Recently I watched Dr. David Dikeman’s presentation on, “how to avoid complications of type 1 diabetes”, and was really surprised to learn that a slight increase in your overall blood sugar level can have significant impact on your risk for developing cardiovascular disease, cancer, kidney disease, stroke, and pancreas beta cell, even among non-diabetic people. (1)
One study shows that the steepest increase in retinopathy (a complication resulting from diabetes and a major cause of blindness) occurs among individuals with HbA1C equal to or greater than 5.5% and Fasting Plasma Glucose (FPG) equal to or greater than 104 mg/dl. (2)
When a team of Italian researchers examined beta cell response to glucose in people with normal blood sugars, they discovered that a small amount of beta cell dysfunction began to be detectable in people whose blood sugar rose only slightly over 100 mg/dl on a 2-hour glucose tolerance test (OGTT). The beta cells are the cells in the pancreas that produce the insulin your body uses to control your blood sugar. (3)
Another study says that heart disease risk begins as A1c rises above 4.6%, a level that corresponds to a blood sugar level of 86 mg/dl ! (4)
You may not be familiar with these numbers and the different types of blood glucose tests, but the numbers noted above, the studies warns, are categorized as Normal (= Healthy Person) by the American Diabetes Association.(5)
If you are not familiar with blood glucose tests (HbA1c, FPG, and OGTT) and would like to learn more, please read the footnote below.
What these researches say is that you need to maintain optimal blood sugar levels even if you are not diagnosed with diabetes in order not to lead to any chronic disease. It is interesting how the majority of people know their cholesterol level, yet aren’t aware of their blood sugar level. Many experts say focus on your blood sugar instead; it is a far more reliable indicator of how long and how well you will live.
Your blood sugar level might be within Normal range, and your doctor may not pay attention to the numbers; however, your target number should be 83 mg/dl (HbA1c 4.8%) at fasting (as you wake up), before a meal, and 2 hours after a meal according to Dr. Bernstein, who is a diabetes’s management pioneer.(6)
It is not realistic to make a trip to a doctor every month to check your blood glucose level. The easiest and least expensive way to monitor your blood sugar is using glucose meter. You can purchase one for under $20 online or at a drug store. Chris Kresser, a functional medicine doctor explains how to test your blood sugar at home at this link.
No matter what anyone tells you, if a food raises your blood sugar over the targets you are aiming for, that food should not be part of your diet plan. Knowing whether or not you have too high insulin is important because it can allow you to make some changes and avoid some serious health problems in the future. Your blood glucose meter will tell you what the best “diet” is for your body. Use it and regain your health!
Typically, there are three ways to test your sugar levels in your body. First, It is called hemoglobin A1C (HbA1c) Test. HbA1c test measures your average blood glucose for the past 2 to 3 months. The advantages of being tested this way are that you don’t have to fast or drink anything.
Second test is called Fasting Plasma Glucose (FPG). This test checks your fasting blood glucose levels. Fasting means after not having anything to eat or drink (except water) for at least 8 hours before the test. This test is usually done first thing in the morning, before breakfast.
Third test is called Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT). The OGTT is a two-hour test that checks your blood glucose levels before and 2 hours after you drink 8 ounces of a syrupy glucose solution that contains 75 grams of sugar. It tells the doctor how your glucose body processes.