Health & Medical Diabetes

Can Type 2 Diabetics Get Their HbA1c Levels Too Low?

Your blood sugar numbers change minute by minute.
There are a total of 1440 minutes in a day, so to have a continuous picture of your blood sugar levels, you would be in for an awful lot of finger pricks...
not something anyone would look forward to! Fortunately there is a test that will show you what your average blood sugar level has been over the previous three month period.
The Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) test is a blood test that measures what your average blood sugar has been for the last 90 to 120 days.
It gives you an idea of how well your body is using glucose overall.
There is no preparation for this test.
If you have type 2 diabetes, your doctor will give you a HbA1c test every three to six months to monitor your average BSL.
By calculating the percentage of red blood cells that are glycosylated, or coated with sugar, the doctor can estimate your 24-hour BSL.
It's a good indicator of whether you need additional help controlling blood sugars after eating.
Usually doctors nag their patients to get their HbA1c levels lower.
In 2009, however, the ACCORD (Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes) study found a small number of "excess deaths" among diabetics who got their HbA1c level as low as 6.
5%, compared to diabetics who kept their blood sugar levels high enough that their HbA1c level stayed at 7.
0% or more.
Some doctors started telling their patients they didn't need to control their BSLs.
This is just plain wrong.
What the ACCORD study found is that if a type 2 diabetic is taking insulin: Actos, Avandia, and Byetta, but not managing diet and exercise, additional medication doesn't do additional good.
In this study, more people died if they took more medicine.
The medicine lowered blood sugar levels but did not improve their health.
The real message of the ACCORD study is that type 2 diabetics have to do their part to stay healthy.
There is a point at which adding medications and increasing the dosage of medications does harm.
Millions of type 2 diabetics do control blood sugar levels with diet and exercise, and many more diabetics keep their condition in check with just one medication...
not four, five or six.
A plant-based diet is an excellent approach to controlling and even reversing type 2 diabetes.
Many newly diagnosed type 2 diabetics and even some type 1 diabetics have achieved lasting blood sugar control without medication when they eat the proper plant foods.

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