When Should Hemoglobin A1c Levels Be Tested
In addition to random fasting blood glucose levels, HbA1c levels are routinely measured in the monitoring of people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. HbA1c levels depend on the blood glucose concentration. That is, the higher the glucose concentration in blood, the higher the level of HbA1c. Levels of HbA1c are not influenced by daily fluctuations in the blood glucose concentration but reflect the average glucose levels over the prior six to eight weeks. Therefore, HbA1c is a useful indicator of how well the blood glucose level has been controlled in the recent past and may be used to monitor the effects of diet, exercise, and drug therapy on blood glucose in people with diabetes.
What Is Prediabetes Is It Important
Prediabetes, also known as impaired fasting glycemia and impaired glucose tolerance is a metabolic condition with no symptoms. An additional prediabetes state also exists that arises transiently during pregnancy, otherwise known as gestational diabetes.
Prediabetes is a growing global problem that is closely linked to obesity and is almost always a precursor to the development of type 2 diabetes. It is characterised by the presence of higher than normal blood glucose levels that are yet to reach diabetic levels. Physicians now understand that the health complications associated with type 2 diabetes often occur before a medical diagnosis is made.
What Is The Normal Blood Sugar Level For Seniors
We, humans, get our energy from food. Our body converts food into a sugar called glucose with the help of insulin and supplies the necessary energy required to continue our daily activities.
Is it okay to have a random level of blood glucose? No! Definitely not!
Blood sugar has also got an optimum level. What is it then? Thus, this is our topic today. Here in this article, I will give you a brief idea about the normal blood sugar levels in our body. But my main focus will be on the geriatric or older adult citizens as altered blood glucose level or diabetes is the most prevalent amongst them. So, let dig into the topic quickly!
Table of Content
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You Can Help Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
You can help decrease your childs risk of getting diabetes. Work with your childs healthcare provider on the following:
Healthy eating. Make sure your child is eating many different kinds of foods. Focus on fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, and low-fat dairy. Limit sugars and fats. And limit processed, prepackaged foods and fast foods, such as burgers, fries, and shakes. Stay away from sugary drinks, such as nondiet soda, sports drinks, lemonade, and sweet tea. These foods are high in calories, fat, and sodium. They are also low in nutrition.
Physical activity. Being active helps your childs body use glucose. Try for at least 60 minutes of active playtime every day. It doesnt have to be all at once. A few playtimes of 10 to 20 minutes add up.
Weight loss. Ask your healthcare provider for a referral to a lifestyle intervention program. This program will help your child get to and stay at a 7% weight loss and increase physical activity. Even a loss of 5% to 7% of body weight may help your childs body use glucose better
Eat A Balanced Diet With Proper Portion Sizes
Its best to check with a certified diabetes care and education specialist or a registered dietitian-nutritionist to determine what a balanced diet and appropriate portions mean for you. But a great rule of thumb is to visualize your plate for every meal and aim to fill one-half of it with veggies, one-quarter with protein, and one-quarter with whole grains, says Turkel. If you like fruit, limit your portions to a small cup, eaten with a little protein or lean fat to help you digest the fruit carbohydrates in a manner that is less likely to spike your blood sugar level.
Also, avoid processed foods as much as possible, and say no to sugary sodas and fruit juice, which are high in carbs and calories, and thus can lead to spikes in blood sugar and contribute to weight gain, according to the ADA.
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Start Measuring Your Blood Glucose Levels With A Dietitian
The best thing to do for your health is to learn more about how your body handles its blood sugar and what causes it to spike. A continuous glucose monitor lets you see how your body responds to foods with varying glycemic index values.
Those with diabetes have been using these safe, effective, FDA-approved devices for years. Now, you can get your own with NutriSense, which offers the same technology for the public for the first time, to use alongside their team of world-class Registered Dietitians. NutriSense CGMs come with an innovative app that lets you track your blood glucose levels.
What Is A Prediabetes Diet
A diet for prediabetes looks a lot different than a typical American one. I like to tell my clients to reserve half of your plate for vegetables, a quarter of your plate for protein, and a quarter of your plate for healthy carbohydrates, such as whole grains and fruit, says McKittrick.
A person with prediabetes should not eat processed carbohydrates that are high in sugar, but instead get carbohydrates from whole grains, fruits, legumes, and starchy vegetables . If you want to cut out carbs, you certainly can, but you dont have to, McKittrick says. They taste good, they give you energy, and usually it’s not sustainable to give them up completely.
Also shoot for 25-30-grams of fiber from food each day, as fiber-rich foods such as oatmeal and crunchy vegetables improve insulin resistance and keep you fuller, longer.
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Follow The Diabetes Treatment Plan Your Healthcare Team Recommends
Diabetes treatment is very individualized, noted an article published in May 2014 in Diabetes Spectrum. After all, factors including how long youve lived with the disease, your socioeconomic status, and any other conditions youre living with can play a role in the best treatment approach for you.
Your healthcare team will help you determine the steps you need to take to successfully manage diabetes. Always talk to your doctor before making any changes, such as starting a very-low-carbohydrate diet or beginning a new exercise regimen, and especially before making any medication or insulin changes.
Diagnosing Prediabetes Type 2 And Type 1 Diabetes
Depending on which country or medical organization you ask, the qualifying numbers for normal versus prediabetes versus diagnosed type 1 or type 2 diabetes can vary slightly. The following blood sugar and A1c the general results are used to diagnosed prediabetes and diabetes according to sources including the American Diabetes Association and Diabetes UK:
- HbA1c: 5.7 to 6.4 percent
- Fasting: 100 to 125 mg/dL
- 2 hours after a meal: 140 mg/dL to 199 mg/dL
Type 1 or 2 diabetes
- HbA1c: 6.5 percent or higher
- Fasting: 126 mg/dL or higher
- 2 hours after a meal: 200 mg/dL or higher
Please note: Type 1 diabetes tends to develop very quickly which means that by the time symptoms are felt, blood sugar levels are generally well above 200 mg/dL all the time. For many, symptoms come on so quickly they are dismissed as the lingering flu or another seemingly ordinary virus.
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Normal Blood Sugar Ranges In Healthy Non
For a person without any type of diabetes, blood sugar levels are generally between 70 to 130 mg/dL depending on the time of day and the last time they ate a meal. Newer theories about non-diabetic blood sugar levels have included post-meal blood sugar levels as high as 140 mg/dL.
Here are the normal blood sugar ranges for a person without diabetes according to the American Diabetes Association:
- Fasting blood sugar : under 100 mg/dL
- 1 hour after a meal: 90 to 130 mg/dL
- 2 hours after a meal: 90 to 110 mg/dL
- 5 or more hours after eating: 70 to 90 mg/dL
Prediabetes And Your Child
Youve been told that your child has prediabetes. This means that your child’s blood sugar is too high. Your child is at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
In type 2 diabetes, the body isn’t able to use insulin very well. Insulin is needed to use the sugar in the blood. This is different than type 1 diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the body doesn’t make enough insulin. It’s most often from the body’s immune system damaging the cells in the pancreas. The pancreas is the organ where insulin is made.
Over time, high blood sugar can lead to many health problems. For example, when your child is older, he or she may develop heart, eye, or kidney disease. You can take action now to lower your child’s blood glucose level and help prevent diabetes in your child.
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What Are The Treatments For Prediabetes
If you catch it early, prediabetes can usually be reversed with diet and exercise. Depending on how high your blood sugar is when youre first diagnosed, your doctor might elect to put you on one medication or a combination in order to get your glucose back down to a healthy level.
Going on medication for prediabetes treatment is not cut and dry, Antonucci says. Your blood sugar levels, A1C, medical history, and other complications might put you in a situation where medication should be added to your treatment plan to avoid type 2 its case by case, so work with your doctor to arrive at the best treatment for you.
Rethinking A1c Goals For Type 2 Diabetes
- By Monique Tello, MD, MPH, Contributor
“Treat the patient, not the number.” This is a very old and sound medical school teaching. However, when it comes to blood sugar control in diabetes, we have tended to treat the number, thinking that a lower number would equal better health.
Uncontrolled type 2 diabetes is associated with all sorts of very bad things: infections, angry nerve endings causing chronic pain, damaged kidneys, vision loss and blindness, blocked arteries causing heart attacks, strokes, and amputations So of course, it made good sense that the lower the blood sugar, the lower the chances of bad things happening to our patients.
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Start An Exercise Plan You Enjoy And Do It Regularly
Find something you enjoy doing that gets your body moving take your dog for a walk, play a sport with a friend, or ride a stationary bike indoors or a regular bike outdoors.
A good goal is to get 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, recommends Jordana Turkel, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator at Park Avenue Endocrinology and Nutrition in New York City. This is also what the ADA recommends. Different types of exercise can lower your A1C by making the body more sensitive to insulin, Turkel says. She encourages her patients not to go more than two days in a row without exercising, and to aim for two days of strength training.
Be sure to check with your healthcare provider before embarking on an exercise plan, though. He or she can come up with an individualized plan for you.
And if you monitor your blood sugar daily, check it before and after exercise. As the Joslin Diabetes Center at Harvard Medical School explains, exercise can cause your blood sugar to rise, as more is released from the liver, and blood sugar to fall, due to increase insulin sensitivity. Fluctuations in your blood sugar levels can result if you arent careful. This is particularly important if you are on insulin or another diabetes medication that causes insulin secretion, such as include sulfonylureas, such as Amaryl , and glinides, such as Prandin and Starlix .
Fasting Vs Nonfasting Blood Sugar
Fasting blood sugar is a test that measures blood sugar and is used to determine if an individual has diabetes. When a person takes this test, they are not to eat or drink for at least eight hours prior to the test. The results determine whether or not a person is prediabetic or diabetic.
The results are measured in milligrams per deciliter or mg/dL. The following results indicate whether or not a person is prediabetic or diabetic:
- Normal: Less than 100 mg/dL
- Prediabetes: 100 mg/dL to 125 mg/dL
- Diabetes: 126 mg/dL or higher
To test nonfasting blood sugar, an A1C test is administered to determine the average blood sugar level of an individual over a period of two to three months. There is no need to fast prior to taking this test. The following results indicate whether or not a person is prediabetic or diabetic:
- Normal: 5.7%
- Diabetes: 6.5%
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What Is A1c And A1c Test
A1C or hemoglobin A1C Is a protein that resides in red blood cells and carries oxygen to the rest of your body. Moreover, since glucose is in your blood, these hemoglobins affix themselves to the glucose and become Haemoglobin AIC or HbA1C. When your sugar level surges, it means you have higher levels of hemoglobin AIC in your blood.
So, what do the doctors do in this regard? Well, most of the GPs recommend such patients to take the A1C test. An A1C test is a sugar level test that, over the last 3 months, measures the level of blood sugar levels in your blood. If the AIC test comes higher, it means you have a higher level of glucose or sugar in your blood. Typically, the sugar level should be less than 5.7%.
A1c Goals Should Be Individualized
A1c goals should be individualized based on the individual capabilities, risks, and prior experiences, explains Gary Scheiner, MS, CDE, founder of Integrated Diabetes, and author of Think Like a Pancreas.
For example, we generally aim for very tight A1c levels during pregnancy and more conservative targets in young children and the elderly.
However, Scheiner highlights important factors that could justify aiming for a higher A1c, like hypoglycemia unawareness, which is described as when a person with diabetes no longer feels the oncoming warning signs of low blood sugar. This can put you at significant risk for severe low blood sugars resulting seizures or death. To reduce that risk, you would aim for higher target blood sugar ranges.
Someone with significant hypoglycemia unawareness and a history of severe lows should target higher blood glucose levels than someone who can detect and manage their lows more effectively, adds Scheiner. And certainly, someone who has been running A1cs in double digits for quite some time should not be targeting an A1c of 6% better to set modest, realistic, achievable goals.
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What Are The Normal A1c Levels For The Non
A1C levels are important in controlling diabetes, and non-diabetic people should also watch their A1C levels. Different from urine tests or daily finger sticks, A1C test measures average blood sugar level over the past two to three months, rather than just in the moment. Thats why its results are more accurate and reliable. In fact, our blood sugar level vary wildly depending on the time of the day, activity levels and even hormone changes, and A1C test reflect the general conditions rather than a momentary record.
What can A1C test do?
In other words, your finger stick result may show that you have a high blood sugar level, but if your A1C test tells you that you are non-diabetic, then you are fine. Now, A1C test is widely used to help doctors diagnose prediabetes and monitor your diabetes treatment.
Normal A1C levels for non-diabetic people:
Blood sugar is only one symptom of the diabetes. So far we have cared so much about the dangerous levels and boundaries for the diabetic. Actually, for the non-diabetic, we need to pay attention to the following numbers.
1) A1C : 4.5 5.8
2) Fasting Blood Sugar : 60 99
3) +1hour, +2hours and +3hours post meal values: 140, 120, 100, respectively
An A1C between 5.7 and 6.4 percent signals prediabetes. And type 2 diabetes is diagnosed when the A1C is over 6.5 percent. For many people with type 2 diabetes, the goal is to lower A1C levels to a healthier percentage.
Still Frustrated With Your Blood Sugar And A1c Results
Your blood sugars and your insulin or medication needs never stay in one place. If you gain weight or lose weight, your insulin and medication needs will change. If you become more active or less active, your needs will change. If you make drastic or even small changes to your nutrition, your needs will change!
Working with your diabetes healthcare team, and diabetes coaches who can teach you how to make changes in your overall diabetes management plan are essential. Diabetes is a lifelong learning process.
Take a deep breath and be patient. If you dont like what youre seeing on your glucose meter, dont get madget studying! Take good notes and work with your team to make changes to reach your goals.
Read more about improving your A1c in DiabetesStrongs guide, How to Lower Your A1c.
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