Depending on the type of diabetes that a person has, how well that person's diabetes is controlled, and on the healthcare practitioner's recommendations, the A1c test may be measured 2 to 4 times each year. The ADA recommends A1c testing for people with diabetes at least twice a year if they are meeting treatment goals and under stable glycemic control. When someone is first diagnosed with diabetes or if optimal glucose levels are not achieved, A1c may be ordered quarterly.
This test requires you to visit a lab or a healthcare professional after at least an eight-hour fast. At the office or lab, you will drink about eight ounces of a sweet liquid that contains a lot of sugar (about 75 grams). Your blood sugar level will be measured before you drink the liquid, then after one hour and again after two hours. If your blood sugar level is 200 mg/dL or above after two hours, you may have diabetes.
If you need to lose weight, find an eating plan you can stick with. “Whatever results in lasting weight loss for you is the best approach for you,” Wright says. “If you make over-restrictive changes you can't maintain, as soon as you tire of that diet, you will fall back to what you did previously, gain weight, and raise your risk of type 2 diabetes.”
For individuals who have progressed to pre-diabetes, both the Finnish Prevention Study3 and the Diabetes Prevention Program4 showed conclusively that intensive lifestyle interventions decreased the overall risk of diabetes by 58%. Lifestyle interventions included a weight reduction of 5% or more, reduction of total fat intake to < 30% of total calories, and increased physical activity (≥ 4 hours/week). Even more encouraging is the report from the Finnish Prevention Study follow-up period averaging 7 years, in which the intervention group saw a 43% reduction in risk of diabetes.5 The intervention group had sustained lifestyle changes that remained even after individual lifestyle counseling ended.
How does diabetes affect children and teens? Studies show that many parents cannot identify signs and symptoms of diabetes in children and teens, but type 1 and especially type 2 are becoming more common. Knowing the signs and getting an early diagnosis makes diabetes easier to manage. Find out more about how to recognize diabetes and how to spot the early signs. Read now
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Each glucose test has its pros and cons, and your doctor may prefer one test over another, depending on your symptoms, risk factors, and lifestyle. For instance, the OGTT test is rarely done, outside of diagnosing pregnant women for gestational diabetes. In comparison, the Hemoglobin A1C test is a great initial glucose test because it isn’t affected if you eat right before the test. It’s important to ask your doctor which glucose test is right for you.
I could go on for days about how a good diet can keep your blood sugar in control. To receive the most efficient information, set up a meeting with a dietician to look at your specific needs and you recent sugar readings. They can provide you with recipes and tools which make it easier for you to know exactly what you are putting into your body. 40 states in the United States require insurance companies to cover a meeting with a dietician for those with diabetes. Check with your insurance to see if this benefit is available for you.
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Who is at risk of developing prediabetes? A well-known paper published in the Lancet in 2010 recommends screening for type 2 diabetes (which would also screen for prediabetes) every 3-5 years in all adults over the age of 45, regardless of other risk factors. Overweight and obese adults (a BMI >25 kg/m2) are also at significantly greater risk for developing prediabetes, as well as people with a family history of type 2 diabetes.
Dietary fiber intake provides many health benefits. However, average fiber intakes for US children and adults are less than half of the recommended levels. Individuals with high intakes of dietary fiber appear to be at significantly lower risk for developing coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and certain gastrointestinal diseases. Increasing fiber intake lowers blood pressure and serum cholesterol levels. Increased intake of soluble fiber improves glycemia and insulin sensitivity in non-diabetic and diabetic individuals. Fiber supplementation in obese individuals significantly enhances weight loss. Increased fiber intake benefits a number of gastrointestinal disorders including the following: gastroesophageal reflux disease, duodenal ulcer, diverticulitis, constipation, and hemorrhoids. Prebiotic fibers appear to enhance immune function. Dietary fiber intake provides similar benefits for children as for adults. The recommended dietary fiber intakes for children and adults are 14 g/1000 kcal. More effective communication and consumer education is required to enhance fiber consumption from foods or supplements.
Recommendations for improving blood glucose control are based on the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT), a 10-year clinical study of insulin-dependent diabetes sponsored by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, NIH. The DCCT showed that volunteers who intensively managed their diabetes reduced their risk of eye disease by 76 percent, kidney disease by 50 percent, and nerve disease by 60 percent.