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What Is Normal Hba1c For Diabetics?

Good Diabetes Control

Good Diabetes Control

Blood Glucose Levels Good diabetes control means having blood glucose (sugar) values within these limits: Before Breakfast : 4.0 - 8.0 mmol/l 2 hours after meals : 6.0 - 10.0 mmol/l Randomly, at any time : below 10.0 mmol/l However, because of individual differences, your target blood glucose level is best decided by your doctor. It is very useful to do home blood glucose monitoring if you wish to have good control of your diabetes. Glycosylated Haemoglobin (HBA1c) Glycosylated haemoglobin, or HBA1c, measures the average blood glucose in the blood over the past 6 to 8 weeks. Excellent : less than 6% Satisfactory : 6% to 8% Poor : more than 8% Urine Glucose Urine glucose is measured with a special test strip which changes colour after being dipped into urine depending on the amount of glucose in the urine. For various reasons it is not as accurate as blood glucose monitoring which is preferred. For good control of your diabetes, keep your urine free of glucose always. Blood fats In all people, cholesterol should be below 5.2 mmol/l (200 mg/dl) and certainly not above 6.5 mmol/l (250 mg/dl). Blood Pressure Blood pressure should be below 140/85 mm Hg in young people, and below 160/95 mmHg in older people. Weight and Height Tall people naturally weigh more, so weight has to be interpreted in relation to height. This is done by the 'Body Mass Index' or BMI. BMI = Weight (kg) / Height(m)2 The ideal BMI is between 20 to 25, and the health risk increases steadily above this level. Smoking Among other problems, smoking causes diseases of the heart and circulation. As diabetes also carries a risk of damage to the heart and circulation, smoking is particularly dangerous to people with diabetes, and greatly increases the risk of a heart attack, stroke and foot gangrene. 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 >>

A Diabetic Patient Should Know Their Hemoglobin A1c Level: Monitoring And Managing It Could Reduce Complications

A Diabetic Patient Should Know Their Hemoglobin A1c Level: Monitoring And Managing It Could Reduce Complications

Red blood cells carry oxygen (O2) to the tissues through the blood flow of the circulatory system (Figure 1). When the hemoglobin binds to oxygen, the cells appear red (that is why they are called red blood cells. Red blood cells contain hemoglobin, which normally carries oxygen to the tissue, and when the hemoglobin binds with glucose in the blood, it becomes “glycated.” The term HbA1c refers to glycated hemoglobin (Figure 2). The more glycated hemoglobin that is made, the higher the percentage of HbA1c. A hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) test is good for monitoring long-term glucose (sugar) control in people with diabetes. HbA1c is a percentage of the glycated hemoglobin relative to the total hemoglobin in the blood (Figure 3). The normal range of HbA1c is 4-6%. More than 7% is high. With more glucose present in the blood, the more likely that the glucose will interact with the hemoglobin and make more glycated hemoglobin. HA1c is a better measurement used to track the progress of diabetes than a blood sugar test. The blood sugar test does not give the big picture. Blood sugar in the body changes during the day depending on diet and level of activity, so the blood sugar test is not very accurate. The A1c test is used to measure how much sugar a person has in their blood over a longer period of time, which is usually 3 months. The lifespan of red blood cells is about 120 days, while the life span of hemoglobin is on average only two months (Figure 4). The A1c test is usually done 2-4 times a year. The higher the A1c, the higher the risk of diabetic complications. A decrease of 1% in A1c decreases the risk of microvascular complication by 37%. Diabetes is a serious disease that affects the eyes, kidneys, heart and feet (Figure 5). How does hemoglobin work? The red blood cells Continue reading >>

Controlling Blood Sugar In Diabetes: How Low Should You Go?

Controlling Blood Sugar In Diabetes: How Low Should You Go?

Diabetes is an ancient disease, but the first effective drug therapy was not available until 1922, when insulin revolutionized the management of the disorder. Insulin is administered by injection, but treatment took another great leap forward in 1956, when the first oral diabetic drug was introduced. Since then, dozens of new medications have been developed, but scientists are still learning how best to use them. And new studies are prompting doctors to re-examine a fundamental therapeutic question: what level of blood sugar is best? Normal metabolism To understand diabetes, you should first understand how your body handles glucose, the sugar that fuels your metabolism. After you eat, your digestive tract breaks down carbohydrates into simple sugars that are small enough to be absorbed into your bloodstream. Glucose is far and away the most important of these sugars, and it's an indispensable source of energy for your body's cells. But to provide that energy, it must travel from your blood into your cells. Insulin is the hormone that unlocks the door to your cells. When your blood glucose levels rise after a meal, the beta cells of your pancreas spring into action, pouring insulin into your blood. If you produce enough insulin and your cells respond normally, your blood sugar level drops as glucose enters the cells, where it is burned for energy or stored for future use in your liver as glycogen. Insulin also helps your body turn amino acids into proteins and fatty acids into body fat. The net effect is to allow your body to turn food into energy and to store excess energy to keep your engine running if fuel becomes scarce in the future. A diabetes primer Diabetes is a single name for a group of disorders. All forms of the disease develop when the pancreas is unable to Continue reading >>

What Is The Significance Of Hba1c Test In Non-diabetics?

What Is The Significance Of Hba1c Test In Non-diabetics?

Answered by: Dr Smita Gupta | Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Southern Illinois University, USA Q: I am a 59 years old male. I am non-diabetic but latest blood sugar reports states that my fasting glucose levels are 83 mg/dL and glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) is 6.8%. The glucose fasting is within the normal range. However, HbA1c is on a higher side. What is the significance of HbA1c test in non-diabetics? A:The haemoglobin A1c test, also called HbA1c, glycated haemoglobin test, or glycohaemoglobin - is an important blood test used to determine how well your diabetes is being controlled. Haemoglobin A1c provides an average of your blood sugar control over a six to 12 week period and is used in conjunction with home blood sugar monitoring to make adjustments in your diabetes medicines. Haemoglobin is a substance within red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout your body. When your diabetes is not controlled (meaning that your blood sugar is too high), sugar builds up in your blood and combines with your haemoglobin, becoming glycated. Therefore, the average amount of sugar in your blood can be determined by measuring a haemoglobin A1c level. If your glucose levels have been high over recent weeks, your haemoglobin A1c test will be higher. Hb A1C test is not used to diagnose diabetes, only used to monitor the control of diabetes. In early phase of diabetes the blood sugars after meals (postprandial) start going up first while the fasting blood sugars are still normal. So I would recommend you to check blood sugars 2 hours after meals and get a glucose tolerance test done. Continue reading >>

Diabetes & Me

Diabetes & Me

Diabetes is a chronic disease with serious complications, currently affecting an estimated 1.7 million Australians. Almost 300 Australians develop diabetes every day, yet research shows that most Australians think diabetes is not a serious illness and believe they have a lower risk of developing it than they actually do. Diabetes Mellitus (Diabetes) is the name given to a group of conditions that occurs when the level of glucose (a type of sugar) in the blood becomes higher than normal. Insulin is a hormone that moves glucose from your blood stream, into the cells of your body where it is used for energy. When you have diabetes, the body either can’t make enough insulin or the insulin that is being made does not work properly. This causes your blood glucose level to become too high. High blood glucose levels can affect both your short and long term health. There are two main types of diabetes – type 1 and type 2. At this stage there is no known cure for either type of diabetes, although diabetes can be well managed. Diabetes Facts Over 100,000 Australian adults develop diabetes each year More than 1.2 million Australians are currently diagnosed with diabetes. Including undiagnosed Australians, it is estimated that about 1.7 million people in Australia have diabetes An estimated 2–3 million Australians have pre-diabetes and are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes Every year 20,000 women in Australia develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy How is diabetes diagnosed? Diabetes is diagnosed by a blood test. Most people with type 1 diabetes and many with type 2 diabetes will present with symptoms of diabetes such as: increased thirst, urination and tiredness. Some people will also have signs of slow healing of wounds or persistent infections. However many p Continue reading >>

Test Id: Hba1c Hemoglobin A1c, Blood

Test Id: Hba1c Hemoglobin A1c, Blood

Evaluating the long-term control of blood glucose concentrations in diabetic patients Diagnosing diabetes Identifying patients at increased risk for diabetes (prediabetes) Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disorder associated with disturbances in carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism characterized by hyperglycemia. It is one of the most prevalent diseases, affecting approximately 24 million individuals in the United States. Long-term treatment of the disease emphasizes control of blood glucose levels to prevent the acute complications of ketosis and hyperglycemia. In addition, long-term complications such as retinopathy, neuropathy, nephropathy, and cardiovascular disease can be minimized if blood glucose levels are effectively controlled. Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) is a result of the nonenzymatic attachment of a hexose molecule to the N-terminal amino acid of the hemoglobin molecule. The attachment of the hexose molecule occurs continually over the entire life span of the erythrocyte and is dependent on blood glucose concentration and the duration of exposure of the erythrocyte to blood glucose. Therefore, the HbA1c level reflects the mean glucose concentration over the previous period (approximately 8-12 weeks, depending on the individual) and provides a much better indication of long-term glycemic control than blood and urinary glucose determinations. Diabetic patients with very high blood concentrations of glucose have from 2 to 3 times more HbA1c than normal individuals. Diagnosis of diabetes includes 1 of the following: -Fasting plasma glucose > or =126 mg/dL -Symptoms of hyperglycemia and random plasma glucose >or =200 mg/dL -Two-hour glucose > or =200 mg/dL during oral glucose tolerance test unless there is unequivocal hyperglycemia, confirmatory testing should be Continue reading >>

Racial And Ethnic Differences In The Relationship Between Hba1c And Blood Glucose: Implications For The Diagnosis Of Diabetes

Racial And Ethnic Differences In The Relationship Between Hba1c And Blood Glucose: Implications For The Diagnosis Of Diabetes

Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) is widely used as an index of mean glycemia in diabetes, as a measure of risk for the development of diabetic complications, and as a measure of the quality of diabetes care. In 2010, the American Diabetes Association recommended that HbA1c tests, performed in a laboratory using a method certified by the National Glycohemoglobin Standardization Program, be used for the diagnosis of diabetes. Although HbA1c has a number of advantages compared to traditional glucose criteria, it has a number of disadvantages. Hemoglobinopathies, thalassemia syndromes, factors that impact red blood cell survival and red blood cell age, uremia, hyperbilirubinemia, and iron deficiency may alter HbA1c test results as a measure of average glycemia. Recently, racial and ethnic differences in the relationship between HbA1c and blood glucose have also been described. Although the reasons for racial and ethnic differences remain unknown, factors such as differences in red cell survival, extracellular-intracellular glucose balance, and nonglycemic genetic determinants of hemoglobin glycation are being explored as contributors. Until the reasons for these differences are more clearly defined, reliance on HbA1c as the sole, or even preferred, criterion for the diagnosis of diabetes creates the potential for systematic error and misclassification. HbA1c must be used thoughtfully and in combination with traditional glucose criteria when screening for and diagnosing diabetes. Continue reading >>

Hba1c Test

Hba1c Test

HbA1c is a blood test that is used to help diagnose and monitor people with diabetes. It is also sometimes called a haemoglobin A1c, glycated haemoglobin or glycosylated haemoglobin. What is being tested? HbA1c refers to glucose and haemoglobin joined together (’glycated’). Haemoglobin is the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout your body. The amount of HbA1c formed is directly related to the amount of glucose in your blood. Red blood cells live for up to 4 months, so HbA1c gives an indication of how much sugar you’ve had in your blood over the past few months. It’s different to the blood glucose test, which measures how much sugar you have in your blood at that moment. Why would I need this test? The test for HbA1c indicates how well your diabetes has been controlled over the last few months. It can also be used to diagnose diabetes. People with diabetes are advised to have this test every 3-6 months, or more frequently if it is not under control. This is important. The higher the HbA1c, the greater the risk of developing complications such as problems with your eyes and kidneys. How to prepare for this test No preparation is needed for this test. Understanding your results If you have not previously been diagnosed as having diabetes, an HbA1c of 6.5% or more can indicate that you do have diabetes. If your level is lower than this, you might need other tests to check whether you have diabetes or not. If you do have diabetes, your doctor will usually aim for an HbA1c of 6.5-7%. If the HbA1c is higher than the target range, your doctor may consider changing your treatment or closer monitoring. There are some medical conditions, such as anaemia, that change red blood cells and affect your HbA1c result. You should discuss the results with your Continue reading >>

Hba1c Blood Glucose Test For Diabetes

Hba1c Blood Glucose Test For Diabetes

HbA1c is an important average measure of how well a person's diabetes is being controlled over the previous 2 to 3 months. HbA1c (haemoglobin A1c blood test) is also known as the glycated haemoglobin test or glycohaemoglobin. A sample of blood is taken from the arm at a clinic or GP surgery and sent off to a lab for analysis. The results typically take a day or so to come back. The results will show how stable your glucose levels have been and how well a treatment plan is working. After the results are back, doctors may suggest changes in diabetes medication or dosage. This test is arranged at least once a year and is recommended in addition to home blood glucose monitoring. Haemoglobin is a substance within red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout your body. When your diabetes is not controlled, which means that your blood sugar is too high, sugar builds up in your blood and combines with your haemoglobin to become "glycated". The average amount of sugar in your blood can be determined by measuring your HbA1c level. If your glucose levels have been high over recent weeks, your HbA1c test will be higher. What is a normal HbA1c test? A diabetes team will set an individual HbA1c target for each patient. HbA1c targets are often set below 48 mmol/mol (6.5%) to help reduce the risk of complications, including nerve damage, eye problems, kidney disease and heart disease. People who are at risk of severe hypoglycaemia may be set a target of less than 59 mmol/mol (7.5%). The HbA1c test can be affected by conditions affecting haemoglobin, such as anaemia. Results can also be affected by supplements such as vitamins C and E and high cholesterol levels. Kidney disease and liver disease may also affect the result of an HbA1c test. Continue reading >>

The A1c Test & Diabetes

The A1c Test & Diabetes

What is the A1C test? The A1C test is a blood test that provides information about a person’s average levels of blood glucose, also called blood sugar, over the past 3 months. The A1C test is sometimes called the hemoglobin A1c, HbA1c, or glycohemoglobin test. The A1C test is the primary test used for diabetes management and diabetes research. How does the A1C test work? The A1C test is based on the attachment of glucose to hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen. In the body, red blood cells are constantly forming and dying, but typically they live for about 3 months. Thus, the A1C test reflects the average of a person’s blood glucose levels over the past 3 months. The A1C test result is reported as a percentage. The higher the percentage, the higher a person’s blood glucose levels have been. A normal A1C level is below 5.7 percent. Can the A1C test be used to diagnose type 2 diabetes and prediabetes? Yes. In 2009, an international expert committee recommended the A1C test as one of the tests available to help diagnose type 2 diabetes and prediabetes.1 Previously, only the traditional blood glucose tests were used to diagnose diabetes and prediabetes. Because the A1C test does not require fasting and blood can be drawn for the test at any time of day, experts are hoping its convenience will allow more people to get tested—thus, decreasing the number of people with undiagnosed diabetes. However, some medical organizations continue to recommend using blood glucose tests for diagnosis. Why should a person be tested for diabetes? Testing is especially important because early in the disease diabetes has no symptoms. Although no test is perfect, the A1C and blood glucose tests are the best tools available to diagnose diabetes—a serious and li Continue reading >>

Hba1c Testing

Hba1c Testing

The HbA1c test measures your average blood glucose over the previous 8 to 12 weeks and gives an indication of your longer-term blood glucose control. It is used as a screening test to identify diabetes and regular monitoring tool if you have been diagnosed with diabetes. How useful is the test? HbA1c reflects the average plasma glucose (sugar in your bloodstream) over the previous 8 to 12 weeks and measures how much glucose has become stuck onto your red blood cells.(1) It can be performed at any time of the day and does not require any special preparation such as fasting. In recent years, the HbA1c test has become the preferred test for screening and diagnosis of diabetes. In 2011, the HbA1c test in New Zealand was updated to measure in millimoles per mole (mmol/mol) to align with a shift internationally (2). Prior to this, it used to be measured as a percentage (%) and you may still hear people refer to these units at times. The images below show the new and old units. Learning what your target range for HbA1c is very important. Having regular HbA1c tests helps both you and your healthcare team monitor how well your diabetes is controlled and whether any changes in lifestyle or medication are needed. Diagnosing prediabetes and diabetes As a general guide, HbA1c levels of: Less than or equal to 40 mmol/mol is normal. 41 to 49 mmol/mol is prediabetes or 'impaired fasting glucose'. 50 mmol/mol and above suggests diabetes (if symptomatic. If no symptoms of diabetes, two tests on separate occasions are needed). (3) Read more about prediabetes, type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. What are healthy HbA1c levels for people with diabetes? An ideal range or target HbA1c level will vary from person to person and depends on age, type of diabetes and other health conditions or sta Continue reading >>

Hba1c Explained

Hba1c Explained

What is HbA1c? Glucose in the blood sticks to haemoglobin in red blood cells, making glycosolated haemoglobin, called haemoglobin A1c or HbA1c. Red blood cells live for about 8 - 12 weeks before being replaced so the HbA1c test tells you how well controlled your blood glucose has been over the previous 2-3 months. The more glucose in your blood, the more HbA1c will be present, so the level reported will be higher. What does it tell us? The better your blood glucose control the less chance there is of you developing diabetes complications such as eye, kidney or nerve damage, heart disease or stroke. The HbA1c test tells you whether you are on target to keep your risk of complications as low as possible. Why measure Hba1C? Because blood glucose levels vary throughout the day and from day to day, HbA1c is usually measured every 3-6 months. The results show if your blood glucose control has altered in response to changes in your diet, physical activity or medication. HbA1C results and target For most HbA1C results used to be given just as a percentage. For most people with diabetes the HbA1C target is around 7%. However, you should have agreed your own individual target with your health care team, as sometimes a different target might be more appropriate. For example, if you have had a lot of problems with low blood glucose levels (hypos), a higher target might be appropriate. What has changed? Laboratories in the UK have changed the way in which HbA1C is reported. The International Federation of Clinical Chemistry (IFCC) has put forward a new reference measurement method after discussion with diabetes groups worldwide. This will make comparing HbA1c results from different laboratories and from research trials throughout the world much easier. What are the IFCC HbA1c result 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 >>

Test Center

Test Center

Test Guide Laboratory Testing for Diabetes Diagnosis and Management This Test Guide discusses the use of laboratory tests (Table 1) for diagnosing diabetes mellitus and monitoring glycemic control in individuals with diabetes. Diagnosis Tools for diagnosing diabetes mellitus include fasting plasma glucose (FPG) measurement, oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTT), and standardized hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) assays (Table 2). FPG and OGTT tests are sensitive but measure glucose levels only in the short term, require fasting or glucose loading, and give variable results during stress and illness.1 In contrast, HbA1c assays reliably estimate average glucose levels over a longer term (2 to 3 months), do not require fasting or glucose loading, and have less variability during stress and illness.1,2 In addition, HbA1c assays are more specific for identifying individuals at increased risk for diabetes.1 Clinically significant glucose and HbA1c levels are shown in Table 2.1 The American Diabetes Association® (ADA) recommends using these values for diagnosing diabetes and increased diabetes risk (prediabetes). Management Following a diagnosis of diabetes, a combination of laboratory and clinical tests can be used to monitor blood glucose control, detect onset and progression of diabetic complications, and predict treatment response. Table 3 shows the recommended testing frequency and target results for these tests. Different laboratory tests are available for monitoring blood glucose control over the short, long, and intermediate term to help evaluate the effectiveness of a management plan.1 Self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) is useful for tracking short-term treatment responses in insulin-treated patients, but its usefulness is less clear in non–insulin-treated patients.1 By co Continue reading >>

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