A1C Levels, Blood Sugar and Diabetes
This article discusses normal A1C levels and the relationship between blood sugar and diabetes
The Link between Blood Sugar and Diabetes
Diabetes causes high blood sugar levels, and high blood sugar levels can cause diabetes and its symptoms. Diabetes can cause high blood sugar in the case of type 1 diabetes due to a lack of insulin. In prediabetes, it is usually due to the cells not responding correctly. In type 2 diabetes, it is usually a combination.
Monitoring Blood Sugar Levels to Control Symptoms
Nowadays, monitoring blood sugar levels at home or on the go is simple using relatively inexpensive blood glucose meters. It is recommended that anyone with type two diabetes or anyone interested in monitoring blood sugar levels for preventative health reasons owns a glucose meter. This will allow you to monitor your glucose levels throughout the day and to understand what foods and behaviors have an effect on blood sugar levels. Glucose meteres can be expensive, but you can find them inexpensively if you know where to look.
Normal A1C Levels Chart And Information
The chart below shows normal A1C Blood Sugar Levels in the form of a simple chart. Reading this chart and measuring your A1C Levels can help you determine your risk for diabetes.
The Importance of A1C Monitoring
A1C blood tests show how well your diabetes management plan is working. Lowering your A1C Blood levels is critical to improving your type two diabetes condition and symptoms.
A1C Test And Levels By Age
The A1C test is used to measure the amount of glucose (blood sugar) in your blood by measuring the amount of glycated hemoglobin. Generally speaking, A1C levels below 5.7 percent are considered normal. An A1C measurement between 5.7 and 6.4 percent can signal prediabetes. And Type 2 diabetes is diagnosed when the A1C is over 6.5 percent. The goal of patients with type 2 diabetes is to lower their A1C levels to a healthier percentage. The normal A1C Level ranges described above apply in general to all adult ages. If you are an adult, the chart will accurately describe (in most cases) what constitutes a normal range.
Lowering or Reducing A1C Levels
To lower your A1C levels and to avoid diabetic complications and worsening symptoms, consider the following recommendations for reducing A1C levels:
Get More excercise: Excercising on a regular basis just 30 minutes a day 5-7 days a week can have a positive affect on your blood sugar levels. In addition to improving blood sugar, excercise will have overall positive effects on your overall health and mood.
Make Required Modifications to Your Diet: If you are, like many Americans, someone who consumes loads of processed foods and refined sugars, you may be sabotaging your diabetic recovery and overall health. Processed (industrialized) foods can be high in a number of ingredients that have a negative affect on overall health and which may take a toll on your immune system and your liver functions and other important bodily fuctions and may negatively affect blood sugar.
Of course the most important food to monitor when it comes to fighting diabetes is sugar. Added sugar, refined sugar, and anything with sugar can be dangerous for a diabetic. Fructose has been shown in particular to have a very negative affect on blood sugar and insulin functions. Excess carbohydrates can also take a toll. And table sugar and high fructose corn syrup are both very high in fructose. Be sure to monitor your sugar and carbohydrate intake if you desire to get serious about lowering A1C.
Monitor your progress: Be sure to continually keep an eye on your blood sugar and A1C levels using at home tests and medical exams periodically. These will help you to understand what is working and what isn't working.
Eat On Time Everytime: Making sure to eat balanced meals in regular intervals throughout the day on a regular basis can help to guard against sudden drops and rises in blood sugar. Be sure to find a schedule that works for you and be sure to stick to it to help regulate blood sugar spikes.
Ask your Doctor About Other Options: In some extreme cases, medications can be helpful. Be sure to speak with your primary care physician or a medical professional about your options.
Type 1 vs. Type 2 Diabetes
The cause of Type 1 diabetes is not conclusive in the scientific community. However, the consensus is that type 1 diabetes is caused by a combination of factors both hereditary and environmental for example infections and chemical toxins. On the other hand, the causative agents of type 2 diabetes are more commonly known. They include excessive weight, aging, inadequate physical activity and poor lifestyle habits such as smoking and taking alcohol. Type 2 diabetes affects almost 90% of all those who have diabetes.
Diabetes and High Blood Sugar
The first thing that you may think about when you hear diabetes is blood sugar. What is the effect of diabetes on blood sugar? To answer that, you have to go back and ask yourself what diabetes is.
Diabetes is a condition that results from the low production of insulin in the body among other factors. When you ingest foods and drinks, your digestive system breaks them down to a simple compound known as glucose. Glucose is carried throughout your body in your bloodstream. The pancreas then produces insulin to ‘push’ this glucose into your body cells so that the cells can carry out their normal functions.
At times, the pancreas may produce insufficient insulin to ‘push’ the blood sugars into cells. The pancreas may also cease producing insulin at all. In rare cases, the cells in a person's body may reject the ‘push' from the insulin. When any of these three things happens, an individual develops diabetes because the insulin in his or her body is not doing what it is supposed to. No insulin in the bloodstream culminates in high glucose levels in the blood. This build-up of glucose is what is known as high blood sugar or in medical terms, hyperglycemia. High blood sugar is defined as anything above 100mg/dl of glucose when a person stays for 8 hours without eating, and anything above 140mg/dl of glucose two hours after eating. When these levels hit 250mg/dl, a person with diabetes will feel tired and have trouble seeing. He or she will feel very hungry and thirsty. You may also notice that this individual will take more trips to the bathroom than usual due to a constantly full bladder.
Type 2 diabetes management requires eating well, getting sufficient exercise, and avoiding smoking, alcohol and drugs. In some cases, prescribed medications may be helpful in regulating insulin and blood sugar as well.
In terms of exercise, it is important to set a goal of exercising at least a half hour per day at least 5 days a week. Exercise can take the form of a variety of activities and needn't be extremely arduous or strenous. A brisk walk with a friend is sufficient.
In terms of diet, it is important to research and determine foods that spike your blood sugar level and to work to cut such foods out of your diet. Known trigger foods include foods high in added sugars, refined foods, processed foods, and carbohydrate rich foods. While it is important to have at least some carbohydrates in your diet, diabetic patients must work to ensure that they don't over do it.
In terms of medications, it is important to speak with one's primary care physician to discuss available options.
Type 1 diabetes management can be more complicated than managing type 2 diabetes. To control type 1 diabetes, you need to inject yourself with insulin regularly. Insulin injections increase the amount of insulin in your bloodstream thereby reducing your blood sugar levels. There's a catch, however. If you inject yourself with too much insulin, too much glucose gets pushed into your cells. As glucose in your cells increases the amount present in your bloodstream reduces until it becomes too low. This condition is known as low blood sugar or hypoglycemia (hypo). Hypoglycemia is a dangerous condition and causes about every one in every ten deaths among people with type 1 diabetes.
We've provided some additional helpful links to help you learn more about A1C and diabetes below and at the top of this page for your convenience: