This is the next in our KNOW YOUR NUMBERS series. This number is a marker of your blood sugar levels. It is called Hemoglobin A1C. Excess sugar floating around in your blood stream does damage. It does damage by hooking on to proteins and impairing their normal activity. This excess sugar is measured by testing the amount of red blood cell protein (hemoglobin) that has been hooked onto by sugar. It is a percentage of your total hemoglobin. This tells you how your blood sugar levels have been over the prior 3 months. If Hemoglobin A1C is higher than 6.5, you are classified as diabetic. But does that mean you’re free and clear at less than 6.5? Absolutely not. Between 5.7 and 6.4 is called pre-diabetic level.
A New England Journal of Medicine article from August 2013 showed something very concerning. We know that diabetics have a significantly higher risk of Alzheimer’s. This study looked at 2067 men and women with a mean age of 76. They had fasting blood sugar and hemoglobin A1C measurements at the start of the study and over the next 6.8 years. Dementia developed in 524 people, 74 with diabetes and 450 without. In both groups, higher blood sugar levels correlated with higher risk of dementia, with highest risk being in diabetics with blood sugars at 200.
So how does this correlate with your A1C number?
Hemoglobin A1c of 4.9=14% decreased dementia risk
Hemoglobin A1c of 5.0=no increased risk
Hemoglobin A1c of 5.2=10% increased risk
Hemoglobin A1c of 5.4=15% increased risk
Hemoglobin A1c of 5.6= 18% increased risk
For diabetics with Hemoglobin A1c of 8.2, there is 40% increased risk!
SO, WHAT TO DO:
Lowering your A1C happens when you do two things:
1) Lower the amount of carbohydrates coming in. This means eliminating sugar and other carbohydrates such as breads, pastas, sugary juice and sodas.
2) Increase your insulin sensitivity and your ability to use the sugar in your blood stream. There are multiple ways to do this. Exercise is very important. A walk after meals lowers your blood sugar after eating. Working out with weights to build muscle increases your ability to metabolize your sugars and starches. Supplements can help to increase your insulin sensitivity. At the Sklar Center we recommend Diaxanol, BergametPro and CM Core, a berberine supplement. Diaxanol has chromium, cinnamon extract, alpha lipoic acid, gymnemma, and other herbs, vitamins and minerals that help your body use sugar properly. BergametPro is an extract from the bergamot fruit which is a potent antioxidant and regulator of blood sugar. CM Core contains berberine for blood sugar regulation.
Let’s start the New Year right. Know your numbers and make your plan for optimal health.