A1c test: medlineplus medical encyclopedia, A1c is a lab test that shows the average level of blood sugar (glucose) over the previous 3 months. When using an insulin pump, part of the process is entering your blood glucose levels (BGL) from your meter after testing. Entering your BGL during the day, and then entering BGL with the grams of carbs you’re about to eat, will allow the pump to accurately suggest how much insulin it should give. Because of what the pump records and the reports it produces, I have not yet needed to record anything manually.
Looking at the report, I see if any adjustments need to be made to any of the pump settings.
Last week, I made a huge effort to keep my carbs fairly low, lower than my usual under 120 grams per day. At the far right, you’ll see the average BGL for the day, the total carbs for the day and the total insulin bolus for the day.
At the bottom of the report, the last 3 rows are the averages for the time of day, and the averages for the week on the right. I wanted to share because it was something I wanted to know and see before I decided which insulin pump to get. If you are even remotely thinking of getting an insulin pump, please feel free to contact me and ask me why I love mine and what a huge difference it's made to my life.
Even though high cholesterol may lead to serious heart disease, most of the time there are no symptoms. LDL cholesterol is produced naturally by the body, but many people inherit genes from their mother, father or even grandparents that cause them to make too much.
Keeping your cholesterol levels healthy is a great way to keep your heart healthy – and lower your chances of getting heart disease or having a stroke. The American Heart Association endorses the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) guidelines for detection of high cholesterol: All adults age 20 or older should have a fasting lipoprotein profile — which measures total cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol, HDL (good) cholesterol and triglycerides — once every five years. People with high blood triglycerides usually also have lower HDL cholesterol and a higher risk of heart attack and stroke. Your other risk factors for heart disease and stroke help determine what your LDL level should be, as well as the appropriate treatment for you. High triglycerides are a lifestyle-related risk factor; however, underlying diseases or genetic disorders can be the cause. People with high triglycerides should substitute monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats —such as those found in canola oil, olive oil or liquid margarine —for saturated fats, limit added sugars, eat complex carbohydates and reduce fructose intake. This means control your weight, eat a heart-healthy diet, get regular physical activity, avoid tobacco smoke, limit alcohol to one drink per day for women or two drinks per day for men and limit beverages and foods with added sugars.
We recommend using the absolute numbers for total blood cholesterol and HDL cholesterol levels. Some physicians and cholesterol technicians use the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol in place of the total blood cholesterol. Too much cholesterol in the blood can lead to cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease is the No. The good news is, you can lower your cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. As part of a complete prevention and treatment program for managing your cholesterol and lowering your risk of heart disease and stroke, your doctor may suggest that you make some lifestyle changes. A diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, high-fiber foods, lean meats and poultry, fish at least twice a week and fat-free or 1 percent dairy products — and low in saturated and trans fats and cholesterol — is a delicious way to help your cholesterol levels.
For example, a sedentary female who is 31–50 years old needs about 2,000 calories each day.
It’s not hard to whip up recipes that fit with the low saturated fat, low-cholesterol eating plan recommended by scientists to help you manage your blood cholesterol level and reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.
The American Heart Association recommends eating no more than six ounces of cooked lean meat, poultry, fish or seafood a day for people who need 2,000 calories. When a recipe calls for browning the meat first, try browning it under the broiler instead of in a pan. Try meatless meals featuring vegetables or beans — think eggplant lasagna, a big grilled Portobello mushroom on a bun in place of a burger, or beans-n-weenies without the weenies. Try cooking vegetables in a tiny bit of vegetable oil, adding a little water during cooking if needed, or use a vegetable oil spray. Liquid vegetable oils such as canola, safflower, sunflower, soybean, and olive can often be used instead of solid fats such as butter, lard or shortening.
The cholesterol in eggs is all in the yolks — without the yolk, egg whites are a heart-healthy source of protein. You can replace the oil in muffin, cookie, cake and snack bar recipes with pureed fruits or veggies to give your treats an extra healthy boost. Low-fat (1%) or fat-free (skim) milk can be used in many recipes in place of whole milk or half-and-half. Add lots of colorful veggies to your salad — carrots, broccoli and cauliflower are high in fiber and give your salad a delicious crunch.
About 75 percent of sodium in the typical American diet comes from processed foods and beverages. To reduce the salt in canned vegetables, drain the liquid, then rinse the vegetables in water before eating. For some people, lifestyle changes alone aren’t enough to reach healthy cholesterol levels. Statins are also found in the combination medications Advicor®** (lovastatin + niacin), Caduet®** (atorvastatin + amlodipine), and Vytorin™** (simvastatin + ezetimibe). This relatively new class of cholesterol-lowering medications works by preventing the absorption of cholesterol from the intestine.
The first medication of this class, ezetimibe (Zetia®)**, was approved in 2002 for the treatment of high cholesterol and certain inherited lipid abnormalities.
This class of LDL-lowering drugs works in the intestines by promoting increased disposal of cholesterol. Fibrates are best at lowering triglycerides and in some cases increasing HDL (good cholesterol) levels. Niacin comes in prescription form and as “dietary supplements.” Dietary supplement niacin must not be used as a substitute for prescription niacin. Keeping track of your prescribed medications can be challenging — especially if you’re taking several different medicines. By treating high blood pressure, you can help prevent a stroke, heart attack, heart failure, kidney failure and peripheral artery disease.
Keeping  track of your cholesterol at each of your medical appointments, along with the efforts you’re making to manage your levels, to help you monitor your success. Remember that one change — like switching from butter to soft margarine — is a good step, but may not be enough to reduce your cholesterol to healthy levels. Nutrition labels on food are very helpful when choosing heart-healthy foods, but you need to know what to look for. Drug therapy is usually prescribed for those who — despite adequate dietary changes, regular physical activity and weight loss — still have elevated levels of cholesterol, or those who have elevated risks for heart disease and stroke. Modern medications have come a long way in helping to control blood cholesterol levels, and some can target the cholesterol that your body makes on its own. You should still eat a heart-healthy diet and get at least 30 minutes of moderately vigorous physical activity on five or more days of the week. An egg can fit within heart-healthy guidelines for those people only if cholesterol from other sources — such as meats, poultry and dairy products — is limited. If you’re going to eat an egg every morning, substitute vegetables for some of the meat, or drink your coffee without half-and-half in the example above. Premenopausal women are usually protected from high LDL (bad) levels of cholesterol, because the female hormone estrogen tends to raise HDL (good) cholesterol levels. Everyone should start getting a cholesterol test at age 20, but it’s a good idea to start having cholesterol checked at an early age. Even children, especially those in families with a history of heart disease, can have high cholesterol levels. In previous blog posts, I wrote about quality professional Bill Howell’s diabetes diagnosis and how he managed his disease with Lean Six Sigma. Hemoglobin HbA1c is a lab test that shows the average amount of sugar in blood cells over a 2-3 month period. In Minitab Statistical Software, he created histograms (Graph > Histogram) to show the distribution of the 6,493 HbA1c test results collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as part of their 2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Howell noted that the interesting thing about this first chart was that it follows a normal distribution.
The chart shows that of the 6,493 participants surveyed, 256 HbA1c test results were above the 7% cutoff. Because HbA1c is just one test in a battery of tests that are normally conducted when blood is drawn, Howell was also able to get the data behind the test results that concerned 27 other components of his blood, including blood glucose, total cholesterol, calcium, potassium, etc.


After getting his HbA1c levels back to a normal range of less than 7%, Howell used Minitab to calculate the correlation coefficients between all the blood components, and he found 18 strong relationships between HbA1c and the other blood components. Howell found that almost each blood component level was improved in some way as a result of having normal HbA1c levels.
According to Howell, HbA1c levels can be normalized if you work with your physician, watch what you eat, and exercise moderately. A glucose tolerance test is used commonly among clinicians to determine how quickly glucose is cleared from the blood.
Glucometers allow people to test their blood sugar levels without the need for a blood draw.
Scientists created a working guitar the size of a red blood cell to illustrate the possible uses of nanotechnology. A glucometer is a portable tool a person can use to measure and monitor his blood sugar, or glucose, levels.
To use a glucometer, a person may start by turning the device on and inserting a test strip. A patient’s doctor may recommend a particular type of glucometer, but these devices are usually available at drug and grocery stores without a prescription.
When I was in middle school, the insulin pumps that are hooked into people long term, and can give insulin whenever it's needed, were still pretty rare and expensive. It’s done on an incredibly complicated algorithm and it also knows how much bolus insulin you still have active at the time. I have mine set to remind me every two hours after entering my BGL, which I test several times a day. As you may have already read, I totally love my pump and I’m extremely happy with the choice I made. In fact, cholesterol is just one of the many substances created and used by our bodies to keep us healthy.
Too much of one type — or not enough of another — can put you at risk for coronary heart disease, heart attack or stroke.
Medical experts think that HDL tends to carry cholesterol away from the arteries and back to the liver, where it’s passed from the body. When too much LDL (bad) cholesterol circulates in the blood, it can slowly build up in the inner walls of the arteries that feed the heart and brain.
A high level of Lp(a) is a significant risk factor for the premature development of fatty deposits in arteries.
To determine how your cholesterol levels affect your risk of heart disease, your doctor will also take into account other risk factors such as age, family history, smoking and high blood pressure.
To raise your HDL level, avoid tobacco smoke, maintain a healthy weight and get at least 30-60 minutes of physical activity more days than not.
Progesterone, anabolic steroids and male sex hormones (testosterone) also lower HDL cholesterol levels.
Visit your healthcare provider to create an action plan that will incorporate all these lifestyle changes. Metabolic syndrome increases the risk for heart disease and other disorders, including diabetes.
They’re more useful to physicians than the cholesterol ratio in determining the appropriate treatment for patients. Knowing which fats raise LDL cholesterol and which ones don’t is the first step in lowering your risk of heart disease. Therefore, she should consume less than 15 g saturated fat, less than 2 g trans fat and between 56 and 77 grams of total fat each day (with most fats coming from sources of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, such as fish, nuts, seeds and vegetable oils). Discover how easy it is to avoid excess saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol while enjoying mouth-watering dishes. Most meats have about the same amount of cholesterol, roughly 70 milligrams in each three-ounce cooked serving (about the size of a deck of cards). Instead of basting with drippings, keep meat moist with wine, fruit juices or an acceptable oil-based marinade. Stews, boiled meat, soup stock or other dishes in which fat cooks into the liquid can be refrigerated.
If your poultry dries out too much, leave the skin on for cooking but remove before eating.
Or think of meat as a condiment in casseroles, stews, soups and spaghetti — use it sparingly, just for flavor, rather than as a main ingredient.
Just 1 to 2 teaspoons of oil is enough for a package of frozen vegetables that serves four. Chopped parsley and chives, sprinkled on just before serving, also enhance the flavor of many vegetables. Many recipes calling for whole eggs come out just as good when you use egg whites or cholesterol-free egg substitute instead of whole eggs. Or, use a fat separator to pour off the good liquid from cooking stock, leaving the fat behind.
In some people, this can lead to high blood pressure, which increases the risk of stroke, heart disease and kidney disease. Be aware of all your sources of sodium and aim to eat less than 1,500 mg of sodium per day. For your information and reference, we have included generic names as well as major trade names to help you identify what you may be taking; however, the AHA is not recommending or endorsing any specific products. Statins are most effective at lowering the LDL (bad) cholesterol, but also have modest effects on lowering triglycerides (blood fats) and raising HDL (good) cholesterol. Muscle problems and liver abnormalities are rare, but your doctor may order regular liver function tests. Selective cholesterol absorption inhibitors are most effective at lowering the LDL (bad) cholesterol, but may also have modest effects on lowering triglycerides (blood fats) and raising HDL (good) cholesterol.
From a dietary perspective, the major factor affecting blood cholesterol is how much saturated fat and trans fat is in the food. Overweight people are more likely to have high cholesterol, but thin people should also have their cholesterol checked regularly. But making diet and lifestyle changes — as well as taking the medication your doctor prescribes — is the best way to help prevent heart disease. It’s also very important to take your medication exactly as your doctor has instructed so it can work most efficiently.
The daily recommended cholesterol limit is less than 300 milligrams for people with normal LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. For example, eating one egg for breakfast, drinking two cups of coffee with one tablespoon of half-and-half each, lunching on four ounces of lean turkey breast without skin and one tablespoon of mayonnaise, and having a 6-ounce serving of broiled, short loin porterhouse steak for dinner would account for about 510 mg of dietary cholesterol that day — nearly twice the recommended limit.
And remember that many other foods, especially baked goods, are prepared with eggs — and those eggs count toward your daily cholesterol limit. But cholesterol levels tend to increase as you age, and postmenopausal women may find that even a heart-healthy diet and regular physical activity aren’t enough to keep their cholesterol from rising.
And evidence exists that these children are at greater risk for developing heart disease as adults.
The test can also be used to diagnose diabetes and can help diabetics manage their diabetes. Correlation is a measure of linear association between two variables, where values of -1 or 1 imply an exact linear relationship. Through subsequent tests, he also found that his liver was healthier, his cholesterol levels were more favorable, and his blood pressure and pulse rate were lower. Clinicians will take blood samples at two time intervals, results similar to below will be conclusive in diagnosing diabetes. This symptom is normally caused by prolonged high blood glucose causing glucose absorption, which leads to changes in the shape of the lens, resulting in reversible vision changes such as blurriness. Glucometers are used by diabetes patients, as they allow them to keep track of their blood sugar levels at home or from any other location.
A glucometer is often sold in a kit that contains everything the patient needs to measure his blood sugar. He may then wash his hands and use an alcohol pad to clean the area he will prick with a lancet. Diabetes patients can purchase replacement lancets and test strips when the original kit runs out.
I've had to get those finger pricks when I donate blood a few times a year, and that's bad enough; I can't imagine testing my blood every single day, even if I had whatever was considered the best glucometer,and it was less painful that most. After any entry, the reminder comes on screen for you to confirm it or change the reminder time – 1 hour, 2 hours and so on.
They can then see trends, averages, total insulin and more, and perhaps suggest  adjustments.
The log book only has BGL value in any given hour – the average of all tests done in that hour.


Some of the cholesterol we need is produced naturally (and can be affected by your family health history), while some of it comes from the food we eat. Some experts believe that HDL removes excess cholesterol from arterial plaque, slowing its buildup. Together with other substances, it can form plaque, a thick, hard deposit that can narrow the arteries and make them less flexible. If high blood cholesterol runs in your family, lifestyle modifications may not be enough to help lower your LDL blood cholesterol.
People with high triglycerides often have a high total cholesterol level, including a high LDL (bad) level and a low HDL (good) level. Lp(a) isn’t fully understood, but it may interact with substances found in artery walls and contribute to the buildup of fatty deposits.
Discuss your levels and your treatment options with your doctor to get the plan that works for you.
It’s easier to gauge how much healthy and unhealthy food you are eating by using a food diary to keep track of what you eat for a period of time. But the amount of saturated fat in meats can vary widely, depending on the cut and how it’s prepared.
Lean pork cuts include the tenderloin or loin chop, while lean lamb cuts come from the leg, arm and loin. Shrimp and crawfish have more cholesterol than most other types of seafood, but they’re lower in total fat and saturated fat than most meats and poultry.
Place in a skillet with tight cover, season, and cook over a very low heat until vegetables are done.
You can also use low-fat cottage cheese, part-skim milk mozzarella or ricotta and other low-fat cheeses with little or no change in consistency.
If your prescription medication isn’t on this list, remember that your healthcare provider and pharmacist are your best sources of information. Patients who are pregnant or who have active or chronic liver disease should not take statins. That’s why fibrates are generally used in people whose triglycerides are high or whose HDL is low, after reaching LDL goal. Nonprescription immediate release forms of niacin usually have the most side effects, especially at higher doses. Limiting food high in saturated fat and trans fat may help lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol. Often people who don’t gain weight easily are less aware of how much saturated and trans fat they eat. Learn how to interpret all the numbers, including HDL (good) cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Follow all of your doctor’s instructions, and have your cholesterol retested as your doctor recommends. Look for the amount of saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol and total calories in a serving of the product. The first ingredient listed is the one used most in the product, so choose products where fats and oils appear later in the ingredient listing.
People with high LDL blood cholesterol levels or who are taking a blood cholesterol-lowering medication should eat less than 200 mg of cholesterol per day. If lifestyle changes alone don’t work, your doctor may prescribe a cholesterol-lowering medication — be sure to take it as instructed. Lack of regular physical activity, poor dietary habits and genetics can all affect a child’s cholesterol levels. If an initial test concludes HbA1c levels are below 7%, then the test is considered normal and the person is likely a non-diabetic.
This first chart illustrates that the majority of the population tested wasn’t considered to be diabetic.
This chart hit especially close-to-home for Howell, whose HbA1c test result of 15.3% would have fallen among the highest of all the people surveyed by the CDC. Keeping his HbA1c levels under 7% also reduced the pressure in his eyes, returning his vision to a more normal state, which allowed him to quit wearing highly corrective lenses. A glucometer provides results right away, letting the diabetes patient know whether his glucose level is higher than desired, lower than expected, or within an acceptable range of levels. Typically, these kits contain lancets, which are tiny needles used to prick the patient’s skin and produce a drop of blood.
Some glucometers allow the patient to prick another part of the body, such as his arm, instead.
If he’s planning to prick a finger, he may first rub his hands together to stimulate his circulation. A patient may need to write his blood sugar readings down and save them to discuss with his doctor, or he may use them in following his doctor’s recommended treatment plan. When I sleep, I set the reminder to zero hours, so it doesn’t do the reminder alarm and wake me.
You can’t see in the chart below how many times I might have tested for any one BGL shown.
If you find something you want to try here, please check with your medical team before making any changes. Everyone is different, so work with your doctor to find a treatment plan that’s best for you. The most important thing you can do as a first step is to know your cholesterol numbers by getting your cholesterol tested. A high triglyceride level combined with low HDL cholesterol or high LDL cholesterol seems to speed up atherosclerosis (the buildup of fatty deposits in artery walls).
Replacement of saturated fat and trans fat with monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat might even help lower LDL cholesterol when eaten as part of a healthy diet. For baking, you may want to add a tablespoon or less of liquid vegetable oil such as canola, safflower, sunflower or soybean for a moister consistency.
It’s important to discuss all of the drugs you take with your doctor and understand their desired effects and possible side effects.
Most vegetable oils and soft or liquid margarines have less saturated and trans fat than the solid spreads have, and are preferable to the stick forms of margarine for a heart-healthy diet.
However, if the initial test results show levels above 7%, there is evidence the person is diabetic.
It also helped Howell understand where the 7% guideline came from as part of the HbA1c test for determining the existence of diabetes.
While not all of these positive outcomes, including fewer leg cramps, an end to incessant thirst, etc., could be analyzed with correlation like the blood components could be, Howell found it amazing that so many aspects of his health were tied so closely to HbA1c levels. It can help a patient decide when to take steps his doctor has recommended for controlling his blood sugar.
The kits also contain special test strips for use in testing blood and measuring its glucose level. He’ll then use the lancet to prick his fingertip, drawing a drop of blood, and placing it on the strip. His doctor may expect him to respond in a variety of ways, depending on the level he sees on his glucometer. But even the girl with the "pager" had to test her blood with the same type of diabetes glucometer that everyone else with diabetes used, though I don't think she had to as often.
Here are some easy ways for you to understand what the testing involves, how it can help you and ways to improve your health by improving your cholesterol.
Never stop taking a medication and never change your dose or frequency without first consulting your doctor. It may contain widely variable amounts of niacin — from none to much more than the label states. When selecting a margarine, it’s best to choose one that has “0 g trans fat” on the Nutrition Facts label.
Have your cholesterol checked regularly regardless of your weight, physical activity and diet. Trans fats are found in variable amounts in most foods made with partially hydrogenated oils such as baked goods, cakes, cookies, crackers, pastries, pies, muffins, doughnuts, fried foods, shortening and some margarines and dairy products. It can also help him to give his doctor important information about the efficiency of his current treatment. The glucometer will calculate the patient’s blood sugar level fairly quickly and display the results digitally. I don't suppose there will ever be huge advancements in blood testing that are easy for people to use every day.




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