Diabetics are familiar with the A1C test. It is performed to assess roughly a 90 day period of sugar that is attached to your hemoglobin. It is supposed to tell us if we are taking good care of ourselves. The test is performed every 3 months because the average life of a red blood cell is 90 days.
Diabetics are told that the A1C is the ‘holy grail’ of knowing if you are in good health or not. It’s the aim of most every diabetic to get that number lower! I’ve been diabetic for over 35 years and it’s great to learn new things. What have I learned? I now know that the A1C, although a great test to determine the ‘average’ blood sugar reading over 3 months, does really nothing more than that. It does NOT accurately tell us all we need to know about our diabetic health.
The A1C for a non-diabetic person is about 5.7%. A ‘well-controlled’ diabetic will have an A1C at 6.5% or lower. If someone’s A1C is 8.0% or higher, then they are generally in trouble! Long-term high blood sugar levels lead to high levels of oxidative stress (free radical damage). This damage is mostly what is responsible for killing diabetics. Afterall, 65% of diabetics will die from heart disease/stroke and this damage is caused by, you guessed it, poor blood sugar control. Continue Reading →