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If you want to know what your health future looks like, you have to know how your blood sugar behaves. A persistently elevated blood sugar imbalance can sour wellness. That’s why a simple blood test may help you avoid type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, chronic inflammation, hyper-obesity, cardiovascular disease, neurological damage, hormonal imbalances, immune dysfunction, organ and tissue degradation, premature aging, and even cancer.
Various lifestyle factors can contribute to dangerous blood sugar levels. Predominant causes include a diet high in refined sugars, processed foods and simple carbohydrates; excess levels of toxins in the body; ongoing use of specific pharmaceutical drugs; chronic stress or sleep deprivation; and other imbalances. Consider that the number of type 2 diabetes cases that are diagnosed each year continues to break records. This steady climb in new cases is particularly disturbing among teenagers and children, since type 2 diabetes among this vulnerable population was almost unheard of before the 21st century.
It’s clear from these troubling statistics that our society faces a skyrocketing epidemic linked to modern lifestyles and environments. The good news: Metabolic conditions like type 2 diabetes can be successfully avoided or addressed using the right natural approaches.
Early Diagnosis Possible With The A1C Test
Early detection plays a critical role in preventing and reversing serious metabolic health issues and related chronic conditions. The sooner that blood glucose abnormalities are detected, the easier it is to correct them. A simple and accurate way to test long-term blood sugar imbalance is the A1C blood test. Precise and informational, an A1C test can detect chronically elevated blood glucose levels that are often missed with the standard fasting blood glucose test which reads only current blood sugar levels.
The A1C is unique: It shows where blood sugar levels have been during the past two to three months, providing an accurate picture of blood glucose over time.
An international committee of experts from the American Diabetes Association, the European Association for the Study of Diabetes and the International Diabetes Federation, recommends that the A1C test be the primary test used to diagnose pre-diabetes, type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Clinically, however, doctors have been using the A1C only for diabetic patients or for patients they think already have diabetes.
But this simple test could save many more lives if it were included as part of routine screening exams.
As a practicing integrative physician, I’ve observed that merely taking one isolated reading using the standard fasting blood sugar test does not give an accurate determination of how an individual is handling blood sugar over the long term. As a result, doctor and patient may fail to detect harmful blood sugar trends early on, opening the door to serious chronic conditions down the road.
A1C Test Details
The A1C test is also called the hemoglobin A1C test or HgA1C. Hemoglobin is a protein found within red blood cells that retains a record of blood sugar levels. When blood glucose reacts with hemoglobin, the hemoglobin becomes glycated and remains in that state. During the 120 days that red blood cells stay in the blood before being replaced (and during the lifespan of the red blood cell), the hemoglobin preserves an imprinted memory of the body’s blood sugar levels. By measuring this glycated hemoglobin, the A1C test shows how blood sugar levels have behaved over the past two to three months and can detect a chronic imbalance with great accuracy and insight.
Lifestyle: The Benefits Of Diet And Exercise
The most important way to maintain a healthy blood sugar level is to stick to a strictly low glycemic-index diet emphasizing low-sugar foods that sustain and nourish blood glucose. Otherwise, when you eat highly sweetened and processed foods, you spike and crash blood sugar. The second most important factor is regular exercise, which triggers numerous hormonal and biological effects critical for metabolic health and glucose balance.
These lifestyle changes have been shown to be as effective as drug therapy for normalizing blood sugar levels over a short period of time. Furthermore, studies and clinical evidence suggest that over the long term, a healthy lifestyle with proper diet and exercise is the only sustainable solution to keep your blood sugar levels stable and protect overall health.
Recently, a research meta-analysis was published that helped identify the benefits of two different kinds of exercise training programs: combining aerobic exercise with weight lifting or merely taking part in aerobic exercise. The results demonstrate that a combined program of resistance exercise along with aerobic workouts improves blood sugar control beyond just doing aerobics alone. The average effect of the training programs was similar to that of long-term diet and insulin therapy.
In addition to diet and exercise, a number of herbs, botanical compounds and nutrients have been shown to help prevent and even reverse metabolic conditions over time. These targeted natural solutions work to:
- Re-sensitize insulin receptors.
- Prevent blood glucose spikes.
- Improve metabolism of fats and sugars.
- Increase antioxidant activity.
- Decrease inflammation.
- Prevent excess blood glucose from wreaking havoc on proteins, cells, tissues and organs.
Some top recommended supplements for metabolic health include:
- Bitter melon.
- Gymnema leaf.
- Jambolan seed.
- Holy basil.
- Siberian ginseng.
- Integrative Metabolic Formula.
- Medicinal mushrooms.
- Alpha lipoic acid.
- Sodium alginates.
- Chromium polynicotinate.
Don’t Let This Silent Culprit Progress Undetected
Ask your health care provider to order the A1C test as part of your annual health exam. With this easy and advanced diagnostic tool, you can catch possible blood sugar problems at an early stage, in time to address them with simple diet, supplement and lifestyle adjuncts, which help reverse unhealthy trends. Even if you eat well and take good care of yourself, you may find that metabolic issues are developing silently as you age.
The A1C test is a good way to gain clear insight into your overall wellness, helping to protect and promote health and vitality throughout your life. For more practical information on all-natural remedies, visit http://www.dreliaz.org/.