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Testing times…

Our friend Simon–who also has Type 2– emailed:

Why do you not do the early morning thing? (to start with my doc had me finger-pricking morning and evening)… I jot down the count every day, so could easily work out an average. Is that what one should do?
It’s a good question.
I have the hemoglobin A1C test every three months and occasionally the fasting plasma glucose test (FPG). 
Different doctors have different approaches for different patients–makes sense.

Jottings on the test I take every three months:-
The Hemoglobin A1C test measures your average blood sugar in the previous three months to see if it has stayed within a target range.[5-7]

This is an explanation of how the test works and for me is helpful in understanding why it is effective:-

“Your red blood cells contain hemoglobin, which allows cells to transport oxygen to tissues. As a cell ages, the hemoglobin becomes increasingly “glycated”, meaning that more glucose molecules stick to it.

Higher glucose levels in the blood mean higher glycated hemoglobin, which translates into a greater HbA1c reading.”

The level of glycated hemoglobin provides information on the average level of glucose in the body over a 90 to 120 day period.

[You don’t need to fast or prepare for an HbA1c test.]

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US, has cleared the first over-the-counter test that measures glycated hemoglobin in people with diabetes to help monitor how well they are managing their disease (glycemic control).

Whichever test you take, it’s clear that the most important thing is TO TEST.
Enrico Cagliero, MD, a diabetes researcher and assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, has recently noted that:
 “If you look at the nationwide data [in the US], it’s sobering–a lot of diabetic patients are missing essential checks.
People with diabetes should know that complications aren’t inevitable.
Unfortunately, we still see a lot of complications, and a lot of those could have been prevented. It’s absolutely essential to get into this preventive mode as soon as possible. It definitely pays down the road.”


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