Hemoglobin A1C, What does it tell us and why the big deal?
Knowing Your Glucose Levels
Most patients never think about their blood sugar, let alone their Hemoglobin A1C levels. They assume their energy just comes and goes. If they join the Keto community, they wonder about their blood sugars for the first time. This morsel of fuel eases into their thoughts and they consider how their body processes it.
Prick your finger. Find your immediate answer.
Modern medicine allows patients to prick their fingers from home and enter the world of self-discovery about their metabolism. This science project unveils their metabolic reality. They learn that this number changes greatly from hour to hour.
Gorging on pizza shoots your blood glucose up. Prick your finger over the hours following pizza and you learn how your body handled those calories. Eat less carb-filled food and your blood glucose falls closer to normal.
Imagine if I checked your blood sugar every 5 minutes. Awake. Asleep. Happy. Crabby. With every sip of drink. With every bit of food. I would learn a lot about your blood glucose and your behaviors. Add up the blood sugar data for three months and a pattern emerges. What if you spared your fingers the constant pricking?
There is another way. The Answer: Hemoglobin A1c. This report averages the value of your blood sugar from the previous 3 months.
Understanding Your Hemoglobin A1C Number
This handy number gives me a snapshot of your blood glucose over a 3 month period. This Hemoglobin A1c value helps me help you.
It shows me the good and bad. How many sugary snacks or food did you sneak in over these 3 months? How many times have you stayed true and steered clear of the sugar-fix? What about those late-night “healthy” snacks? Do they affect your blood sugar much?
Our RBCs keep a record of your behavior. Yep. The answer hides in your red blood cells. The more often your blood glucose rises above 70, the stickier your red blood cells become. The higher this number the worse your metabolism. Like a grade point average. You may not do well on one or two exams. However, if you do well on most, the GPA will tell the tale – like the HBA1c.
HBA1c delivers the average blood sugar in one number. Informative, right? Notice the conversion chart below converting the 3-month average into the estimated blood glucose.
Taking Blood Glucose Monitoring To the Next Level.
Behold! The Continuous Glucose Monitor.
Diabetics first used these monitors over the past 2 decades. A sharp awakening occurred with what they learned. Blood glucose can shift from minute to minute. Those late-night snacks really do matter! Your curiosity about blood sugars starts out high. Many pokes of your finger and the continued costs of the test strips dampen enthusiasm over time. A CGM, Continuous Glucose Monitor, inserts into the skin with a small flexible fiber inserting into your layer of fat under the skin. Once inserted you could mistake it for a circle-shaped band-aid stuck on your skin. Connect the meter to your smartphone with Bluetooth and check your blood glucose many times a day.
Brace yourself. Sometimes . . . it is easier to live life not knowing. When you see what that afternoon cough-drop does to your blood sugar, you might pause before buying the “honey-filled” ones next time.
Hemoglobin A1C, In Summary
When it comes to hemoglobin A1C, know your number. I like my personal A1C to be less than 5.0. ALWAYS, ask your doctor to check it. Or you can buy a test in some pharmacies to do it yourself.
What if an even better method existed! It does. The HGA1C should only be checked every 3 months. If you start the keto diet, you should wait 3 months before checking to see if things look better.
That’s a rather long time to wait between checkpoints. What if there was a better way to monitor your progress? There is!
The lower your #DrBozRatio, the lower your insulin. Therefore, the lower your #DrBozRatio, the lower your inflammatory state. Or in other words, the lower your #DrBozRatio, the stronger your metabolism.