Carbohydrates ultimately break down into glucose. Many people believe that carbs are bad for people with diabetes. This is not true. Carbs are fuel for the body, so they have to be eaten. You just need to be smart about which ones you eat and how much you eat of them. Picking foods that are high in carbs but have no other nutrition is not smart. Examples of these foods are:
Though A1c doesn’t provide day-to-day information, keeping A1c low has been proven to lower the risk of “microvascular” complications like kidney disease (nephropathy), vision loss (retinopathy), and nerve damage (neuropathy). 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.
For example, a person with heart disease who has lived with type 2 diabetes for many years without diabetic complications may have a higher A1c target (e.g., 7.5%-8.0%) set by their healthcare practitioner, while someone who is otherwise healthy and just diagnosed may have a lower target (e.g., 6.0%-6.5%) as long as low blood sugar is not a significant risk.
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Learn about how to make healthier food decisions at the grocery store, in the kitchen, and when eating out. The more you know about how food works in your body and what you should be eating, the easier it is to make healthy choices for yourself. Your doctor may recommend nutritional counseling or a visit with a dietitian. They can help you break your old habits and learn how to live healthier.
Metformin is the only medication approved by the FDA to treat prediabetes. It works by stopping the liver from producing excess glucose. For some people, metformin also helps them lose weight. It can be an option for people who aren't ready or able to make lifestyle changes right away. Metformin also is a medication that can be discontinued as soon as blood sugar levels are at goal, and healthy lifestyle habits have become routine.
To explain what hemoglobin A1c is, think in simple terms. Sugar sticks to things, and when it has been stuck to something for a long time, it's harder to the get sugar (glucose) off. In the body, sugar sticks too, particularly to proteins. The red blood cells that circulate in the body live for about three months before they die. When sugar (glucose) sticks to these red blood cells by binding to hemoglobin A1c, it gives the doctor an idea of how much glucose has been around in the blood for the preceding three months. Hemoglobin A1c is a minor component of hemoglobin to which glucose binds. Hemoglobin A1c levels depend on blood glucose concentrations. The higher the sugar concentration in the blood, the higher the detectable hemoglobin A1c levels. At any point in time, hemoglobin A1c levels represent the average blood sugar concentrations in the person with diabetes for approximately the preceding 3 months. Other ways hemoglobin A1c may be termed include HbA1c, A1c and Hb1c.

John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.
I can upload the data stored on my pump and read it in chart or graph form to look for particular patterns over a period of time so that I can make corrections in my regimen. When I go to see a physician, I have a lot of information with me beforehand. We are both better informed. BUT, sometimes the data can be overwhelming. There are trade-offs when using the latest devices. If I’m doing well, do I really need to be doing “better”? It’s essential for me to remember that what’s important is to live well with diabetes, not to control it. The only reason for “controlling” (not a term I like) the disease is to continue to live a happy life. Getting everything correct is not a moral issue. It’s not a race or a competition. There are so many variables that one can never get it perfect. It’s not a battle. It’s a way of living. My body doesn’t produce insulin and yet here I am, still having fun and I don’t necessarily need to have more and quicker data to do it.
Oversnacking. Some kids with diabetes eat too many snacks because they or their parents worry about hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Keep track of the snacks in your home and how quickly they're eaten. If you have questions about healthy snacks, talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian. Also, talk with your child about the importance of following the diabetes meal plan.
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When using the A1C test for diagnosis, your doctor will send your blood sample taken from a vein to a lab that uses an NGSP-certified method. The NGSP, formerly called the National Glycohemoglobin Standardization Program, certifies that makers of A1C tests provide results that are consistent and comparable with those used in the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial.
Metformin: For people who are at very high risk of developing type 2 diabetes after being diagnosed with prediabetes, the doctor may recommend medication. The American Diabetes Association says that metformin should be the only medication used to prevent T2D. It works by keeping the liver from making more glucose when you don’t need it, thereby keeping your blood glucose level in a better range.
Losing weight can help improve your body’s ability to effectively respond to insulin resistance, but if it doesn’t help you achieve better blood glucose control, that doesn’t mean you should give up. Losing and then maintaining a healthy weight are important choices for life—whether you have type 2 diabetes, or not. This is a life-long commitment that each and every one of us must strive for.
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Choose foods that are less likely to cause an additional sudden rise in blood sugar. These foods can be identified by determining their glycemic index value (see Resources). Look for foods with a low glycemic index value, such as beans and legumes, and avoid high glycemic foods, such as white potatoes. Don't assume a food has a low glycemic number, even if it appear healthy; many healthy foods can cause a rise in blood sugar, particularly in susceptible individuals.

Prediabetes happens when the insulin in your body doesn’t work as well as it should. Insulin helps the cells in your body use glucose from your blood. When the insulin doesn’t work properly, too much glucose builds up in your blood. Higher levels than normal can indicate prediabetes. If the levels get high enough, you develop type 2 diabetes. High glucose levels can damage your blood vessels and nerves. This increases your risk of heart disease, stroke, and other health problems.


Lose a pound. Or four. You don’t need to be supermodel skinny to improve your blood sugar. If you lose 7 percent of your weight, you’ll improve your insulin resistance. That will lower your blood sugar across the board, and dramatically reduce after-meal spikes. How much weight is that, really? Well, it depends on how much you weigh, of course. If you tip the scales at 200 pounds, 7 percent is 14 pounds. You could easily shed that in six months, simply by eating fewer bites per meal. I know we were taught as children to clean our plates, but it’s far better to throw some food away than to eat more than we need to. It’s only wasteful to eat what our bodies don’t need.
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