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Diabetes And The A1C Test: What Does It Tell You?

Diabetes and the A1C Test: What Does It Tell You?

Diabetes and the A1C Test: What Does It Tell You?

The A1C test (also known as HbA1C, glycated hemoglobin
or glycosylated hemoglobin) is a good general measure of diabetes care. While conventional home glucose monitoring measures a person’s blood sugar at a given moment, A1C levels indicate a person’s average blood glucose level over the past few months.
Understanding A1C Numbers
For a person without diabetes, a typical A1C level is about 5 percent.
For someone with diabetes, experts disagree somewhat on what the A1C target should be. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends an A1C target of less than or equal to 7 percent. The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists recommends a level of 6.5 percent or below.
The ADA also emphasizes that A1C goals should be individualized. Those with diabetes should check with a healthcare professional to learn what their A1C targets should be. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) says that, in general, every percentage point drop in an A1C blood test results (e.g., from 8 percent to 7 percent) reduces the risk of eye, kidney and nerve disease by 40 percent.
The chart below shows what the A1C means in terms of average blood glucose levels. An average blood glucose of 150 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter) translates into an A1C of about 7 percent. This is above normal, given that a diagnosis of diabetes is usually given when blood sugar levels reach about 126 mg/dL.
Note that the A1C is not the same as the estimated average glucose (eAG), which is the two to three-month average in mg/dL, but the A1C directly correlates to the eAG. When you are testing your blood su Continue reading

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High and rising: Patients concerned by cost of diabetes

High and rising: Patients concerned by cost of diabetes

For the 29 million people battling diabetes across the U.S., the financial burden of treating the disease is already high – and rising.
After a 10News investigation in February dug into the varying costs of prescription medications, several people reached out asking us to look into the cost of diabetes. We did – and found several families struggling to make ends meet among the 600,000 diabetic Tennesseans.
Mindy Tayeh, of Knoxville, is one of those people. Every time she opens her fridge, she’s very careful with what’s kept in the door – the vials of insulin to treat her Type 1 diabetes.
“It sucks something so little is so expensive,” said Tayeh.
Tayeh developed diabetes as a teenager. Because of that, she’s struggled to get affordable insurance, and has been paying for her healthcare out of pocket.
“I haven’t had insurance in eight years,” she said.
She takes an insulin called NovoLog. Five vials set her back about $1000 every month. Then she needs to purchase blood sugar test strips, needles, and emergency injector, pump supplies -- between that and her lupus medication, she’s putting up $2000 a month.
“I mean everything I have goes to me, my diabetes,” said the mother of three. “It’s not fair to my kids.”
And that has left her with a question:
“I was just curious if there are other people out there having to pay like I do,” said Tayeh.
10News found that answer, to some extent, is yes.
“Last year my prescription out of pocket was $5287,” said Catherine Peterson, of Crossville. “That is a third of my income. That’s just my pres Continue reading

How Does Diabetes Cause Atherosclerosis?

How Does Diabetes Cause Atherosclerosis?

Diabetes is known to cause a series of complications in the human body. It is a difficult condition and these complications caused due to diabetes make the disease even more difficult to manage. In today’s article, we shall learn more about one such condition called atherosclerosis caused due to inflammation and the disruption of blood vessels hindering the smooth flow of blood in different body parts. So, come and join in for the article “How Does Diabetes Cause Atherosclerosis?
What is Atherosclerosis?
Atherosclerosis is a condition in which the arteries become very narrow. The reason for the same is the deposits of too much of lipid in the arteries. The blood vessels of the body become very hard due to the above-mentioned lipid deposits. These deposits are also known as plaques and sometimes they even rupture the result of which is dangerous for the health of the individuals.
How Can Diabetes Cause Atherosclerosis?
Diabetes patients are exposed to higher chances of contracting atherosclerosis. There are various reasons for the same. The reasons are explained as below:
The endotheliumis the inner lining of the arteries that are directly connected with the bloodstream. Atherosclerosis is caused when the endothelium is destroyed. The main reason behind this is the deposit of materials such as fat, cholesterol, fibrin, etc. resulting in the formation of plaque.
In a normal healthy individual, endothelium helps the smooth functioning of the blood with the help of nitrous oxide that it itself produces. The nitrous oxide so produced performs the important function of helpin Continue reading

Can you drink alcohol while taking metformin?

Can you drink alcohol while taking metformin?

Metformin is a medication that helps manage type 2 diabetes and occasionally prediabetes. In general, drinking alcohol while taking metformin is not helpful and not recommended by doctors.
The side effects of metformin can be life-threatening with excessive alcohol consumption.
Metformin and alcohol both put stress on the liver, so intensifying the harmful effects and increasing the risk of liver complications.
How does metformin and alcohol affect the body?
Metformin is a popular, effective, and inexpensive management medication, prescribed for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. In 2014, some 14.4 million people in the United States were prescribed metformin.
Metformin is also being used more and more frequently in prediabetes cases. Metformin use in overweight people with type 1 diabetes may also reduce insulin requirements and increase metabolic control.
The drug works by improving insulin sensitivity, promoting the uptake of glucose into tissues and lowering sugar levels in the bloodstream. By increasing how effectively the existing glucose is used, metformin reduces the amount of glucose the liver produces and the intestines absorb.
Alcohol also affects blood sugars significantly. Alcohol digestion puts stress on the liver, an organ dedicated to the removal of poisons from the body. When the liver is forced to process high amounts of alcohol, it becomes overworked and releases less glucose.
Long-term alcohol use can also make cells less sensitive to insulin. This means that less glucose is absorbed from the blood and levels in the bloodstream increase.
Over time, alcoho Continue reading

How Australians Die: cause #5 – diabetes

How Australians Die: cause #5 – diabetes

This is the final in the How Australians Die series that focuses on the country’s top five causes of death and how we can drive down rates of these illnesses. Previous series articles were on heart diseases and stroke, cancers, dementia and chronic lower respiratory diseases.
Diabetes is rapidly emerging as a leading cause of death among Australians. It is also a leading cause of heart attacks, strokes, amputations, kidney failure, depression, dementia and severe infections – all of which themselves contribute to premature death.
It never used to be this way. Thirty years ago, around 250,000 Australians had diabetes. Today that figure is around two million.
Around the world in 2013, more than five million people between the ages of 20 and 79 died from diabetes, accounting for 8.4% of deaths among people in this age group. This translates to one death due to diabetes every six seconds. Tragically, nearly half of these were in people under 60.
These figures likely underestimate the major role of diabetes in death as it frequently goes unreported as a cause of death. One study showed that only 35% to 40% of people with diabetes who died had the disease listed on their death certificate, while only about 10% to 15% had diabetes listed as the underlying cause of death.
Which type of diabetes is worst?
Diabetes is characterised by higher than normal levels of glucose in the blood, caused by having insufficient insulin production or function to keep glucose levels under control.
This can come about if the immune system inadvertently destroys the insulin producing cells of the Continue reading

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