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Friday, 18 January 2013

What Blood Sugar Levels Are Healthy?

This is an area of some debate. The long-term studies show that the risk of complications drop off dramatically when an HbA1c  is lower than 7%, an estimated average blood glucose of 154 mg/dL or 8.6 mmol.  It continues to drop until it’s below 6%, an average blood sugar of 126 mg/dL or 7 mmol. There are some people who strive for lower targets, but there is not a lot of research outlining the benefits of that approach.

But that just looks at averages. In reality, there seems to be a huge difference in risk of complications based on genetics. There are many people who have lived thirty or forty years with type 1 diabetes running high blood sugars almost continuously and have no complications. There are others who have had nearly perfect blood sugars that still get complications. But for most people, it’s safe to say that striving for an HbA1c of below 7% and probably below 6.5% is a realistic goal for staying healthy.
More here.
Results for England. The National Diabetes Audit 2010-2011
Percentage of registered Type 1patients in England
HbA1c >= 6.5% (48 mmol/mol) = 92.6%
HbA1c >   7.5% (58 mmol/mol) = 71.3%
HbA1c > 10.0% (86 mmol/mol) = 18.1%

Percentage of registered Type 2 patients in England
HbA1c >= 6.5% (48 mmol/mol = 72.5%
HbA1c > 7.5% (58 mmol/mol) = 32.6%
HbA1c >10.0% (86 mmol/mol) = 6.8%
Year in and year out, the depressing NHS published audits, confirm no progress is being made, in the grim outcomes for many diabetics. So many diabetics never get to a safe HbA1c. There will be no improvement, until dietary recommendations from the NHS and DUK, are drastically changed, and diabetics are told to not base meals on starchy carbohydrates. The great tragedy, is the fact when checking diabetes forums and blogs, many find it comparatively easy, to get to safe blood glucose levels by changing diet and lifestyle. Drop the carbs, drop the HbA1c. Meanwhile the carnage continues.



Anonymous said...

Another good article which many readers will agree with. I believe that one of the problems also,is people do not seem to stick to the reduced carb. message - they seem to think as if by magic once blood sugar numbers are down they will stay down. I really do not think this is the case. It is after all change of eating habits that we are talking about and that has to become a way of life not just for a few months. So to reiterate the point,if you reduce your carbohydrate intake your HbA1c will also drop.


Anonymous said...

How we all control our diabetes is a personal decision but more and more research, studies, news articles show that if you can stay below 6.5 your chances of a longer, healthy and not having diabetic complications is what it is best to strive for, and keep.

Sal ( reduced my carbs and life is good )

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