Know Your Numbers: Prediabetes, Diabetes, Blood Sugar and AIC

Nov 14, 2022 | Blogs

Home | Blogs | Know Your Numbers: Prediabetes, Diabetes, Blood Sugar and AIC

November is American Diabetes Month, and prevention through lifestyle is a health priority. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, more than 30 million Americans have type II diabetes and another 84 million suffer from prediabetes. That’s one in three people! 

For those diagnosed with this chronic disease, it often becomes a daily and ongoing battle to manage and/or reverse it  to prevent further chronic conditions as a result. On an individual level, it is important for everyone to know their own numbers and what they mean.

What are blood sugar and A1C?

  • Fasting blood sugar level, or glucose, and hemoglobin A1C are blood tests that screen for prediabetes and diabetes. These tests are also helpful in the regular monitoring of a person with diabetes. 
  • Glucose is a nutrient (from food) that enters the bloodstream. All food we eat, be it from carbohydrates, fats, or proteins, breaks down into glucose in our blood.
  • Glucose in our blood then travels to cells to be used for energy. 
  • Insulin, made by the pancreas, is needed to “unlock” the cells and allow glucose to enter.  If there isn’t enough insulin or it doesn’t work properly, the glucose gets “locked out” and builds up on the bloodstream. 
  • Hemoglobin A1C (A1C for short) reflects a person’s average blood glucose level over the past three months. It is reported as a percentage.

What your blood sugar and A1C values mean:

Fasting Blood Sugar Level (mg/dl)A1C %
NormalLess than 100Less than 5.7
Pre-Diabetes100-1255.7 to 6.4
Diabetes126 and higher6.5 and above

Why is this important?

“Prediabetes” means that the amount of glucose (sugar) in your blood is higher than normal, but not high enough to be considered type 2 diabetes. It is common for a person with prediabetes to be asymptomatic. This is problematic because if it’s left untreated, it often progresses into type 2 diabetes. 

Persistently high blood sugar and A1C levels will lead to prediabetes and diabetes. If left untreated, this can lead to damage of the heart, kidneys, eyes, and feet. Prediabetes and diabetes is also linked to premature death.

Good news for prevention and treatment: Lifestyle changes work

Lifestyle changes can have a huge impact in preventing both prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. A groundbreaking research study from the Diabetes Prevention Program, or DPP, proved that losing a small amount of weight through lifestyle changes was more effective than medicine for reversing diabetes. 

As recommended by DPP, work on losing weight if you have prediabetes and are overweight (or obese.) Start by following these “simple” lifestyle recommendations:

  1. Commit to healthier eating habits.
    Avoid “fad” diets or any pills that promise “quick and easy” weight loss.
    Eat junk food and ultra-processed foods sparingly and infrequently.
  2. Move more every day.
    Make physical activity a priority. Walking is a convenient physical activity.
  3. Lose weight.
    If you are overweight, losing just 7% of your body weight is enough to reduce risk of type 2 diabetes by 58%.
  4. Build a support system.
    Ask friends and family to keep you accountable. As a member of CCPHP, you can work with a SENS Health Coach for support. No matter where you turn, simply having ongoing support has been proven to be a key aspect of helping individuals to lose weight and keep it off.
  5. Get regular check-ups.
    Your doctor will be able to monitor your prediabetes. 

Commit to improving your health
Are you willing to take the steps needed to make lasting changes? Do you need help identifying barriers to your weight loss? Get the tools and ongoing support you need from one of our SENS Solution Health Coaches at no additional cost. Your personal SENS Solution Health Coach will provide guidance via remote phone sessions to help you set realistic health goals and adopt a healthier lifestyle. 

To get connected to a Health Coach, fill out the form below. 

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