The blood-sugar test ‘healthy’ people need
Nothing good comes from high blood sugar. And if your levels are chronically elevated—high most all the time — it will trigger metabolic changes in your body that are far from sweet.
Over time, blood glucose levels beyond the normal, healthy range can lead not only to type 2 diabetes and its precursor — metabolic syndrome — but also set you up for chronic inflammation, hyper-obesity, cardiovascular disease, neurological problems, hormonal imbalances, immune dysfunction, organ and tissue degradation, premature aging… and even cancer.
The most well-known contributor to dangerous blood sugar levels is a diet high in refined sugars, processed foods and simple carbohydrates, but it’s by far not your only threat: other include excess levels of toxins in the body… ongoing use of specific pharmaceutical drugs… chronic stress… and other imbalances.
The number of new Type 2 diabetes cases continues to break record each year, and is particularly concerning among teenagers and children since Diabetes mellitus among this vulnerable population was almost unheard of in the past.
It’s clear from these troubling statistics that our society faces a skyrocketing epidemic, related to modern day lifestyles and environments. The good news is, metabolic conditions such as Type 2 diabetes can be successfully avoided or addressed using the right natural approaches…
Early intervention saves lives
The sooner that blood glucose abnormalities are detected, the easier it is to correct them. This is why early detection plays such an important role in preventing and reversing serious metabolic health issues and related chronic conditions.
A simple and accurate way to test long term blood sugar imbalance is the A1C blood test. More 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 only reads current blood sugar levels. The A1C is quite different: it shows where blood-sugar levels have been during the past two to three months.
Normally, the A1C is only used when a doctor strongly suspects diabetes or a patient already has the disease, but this simple test could save many more lives if it were included as part of routine medical exams.
As a practicing integrative physician, I’ve observed that one isolated reading using the standard fasting blood-sugar test, does not give an accurate determination of how the individual is handling their blood sugar over the long term. As a result, doctor and patient may fail to detect harmful blood-sugar trends that can be reversed through appropriate diet and lifestyle changes.
What exactly is A1C?
The A1C test is also called the hemoglobin A1c test or HbA1c. Hemoglobin is a protein found within red blood cells. When blood glucose reacts with it, the hemoglobin becomes “glycated” and remains that way. Red blood cells live for 120 days before being replaced, and during the lifespan of the cell, the hemoglobin carries an imprinted memory of the body’s blood-sugar levels. By measuring this glycated hemoglobin, the A1C test shows blood-sugar levels over the last two to three months and can detect a chronic imbalance with much greater accuracy and insight.
Lifestyle: The importance of diet and exercise
The most important component of healthy blood sugar control is a strictly low glycemic-index diet emphasizing low-sugar foods that sustain and nourish blood glucose, rather than spiking and crashing it as highly sweetened or processed foods do.
And the second most important factor is regular exercise which encourages numerous hormonal and biological effects critical for metabolic health and glucose balance.
These lifestyle changes are shown to be as effective as drug therapy for normalizing blood sugar levels over a short period of time. However, 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 to help identify the effects of two different kinds of training programs: combined aerobic and eccentric resistance exercise program vs. aerobic exercise only. The results demonstrate that combining resistance exercise with aerobic exercise improved subjects’ glucose control beyond just the aerobics alone. The average effect of the training programs was similar to that of long-term diet and insulin therapy.
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, and prevent excess blood glucose from wreaking havoc on proteins, cells, tissues and organs. Some top recommendations include Berberis, Gymnema leaf, cinnamon, jambolan seed, fenugreek, holy basil, Siberian ginseng, astragalus, certain medicinal mushrooms, Alpha Lipoic Acid, sodium alginates, and Chromium polynicotinate. Most of these ingredients, together with other synergistic compounds, can be found in a comprehensive metabolic supplement. I designed this all natural formula to help support optimal blood glucose balance and help protect against chronic metabolic health conditions.
Don’t let a silent culprit rob you of your health
Ask your health care provider to order the A1C test as part of your annual health maintenance exam. With this easy and advanced diagnostic tool, you will be able to catch possible blood-sugar problems at an early stage, in time to address them with simple diet and lifestyle changes which will 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 information about metabolic health, download my complementary wellness guide “Integrative Solutions for Fighting Metabolic Syndrome.”