According to an article in the December Wellsource Healthy Choices Newsletter, new research at the University of South Wales (Neurology 79 (1): 1019-1026 SEP 2012) shows that if your fasting blood sugar, or glucose, levels are in the high end of “normal” , your risk of brain shrinkage and diabetes increases. When brain shrinkage occurs, the cells, tissues, and connections in the brain are lost or damaged, which can lead to dementia, seizures, and cognitive problems, and often gets worse over time.
Normal fasting glucose levels are 70-99mg/dl; high normal is considered 90-99mg/dl.
A Hemoglobin A1c test will measure your average blood sugar levels over the past 2-3 months. Many physicians will recommend the getting the A1c test to see if your blood sugar is under control.
The most common cause of elevated blood sugar (glucose) is insulin resistance caused by inactivity and by being overweight.
What can you do?
- Exercise daily for 30-plus minutes.
- Lose weight. Even losing 10 to 15 pounds of fat can lower your glucose.
- Eat low glycemic index foods ( most fruits and vegetables except potatoes, whole grains, nuts, legumes.)
Many pre-diabetics and diabetics will have to watch the amount of carbohydrates they eat at each meal. Surprisingly, even fruits and vegetables have starches and some are as high as grain products. For example, one piece of wheat bread has 13g of carbohydrates and an apple has 15g of carbohydrates! Adding healthy fats can minimize the glycemic rate, so the apple is a better choice, but it would be better to add some peanut butter to it. Yogurt and some other dairy products can also have a high carbohydrate value, so be sure to read your labels. For example, non-fat fruited yogurt had 28g of carbohydrates. A better alternative would be a handful of almonds that has only 4-6g of carbohydrates.
Most men are to have the maximum of 4-5 carbohydrate servings per meal (60-75g) and women should aim for 3-4 carbohydrate servings per meal (45-60). The total amount of carbohydrates has the most impact on post-meal blood sugar levels. Reading labels is the best way to track your carbohydrate levels if you are pre-diabetic or diabetic.
Diabetes is a serious disease and many body organs can be negatively affected. Monitor your blood sugar and keep on track to a healthy lifestyle!
Health One Labs offers a Diabetes Test Package for $ 99 which includes:
The Comprehensive Health Profile consists of the following groups of online blood tests:
- Lipid Panel
- Liver Profile
- Kidney Panel
- Minerals & Bone
- Fluids & Electrolytes
- Complete Blood Count
- Diabetes Screen
The Hemoglobin A1c test tests for long term glucose levels.
Molecules of glucose (sugar) in the blood bind to this fraction of hemoglobin, and stay bound to it for months. The higher the amount of blood glucose, the higher the amount of hemoglobin A1c, and according to its value, one can obtain the average blood sugar during the previous 8 to 12 weeks. The test indicates how well your diabetes has been controlled in the 2 to 3 months before the test. Information gained from this test can help determine whether your diabetes medication needs to be adjusted. It can also help your health professional estimate your risk of developing complications from diabetes, such as kidney failure, vision problems, and leg or foot numbness. The A1c level is directly related to complications from diabetes: the lower your A1c level, the lower your risk for complications.
Microalbumin, Random Urine A microalbumin test checks urine for the presence of a protein called albumin. Albumin is normally found in the blood and filtered by the kidneys. When the kidneys are working properly, albumin is not present in the urine. But when the kidneys are damaged, small amounts of albumin leak into the urine. This condition is called microalbuminuria.
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Medical Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her health care provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. The writer is not a physician or other health provider.