I think people should monitor their blood sugar to avoid future complications, because thats what diabetes does to you,
HOWEVER, I think advocating an A1c of 4.2-4.6 is not in a persons best interest! That is an aveage blood plasma range of 60-75 mg/dl and the operative word is AVERAGE!!! that means you have some lower and some higher and already 60's is begining to flirt with Hypoglycemia and below that is definately hypoglycemic which has serious, deleterious even fatal consequences. Low 5's (5-5.5= 95-105mg/dl) are just fine for an average and don't really have any serious long term consequences for a normal or diabetic person! Lets just be a little careful about what we advocate to people here and not try to push them into a danger zone.
Ok, for everyone that is wondering what in the world is an A1c number and how does that relate to my blood sugar:
Glycated hemoglobin (A1C) is a measure of long-term blood glucose control. Keeping A1C levels close to normal is an important part of diabetes care.
Some studies suggest that A1C levels may predict cardiovascular disease (CVD) and related problems of heart and blood vessels, such as heart attack or stroke, even in people without diabetes. HOWEVER, a 2004 study among middle aged Type 2 health professionals (1500 of them for 7 years) found that the A1c level in these people was not a predictor of future heart problems.
What they did find was that having diabetes was a fairly strong link to future heart problems. Hmmmmm!!! could it be that high cholesterol, high blood pressure, associated weight problems, stress, smoking, drinking and a myriad of other factors all exacerbated by type 2 diabetes caused these heart problems?? Probably since they found there is absolutely no link between the A1c number and heart problems.
So for my 2 cents worth, keeping your blood sugar relatively normal is important since higher sugar levels in the blood can tend to do nasty things to a lot of your systems. By being myopic and focusing solely on this number to the exclusion of cholesterol, BP, and other very important "risk factors" just doesn't make much sense.
I have a son with low blood pressure, normal blood sugar, thin as a rail and high cholesterol. His Vegan diet has brought his cholesterol out of the 300's and into the 200's. Is that good enough? NO!...he's now on statins. The point being here is someone with a "low" A1c who had a "significant" risk factor for heart disease - again, NO CORRELATION between A1c and risk factors.
Being "diabetic" of any type, means something is broken. You do the best you can to live a healthy lifestyle and use medication as an "intervention" to slow down and keep the disease at bay. If you want to be a zealot about lifestyle and numbers, be my guest; but I certainly choose "quality of life" and will have that chocolate chip cookie or ice cream once in awhile and if my blood sugar averages 95-100 instead of "83" I'm not going to get bent out of shape about it as long as the other "risk factors" in my life are normal.
Post Edited (Warren) : 6/27/2006 12:25:34 PM (GMT-6)