If you have diabetes mellitus type 2, you should know your a1c number. This is a percentage number estimating what your blood sugar has been on average over 3 months. It measures the average amount of sugar stuck on the hemoglobin which is in the red blood cells. The red blood cells only live about 90 days on average, so this is a clever way to see what the sugar has been doing over the past 3 months.
Scientists have been doing research on what is the best target level for a1c for many years. It was initially thought that keeping this value very low would make it seem like you don’t have diabetes and should reverse the blood vessel damage, nerve damage, eye damage and kidney damage that goes along with diabetes. Unfortunately, that did not prove out. In fact, people who lowered their a1c down to “normal” of 5.0 ended up having more bad outcomes.
Ok, so what if it we keep at 6-7? Well, a study in the Lancet medical journal in 2010 showed that there is a sweet spot for the a1c level. Your body does the best once you have diabetes when your a1c is 8 to 8.5. Anything lower than that or HIGHER than that, shows increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, and so forth. Furthermore, if you have ONE bad episode of too low of blood sugar, hypoglycemia, at any point in your life, it greatly increases your risk of getting dementia later in life. A bad episode is one in which someone else must revive you. Yikes!
Do you know your a1c level? Having your a1c checked at our office is included in the price of membership. We can spend extra time with you get your diabetes under good control and get to that sweet spot. Also, I have had several patients reverse their type 2 diabetes by losing weight back down to a normal weight level. It can be done, ask me how!