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What Does A Low Hemoglobin A1c Mean

The Abcs Of Diabetes: A1c, Blood Pressure, And Cholesterol

The Abcs Of Diabetes: A1c, Blood Pressure, And Cholesterol

Three important diabetes measures There is so much to think about when you have diabetes, but this easy-to-remember acronym will help you focus on what’s important and take control of your health. Read our breakdown and talk to your doctor about what’s right for you. A = AIC What is it? An A1C blood test measures the percentage of hemoglobin (the oxygen-carrying protein in your red blood cells) coated with sugar. It measures your average blood glucose (sugar) level over the past two to three months. The A1C test gives you and your health care provider a measure of your progress. Most people with diabetes should have an A1C test every three to six months; people who are meeting their treatment goals may need the test only twice a year. Why is it important? The A1C test is a good measure of how well your glucose is under control. It can also be a good tool for determining if someone with prediabetes is progressing toward or has developed type 2 diabetes. Adults over age 45 with hypertension, obesity, or a family history of diabetes also are advised to get an A1C test because they have a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Finding out you have an elevated A1C is a cue to make positive changes to your lifestyle. What do the numbers mean? 5.7% or lower = normal blood glucose levels 5.8–6.4% = elevated blood glucose levels (prediabetes) 6.5% or higher = diabetes What should my numbers be? For years, people with type 2 were told to strive for an A1C of 7 percent or less, but new research indicates that one level doesn’t fit all. Based on your health status, age, and risk factors, you and your health care provider should determine an A1C goal for you. Here are the American Diabetes Association’s new general guidelines: Person newly diagnosed with type 2 diabet Continue reading >>

Your Hemoglobin A1c

Your Hemoglobin A1c

It seems everywhere I hear people talking about their Hemoglobin A1c tests, concerned about being pre-diabetic, and not really sure what it all means. Your answers are here! The Hemoglobin A1c test, or H-A1c, measures the average amount of glucose in your blood over the past 3-4 months. It is not altered by what you ate for breakfast the day of the test, or what you are the day before. And many doctors are now looking at it much more closely, moving more and more people into the pre-diabetic or “pre-pre-diabetic” range if it gets a little high. So, a few years ago any number under 6 was fantastic, and a level under 7 was nothing to worry about. The diabetes epidemic in this country has changed those views, and now many physicians want to see their patients with H-A1c levels under 5.6. By making dietary changes at this point, many people can avoid developing Type 2 Diabetes and the health complications that go along with it. Yes, you can lower this number just by changing up your diet a little. If your levels have come back higher than you and your physician want them to be, the first thing to do is look at your lifestyle over the past three months or so. If you had your test done in January, this result will reflect the months of October, November and December. Not exactly most people’s healthiest time of year. Halloween, Thanksgiving, you get my drift. If that is the case, throw away the leftover candy, cut out the extra breads and sweets, and test again in June. You may be just fine. If not, or if your levels are too high and have been steadily moving upward, here’s what to do: Cut way back on sugar. Candy, cookies, ice cream, all those things. Have an occasional dessert with dinner, but cut out all the little sweets during the day. And the late night sweets. Continue reading >>

Hemoglobin A1c Testing

Hemoglobin A1c Testing

Description of the test Diabetes causes uncontrolled high blood glucose (sugar). Monitoring blood glucose every day is an important step to managing blood sugar. Another test used to assess blood sugar control is the hemoglobin A1C test. This test measures how much glycosylated hemoglobin (also called hemoglobin A1C) is in the blood. Hemoglobin A1C is formed when blood sugar sticks to hemoglobin of red blood cells. As blood sugar levels rise, so do levels of hemoglobin A1C. Since red blood cells live for about 3 months, the hemoglobin A1C level indicates how well blood sugar has been controlled over the last 3 months. How often should the test be performed? Hemoglobin A1C should be measured at least twice a year if you have diabetes. However, if your blood sugar is high or your diabetes medication regimen is changed, your doctor may want to measure the hemoglobin A1C more frequently (every 3 months) until your blood sugar returns to an acceptable range. Why is this test performed? The hemoglobin A1C is an accurate way to measure how well your diabetes treatment plan is working. It provides information about the average glucose level in your blood over the last 3 months, and it does not show daily fluctuations. When blood sugars are consistently high over time, the hemoglobin A1C will also be high. When hemoglobin A1C is high, changes to your medication or lifestyle (exercise or diet) are needed. Are there any risks and precautions? Although the hemoglobin A1C is considered safe, it does have some risk of side effects or complications. Though rare, the side effects or complications may include: infection (if the area is not properly sterilized before the sample is taken) excess bleeding from the puncture bruising where the needle was inserted lightheadedness or fainting Continue reading >>

Understanding Markers Of Blood Sugar Control | Empoweryourhealth.org

Understanding Markers Of Blood Sugar Control | Empoweryourhealth.org

IS THIS FOR YOU? You’re doing everything right. You’ve decided to finally take control and to pay more attention to your diabetes. You’re checking your blood sugar often at home and at different times of the day. You’re paying close attention to your food choices and being careful on portion sizes. In fact, you’ve been doing so well you can’t wait to see your doctor to prove that your efforts have paid off! Your glucose levels are way down but, when you do see your doctor, you’re surprised (and a little shocked) to discover that your average control is not as good as you thought it was. Your doctor checked your hemoglobin A1c and is concerned that your average blood sugar may be running too high (or too low). How can that be? Your blood sugars at home have been on target for the last several months. You and your doctor confirm your glucose meter is working properly. What can be a possible explanation for this? It’s time to learn about some markers of blood sugar control! HEMOGLOBIN A1C When sugar (glucose) is higher than it should be in blood, it attaches to proteins in the body. This is used as a marker or indicator of blood sugar control. HERES' HOW IT WORKS : Many different types of cells are found in blood, among them are the red blood cells. They are named “red” blood cells because they contain a protein named hemoglobin [HEE-mo-glo-bin], which gives them the color red. Hemoglobin is the protein responsible for getting oxygen to the body’s tissues. Because glucose/sugar can easily enter the red blood cells, when blood sugar levels increase, sugar molecules enter the red blood cells and attach to hemoglobin. The higher your blood sugar, the more sugar will enter the red blood cells and will attach to the hemoglobin. Glucose attaches to hemoglob Continue reading >>

Whole Blood Donation Affects The Interpretation Of Hemoglobin A1c

Whole Blood Donation Affects The Interpretation Of Hemoglobin A1c

Abstract Several factors, including changed dynamics of erythrocyte formation and degradation, can influence the degree of hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) formation thereby affecting its use in monitoring diabetes. This study determines the influence of whole blood donation on HbA1c in both non-diabetic blood donors and blood donors with type 2 diabetes. In this observational study, 23 non-diabetic blood donors and 21 blood donors with type 2 diabetes donated 475 mL whole blood and were followed prospectively for nine weeks. Each week blood samples were collected and analyzed for changes in HbA1c using three secondary reference measurement procedures. Twelve non-diabetic blood donors (52.2%) and 10 (58.8%) blood donors with type 2 diabetes had a significant reduction in HbA1c following blood donation (reduction >-4.28%, P < 0.05). All non-diabetic blood donors with a normal ferritin concentration predonation had a significant reduction in HbA1c. In the non-diabetic group the maximum reduction was -11.9%, in the type 2 diabetes group -12.0%. When eligible to donate again, 52.2% of the non-diabetic blood donors and 41.2% of the blood donors with type 2 diabetes had HbA1c concentrations significantly lower compared to their predonation concentration (reduction >-4.28%, P < 0.05). Patients with type 2 diabetes contributing to whole blood donation programs can be at risk of falsely lowered HbA1c. This could lead to a wrong interpretation of their glycemic control by their general practitioner or internist. Continue reading >>

Understanding Diabetes

Understanding Diabetes

This information describes diabetes, the complications related to the disease, and how you can prevent these complications. Blood Sugar Control Diabetes is a disease where the blood sugar runs too high, usually due to not enough insulin. It can cause terrible long-term complications if it is not treated properly. The most common serious complications are blindness ("retinopathy"), kidney failure requiring dependence on a dialysis machine to stay alive ("nephropathy"), and foot and leg amputations. The good news is that these complications can almost always be prevented if you keep your blood sugar near the normal range. The best way to keep blood sugar low is to eat a healthy diet and do regular exercise. Just 20 minutes of walking 4 or 5 times a week can do wonders for lowering blood sugar. Eating a healthy diet is also very important. Do your best to limit the number of calories you eat each day. Put smaller portions of food on your plate and eat more slowly so that your body has a chance to let you know when it's had enough to eat. It is also very important to limit saturated fats in your diet. Read food labels carefully to see which foods are high in saturated fats. Particular foods to cut down on are: whole milk and 2% milk, cheese, ice cream, fast foods, butter, bacon, sausage, beef, chicken with the skin on (skinless chicken is fine), doughnuts, cookies, chocolate, and nuts. Often, diet and exercise alone are not enough to control blood sugar. In this case, medicine is needed to bring the blood sugar down further. Often pills are enough, but sometimes insulin injections are needed. If medicines to lower blood sugar are started, it is still very important to keep doing regular exercise and eating a healthy diet. Keeping Track of Blood Sugar Checking blood sugar wi Continue reading >>

Hemoglobin A1c

Hemoglobin A1c

On This Site Tests: Glucose Tests; Urine Albumin; Urine Albumin/Creatinine Ratio; Fructosamine Conditions: Diabetes In the News: Screening, Diet and Exercise Key Factors in Task Force's New Diabetes Guidelines (2015), Task Force Updates Recommendations for Screening for Pre-Diabetes and Diabetes in Adults (2014), New Report Finds that Diabetes is on the Rise (2014) Elsewhere On The Web American Diabetes Association: Diabetes Basics American Diabetes Association: Risk Test American Association of Diabetes Educators Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Diabetes Public Health Resource National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse: Prevent diabetes problems - Keep your diabetes under control National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: Diabetes A to Z National Glycohemoglobin Standardization Program American Diabetes Association – DiabetesPro, estimated Average Glucose, eAG Ask a Laboratory Scientist Your questions will be answered by a laboratory scientist as part of a voluntary service provided by one of our partners, the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS). Click on the Contact a Scientist button below to be re-directed to the ASCLS site to complete a request form. If your question relates to this web site and not to a specific lab test, please submit it via our Contact Us page instead. Thank you. Continue reading >>

What Is A Complete Blood Count (cbc)?

What Is A Complete Blood Count (cbc)?

The CBC is used as a broad screening test to check for such disorders as anemia, infection, and many other diseases. It is actually a panel of tests that examines different parts of the blood and includes the following: • White blood cell (WBC) count is a count of the actual number of white blood cells per volume of blood. Both increases and decreases can be significant. • White blood cell differential looks at the types of white blood cells present. There are five different types of white blood cells, each with its own function in protecting us from infection. The differential classifies a person’s white blood cells into each type: neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes, eosinophils, and basophils. • Red blood cell (RBC) count is a count of the actual number of red blood cells per volume of blood. Both increases and decreases can point to abnormal conditions. • Hemoglobin measures the amount of oxygen-carrying protein in the blood. • Hematocrit measures the percentage of red blood cells in a given volume of whole blood. • The platelet count is the number of platelets in a given volume of blood. Both increases and decreases can point to abnormal conditions of excess bleeding or clotting. Mean platelet volume (MPV) is a machine-calculated measurement of the average size of your platelets. New platelets are larger, and an increased MPV occurs when increased numbers of platelets are being produced. MPV gives your doctor information about platelet production in your bone marrow. • Mean corpuscular volume (MCV) is a measurement of the average size of your RBCs. The MCV is elevated when your RBCs are larger than normal (macrocytic), for example in anemia caused by vitamin B-12 deficiency. When the MCV is decreased, your RBCs are smaller than normal (microcytic) a Continue reading >>

Testing Your Blood Glucose

Testing Your Blood Glucose

Testing your blood glucose, also known as Self-Monitoring of Blood Glucose (SMBG), is a method of checking how much glucose (sugar) is in the blood using a glucose meter -- anywhere, anytime. Here, you'll learn some basics about: Blood sugar targets for adults How your doctor tests your blood The importance of self-testing When to test and what to look for How to share results with your doctor Blood glucose targets for non-pregnant adults* Before meal After meal 80-120 mg/dL Less than 180 mg/dL How your doctor tests your blood -- the A1C test† Your doctor uses what is called an A1C (Glycosylated Hemoglobin) test to see what your average blood glucose level has been over the last two to three months. Used for both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, it gives you and your doctor an indication on how well you are responding to your treatment regimen, and if any adjustments are necessary. The goal is to keep your level below seven percent (7%).* The A1C test is sometimes referred to as the hemoglobin A1c, HbA1c or glycohemoglobin test. The connection between A1C and average blood sugar levels.† Your A1C test result will not show the daily effects of food choices and your activity. A blood glucose meter is the best way to observe and track the immediate effects of food choices and activity on your blood glucose levels. This allows you to take immediate action to bring your glucose levels within range if needed. Your doctor will also rely upon your blood glucose meter results to assess and adjust your treatment regimen. When to test and what to look for – a practical guide Use this simple chart to remind you when to test and what to observe to help you manage your blood glucose level on a daily basis. When to test What to look for First thing in the morning, before you eat How Continue reading >>

Low Hemoglobin A

Low Hemoglobin A

Abstract OBJECTIVE To identify predictors of low hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) (<5.0%) and to investigate the association of low HbA1c with cause-specific mortality and risk of liver disease hospitalization. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Prospective cohort study of 13,288 participants in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study. Logistic regression was used to identify cross-sectional correlates of low HbA1c and Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate the association of low HbA1c with cause-specific mortality. RESULTS Compared with participants with HbA1c in the normal range (5.0 to <5.7%), participants with low HbA1c were younger, less likely to smoke, had lower BMI, lower white cell count and fibrinogen levels, and lower prevalence of hypercholesterolemia and history of coronary heart disease. However, this group was more likely to have anemia and had a higher mean corpuscular volume. In adjusted Cox models with HbA1c of 5.0 to <5.7% as the reference group, HbA1c <5.0% was associated with a significantly increased risk of all-cause mortality (hazard ratio [HR]: 1.32, 95% CI: 1.13–1.55) and of cancer death (1.47, 95% CI: 1.16–1.84). We also noted nonsignificant trends toward increased risk of death from cardiovascular causes (1.27; 95% CI, 0.93–1.75) and respiratory causes (1.42, 95% CI: 0.78–2.56). There was a J-shaped association between HbA1c and risk of liver disease hospitalization. CONCLUSIONS No single cause of death appeared to drive the association between low HbA1c and total mortality. These results add to evidence that low HbA1c values may be a generalized marker of mortality risk in the general population. © 2012 by the American Diabetes Association. Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educationa Continue reading >>

Amazingly Easy Ways To Lower Your A1c

Amazingly Easy Ways To Lower Your A1c

What if there were a magical “lower your A1c” wand? You just pull it out, swoop it over your head (or your pancreas) and… voila! A1c lowered. If only it were that simple. Focusing on eeking down that ever shifting number can be one of the most frustrating things a person living with diabetes has to do. But here is some good news: while there may not be a magic wand, there are some pretty simple, pretty cool fixes to help you on your way to lower your A1c. Kick it old school: Remember those bulky paper logbooks we all used to lug around? Yeah, well there’s something about them that just works. Going back to actually logging blood sugars, meals and doses can really help a person lower an A1c. Why? Because while it’s great to have tools that automatically upload to our medical team (and our computers), writing things down forces us to face them more, study them more and yes, not ignore them. (A cool side trick: use one of those pens with four colors of ink in it. Write all of your in range numbers in green, your high numbers in blue and your low numbers in red. Use the black for notes. With this, you can look at a logbook page and the patterns will jump out at you.) Ramp it up new school: Never used a CGM? Or haven’t used it in a while? CGM’s are a great way to help you lower your A1c, says Regina Shirley, RD, LDN and person with diabetes. “I make a commitment with my CGM. I will wear it religiously until I can get my A1c back to where I like it. It is not as easy as it may seem to remember to check blood sugars, and inserting yet one more device in your body adds on time to your diabetes care regimen that you would rather spend doing something else. However, when you know you need to get in better control, either to help with such things as pregnancy prepa Continue reading >>

Hemoglobin A1c Testing: The 3-month Test

Hemoglobin A1c Testing: The 3-month Test

The hemoglobin A1c test (also called the A1c test) is a measure of the average blood sugar level over the previous 3 months. This means it can tell us whether the overall blood sugar control is good even though there may be daily changes. This test is also known as the glycosylated or glycated hemoglobin or glycohemoglobin. Hemoglobin is part of the red blood cell. It carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. Scientists have discovered that in all people, whether they have diabetes or not, some sugar sticks to the hemoglobin. It stays there for the lifespan of the red blood cell, which is about 3 to 4 months. The amount of sugar that sticks to the hemoglobin reflects the average blood sugar level during that period. It can be measured in a laboratory using the HbA1c test. When the average blood sugar level has been high, the A1c result will be high. In this way, the A1c test shows the level of control over the previous few months. The level of A1c achieved over time is the best way we can predict the risk of long-term diabetes-related complications, such as eye, kidney, or nerve damage. A1c can be measured at any time. Often blood can be collected for this test from a finger prick, but sometimes it has to be taken from a vein. There are different methods for measuring A1c. Some give immediate results. Others take a day or more. What is a good A1c reading? A1c in people without diabetes is about 4% to 6% (0.04 to 0.06). Check the non-diabetic range for your laboratory. Even with intensive treatment, few children and teens with diabetes can reach this level without the risk of having low blood sugar reactions often. Instead, try to achieve the best A1c levels possible. For a child with diabetes who does not have many low blood sugar reactions, the following a Continue reading >>

A1c Test

A1c Test

Print Overview The A1C test is a common blood test used to diagnose type 1 and type 2 diabetes and then to gauge how well you're managing your diabetes. The A1C test goes by many other names, including glycated hemoglobin, glycosylated hemoglobin, hemoglobin A1C and HbA1c. The A1C test result reflects your average blood sugar level for the past two to three months. Specifically, the A1C test measures what percentage of your hemoglobin — a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen — is coated with sugar (glycated). The higher your A1C level, the poorer your blood sugar control and the higher your risk of diabetes complications. Why it's done An international committee of experts from the American Diabetes Association, the European Association for the Study of Diabetes and the International Diabetes Federation, recommend that the A1C test be the primary test used to diagnose prediabetes, type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. After a diabetes diagnosis, the A1C test is used to monitor your diabetes treatment plan. Since the A1C test measures your average blood sugar level for the past two to three months instead of your blood sugar level at a specific point in time, it is a better reflection of how well your diabetes treatment plan is working overall. Your doctor will likely use the A1C test when you're first diagnosed with diabetes. This also helps establish a baseline A1C level. The test may then need to be repeated while you're learning to control your blood sugar. Later, how often you need the A1C test depends on the type of diabetes you have, your treatment plan and how well you're managing your blood sugar. For example, the A1C test may be recommended: Once every year if you have prediabetes, which indicates a high risk of developing diabetes Twice a year if Continue reading >>

Anemia: The Surprising Cause

Anemia: The Surprising Cause

I may receive a commission if you purchase something mentioned in this post. Full disclosure here. If you’ve been feeling tired, irritable, depressed, cold, and maybe even a little short of breath lately, listen up: this post is for you! (especially if you’ve been writing it off) I get blood work every year and recommend my clients request the same from their doctor or naturopath. Ask for a CBC with a metabolic panel, a lipid profile, iron/ferritin, vitamin D, thyroid panel, and hemoglobin A1C to start. I also request B vitamins and sex hormones. This gives you a good idea about your blood cell counts, blood sugar levels, organ function, signs of infection, possible deficiencies, and even clues about how to adjust your diet. I recently had my yearly blood work and was shocked to see my severely low iron levels! I had requested serum iron, ferritin (not pictured here but also low), and total iron binding capacity (TIBC). Serum iron measures the levels of iron in your blood, while ferritin measures the amount of stored iron. TIBC measures the amount of transferrin, a blood protein that transports iron from the gut to the cells that use it. What does this mean? And more importantly, what is causing these low levels? There are more than 400 types of anemia, which are divided into three basic groups: Anemia caused by blood loss, anemia caused by decreased or faulty red blood cell production, and anemia caused by destruction of red blood cells. Iron deficiency anemia is the most common form, especially in children menstruating women. It means there is not enough iron in the blood (red blood cells).Your bone marrow needs iron to make hemoglobin, which is a protein molecule in the red blood cells that carries oxygen to tissues. The problem is it often goes undetected in peo Continue reading >>

How To Lower A1c Levels

How To Lower A1c Levels

The hemoglobin A1C level is a blood test that measures how “sugar coated” the hemoglobin is in your body. When the blood sugar is high, the glucose attaches to hemoglobin, becoming “glycated hemoglobin”. Elevated hemoglobin A1c levels can indicate prediabetes or diabetes. In testing the hemoglobin A1c level, the doctors are looking for this: Levels less than 5.7 percent are considered to be normal. Levels of between 5.7 percent and 6.4 percent are considered to indicate prediabetes. Levels of 6.5 percent or higher indicate that a person has diabetes. The hemoglobin A1c level can be used to diagnose diabetes. It is most often used, however, to monitor the effect of treatment on type 1 and type 2 diabetics. According to the American Diabetes Association, the hemoglobin A1c level in diabetics should be less than 7 percent to be considered in good control of diabetes. How do you lower Hemoglobin A1c levels? If you are diabetic or prediabetic, there are things you can do in order to lower the hemoglobin A1c level so that you can have a normal level even with the diagnosis of type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Reduce intake of simple sugars Simple sugars include glucose, fructose, galactose, and sucrose. These are small sugars that easily enter the bloodstream and cause elevations in blood sugar levels. Simple sugars can be found in table sugar, cakes, pies, ice cream, and cookies. There are a lot of simple sugars in processed foods you purchase at the store. These sugars have a high glycemic index or GI. The higher the glycemic index, the greater is the rate of absorption of the sugar into the bloodstream. You can lower your hemoglobin A1c level by eating foods that are low in glycemic index and instead eat protein-containing foods or foods that contain complex carbohydrates Continue reading >>

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