Diabetes: Know Your Numbers

November is Diabetes Awareness Month. Did you know that an estimated 84.1 million adults ages 18 years or older (33.9%of U.S. adults) have prediabetes?

This week we have Dylan Farnan, DTR, Whitney Young Health WIC Program’s WIC Qualified Nutritionist educating you on the always knowing your numbers when it comes to Hemoglobin A1c, blood glucose, low glucose and high blood sugar.

What is is Hemoglobin A1c?

  • Your A1c paints a picture of your average blood sugar control for the previous 2-3 months. It will give you a good idea about how well your current diabetes treatment plan in working!
  • Hemoglobin is a protein within red blood cells; its main job is to deliver oxygen throughout the body. As hemoglobin travels throughout the body it comes into contact with blood sugar. So when there are high levels of sugar in the blood we see high amounts of sugar on hemoglobin, your hemoglobin A1c.
  • Work with your doctor to determine the best A1c goal for you! Follow their advice and recommendations to set your own goals to best manage your diabetes!

What About Blood Glucose?

  • We all have glucose in our blood- it gives our cells the energy they need to function. When you have diabetes your blood sugar levels are higher and the goal of diabetes management is to keep them lower or in control.
  • What should your blood sugar be?
  • Don’t judge yourself on your numbers! Your numbers let you know what is working and what is not. They do not tell you if you are BAD or GOOD.
  • Work with you doctor or Certified Diabetes Educator to learn what your results mean for YOU! There are no “one plan fits all” criteria for diabetes.

Low Blood Glucose

  • How does this happen?
    • Imbalance between medication and carbohydrate intake
    • Skipping meals
    • Taking too much medication
    • Excessive exercise
  • Signs that your blood sugar may be too low or dropping
  • What to do? Follow the 15-15 rule

High Blood Sugar

  • How does this happen?
    • Skipping or not taking enough of your diabetes medication(s)
    • Inadequate exercise
    • Excessive intake of carbohydrate foods
    • Illness
    • Steroid medication
  • Why does it matter?
    • If left untreated, high blood sugar may become severe and could result life threatening conditions, such as diabetic coma, requiring hospitalization.
    • Over time high blood sugars can lead to poor eye sight, increased risk for heart disease, amputations, kidney failure and early death.