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What Does A1C Stand For?

What Does A1C Stand For?

What Does A1C Stand For?

You may have heard of a diabetes test called a hemoglobin A1c, sometimes called HgbA1c, HbA1c, or just A1C. What is an A1C test, and what should you know about it?
HgbA1c is hemoglobin (pronounced HE-mo-glow-bin) that has sugar attached to it. Hemoglobin is the protein that carries oxygen from the lungs to all the cells of the body. Hemoglobin is an important component of red blood cells (RBCs).
Nearly all cells in the human body need oxygen to power them. All animals with backbones, except one family of fish, have hemoglobin. Hemoglobin and molecules like it are also found in many invertebrates, plants, and fungi.
Types of hemoglobin
The “A” in Hemoglobin A (HgbA) stands for “adult.” After a person reaches six months of age, nearly all the hemoglobin is type A.
About 98% of HgbA is type 1, or HgBA1. There is also HgBA2 (in addition to other types of hemoglobin), but not much. Type A1 has subtypes A1a, A1b, A1c, and others. Type A1c is the most common, making up about two-thirds of hemoglobin with glucose attached.
HgbA1c is a good marker for glucose control, because the more glucose is circulating in the blood, the more hemoglobin will be glycated (covered with sugar).
What an A1C test means
Once hemoglobin is glycated, it stays that way until the red blood cell dies. Red blood cells live an average of three to four months. That is why your A1C level indicates your average glucose over the last few months.
A1C results are expressed as the percentage of all hemoglobin that is glycated. An A1C of 7.0% means an average blood glucose level of 154 mg/dl, according to th Continue reading

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13 best and worst foods for people with diabetes

13 best and worst foods for people with diabetes

If you have diabetes, watching what you eat is one of the most important things you can do to stay healthy.
"The basic goal of nutrition for people with diabetes is to avoid blood sugar spikes," said Dr. Gerald Bernstein, director of the diabetes management program at Friedman Diabetes Institute, Beth Israel Medical Center in New York.
Candy and soda can be dangerous for diabetics because the body absorbs these simple sugars almost instantly. But all types of carbs need to be watched, and foods high in fat—particularly unhealthy fats—are problematic as well because people with diabetes are at very high risk of heart disease, said Sandy Andrews, RD, director of education for the William Sansum Diabetes Center in Santa Barbara, Calif.
Worst: White rice
The more white rice you eat, the greater your risk of type 2 diabetes, according to a 2012 review. In a study of more than 350,000 people, those who ate the most white rice were at greatest risk for type 2 diabetes, and the risk increased 11 percent for each additional daily serving of rice.
"Basically anything highly processed, fried, and made with white flour should be avoided," Andrews said.
White rice and pasta can cause blood sugar spikes similar to that of sugar.
Have this instead: Brown rice or wild rice. These whole grains don't cause the same blood sugar spikes thanks to fiber, which helps slow the rush of glucose into the bloodstream, Andrews said. What's more, a Harvard School of Public Health study found that two or more weekly servings of brown rice was linked to a lower diabetes risk.
Worst: Blended coffees
Bl Continue reading

Diabetes Care Could Top $336 Billion by 2034

Diabetes Care Could Top $336 Billion by 2034

The number of Americans with diabetes is expected to continue to rise, which only adds to the already staggering costs of this disease.
One of the biggest dangers faced by Americans comes not from outside the country’s borders, but from within.
The way Americans eat and how they move — or don’t move — is driving the country’s high rates of obesity, heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.
And it’s putting a dent in our wallets.
Take diabetes, for example.
A new government report found that almost 10 percent of U.S. adults have diabetes, with many more in the early stages of the disease.
The annual price tag for this chronic illness runs into the billions of dollars for medical care and lost productivity.
As bad as that seems, other research shows that left unchecked, one-third of American adults could have diabetes by 2050, with an equally staggering blow to the U.S. economy.
All numbers up and to the right
A report released last month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 30.2 million Americans 18 years or older — 9.4 percent of the population — had diabetes in 2015.
Nearly a quarter of the people were unaware that they had diabetes, or didn’t report it during the screening.
The rate of diagnosed diabetes increased with age, with over 1 in 4 people 65 years or older having diabetes.
On top of that, 84.1 million adults — or 34 percent — had prediabetes, an elevated fasting blood sugar level that is not high enough to be classified as type 2 diabetes. Without lifestyle changes, people with prediabetes will likely develop Continue reading

Periodontal Disease Linked with Diabetes and Heart Health

Periodontal Disease Linked with Diabetes and Heart Health

Forty-seven percent of adults age 30 years and older have some form of periodontal disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control. In individuals 65 years and older, the number jumps to a staggering 70.1 percent. Periodontal disease creates a heightened systemic response linked with heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and several other disorders. Nutrient deficiencies like magnesium and coenzyme Q10 magnify its devastating effects. Periodontal disease doesn’t have to happen. Learn about its effects, risks, and natural ways to combat this disorder that affects millions.
[Jump to: Nutritional Options]
Periodontal Disease: Signs and Risk Factors
Periodontal disease is the result of inflammation and infections of the gums and bone that surround the teeth. Gingivitis is an early stage of this inflammation. When it progresses, it becomes periodontitis. Gums pull away from the tooth, low-grade infections simmer, the jaw bone breaks down, and teeth may loosen or even fall out.
Warning signs of periodontitis include bad breath or bad taste in the mouth that doesn’t go away; red, swollen gums; bleeding gums; sore, sensitive, or loose teeth; pain with chewing; and even changes in your bite.
Common risk factors identified include poor oral hygiene, smoking, crooked teeth, immune deficiencies, defective fillings in teeth, poorly fitting dentures, and even hormone changes related to pregnancy, menopause, or oral contraceptives. Additional factors include e-cigarettes, sleep disorders and insufficient sleep and obesity. Dental cavities are preventable and so is periodontal diseas Continue reading

8 Best Fruits for a Diabetes-Friendly Diet

8 Best Fruits for a Diabetes-Friendly Diet

1 / 9 What Fruit Is Good for High Blood Sugar?
When you're looking for a diabetes-friendly treat that can help keep your blood sugar within a healthy range, look no farther than the produce drawer of your refrigerator or the fruit basket on your kitchen table.
Believe it or not, the notion that fruit is not safe when you need to watch your A1C is a popular diabetes myth that has been debunked again and again. Indeed, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), many types of fruit are loaded with good-for-you vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber — a powerful nutrient that can help regulate blood sugar levels and decrease your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Fiber — which can also be found in some of the best vegetables for diabetes, as well as whole grains — can further benefit your health because it promotes feelings of fullness, curbing unhealthy cravings and overeating, research shows. Healthy weight maintenance can increase your insulin sensitivity and help in your diabetes management.
So, how do you pick the best fruit for diabetes? While some forms of fruit, like juice, can be bad for diabetes, whole fruits like berries, citrus, apricots, and yes, even apples — can be good for your A1C and overall health, fighting inflammation, normalizing your blood pressure, and more.
But as with any food in your diabetes diet, you have to be smart about counting carbohydrates and tracking what you eat. Portion size is key.
Consume fruit in its whole, natural form, and avoid syrups or any processed f Continue reading

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