How accurate are the hemoglobin A1c tests (which I'll call just A1c) that most of us with diabetes get about 4 times a year? The A1c is supposed to tell us what our average blood glucose (BG) level has been over the previous several months, and it has provided information that was lacking in the early days of diabetes treatment.
However, researchers have now begun to dig deeper into the meaning of the A1c test to try to explain why some people's A1c doesn't seem to agree with their daily BG measurements.
We should have an approximate idea of how well we're controlling just by measuring our BG levels with our home meters. But the meters only tell us what the BG level is at the time we test. Even if we test 8 or 10 times a day, there are times when we're not testing, especially overnight.
And not everyone can afford to test even eight times a day. For instance, Medicare thinks that people on insulin need only 100 strips a month, enough to test about three times a day. For people ...
F or years, physicians and patients have trusted the A1C lab test to judge if a patient's diabetes is well-controlled or not; diabetes physicians and diabetes organizations have urged people with diabetes to get their number under 7 (or in some cases, even lower). A1C, also called hemoglobin A1c, and sometimes abbreviated HbA1c, measures the amount of glucose that's hooked to hemoglobin in red blood cells, and gives an estimate of how the blood glucose has been doing the past 2 to 3 months.
But until recently, the possible use of the A1C test to diagnose diabetes has been considered a no-no. Diagnosis of diabetes has been based almost exclusively on fasting blood glucose values of 126 mg/dl (7 mmol/L) or greater. Symptoms (if present), fancy glucose testing with oral glucose tolerance tests, family history, positive tests for urine glucose, and elevated A1C values have all been considered supportive of the diagnosis, but if the glucose isn't 126 or more, the diagnosis cannot be...
When I read Gina's post regarding planning for a diabetic pregnancy , it was a trip down memory lane for me. Very timely as well, since I'm starting to think about my next pregnancy! Obviously, having already traversed the challenges of a pregnancy complicated by type 1 diabetes, I'm feeling confident that I can do it again.
There were several practices that I had to master during my preconception and pregnancy phases, which I believed helped me to keep my blood sugars stable and my A1C below 6%.
First of all, restricting my carbohydrate intake was key, especially during the morning hours. We all have dawn phenomenon going on to one degree or another, and pregnancy hormones make the morning insulin resistance worse. Thus, restricting my carbohydrates to 15 grams at both breakfast and my morning snack helped tremendously. Also, during my pregnancy, I discovered how much better I felt when I ate eggs for breakfast, rather than cereal or o...
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