Low Hba1c Is As Bad Or Worse Than High Hba1c In Non
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 , cardiovascular factors , metabolic factors , red blood cell indices , iron storage indices , and liver function indices . 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 . I would note that the 50th percentile is at 5.3%, but you go all the way up to the 90th percentile and reach a whoppiContinue reading > >
An A1c Goal Of Between 7% And 8% Is Reasonable And Beneficial For Most Patients With Type 2 Diabetes
though if lifestyle changes can get that number lower, then go for it. For patients who want to live a long and healthy life and try to avoid the complications of diabetes, they will need to keep their blood sugars as normal as possible that means an A1c under 6.5%. However, studies show that using medications to achieve that goal significantly increases the risk of harmful side effects like hypoglycemia and weight gain. To live longer and healthier and avoid both the complications of diabetes as well as the risks of medications, theres this amazing thing called lifestyle change. This involves exercise, healthy diet, weight loss, and not smoking. It is very effective. Lifestyle change also can help achieve healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which in turn reduce the risk for heart disease. And heart disease is a serious and common complication of diabetes.
Lifestyle change should be the cornerstone of treatment for type 2 diabetes. The recommendations go on to say that for patients who achieve an A1c below 6.5% with medications, we should decrease or even discontinue those drugs. Doing so requires careful monitoring to ensure that the person stays at the goal set with his or her doctor, which should be no lower than 7%, for the reasons stated above.
What Are The Top Tips For Lowering A1c
Your A1C score is a valuable part of the diabetes control picture, Dodell says, but it is not the only indicator of your health. Someone who has wide fluctuations in blood sugar levels may have an A1C at goal because the average over two to three months is good. But the day-to-day fluctuations can lower your quality of life and increase your risk of complications, he cautions.
Diabetes can be a tough condition to manage, Dodell says. He tells his patients to view diabetes management like a job. It takes work, but the time and effort you put into it can result in good control and an improved quality of life. The key to reaching your A1C goal is trying to follow a healthy lifestyle, he says.
Making these healthy changes can help you improve your day-to-day blood sugar management and lower your A1C:
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Check Your Blood Sugar Levels As Your Doctor Has Directed
Work with your doctor to determine if, and how often, you should check your blood sugar. You may be tempted to pick up an A1C home testing kit, but Dowdell does not recommend doing that. As he mentions, day-to-day fluctuations in your blood sugar can be masked by an A1C result that is at your goal level. Instead, if you have a personal continuous glucose monitor, such as a Dexcom G6 or a Freestyle Libre , Dowdell recommends checking your time in range to see if you are at the optimal level. For many people that is 70 to 180 milligrams per decilter , according to ADA guidelines. Having your A1C checked by your healthcare provider every three to six months is sufficient, he adds.
Understanding your A1C levels is an important part of your overall diabetes management. If you have any questions about your A1C levels or what they mean, dont hesitate to ask your doctor.
Additional reporting by Mikel Theobald.
How Often Should You Check Your Hemoglobin A1c Levels
The American Diabetes Association suggests if people with diabetes want to reduce their hemoglobin A1c levels quickly, they should get their hemoglobin A1c levels checked every three months until they reach their treatment goals.
People with diabetes who are meeting treatment goals and have stable blood control are recommended to check their hemoglobin A1c every six months according to the ADA.
Tracking hemoglobin A1c levels allows an individual and their health-care professional to determine how well the person is controlling their blood sugar levels over time. However, they are not a substitute for daily glucose monitoring.
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Reasons Your A1c Might Be High When Youre Not Diabetic
Are you worried youâre at risk of diabetes because of high blood sugar levels on your A1C test? Does your blood sugar spike even when youâre eating healthy foods like apples and pears?
While high blood sugar is a common sign of diabetes, itâs not exclusive to those with the health condition. In fact, people often encounter high levels even if they donât have a history of diabetes.
The 411 On A1c: Normal A1c Levels And 15 Ways To Lower High A1c
The hemoglobin A1C test is the closest thing to a diabetes scorecard you can find. Whether someone has had diabetes mellitus for years or if they have just been diagnosed, they have probably heard about this test. Unlike blood sugar meters people use at home, the A1C measures an average blood sugar level over the past several months by analyzing how many of a patients hemoglobin cells have glucose attached to them. The test results keep track of how well a person is managing his or her diabetes.
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What Foods Can I Eat To Lower My A1c
As we mentioned before, always consult with your doctor or dietician about your diet and what you should be putting into your body to lower your A1c.
Here are some of the foods you can expect them to recommend working into your diet, all of which have shown the ability to help people with diabetes control their blood sugar levels:
- Broccoli and broccoli sprouts
How Often Is A1c Tested
To keep A1C levels in check, patients should have the test repeated regularly. If the A1C is less than 5.7, indicating you dont have diabetes, you should have it checked every three years, according to Robert Williams, MD, a family doctor and geriatrician in Lakewood, Colorado, and a medical advisor for eMediHealth. If it is between 5.7 and 6.4, indicating you are at risk of developing diabetes, you should have it rechecked every one to two years. If you have a confirmed diabetes diagnosis, and your blood sugar is well-controlled, you should have an A1C test every six months. If you already have diabetes and your medications change, or your blood sugar is not well-controlled, you should have an A1C test every three months.
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You Have A B12 Deficiency
One of the reasons your body needs B12 is because it helps create red blood cells. You already know iron-deficiency anemia is one cause of an elevated A1C test. Since a deficiency in B12 often leads to anemia, itâs no wonder that it leads to high A1C readings as well. Taking B12 vitamins can also affect these levels, producing a falsely low A1C reading.
What Is A1c And Why Is It Used
A1c estimates a persons average blood sugar levels over a 2 to 3-month span. It is the best measure we have of how well blood glucose is controlled and an indicator of diabetes management.
Though A1c doesnt provide day-to-day information, keeping A1c low has been proven to lower the risk of microvascular complications like kidney disease , vision loss , and nerve damage . The relationship between A1c and macrovascular complications like heart disease is harder to show in clinical trials, but having high blood sugar is a major risk factor for heart disease.
A1c is usually measured in a lab with routine blood work, or with a countertop machine in a doctors office using a fingerstick.
A1c measures the quantity of glycated hemoglobin, which refers to sugar attached to a red blood cell protein called hemoglobin. The number is reported as a percentage of the total hemoglobin in the blood. If a person consistently has higher blood glucose levels over time, A1c levels go up because more red blood cells are coated with sugar. The test is representative of a 2 to 3-month average because once a red blood cell becomes coated with sugar, the link is irreversible. It is only when the red blood cell is “recycled” that the sugar coating disappears.
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Some Medications Such As Opioids Can Cause High A1c Levels
Several different medications can interfere with A1C test results. Some can even cause errors in readings or bring up inaccurate results. Some opiates and even over-the-counter drugs can increase your A1C levels. According to a study by the NIH, common drugs like aspirin also cause high or low A1C levels.
Of course, taking the occasional aspirin wonât affect your levels too much. It usually only starts to skew the results of an A1C test if you are taking these medications at regular, larger doses over a long period. This isnât a one size fits all rule, though. For example, among those with type 2 diabetes, aspirin didnât show any elevated levels at all.
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
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What The Numbers Mean
The A1C test measures how much glucose is attached to the hemoglobin in your blood. The results are reported as percentages. To diagnose diabetes with an A1C test, physicians use the following scale:
- Normal: below 5 percent
- Prediabetes: 5.7 to 6.4 percent
- Diabetes: 6.5 percent or higher
It’s recommended that diabetics maintain an A1C level below 7 percent to prevent complications.
Follow Your Treatment Plan
Successful management of chronic conditions is all about making a plan and sticking to it. Work with your doctor to set goals for your health and create a plan that will work for you. It you have a hard time following your plan, you may want to write it down or post your goals in a place where you will see them frequently. The NIDDK offers a diabetes planning worksheet to help you get started.
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Do You Have To Fast For An A1c Blood Test
Unlike the fasting plasma glucose and the OGTT tests, there is no need to fast before having the A1C test. If A1C test results indicate a person has or might have diabetes, a healthcare provider might suggest one of these tests to confirm the results. Another test, the random plasma glucose test, which does not require fasting, can also be used. If the results are borderline or if the results of the different tests do not match, a doctor might suggest repeating the test in several weeks or months.
Many People With Diabetes Wonder How To Lower A1c Naturally But Its Important To Know The Best Ways To Do That And What Myths Are Out There
As with any health topic, there are a lot of ideas floating around out there about how to lower your a1c. In this article, weâll dive into what a1c is and not myths and truths about how to lower a1c naturally.
***This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis, opinion, treatment or services. This article and the links contained in it provide general information for educational purposes only. The information provided in this article is not a substitute for medical care, and should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or registered dietitian.***
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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.
Get The Right Amount Of Sleep
The role sleep plays when it comes to optimizing A1C is interesting. If you don’t already know, sleep and glucose values have what’s known as a bidirectional relationship. This means higher glucose can lead to a worse night of sleep and that poor sleep can cause suboptimal glucose the next day.
A study from 2019 looked at sleep duration and A1C levels in 962 individuals with either pre-diabetes or untreated type 2 diabetes. They found that those who slept a consistent seven to eight hours every night had significantly better A1C values than those who slept either five hours or less or more than eight hours.
Consider incorporating healthy sleep hygiene habits to get better sleep and optimize your A1C in the process, like:
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Recommended Blood Sugar Targets For Most People With Diabetes*
Your targets may not be the same as the examples in this chart. Your targets are important and should be specific to you.
|4.0 to 7.0||5.0 to 10.0|
* This information is based on the Diabetes Canada 2018 Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Prevention and Management of Diabetes in Canada and is a guide.** A1C is a measurement of your average blood sugar control for the last two to three months and approximately 50 per cent of the value comes from the last 30 days.
We Dont Even Need To Follow The A1c For Some Patients
Elderly patients, and those with serious medical conditions, will benefit from simply controlling the symptoms they have from high blood sugars, like frequent urination and incontinence, rather than aiming for any particular A1c level. Who would be included in this group? People with a life expectancy of less than 10 years, or those who have advanced forms of dementia, emphysema, or cancer or end-stage kidney, liver, or heart failure. There is little to no evidence for any meaningful benefit of intervening to achieve a target A1c in these populations there is plenty of evidence for harm. In particular, diabetes medications can cause low blood sugars, leading to weakness, dizziness, and falls. There is the added consideration that elderly and sick patients often end up on a long list of medications that can interact, causing even more side effects.
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What Does The A1c Test Measure
A1C is one of the primary tests used for diabetes diagnosis and management. It can test for type 1 and type 2 diabetes, but not for gestational diabetes. The A1C test can also predict the likelihood that someone will develop diabetes.
The A1C test measures how much glucose is attached to hemoglobin. This is the protein in red blood cells. The more glucose attached, the higher the A1C.
The A1C test is groundbreaking :
- It doesnt require fasting.
- It gives a picture of blood sugar levels over a period of weeks to months instead of at just one time, like fasting sugars.
- It can be done at any time of day. This makes it easier for doctors to give and make accurate diagnoses.
Having prediabetes puts you at risk for developing type 2 diabetes within 10 years. But you can take steps to prevent or delay developing diabetes. If you test positive for prediabetes, its best to get retested every year.
Theres an increased chance of prediabetes developing into type 2 diabetes if your A1C is 6.5 percent or higher.
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, keeping your A1C levels below 7 percent can help reduce the risk of complications.
If you receive a diagnosis of prediabetes or diabetes, your doctor may prescribe a home monitor to allow you to test your blood sugar. Be sure to talk with your doctor to learn what to do if the results are too high or too low for you.