars may be normal, or vice versa. A normal fasting blood sugar may not eliminate the possibility of type 2 diabetes. This is why A1C tests are now being used for diagnosis and screening of prediabetes. Because it doesn’t require fasting, the test can be given as part of an overall blood screening. The A1C test is also known as the hemoglobin A1C test or HbA1C test. Other alternate names include the glycosylated hemoglobin test, glycohemoglobin test, and glycated hemoglobin test. A1C measures the amount of hemoglobin in the blood that has glucose attached to it. Hemoglobin is a protein found inside red blood cells that carries oxygen to the body. Hemoglobin cells are constantly dying and regenerating, but they have a lifespan of approximately three months. Glucose attaches, or glycates, to hemoglobin, so the record of how much glucose is attached to your hemoglobin also lasts for about three months. If there’s too much glucose attached to the hemoglobin cells, you’ll have a high A1C. If the amount of glucose is normal, your A1C will be normal. The test is effective because of the lifespan of the hemogl Continue reading >>

What Do Your A1c Test Results Really Mean?

What Do Your A1c Test Results Really Mean?

The hemoglobin A1c test, as we all know, is supposed to give a sense of your average blood glucose levels over the past three months. But here’s a question for you: have you ever tried to figure out what those average blood glucose levels actually are? Say you have an A1c of 6.5% — what, in mg/dl, does that translate to? Try searching Google — it’s hard to find an answer. To quote from a post I wrote a few years ago (see entry from 4:45), that’s partially because: “Not only is there no one standardized definition as to the correlation between A1c and mean glucose levels (JDRF says 1% = 24.4 mg/dl, ADA says 28.7), but different people have different correlations. For example, if you are a ‘high glycolator’ (more glucose sticks to your hemoglobin than the average) you can have a relatively high A1c but a low mean glucose. The speaker gave the example of a patient who had a 8.2% A1c, but a mean glucose of 159 mg/dl (he was speaking using the generally accepted idea that 7% roughly equals a mean of 154 mg/dl). Treat him more aggressively, and you’ll end up with hypos. And if you’re a ‘hypoglycolator,’ it’s the opposite.” Well, just this week, a new paper was published in the American Diabetes Association’s Diabetes Care journal that provides a more solid answer to this question than I’ve seen — even though, as I must warn you, personal variability (as described above) means there’s still no precise answer. In the study, researchers wanted to find out what your average blood sugar would have to be in three situations — fasting, after meals and before bed — in order to achieve a particular A1c. Here are their results: A1c test results of 5.5-6.49% were associated with an average fasting blood glucose level of 122 mg/dl. A1c test results Continue reading >>

Hemoglobin A1c Test (hba1c, A1c, Hb1c)

Hemoglobin A1c Test (hba1c, A1c, Hb1c)

Hemoglobin A1c definition and facts Hemoglobin A1c is a protein on the surface of red blood cells that sugar molecules stick to, usually for the life of the red blood cell (about three months). The higher the level of glucose in the blood, the higher the level of hemoglobin A1c is detectable on red blood cells. Hemoglobin A1c levels correlate with average levels of glucose in the blood over an approximately three-month time period. Normal ranges for hemoglobin A1c in people without diabetes is about 4% to 5.9%. People with diabetes with poor glucose control have hemoglobin A1c levels above 7%. Hemoglobin A1c levels are routinely used to determine blood sugar control over time in people with diabetes. Decreasing hemoglobin A1c levels by 1% may decrease the risk of microvascular complications (for example, diabetic eye, nerve, or kidney disease) by 10%. Hemoglobin A1c levels should be checked, according to the American Diabetic Association, every six months in individuals with stable blood sugar control, and every three months if the person is trying to establish stable blood sugar control. Hemoglobin A1c has many other names such as glycohemoglobin, glycated hemoglobin, glycosylated hemoglobin, and HbA1c. To explain what hemoglobin A1c is, think in simple terms. Sugar sticks to things, and when it has been stuck to something for a long time it's harder to the get sugar (glucose) off. In the body, sugar sticks too, particularly to proteins. The red blood cells that circulate in the body live for about three months before they die. When sugar (glucose) sticks to these red blood cells by binding to hemoglobin A1c, it gives us an idea of how much glucose has been around in the blood for the preceding three months. Hemoglobin A1c is a minor component of hemoglobin to which gl Continue reading >>

Your Average Blood Sugar: Why It Really Matters

Your Average Blood Sugar: Why It Really Matters

If there was a blood test that could give you valuable information about a major, yet reversible risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease and age related dementia, would you want to take it? What if that same blood test could also give you information about your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, vision loss, cancer and how fast you can expect your body to age? What if the test was really cheap? Now, what if you knew that what you were going to have to do to reverse your risk of all these conditions was going to be personally challenging, maybe even really hard, would you still want to take the test? Something to think about, isn’t it? The test I’m talking about does exist. It’s a simple little test that’s run all the time. It’s full implications are rarely considered, however. The test It’s called “hemoglobin A1c” and is sometimes referred to simply as the “A1c” test. In essence, it measures the amount of sugar that has become stuck to the hemoglobin in your red blood cells (hemoglobin is the component in blood that carries oxygen). Because red blood cells live for about 3 to 4 months, the test is usually used to estimate an “average blood sugar” for the previous 3 months. The more sugar floating around in your blood on a daily basis, the higher you A1c value will be. In conventional medicine the test is used to diagnose and monitor treatment goals for diabetics. The implications of a person’s A1c value run much deeper, however. Sugar within the body doesn’t just stick to hemoglobin. It sticks to many tissues that are made of proteins and fats (this accounts for most tissues in your body by the way) and can bind directly to DNA. The compounds formed by this process are called advanced glycation end products or “AGEs” for Continue reading >>

Why Hemoglobin A1c Is Not A Reliable Marker

Why Hemoglobin A1c Is Not A Reliable Marker

i was recently tested for Hemoglobin A1c because i presented to an endocrinologist with extremely low blood glucose on lab test and some scary symptoms, not the ordinary hypoglycemia symptoms. My A1c was 4.7 which registered as low (L) on the lab print out–it was only slightly low. Does a low score on this suggest a possibility of short-lived RBCs? Does it have any relationship with extremely low blood glucose? my result at the lab, fasting, was 32mg/dL. Not long after that i got a home glucometer and i get the same kind of results on that as the lab got, in the 20s and 30s first thing in the morning, every day. did not know i had hypoglycemia until i had that lab test, though i had had one episode where i woke up with ataxia, i fell while walking to the bathroom first thing in the morning, i got up and immediately fell again. I soon found that i had very impaired coordination. i did not know why and i was very worried. Eventually i wanted to have breakfast but had great difficulty holding the measuring cup under the faucet, to get some water to heat, to make instant oatmeal, i lacked the coordination to get the water into the cup. I persisted and did make the instant oatmeal (pour hot water onto flakes and it’s done), and i got my lap top and was eating the oatmeal and i suddenly was aware that the symptoms were going away. Previously i had been unable to type. While eating the small amount of oatmeal, i realized i could type. That was about a month before the lab test. Since it only happened that once, i put it out of my mind. About 5 days after the lab test, i had the second episode, worse than the first, i woke falling out of bed to the floor, couldn’t use my arm to break the fall, i didn’t have the coordination. i sat on the floor, i could not get up and wa Continue reading >>

Understanding Your Hba1c

Understanding Your Hba1c

You’ve heard about a diabetes test called a hemoglobin A1C. It’s sometimes shortened to HgbA1c or HbA1c or just A1C. Hopefully, you know what yours is. But do you know what it means and what to do with the information? Hemoglobin is what makes red blood cells red. It consists of several proteins wrapped around an iron-based molecule called heme. Heme attaches to oxygen and carries it to the cells. That’s why iron is important in our diets. We need iron to make heme to carry oxygen, so our cells can breathe. Glucose (sugar) molecules are also floating along in our blood. Glucose attaches itself to all kinds of proteins, including the hemoglobin in red blood cells (RBCs). When glucose levels are high, many more of them will attach. Hemoglobin coated with glucose is called “glycated” or “glycosylated” hemoglobin. Glycation (“sugar-coating”) may not harm an RBC, but it does tell us if the cell has encountered much glucose during its lifetime. The more glucose has been in the blood, the more RBCs will be glycated. This is what an HbA1c test measures. A1C isn’t measuring what your blood glucose level is at the moment. It measures how high glucose has been over the last two months or so. RBCs only live about 100–120 days in the bloodstream. Once they become glycated, they stay glycated for life, so the number of glycated RBCs (HbA1c) gives a good picture of how much glucose has been in the blood recently. The A1C test has several advantages over other tests such as a fasting blood sugar (FBS). You don’t have to fast for an A1C. It can be taken at any time of day. It doesn’t matter what you ate the day before or on the day of the test, because it’s not measuring your current sugar. Normally, between 4.2% and 5.6% of RBCs will be glycated. The America Continue reading >>

Hemoglobin A1c (hba1c) Test For Diabetes

Hemoglobin A1c (hba1c) Test For Diabetes

The hemoglobin A1c test tells you your average level of blood sugar over the past 2 to 3 months. It's also called HbA1c, glycated hemoglobin test, and glycohemoglobin. People who have diabetes need this test regularly to see if their levels are staying within range. It can tell if you need to adjust your diabetes medicines. The A1c test is also used to diagnose diabetes. Hemoglobin is a protein found in red blood cells. It gives blood its red color, and it’s job is to carry oxygen throughout your body. The sugar in your blood is called glucose. When glucose builds up in your blood, it binds to the hemoglobin in your red blood cells. The A1c test measures how much glucose is bound. Red blood cells live for about 3 months, so the test shows the average level of glucose in your blood for the past 3 months. If your glucose levels have been high over recent weeks, your hemoglobin A1c test will be higher. For people without diabetes, the normal range for the hemoglobin A1c level is between 4% and 5.6%. Hemoglobin A1c levels between 5.7% and 6.4% mean you have a higher change of getting of diabetes. Levels of 6.5% or higher mean you have diabetes. The target A1c level for people with diabetes is usually less than 7%. The higher the hemoglobin A1c, the higher your risk of having complications related to diabetes. A combination of diet, exercise, and medication can bring your levels down. People with diabetes should have an A1c test every 3 months to make sure their blood sugar is in their target range. If your diabetes is under good control, you may be able to wait longer between the blood tests. But experts recommend checking at least two times a year. People with diseases affecting hemoglobin, such as anemia, may get misleading results with this test. Other things that can Continue reading >>

Your Most Important Blood Test

Your Most Important Blood Test

This week, the British Journal of Cancer published an incredibly important report that found a strong relationship between a simple blood test and the risk for various forms of cancer. The study found that the common blood test used by diabetics to measure their average blood sugar, A1c, was strongly predictive in terms of cancer development. For those of you who are not diabetic, you may not be familiar with this simple test that has profound health implications well beyond diabetes. Basically, the A1c test measures the amount of glycation that the protein hemoglobin has undergone. Glycation simply means that sugar has become bonded to a protein, in this case hemoglobin, and this is a relatively slow process. Hence, it’s a way to get a sense as to how high the blood sugar has been, in this case over a 3-4 month period of time, and this is why it’s so helpful for diabetics. But with this new report, we now understand that having elevated A1c translates to risk for cancer, and as I’ve explained in Grain Brain, it is also a powerful indicator of risk for developing dementia. If you look at the chart on page 117 of the book, reproduced below, you’ll note that A1c is also directly related to the rate at which the brain shrinks on an annual basis. Think of it, this one simple blood test can give you incredibly important information about cancer risk, risk for dementia, and even risk for shrinkage of your brain! Most commonly people are told that having an A1c of 5.6 – 5.8 should be considered normal, but when you look at the graph above, these levels already put you in the second highest category for brain shrinkage! I believe that, based on this information, we should strive to keep our A1c at 5.2 or even lower. The way to accomplish this is simply by reducing you Continue reading >>

Diagnosis

Diagnosis

Print The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends that blood glucose screening for adults begin at age 45, or sooner if you are overweight and have additional risk factors for prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. There are several blood tests for prediabetes. Glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test This test indicates your average blood sugar level for the past two to three months. Specifically, the test measures the percentage of blood sugar attached to the oxygen-carrying protein in red blood cells (hemoglobin). The higher your blood sugar levels, the more hemoglobin you'll have with sugar attached. In general: An A1C level below 5.7 percent is considered normal An A1C level between 5.7 and 6.4 percent is considered prediabetes An A1C level of 6.5 percent or higher on two separate tests indicates type 2 diabetes Certain conditions can make the A1C test inaccurate — such as if you are pregnant or have an uncommon form of hemoglobin (hemoglobin variant). Fasting blood sugar test A blood sample is taken after you fast for at least eight hours or overnight. In general: A fasting blood sugar level below 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) — 5.6 millimoles per liter (mmol/L) — is considered normal. A fasting blood sugar level from 100 to 125 mg/dL (5.6 to 7.0 mmol/L) is considered prediabetes. This result is sometimes called impaired fasting glucose. A fasting blood sugar level of 126 mg/dL (7.0 mmol/L) or higher indicates type 2 diabetes. Oral glucose tolerance test This test is usually used to diagnose diabetes only during pregnancy. A blood sample is taken after you fast for at least eight hours or overnight. Then you'll drink a sugary solution, and your blood sugar level will be measured again after two hours. In general: A blood sugar level less than 140 mg/dL (7.8 mmo Continue reading >>

The Normal A1c Level

The Normal A1c Level

Wow Richard, 70 lbs? I have lost 24 lbs from low carb diet due to SIBO. It also helped my AC1 go down three points from 6.2 and my cholesterol is lower, which surprised me. I can’t afford to lose anymore weight because I was small to begin with. I had noticed much bigger people in the UK over the last 5 years compared to 15-20. Was quite shocking. I thought we had the patent on obesity! I am not diabetic that I know of but I had weird symptoms… Thirst that continued all day and night. My husband called me a camel. Dry eyes, rashes, strange dark discolouration on arm, under the arm to the side, some circulation issues and blurred vision. Eye specialist could not figure out why. Sores in the mouth also. I had observed about three weeks into super low carbs (30 Gms carb/day) that athlete’s foot symptom, sores in mouth and rashes were clearing up. So, lowering carbs for SIBO actually turned out for the best. By the way, I love your final paragraph. Research is what led me to SIBO diagnosis, and I then told the GI what to look for! He was barking up the wrong tree for months. Said I needed to eat more carbs so I don’t lose weight. Well, carbs fed the bacterial overgrowth!!! Dang fool. On Saturday, June 23, 2012, Diabetes Developments wrote: There is a new comment on the post “The Normal A1C Level”. Author: Richard Comment: I think part of the problem is that doctors are trained over many years to treat with pills, not with food. We continue to do what we are trained to do no matter what. I do believe they want to help us but don’t have the nutritional knowledge because that is not their expertise. When you have a hammer, etc. Nutritionist are no better unless they are those involved in research. They just peddle the messages they are told to. Then again, why wo Continue reading >>

The Normal A1c Level

The Normal A1c Level

You want to control your diabetes as much as possible. You wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t. So you regularly check your A1C level. This is the best measurement of our blood glucose control that we have now. It tells us what percentage of our hemoglobin – the protein in our red blood cells that carry oxygen – has glucose sticking to it. The less glucose that remains in our bloodstream rather than going to work in the cells that need it the better we feel now and the better our health will continue to be. Less glucose in the bloodstream over time leads to lower A1C values. As we are able to control our diabetes better and better, the reasonable goal is to bring our A1C levels down to normal – the A1C level that people who don’t have diabetes have. But before we can even set that goal, we have to know what the target is. The trouble with setting that target is that different experts tell us that quite different A1C levels are “normal.” They tell us that different levels are normal – but I have never heard of actual studies of normal A1C levels among people without diabetes – until now. The major laboratories that test our levels often say that the normal range is 4.0 to 6.0. They base that range on an old standard chemistry text, Tietz Fundamentals of Clinical Chemistry. The Diabetes Control and Complications Trial or DCCT, one of the two largest and most important studies of people with diabetes, said that 6.0 was a normal level. But the other key study, the United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study or UKPDS, which compared conventional and intensive therapy in more than 5,000 newly diagnosed people with type 2 diabetes, said that 6.2 is the normal level. Those levels, while unsubstantiated, are close. But then comes along one of my heroes, Dr. Continue reading >>

A1c Was Actually 5.6

A1c Was Actually 5.6

So the number my doctor used to diagnose me with diabetes and to put me on metformin was actually a 5.6 rather than the 7.0 I'd believed it was. I can't find it anywhere as a diabetic number. I know it's at the end of the so-called normal range, just before the pre-diabetic range, but, is it really a definitive diagnostic for type two diabetes at 5.6? Is this maybe the reason that my blood sugars have tested absolutely normal for the week I've been monitoring them? I mean, aside from the high carb meal that brought me up to 128 two hours after eating it? My highest fasting BG was 88. My usual fasting BG is between 72 - 83. My post meal blood sugars are usually between 119 and 88. If I'm not really diabetic, I'm a little concerned that with a diagnosis of type two diabetes in my record I'll be given unnecessary insulin if I'm hospitalized for a different health condition or accident. I did recently get onto effective pain medication. Could that be why my blood sugar is normal now despite this 5.6 taken before the pain meds were prescribed? I have both chronic and acute pain. The chronic pain doesn't spike me high but it does keep my fasting BG's higher than I would like. It's the acute pain that sends it through the roof. I assume because of all the other stress hormones that are triggered with that kind of pain. I'm no expert on diagnosing borderline diabetics but completely agree that if you aren't it's best to not have that on your record. I don't know what they do in cases like yours. Are you following up with the doc to understand why he thinks you are diabetic? This is tremendous news. What you are now saying does seem completely normal. I have chronic pain, but it's so chronic that I don't know if my bs would be lower without it. I do think my change of diet has Continue reading >>

5 Ways To Lower Your A1c

5 Ways To Lower Your A1c

For some, home blood sugar testing can be an important and useful tool for managing your blood sugar on a day-to-day basis. Still, it only provides a snapshot of what’s happening in the moment, not long-term information, says Gregory Dodell, MD, assistant clinical professor of medicine, endocrinology, diabetes, and bone disease at Mount Sinai Health System in New York City. For this reason, your doctor may occasionally administer a blood test that measures your average blood sugar level over the past two to three months. Called the A1C test, or the hemoglobin A1C test, this provides a more accurate picture of how well your type 2 diabetes management plan is working. Taking the A1C Test If your diabetes is well controlled and your blood sugar levels have remained stable, the American Diabetes Association recommends that you have the A1C test two times each year. This simple blood draw can be done in your doctor's office. 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. The A1C test results provide insight into how your treatment plan is working, and how it might be modified to better control the condition. Your doctor may want to run the test as often as every three months if your A1C is not within your target range. What the A1C Results Mean The A1C test measures the glucose (blood sugar) in your blood by assessing the amount of what’s called glycated hemoglobin. “Hemoglobin is a protein within red blood cells. As glucose enters the bloodstream, it binds to hemoglobin, or glycates. The more glucose that enters the bloodstream, the higher the amount of glycated hemoglobin,” Dr. Dodell says. An A1C level below 5.7 percent is considered normal. An A1C between 5.7 and 6.4 perce Continue reading >>

More in diabetes