Why is knowing your Hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C) essential to a vibrant healthspan? Maintaining optimal blood sugar affects your vision, your heart, your ability to move, the stability of your gums and your brain power. Your HbA1C level indicates an average blood sugar level over the past two to three months. When the level of sugar attached to red blood cells is high, it causes a smouldering inflammatory response in the blood vessels going to all parts of the body. The optimal range is between 4% and 5.5%. Levels between 5.6% and 6.4% put you at risk for Type 2 Diabetes. You can take control of this number!
In the United States, Type 2 Diabetes is a full-blown epidemic. And nothing will rob you of your energy and zest for life like Type 2 Diabetes! Almost 10 percent - an estimated 29 million Americans - have some form of Diabetes and approximately three times that number have Prediabetes, many of which are unaware and undiagnosed. Live younger by knowing your HbA1C and what it means to your years of energy and vitality.
Type 2 Diabetes is a disorder that results from problems controlling the hormone insulin. Diabetic symptoms are the result of higher-than-normal levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. Type 1 Diabetes is typically autoimmune in origin but Type 2 has a large lifestyle component. Prolonged exposure to high blood glucose increases chronic inflammation that can damage the nerve fibers that affect blood vessels to all parts of the body including the eyes, heart, gums, limbs, and organs.
The early symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes are mild and easy to ignore. Early signs of chronically high blood sugar include:
Weight gain, even without a change in eating
Chronically dry, rashy, or itchy skin
Patches of dark, velvety skin in the folds and creases of the body such as the armpits and neck. This is known as acanthosis nigricans.
Pain, numbness, swelling, tingling of the hands or feet - “pins and needles”
Frequent bacterial or yeast infections - urinary, vaginal, groin, hair follicles
Styes in the eyes and eyelids
Fungal infections in mouth - “thrush”
Sexual dysfunction including reproductive problems, loss of libido, erectile dysfunction, vaginal dryness
Rapid heart beat
Sensitive skin that feels very cold or very hot
Muscle aches, unsteadiness, or weakness
Changes in taste or smell
Digestive problems including heartburn, nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea or stomach bloating
While Type 2 Diabetes is a serious disease with many risks and symptoms, it can be managed with step-by-step lifestyle changes. Many people are able to reverse their high blood glucose and diabetic symptoms with intentional habit changes. Here are some places to START SOMEWHERE:
Check your mindset: ponder how you want to feel next week, next month, next year
Get a blood test and take responsibility for your hbA1C
Find enjoyable ways to keep moving
Enjoy real food (you don’t have to like everything!)
Consider the Fasting Mimicking Diet
Get your gums healthy
Your Hemoglobin A1C level drastically impacts the number of healthy years that you get to be active mentally and physically. Live with intention so that your Healthspan will, as closely as possible, equal your Lifespan! You can do it. I will help you.
Your Healthspan Strategist,
Dr. Debbie Ozment
P.S.: Be sure to watch and share my TEDx talk called The Forgotten Orifice!