Diabetes is very scary….. especially when you have no idea what it is, how to handle it, what to do. Unfortunately, many doctors do not take the time to discuss with their patients in detail what it means for them and what they can do to help themselves. Here are a few things to consider:
If you are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, it is normal to be scared and worried. Do Not Panic. Speak to your doctor and monopolize their time. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you feel rushed, express this to them. If you don’t get the attention you deserve, find another doctor!
Blood Sugar levels vary from person to person. After an 8 hour fast, the average normal range should fall between 75-120. 2 hours after eating a meal, the average glucose level should be no higher than 170. If you test yourself once, 2 hours after a meal and your reading is 180, this does not necessarily mean your diabetic. However, as always, you should see your doctor.
For a true diagnosis you need to have a blood test called A1C. The A1C test measures your average blood glucose levels for the past 60-90 days. It is determined by measuring the percantage of glycated hemoglobin in the blood. This test should be done once a year at a minimum, every 3 months if you are diabetic or as ordered by your doctor.
A normal, A1C should be 6.0 or less. If it is between 6.1 and 6.9 you might have an issue, speak to your doctor ASAP. If it is 7.0 or higher, see a doctor as this usually means you are diabetic. Don’t panic, as one test can not definitively determine you have diabetes. Normal ranges may vary slightly among differerent laboratories, so always speak to a doctor and possibly have another test taken. A1C levels that are much higher than 7.0 can lead to risks of diabetic complications such as blurriness in the eyes, dry mouth, frequent urination, tingling and/or numbness in your feet or hands, sexual disfunctions, kidney infections and much more. It is very important to keep an eye on your sugar levels and get an A1C during your yearly physical. If diabetic, it is usually recommended every 3 months.