What Is Pre-diabetes?
What Should I Do If I Have It? Are you one of the estimated 54 million people in this country who have pre-diabetes? If you have pre-diabetes, you are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes and also are at increased risk of developing heart disease. Pre-diabetes is a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as full-blown diabetes. Those with pre-diabetes are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes within a decade unless they adopt a healthier lifestyle that includes weight loss and more physical activity. First, let's define what "pre-diabetes" is and is not. Diabetes is defined as having a fasting plasma blood glucose level of 126 mg/dl or greater on two separate occasions. If diabetes symptoms exist and you have a casual blood glucose taken at any time that is equal to or greater than 200 mg/dl, and a second test shows the same high blood glucose level, then you have diabetes. In general, people who have a fasting plasma blood glucose in the 100-125 mg/dl range are defined as having impaired fasting glucose. If your doctor gives you an oral glucose tolerance test, and at two-hours your blood glucose is 140-199 mg/dl, you have "impaired glucose tolerance". Either of these is medical terminology for what your doctor is probably referring to when he says you have "pre-diabetes." Be sure to ask your doctor what your exact blood sugar test results are when he tells you that you have "pre-diabetes." Some physicians are not as familiar as they should be with the new national guidelines for diagnosing diabetes. They may be telling you that you have pre-diabetes, when in fact you have actual diabetes. Among those who should be screened for pre-diabetes include overweight adults age 45 and older and those u Continue reading >>
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 >>
What Is The Best Thing You Can Do At Age 30 To Benefit Your Life At Age 50 And Beyond?
You asked for one, but I'm going to give you five to cover various aspects of your life - physical, mental, emotional/spiritual, social, and financial. 1) Physical -- Find one or two exercises that you actually enjoy doing Anyone can tell you to run, lift, do yoga, bike, do Crossfit, etc, but if you truly don't enjoy it, you'll never develop a lifelong habit. I've tried just about every type of exercise over the past 30 years, until I discovered what works best for me and my body: yoga, swimming, and walking. I do all three just about everyday, because I enjoy them and they make my body feel good. 2) Mental -- Develop a love of reading Set aside at least 30 minutes every day to read something (and I'm not talking about a blog or social media post). I'm talking about an actual book -- it can be fiction or non-fiction, hard copy or electronic. The more you read, the more you learn, understand other viewpoints, and develop your curiosity and creativity. 3) Emotional / Spiritual -- Learn to meditate They say there are only two things in life that are certain - death and taxes. Well, I say there's a third - stress. No matter how privileged your life may be, you will find yourself under stress. There are too many things outside your control that cause stress -- the weather, politics, terrorism, asteroids, diseases, you name it. The best way to deal with all this stress is to know how to calm and center your mind, and the best way to do that is with a daily meditation practice. 4) Social -- Live in SF or NYC & Travel Two things I'd highly recommend that you do by age 30 are 1) live in a cosmopolitan city like New York City, San Francisco, Paris, Rome, etc, and 2) travel as much as you can. Both things will help you understand other cultures, types of food, belief systems, and Continue reading >>
8 Numbers You Need To Know For Diabetes
How to Manage Diabetes With Numbers Diabetes self-management is a numbers game. But it's not just about your blood sugar. There are at least eight different numbers you should be familiar with to lower your risk for complications from diabetes symptoms. "Diabetes self-management is absolutely essential," says Enrico Cagliero, MD, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and an associate physician at the Massachusetts General Hospital Diabetes Center. "Although managing these numbers may not improve diabetes symptoms, it can help decrease the risk of serious complications such as blindness or kidney failure down the road." Continue reading >>
What The Numbers Mean?
Your Blood Glucose Readings How do you find out what your blood glucose level is? There are two ways to track blood glucose levels: one is through a blood test taken by your GP or a pathology laboratory; the other is through monitoring yourself with a blood glucose meter. In this section we look at pathology blood glucose results, but for more information about self monitoring your blood glucose levels you can refer to our blood glucose monitoring fact sheet. You may be asked to fast for a pathology blood glucose test or it could be taken without fasting. The diagnosis of diabetes or pre-diabetes, also known as Impaired Fasting Glucose (IFG) or Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT), must always be made on a laboratory blood glucose test. The laboratory test is based on a blood sample taken from the vein. A finger prick test is not adequate for the diagnosis of these conditions. Did your blood glucose test require fasting? Fasting results: If your blood glucose result was less than 5.5mmol/L, diabetes is unlikely. It is recommended that you have your blood glucose retested in three years. If your blood glucose result was between 5.5mmol/L – 6.9mmol/L, the result requires further investigation. It is recommended that you have an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT). If your blood glucose result was over 7.0mmol/L, another fasting test is required. If this test shows a blood glucose of 7.0mmol/L and over, then you have diabetes. Random results: If your blood glucose result was less than 5.5mmol/L, diabetes is unlikely. It is recommended that you have your blood glucose retested in three years. If your blood glucose result was between 5.5mmol/L – 11.0mmol/L, an OGTT is required. If your blood glucose result was 11.0mmol/L and over, a fasting blood glucose test is required. An Continue reading >>
Analyzing Your Numbers: When Is It Diabetes?
Know the Numbers According to the American Diabetes Association's Standards of Medical Care, these numbers should be used to diagnose pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes. The ADA suggests everyone over age 45 be checked every three years -- especially if your body mass index (BMI) is over 25. People with a family history of diabetes should be tested at a younger age and more frequently. Normal Fasting glucose level: Less than 100 mg/dl Two hours after eating: Less than 140 mg/dl Pre-Diabetes Fasting glucose level: Equal to or greater than 100 mg/dl and less than 126 mg/dl Two hours after eating: Equal to or greater than 140 mg/dl and less than 200 mg/dl Type 2 Diabetes Fasting glucose level: Equal to or greater than 126 mg/dl. A second test is required for confirmation. Two hours after eating: Equal to or greater than 200 mg/dl. A second test is required for confirmation. Aim for these Targets Maintaining recommended targets for the following risk factors may help you avoid heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Aim for the targets below, as recommended by the ADA in its CheckUp America program at checkupamerica.org. Weight: Body mass index between 19 and 25 Waist circumference: Less than 35 inches for women and 40 inches for men LDL (bad) cholesterol: Less than 100 mg/dl HDL (good) cholesterol: Greater than 60 mg/dl Total cholesterol: Less than 200 mg/dl Triglycerides: Less than 150 mg/dl Blood pressure: Less than 120/80 mmHg Blood glucose: Less than 100 mg/dl Smoking cigarettes: No safe level Physical activity: At least 30 minutes of moderate activity most days Determining Your BMI Body mass index (BMI) is a ratio of weight to height that's used to measure body fat. Use this formula to calculate your BMI or go to nhlbisupport.com/bmi/bmicalc.htm for a quick calculation. Then Continue reading >>
What Causes Diabetes?
Little Known Factors That Lead To Diabetes What are some of the lifestyle, genetics and other not-so-obvious factors that can trigger diabetes? What can you do to prevent this condition? Diabetes is a chronic condition associated with abnormally high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. It affects over 29.1 million people in the U.S. – 9.3 percent of the population in the U.S. Another 86 million Americans have prediabetes and aren’t even aware of it. The cause of diabetes is the absence or insufficient production of the hormone insulin, which lowers blood sugar in the body. Two types of diabetes There are two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2, which are also known as insulin-dependent and non-insulin-dependent diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is less common: it affects only 1 in 250 Americans and only occurs in individuals younger than age 20. It has no known cure. A majority of type 2 diabetes cases can be prevented or cured. Signs and symptoms Among the symptoms of type 1 and type 2 diabetes are: Increased urine Excessive thirst Weight loss Hunger Fatigue Skin problems Slow-healing wounds Yeast infections Tingling or numbness in feet or toes Various factors Research has proven that there are certain lifestyle and genetic factors that lead to diabetes. Among them are: Leading a non-active lifestyle A family history of diabetes High blood pressure (hypertension) Low levels of the good cholesterol (HDL) Elevated levels of triglycerides (a type of fat) in the blood Increasing age Polycystic ovary syndrome Impaired glucose tolerance Insulin resistance Gestational diabetes during a pregnancy Some ethnic backgrounds (African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, Native Americans and Alaska natives) are at greater risk of diabetes. Get t Continue reading >>
Understanding Your A1c
The A1C is a blood test that helps determine if your diabetes management plan is working well. (Both Type 1 and Type 2 take this test.) It’s done every 2-3 months to find out what your average blood sugar has been. (You may also hear this test called glycosylated hemoglobin, glycohemoglobin, hemoglobin A1c, and HbA1c.) A1c is the most common name for it though. How the test works Essentially, the test can tell how much sugar is in the blood stream by looking for proteins (hemoglobins). When glucose (sugar) enters the blood, it binds to the protein in the red blood cells. This binding creates “glycated hemoglobin”. The more sugar in the blood, the more glycated hemoglobin. It’s important to test your blood sugar levels (BGLs) throughout the day; however, an A1C test gives you a bigger picture with a long-term average of those blood sugar levels. What do these numbers mean? The A1c is an average of what your blood sugar levels have been over the 3-month period. In general, the higher your A1C number, the higher your likelihood of diabetes complications. (You don’t want a high A1C; it means there is too much sugar in your blood and your body isn’t absorbing it.) A1C number 4.6 – 6.0 Normal (does not have diabetes) 5.7 – 6.4 Pre-diabetes (warning that someone may develop Type 2 or have the beginning onset of Type 1) 6.7+ Diabetes (someone diagnosed with diabetes) <7.0 – 7.5 Target range (for adults diagnosed with diabetes – children diagnosed with diabetes) This target range varies between individuals, some people naturally run a little higher, some lower. It is important to note that especially in children a higher A1C (of 7.5) is recommended. The A1C number will help you and your doctor determine though if your diabetes management plan is working well. Continue reading >>
Guide To Hba1c
Tweet HbA1c is a term commonly used in relation to diabetes. This guide explains what HbA1c is, how it differs from blood glucose levels and how it's used for diagnosing diabetes. What is HbA1c? The term HbA1c refers to glycated haemoglobin. It develops when haemoglobin, a protein within red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout your body, joins with glucose in the blood, becoming 'glycated'. By measuring glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c), clinicians are able to get an overall picture of what our average blood sugar levels have been over a period of weeks/months. For people with diabetes this is important as the higher the HbA1c, the greater the risk of developing diabetes-related complications. HbA1c is also referred to as haemoglobin A1c or simply A1c. HbA1c refers to glycated haemoglobin (A1c), which identifies average plasma glucose concentration. How does HBA1c return an accurate average measurement of average blood glucose? When the body processes sugar, glucose in the bloodstream naturally attaches to haemoglobin. The amount of glucose that combines with this protein is directly proportional to the total amount of sugar that is in your system at that time. Because red blood cells in the human body survive for 8-12 weeks before renewal, measuring glycated haemoglobin (or HbA1c) can be used to reflect average blood glucose levels over that duration, providing a useful longer-term gauge of blood glucose control. If your blood sugar levels have been high in recent weeks, your HbA1c will also be greater. HbA1c targets The HbA1c target for people with diabetes to aim for is: 48 mmol/mol (6.5%) Note that this is a general target and people with diabetes should be given an individual target to aim towards by their health team. An individual HbA1c should take into account Continue reading >>
Prediabetes? What Does It Mean For Your Kidneys?
Prediabetes describes the condition of someone who is on their way to developing diabetes. Before having diabetes, people usually have “pre-diabetes.” This is a new name for a condition in which blood glucose (sugar) levels are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. A person with prediabetes cannot handle sugar as well as they should. Even though diabetes is not full blown, high sugar levels in prediabetes can be causing problems throughout the body. One of the main organs that can be damaged is the kidney. People with prediabetes often have unrecognized chronic kidney disease (CKD), according to new research. In this large study, more than one third of the people with prediabetes were found to have two signs of kidney disease: protein in the urine (called albuminuria). Albuminuria is not normal. reduced estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). This is a measure of how well the kidneys work; the eGFR tells the stage of kidney disease. In the people with prediabetes, the stage of chronic kidney disease was just as advanced as people with diabetes. Many people with either prediabetes or diabetes were found to have stage 3 or 4 chronic kidney disease. There are 5 stages of chronic kidney disease. When the disease reaches stage 5, the person will need kidney replacement therapy, either transplantation or dialysis. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that about one in four U.S. adults aged 20 years or older—or 57 million people—have pre—diabetes. Without patients and their doctors taking action, prediabetes is likely to become type 2 diabetes in 10 years or less. People with prediabetes should know that the long—term damage to their body—especially to the heart, kidneys and blood vessels — may alread Continue reading >>
What Does Your A1c Number Really Mean?
We dFolk are bombarded with numbers, goals, and targets. We’re frequently told where we should be, but not how high our risk is when we can’t reach our targets. Here, we break down A1C numbers into a simple green-light, yellow-light, red-light format, to give you perspective on when (and how much) to worry, when to relax, when to call your doc, and when to call 911. Green-light A1C score For most people, the target for A1C, the green light, is between 6.0% and 6.9%. These numbers are commonly expressed simply as 6.0 and 6.9, without the % sign. If your A1C falls into this zone, you’re considered to be in control. For perspective, these numbers can be converted into “meter” numbers called estimated average glucose—eAG for short. The green light eAG range is 126 mg/dL (7 mmol/l) to 151 mg/dL (8.39 mmol/l). But what if your numbers are higher than target? Or lower than target? When are you actually in danger? Yellow-light A1C score If the light turns yellow as you approach the intersection, you need to either speed up or stop. Whichever is safe under the circumstances, right? If your A1C is between 7.0 and 8.9, you’ll be classified as “out of control.” But how much danger are you in? Frankly, it depends upon how close you are to either end of the spectrum. Yellow-light A1Cs are higher than is strictly healthy, but pose no immediate harm. However, the higher you are in this range, the closer you are to a red light. We’ll talk about just how serious that can be in a minute. I should point out that there are some special cases. If you’re a very young type 1, a yellow-light A1C score may be considered in-target for you until you get older. Similarly, if you’re an elderly type 2, or have a history of severe hypoglycemia, you doctor may choose to “green Continue reading >>
Know Your Blood Sugar Numbers: Use Them To Manage Your Diabetes
Checking your blood sugar, also called blood glucose, is an important part of diabetes care. This tip sheet tells you: why it helps you to know your blood sugar numbers how to check your blood sugar levels what are target blood sugar levels what to do if your levels are too low or too high how to pay for these tests Why do I need to know my blood sugar numbers? Your blood sugar numbers show how well your diabetes is managed. And managing your diabetes means that you have less chance of having serious health problems, such as kidney disease and vision loss. As you check your blood sugar, you can see what makes your numbers go up and down. For example, you may see that when you are stressed or eat certain foods, your numbers go up. And, you may see that when you take your medicine and are active, your numbers go down. This information lets you know what is working for you and what needs to change. How is blood sugar measured? There are two ways to measure blood sugar. Blood sugar checks that you do yourself. These tell you what your blood sugar level is at the time you test. The A1C (A-one-C) is a test done in a lab or at your provider’s office. This test tells you your average blood sugar level over the past 2 to 3 months. How do I check my blood sugar? You use a blood glucose meter to check your blood sugar. This device uses a small drop of blood from your finger to measure your blood sugar level. You can get the meter and supplies in a drug store or by mail. Read the directions that come with your meter to learn how to check your blood sugar. Your health care team also can show you how to use your meter. Write the date, time, and result of the test in your blood sugar record. Take your blood sugar record and meter to each visit and talk about your results with your h Continue reading >>
Has Anyone Used Dbtone For Diabetes Treatment?
Diabetes treatment varies for each individual Successful treatment makes all the difference to long-term health, and achieving balanced diabetes treatment can be the key to living with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes . Treatment varies for each individual, not simply on the type of diabetes that they have, but also more individual-specific diabetic treatment differences. Your diabetes treatment and management strategy should be agreed between you and your health care team. The aim of diabetes treatment is to keep, within reason, blood glucose levels as near to normal as possible. Training in self management of diabetes forms an essential part of diabetes management. Treatment should be agreed on an individual basis and address medical, psychosocial and lifestyle issues. A variety of different factors have a role to play in trea… Continue Reading Type 2 diabetes has a number of drug treatment options to be taken by mouth known as oral antihyperglycemic drugs or oral hypoglycemic drugs. Oral diabetes drugs are usually reserved for use only after lifestyle measures have been unsuccessful in lowering glucose levels to the target of an HbA1c below 7.0%, achieved through an average glucose reading of around 8.3–8.9 mmol/L (around 150–160 mg/dL).1–3 The lifestyle measures that are critical to type 2 diabetes management are diet and exercise , and these remain an important part of treatment when pills are added.2,3 People with type 1 diabetes cannot use oral pills for treatment, and must instead take insulin . Metformin is the most widely used oral antihyperglycemic drug and reduces the amount of glucose released by the liver into the bloodstream. Oral antihyperglycemic drugs have… Continue Reading The Loma Linda University Health Diabetes Treatment Center is recogniz Continue reading >>
Diabetes Blood Sugar Levels Chart [printable]
JUMP TO: Intro | Blood sugar vs blood glucose | Diagnostic levels | Blood sugar goals for people with type 2 diabetes | Visual chart | Commonly asked questions about blood sugar Before Getting Started I was talking to one of my clients recently about the importance of getting blood sugar levels under control. So before sharing the diabetes blood sugar levels chart, I want to OVER EMPHASIZE the importance of you gaining the best control of your blood sugar levels as you possibly can. Just taking medication and doing nothing else is really not enough. You see, I just don’t think many people are fully informed about why it is so crucial to do, because if you already have a diabetes diagnosis then you are already at high risk for heart disease and other vascular problems. Maybe you've been better informed by your doctor but many people I come across haven't. So if that's you, it's important to know that during your pre-diabetic period, there is a lot of damage that is already done to the vascular system. This occurs due to the higher-than-normal blood sugar, that's what causes the damage. So now that you have type 2 diabetes, you want to prevent any of the nasty complications by gaining good control over your levels. Truly, ask anyone having to live with diabetes complications and they’ll tell you it’s the pits! You DO NOT want it to happen to you if you can avoid it. While medications may be needed, just taking medication alone and doing nothing is really not enough! Why is it not enough even if your blood sugars seem reasonably under control? Well, one common research observation in people with diabetes, is there is a slow and declining progression of blood sugar control and symptoms. Meaning, over time your ability to regulate sugars and keep healthy gets harder. I Continue reading >>
What Is A Normal Blood Sugar Level?
The aim of diabetes treatment is to bring blood sugar (“glucose”) as close to normal as possible. What is a normal blood sugar level? And how can you achieve normal blood sugar? First, what is the difference between “sugar” and “glucose”? Sugar is the general name for sweet carbohydrates that dissolve in water. “Carbohydrate” means a food made only of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen. There are various different kinds of sugars. The one our body uses most is called “glucose.” Other sugars we eat, like fructose from fruit or lactose from milk, are converted into glucose in our bodies. Then we can use them for energy. Our bodies also break down starches, which are sugars stuck together, into glucose. When people talk about “blood sugar,” they mean “blood glucose.” The two terms mean the same thing. In the U.S., blood sugar is normally measured in milligrams of glucose per deciliter of blood (mg/dl). A milligram is very little, about 0.00018 of a teaspoon. A deciliter is about 3 1/3 ounces. In Canada and the United Kingdom, blood sugar is reported in millimoles/liter (mmol/L). You can convert Canadian or British glucose levels to American numbers if you multiply them by 18. This is useful to know if you’re reading comments or studies from England or Canada. If someone reports that their fasting blood glucose was 7, you can multiply that by 18 and get their U.S. glucose level of 126 mg/dl. What are normal glucose numbers? They vary throughout the day. (Click here for a blood sugar chart.) For someone without diabetes, a fasting blood sugar on awakening should be under 100 mg/dl. Before-meal normal sugars are 70–99 mg/dl. “Postprandial” sugars taken two hours after meals should be less than 140 mg/dl. Those are the normal numbers for someone w Continue reading >>