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 (which is more common among patients who are taking insulin) may have an A1C at goal because the average is good. But the day-to-day fluctuations can lower your quality of life and increase your risk of complications, he says.
A1c is based on a person’s red blood cell turnover (the lifespan of a red blood cell) and the quantity of sugar attached to each cell. Certain conditions, such as kidney disease, hemoglobin variants, certain types of anemia, and certain drugs and vitamins, impact red blood cell turnover, leading to misleading A1c values. Click here to jump down to a list of factors that impact A1c.
Fibrous foods are known to curb blood sugar level and aid in weight loss. According to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, men between the age group of 31 to 50 should ideally consume 31 grams of fiber on a daily basis while women around the same age range should be consuming about 25 grams of fiber in a day. But as you age, your requirement of fiber intake reduces so if you’re a man older than 51 years, your dietary fiber intake should be around 28 grams and for women above 51 years, it reduces to 22 grams on a daily consumption basis. This number provided by the guidelines is relatively still higher than the fiber requirements for people without Type 2 diabetes. Some high fiber foods that you could include in your daily diabetic diet are legumes, chickpeas, salads, black beans, soups and chili.
Please note that information provided through this free Service is not intended to be medical advice and should not be relied on as such. Although the laboratory provides the largest single source of objective, scientific data on patient status, it is only one part of a complex biological picture of health or disease. As professional clinical laboratory scientists, our goal is to assist you in understanding the purpose of laboratory tests and the general meaning of your laboratory results. It is important that you communicate with your physician so that together you can integrate the pertinent information, such as age, ethnicity, health history, signs and symptoms, laboratory and other procedures (radiology, endoscopy, etc.), to determine your health status. The information provided through this Service is not intended to substitute for such consultations with your physician nor specific medical advice to your health condition.
The OGTT is a diagnostic tool diabetes and prediabetes, assessing a person’s response to consuming a fixed amount of sugar. After taking the sugar drink, blood sugar levels are measured two hours later. Below 140 mg/dl is considered “normal,” between 140 mg/dl and 200 mg/dl points to prediabetes or impaired glucose tolerance, and above 200 mg/dl indicates diabetes. It is not useful for tracking diabetes management.
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Hemoglobin, a protein that links up with sugars such as glucose, is found inside red blood cells. Its job is to carry oxygen from the lungs to all the cells of the body. Glucose enters your red blood cells and links up (or glycates) with molecules of hemoglobin. The more glucose in your blood, the more hemoglobin gets glycated. By measuring the percentage of A1C in the blood, you get an overview of your average blood glucose control for the past few months. Your doctor should measure your A1C level at least twice a year.
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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.”
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Kumar, R., Chhatwal, S., Arora, S., Sharma, S., Singh, J., Singh, N., … Khurana, A. (2013, January 19). Antihyperglycemic, antihyperlipidemic, anti-inflammatory and adenosine deaminase–lowering effects of garlic in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus with obesity. Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: Targets and Therapy, 6, 49–56. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3554227/