A1C tests your average blood sugar level over the past two to three months. If the levels are too high, it can lead to severe diabetes complications. Your healthcare team will use this number to help you plan your treatment, set goals, and monitor your progress.
Keeping your blood sugar in a healthy range reduces your chances of developing diabetes-related complications, such as heart disease, blindness, and kidney disease.
The blood vessels in your body can be damaged by high glucose levels over a long time. This can make them not work well and cause problems with the nerves that send signals to and from parts of your body.
Your doctor will prescribe medicines that you regularly take to keep your A1C in a normal range. By following a proper diet, exercise, and treatment plan, you can keep your A1C under control and prevent diabetes complications.
To learn more about the connection between A1C and diabetes complications, continue reading.
What Are Diabetes Complications?
Diabetes is a lifelong condition, and people can develop many health problems from it as a result of uncontrolled blood glucose levels. These complications can be serious and even deadly. But with proper diabetes treatments, most people can live long and healthy life.
Keeping blood glucose (sugar) levels in check and taking medicine to treat complications are the best ways to prevent or delay them. Managing your diabetes well can help you feel more in control of your health.
A few of the main diabetes complications include eye problems, kidney disease, nerve damage, and depression. Everyone with diabetes should get a series of tests and checks each year to monitor their health and look out for complications early on.
High blood sugar can also damage your eyes, causing retinopathy, diabetic macular edema, cataracts, and glaucoma. Regular eye exams can catch these conditions at an early stage when they’re easiest to manage.
The Connection between A1C and Diabetes Complications
An A1C level of 6.5% or higher indicates diabetes, and if the level goes beyond 7%, it increases your risk for serious long-term complications, such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, and kidney damage. If you have diabetes, it is important to manage your blood sugar as well as possible to lower your A1C and improve your health.
An A1C test measures your average blood sugar over the last 3 months. It is used to check for diabetes and prediabetes, but it can also be used to monitor a patient’s overall glycemic control.
This test gives a complete picture of your blood sugar level. Doctors use this test to prepare a diabetes treatment plan. You need to get this test done twice or four times a year, depending on your blood sugar control. If the test results are constantly high, it means your glycemic control is poor. This increases your risk of developing diabetes complications.
Keeping a blood sugar log and learning how certain foods can affect your blood sugar level can help you keep your A1C in the normal range. It is also a good idea to ask your doctor about ways you can reduce your risk for diabetes complications, including weight control, exercise, and taking prescribed medication.
Most Common Diabetes Complications
Diabetes complications are health problems that can happen if your diabetes isn’t controlled. They can affect your eyes, kidneys, and blood vessels, as well as your heart and brain. Your doctor can help you prevent or control these complications by putting together a plan that includes your diet, exercise, and medications.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) refers to a number of problems that can affect your heart, blood vessels, and other parts of your body. They can include coronary artery disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and heart failure. People with diabetes have a higher risk of developing CVD than those without the disease. The risk increases even more if you have both diabetes and high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels.
If you have diabetes, you are at a greater risk of developing eye complications. These include diabetic retinopathy, macular edema, cataracts, and glaucoma. These conditions can lead to vision loss, even blindness. However, the best way to prevent or control these complications is to manage your diabetes. That means keeping your blood glucose level in a healthy range, taking medication to help control it, and getting regular eye exams.
Kidney damage is common in people with diabetes, and it can lead to a life-threatening condition that requires treatment. Getting diabetes under control can help to delay or prevent this disease. Having healthy blood glucose levels and controlling high blood pressure is critical to preventing kidney damage. Diabetic nephropathy is the most common kidney complication that also occurs in people with diabetes.
The long-term high blood sugar levels that diabetes causes can damage the nerves throughout the body. This can cause many different health problems, including pain, numbness, and loss of sensation. The good news is that getting your blood glucose levels as close to your goal as possible can also help prevent these problems from occurring. That’s why the American Diabetes Association recommends having glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test at least twice a year.
Diabetes can cause a number of problems with your teeth and gums. It is important to manage blood sugar levels well to avoid these complications. Uncontrolled diabetes can also weaken the white blood cells that help your body fight infections, including bacterial ones in your mouth. This is why people with diabetes are also more likely to develop oral health issues.
How to Prevent or Control Diabetes Complications?
Diabetes is a serious disease that can cause health complications if left untreated. These include heart disease, kidney failure, and blindness. Fortunately, most of these complications can also be prevented or controlled. Here are some tips you can follow to prevent diabetes complications.
- Daily Physical Activity
- Weight Control
- Self-Blood Glucose Monitoring
- Daily Blood Glucose Control
- A1C Control
- Taking Prescribed Medication
- Regular Heart, Kidney, Eyes, Nerves, And Dental Checkups
Your A1C level is a crucial marker of how well your diabetes treatment plan is working. It measures how much of the sugar that’s in your blood has attached to the hemoglobin protein that carries oxygen throughout your body. A1C levels can be high, but they can also drop if your diet and exercise program are working properly. Ideally, your A1C should also be below 7% to keep your risk of complications low. Be sure to check your A1C at least twice a year and take the necessary steps to improve your A1C level. Moreover, a lower A1C level will help you prevent or control diabetes-related complications like nerve damage, eye problems, and heart disease.