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How To Lower A1c Levels For Non-diabetics

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 >>

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 >>

Translating “nondiabetic” A1c Levels To Clinical Practice

Translating “nondiabetic” A1c Levels To Clinical Practice

It is well recognized that there is a significant delay from the time clinical research findings are first reported and when the results become an integral part of clinical care. With the understanding that the prevalence and incidence of diabetes is increasing worldwide, and that the resulting complications are a major contributor to morbidity and mortality, the need for more rapid clinical translation of research findings for diabetes could not be greater. Specifically, a large amount of clinical research data has been reported in the recent past that is of great interest to the provider caring for individuals with diabetes. Much of the emphasis for research has been devoted to understanding the contribution of hyperglycemia and its treatment on macrovascular disease. For example, within the last decade, we have not only recognized the pivotal role that chronic hyperglycemia, as assessed with A1C levels, contributes to the development of microvascular complications, but we have recognized the importance of glycemia in contributing to cardiovascular disease (CVD) (1,2). Observations from large-scale prospective trials over the last couple of years have reported that in high-risk subjects, intensive therapy to lower A1C levels below suggested targets may not be beneficial or may increase mortality (3–5). However, as observed from these studies, we also learned that certain subsets of patients with type 2 diabetes may actually benefit from intensive glycemic control (3). The most recent analysis, reported in May 2010, has now suggested that mortality may actually be greater for those who maintain a higher A1C level despite attempts at intensive glycemic management (6). Interestingly, the excess mortality in the group randomized to intensive glycemic management was only 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 >>

How To Lower Your A1c: The Complete Guide

How To Lower Your A1c: The Complete Guide

How to Lower Your A1c: The Complete Guide We are always told that having a low A1c is an important goal in our diabetes management, but do you actually know why? Do you know what a good A1c target is, how to lower your A1c, and how quickly you can lower your A1c safely? These are the questions I will answer in this comprehensive guide on what A1c is, how to lower your A1c, and why achieving a low A1c isnt the only (or necessarily the best) goal when it comes to diabetes management. 8. My perspective on A1c as a person living with diabetes A1c, hemoglobinA1c, HbA1c or glycohemoglobin test (all different names for the same thing) is a blood test that measures your average blood sugar over the last 2-3 months. Its not an even average, but an average where your blood sugars over the last few weeks count a little more than your blood sugars 2-3 months ago. According to the National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases ( 1 ): 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 persons blood glucose levels over the past 3 months. The A1c test result is reported as a percentage. The higher the percentage, the higher a persons blood glucose levels have been. A normal A1c level is below 5.7 percent. Its important to note here that the term normal A1c level in this context refers to people without diabetes. I will get back to what a normal A1c level is for people living with diabetes below. Your doctor or endocrinologist should test your A1c regularly (typically every 3-6 months). The doctor simply pricks your finger (or ear if you prefer that) and ta Continue reading >>

How To Achieve A Non-diabetic Hba1c: The Tami Cockrell Story

How To Achieve A Non-diabetic Hba1c: The Tami Cockrell Story

How to Achieve a Non-Diabetic HbA1c: The Tami Cockrell Story When Tami was a teenager, she experienced multiple knee injuries from playing sports all throughout her childhood years. By the time she was 20, she had undergone 2 knee surgeries. Over time, her pain got worse as she continued to lose cartilage. Over the course of the next 30 years, she wore out her other knee, destroyed the arches in both feet, and developed chronic hip pain. As a result of these injuries, Tami became inactive and began gaining weight. She also began making excuses for her sedentary lifestyle. Its too uncomfortable, she would say to her friends and family. Even though she loved hiking, skiing, and biking in her early 30s, she stopped participating in all sports because the pain in her knees, hips, and feet became too severe. As the years went on, she continued gaining weight and began to lose faith that she could be a healthy weight ever again. Throughout her 40s, Tami witnessed family members suffer from heart disease and cancer, requiring invasive surgical interventions like coronary artery bypass surgery. It frustrated and devastated her to watch the people she loved struggle with life-threatening diseases, and she became scared that she was next in line. When Tami was 52, she got a blood test at a wellness fair. She found out that her HbA1c and lipids were elevated, and after further investigation, she was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, fatty liver disease, and vitamin D deficiency. She was shocked and angry at herself for allowing her health to deteriorate to this point. One of her doctors told her, Tami, insulin resistance is causing these conditions. Intrigued, she began researching insulin resistance online, and found others claiming that they Continue reading >>

Aging And Glycation

Aging And Glycation

Physicians and patients alike are beginning to realize that there is a valuable blood test that can help assess the level of glycation, a process implicated in accelerated aging. The hemoglobin A1c test is a well known tool for following long-term glucose control in patients with diabetes. However, the same blood test also helps identify age-accelerating glycation reactions in the body. The hemoglobin A1c blood test is thus useful in non-diabetics who want to guard against this destructive glycation process.Here, we’ll examine the importance of making sure your hemoglobin A1c is in a safe range and what to do if it is not. What is Hemoglobin A1c? Developed nearly 40 years ago, hemoglobin A1c is a common, readily available blood test that is used most frequently to assess glucose control in diabetic patients. This test provides information about glycation levels, which, if increased, is a key factor not only in diabetes and its complications, but also an important contributor to premature aging and disease risk.1-4 Measuring hemoglobin A1c is different from a single fasting blood glucose test, which only provides a snapshot of one’s current blood sugar level and is subject to daily variation. In contrast, the hemoglobin A1c test shows the bigger picture of a weighted average of blood sugar levels over the past three to four months.5-7 This simple test is thus a powerful measure of elevated long-term blood sugar and glycation levels, which scientists believe may be intimately involved in accelerated aging.8 However, this valuable tool is being dramatically underutilized in the context of aging. The hemoglobin A1c test measures the presence of glucose molecules that join hemoglobin in a destructive process called glycation. The formation of glycated hemoglobin in red b Continue reading >>

Low Hba1c Is As Bad Or Worse Than High Hba1c In Non-diabetics

Low Hba1c Is As Bad Or Worse Than High Hba1c In Non-diabetics

This study looked at roughly 14,000 NHANES III participants that were not diabetic. I think this is an important distinction because it looks at differences in normal range, "free", if you will, of what the frank hyperglycemia associated with metabolic dysfunction might do to mean and/or median values. Here is the hazard ratio plot: Adjusted hazard ratios for the association between HbA1c and all-cause mortality among participants without diabetes using a quadratic spline with knots at the 2.5, 10, 50, 90, and 97.5 percentiles. Adjusted for age, race-ethnicity, sex, lifestyle factors (education, income, current smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity, body mass index, and aspirin use), cardiovascular factors (systolic blood pressure, antihypertensive medication use, total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, log triglycerides, elevated C-reactive protein, and history of CVD), metabolic factors (prior diagnosis of thyroid disease, thyroid-stimulating hormone, estimated glomerular filtration rate, and albuminuria), red blood cell indices (hemoglobin, red blood cell distribution width, mean cell volume, and serum folate), iron storage indices (serum albumin, ferritin, and transferrin saturation), and liver function indices (hepatitis C seropositivity, AST, and ALT). Knots were placed at 4.3%, 4.7%, 5.3%, 5.9%, and 6.2%, representing HbA1c levels at the 2.5, 10, 50, 90, and 97.5 percentiles; shaded area represents 95% CI. To repeat from the caption -- HbA1c of 4.3% corresponds with the 2.5th percentile meaning only 2.5% of non-diabetics have levels this low (this percentage would be even lower for the entire population including diabetics). I would note that the 50th percentile (aka the median) is at 5.3%, but you go all the way up to the 90th percentile and reach a whoppi Continue reading >>

Diabetes Experts Share Ways To Lower Your A1c Levels

Diabetes Experts Share Ways To Lower Your A1c Levels

Diabetes management at home is an important way of controlling your blood sugar levels without the help of an expert. In that sense, you are in control of your diabetes on a daily basis. However, the American Diabetes Associations’ recommends that a person with diabetes should get their A1C tested by a doctor at least two times a year. The test will give you a picture of your journey with diabetes as a whole. Now, once you do get the numbers, what do you do with that information? If you are on the right track, you will continue doing whatever it is that has been working so far. you feel encouraged! However, if the numbers are not what you and your health care provider were expecting, it is imperative that you embark on the path to lowering them so you can avoid any diabetes related complications in the future. The task can be daunting and overwhelming. We have rounded up 37 experts to share tips and ways that will help you in lowering your A1C levels and keeping them that way. The wisdom they share with us today will help you take those little steps towards a healthier lifestyle. 1. Sharon Castillo In a recent study published by the University of Toronto, it was shown that cinnamon has properties which can reduce blood pressure, especially for those who have prediabetes or type 2-diabetes. Hypertension or high blood pressure is common among those who have prediabetes and type-2 diabetics. High blood glucose levels create oxidative radicals which can damage the arteries. I recommend reading the following articles: The damage to the arteries can result into the scarring of the blood vessels. The scarring builds up plaque which reduces the size of the blood vessel. The reduction in the size of the diameter increases blood pressure. While not all of cinnamon’s mechanism Continue reading >>

High Hemoglobin A1c Levels Within The Non-diabetic Range Are Associated With The Risk Of All Cancers

High Hemoglobin A1c Levels Within The Non-diabetic Range Are Associated With The Risk Of All Cancers

Previous studies have reported associations between diabetes and cancer risk. However, specific association of hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels with cancer risk remains inconclusive. We followed 29,629 individuals (11,336 men; 18,293 women) aged 46–80 years who participated in the Japan Public Health Center-based prospective study who had HbA1c measurements available and were cancer-free at baseline. Cancer incidence was assessed by systemic surveys. We estimated hazard ratios (HRs) for cancer risk with adjustment for age sex, geographic area, body mass index, smoking status, physical activity, alcohol, coffee, vegetable and total energy consumption, and history of cardiovascular disease. After a median follow-up of 8.5 years, 1,955 individuals had developed cancer. Higher HbA1c levels within both the non-diabetic and diabetic ranges in individuals without known diabetes were associated with overall cancer risk. Compared with individuals without known diabetes and HbA1c levels of 5.0–5.4%, the HRs for all cancers were 1.27 (95% confidence interval, 1.07–1.52); 1.01 (0.90–1.14); 1.28 (1.09–1.49); and 1.43 (1.14–1.80) for individuals without known diabetes and HbA1c levels <5.0%, 5.5–5.9%, 6.0–6.4%, and ≥6.5%, respectively, and 1.23 (1.02–1.47) for individuals with known diabetes. The lowest HbA1c group had the highest risk of liver cancer, and HbA1c levels were linearly associated with the risk of all cancers after excluding liver cancer (P for linear trend, 0.004). In conclusion, our findings corroborate the notion that glycemic control in individuals with high HbA1c levels may be important not only to prevent diabetes but also to prevent cancer. Epidemiologic evidence suggests that diabetes is associated with an increased risk of cancer.[1, 2] In 2010, Continue reading >>

Healthy A1c Goal

Healthy A1c Goal

Ads by Google Don't think as unattainable by staring up the steps; you must step up the stairs to achieve. Fit non-diabetic person’s A1C percentage is always within 4.2 to 4.6%. These numbers are only from individuals who is fit, non-obese, active, and on a healthy diet. The A1C result depends upon how well you are maintaining your blood-glucose level. If you are maintaining your blood sugar at an optimal range 70-85mg/dl (3.9-4.7mmol/l) at most of the time, then your A1C be in the normal range 4.2-4.6%. A1C goal advised by American Diabetes Association (ADA) A1C goal of 6.5% or less is a more stringent goal. This A1C target is for people who does not experience many hypoglycemia episodes. This may be for individuals who have recently diagnosed with diabetes. A1C goal of 7% is reasonable. This A1C target is for many adults with diabetes who are not pregnant. A1C goal of 7.5% is for children with diabetes (0 to 18 years old). In children, younger than 6 years may be unable to recognize hypoglycemia symptoms. A1C goal of 8% or less is considered a less stringent goal. This A1C target may be for people with severe hypoglycemia experience. This may be for individuals who have many years of diabetes and who have low life expectancy. A1C goal advised by Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) A1C goal of 6.5% or less is for type 2 diabetics to lower nephropathy and retinopathy risk further. They must balance against hypoglycemia risk. A1C goal of 7.1-8.5% is for those who has longstanding diabetes with a history of recurrent severe hypoglycemia. And for those who has limited life expectancy. This target is for those who is hard to achieve an A1C ≤7%. That too after effective doses of multiple anti-hyperglycemic agents, including intensified basal-bolus insulin therapy. A1C go Continue reading >>

New Research On High Glucose Levels

New Research On High Glucose Levels

American Diabetes Association (ADA) guidelines advise “lowering A1C to below or around 7%” and postprandial (after-meal) glucose levels to 180 mg/dl or below. But new research shows that these glucose levels damage blood vessels, nerves, organs, and beta cells. An article by diabetes blogger Jenny Ruhl analyzes at what blood glucose level organ damage starts. According to Ruhl, research shows that glucose can do harm at much lower levels than doctors had thought. This news could be discouraging or even terrifying. If it’s hard to meet your current glucose goals, how will you reach tighter goals? Such news might make some people give up. But remember, a high postprandial or fasting reading won’t kill you. All we know is that higher numbers correlate with higher chances of complications. You have time to react. In fact, we could choose to look at this as good news. We all know of people who developed complications despite “good control.” But complications are not inevitable; it’s just that so-called “good control” wasn’t really all that good. First, the numbers. “Post-meal blood sugars of 140 mg/dl [milligrams per deciliter] and higher, and fasting blood sugars over 100 mg/dl [can] cause permanent organ damage and cause diabetes to progress,” Ruhl writes. For nerve damage, University of Utah researchers studied people with painful sensory neuropathy, or nerve damage. They found that participants who did not have diabetes but who had impaired glucose tolerance on an oral glucose tolerance test, or OGTT, (meaning that their glucose levels rose to between 140 mg/dl and 200 mg/dl in response to drinking a glucose-rich drink) were much more likely to have a diabetic form of neuropathy than those with lower blood glucose levels. The higher these OGTT num Continue reading >>

How To Lower Your A1c Levels: A Healthful Guide

How To Lower Your A1c Levels: A Healthful Guide

An A1C blood test measures average blood sugar levels over the past 2 to 3 months. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommend the use of A1C tests to help diagnose cases of prediabetes, type 1, and type 2 diabetes. A1C tests are also used to monitor diabetes treatment plans. What is an A1C test? An A1C test measures how well the body is maintaining blood glucose levels. To do this, an A1C test averages the percentage of sugar-bound hemoglobin in a blood sample. When glucose enters the blood, it binds to a red blood cell protein called hemoglobin. The higher blood glucose levels are, the more hemoglobin is bound. Red blood cells live for around 4 months, so A1C results reflect long-term blood glucose levels. A1C tests are done using blood obtained by a finger prick or blood draw. Physicians will usually repeat A1C tests before diagnosing diabetes. Initial A1C tests help physicians work out an individual's baseline A1C level for later comparison. How often A1C tests are required after diagnosis varies depending on the type of diabetes and management factors. Lowering A1C levels Many studies have shown that lowering A1C levels can help reduce the risk or intensity of diabetes complications. With type 1 diabetes, more controlled blood glucose levels are associated with reduced rates of disease progression. With type 2 diabetes, more controlled A1C levels have also been shown to reduce symptoms affecting the small arteries and nerves in the body. This influences eyesight and pain while decreasing complications. Long-term studies have also shown that early and intensive blood glucose control can reduce cardiovascular complications in people with type 1 or 2 diabetes. Even small changes in A1C levels can have big effects. The ADA recommend that maintaining fair control Continue reading >>

Blood Sugar Tests

Blood Sugar Tests

A test that measures blood sugar levels. Elevated levels are associated with diabetes and insulin resistance, in which the body cannot properly handle sugar (e.g. obesity). Goal values: Less than 100 mg/dL = normal Between 110–125 mg/dL = impaired fasting glucose (i.e., prediabetes) Greater than 126 mg/dL on two or more samples = diabetes Preparation This test requires a 12-hour fast. You should wait to eat and/or take a hypoglycemic agent (insulin or oral medication) until after test has been drawn, unless told otherwise. Eating and digesting foods called carbohydrates forms glucose (blood sugar). Glucose is needed by your body to provide energy to carry out your normal activities. Insulin is needed by the body to allow glucose to go into the cells and be used as energy. Without insulin, the levels of glucose in the blood will rise. Diabetes is a disease that occurs when either the pancreas (an organ in your body) is not able to produce insulin or the pancreas makes insulin, but it does not work as it should. Fasting blood sugar is a part of diabetic evaluation and management. An FBS greater than 126 mg/dL on more than one occasion usually indicates diabetes. Glycosylated Hemoglobin or Hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C) Reflects average blood sugar levels over the preceding 90-day period. Elevated levels are associated with prediabetes and diabetes. Individuals with diabetes have an increased risk of a cardiac event. A diabetic person's risk for heart attack is the same as a non-diabetic person, who has experienced one heart attack, having a second heart attack. Aggressive global preventive risk reduction efforts, such as lower LDL targets, diet, exercise and blood pressure control, are recommended. Goal values (per American Diabetes Association guidelines): A range of 5.7-6.4 p 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 >>

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