All About Blood Sugar Testing

All About Blood Sugar Testing

 

TLC doctors teach our patients the importance of limiting carbohydrates (sugar) in the diet.   Sugar damages our cells by causing GLYCATION, a harmful and permanent chemical change in our proteins and fat molecules.  This is also called Glycosylation, and the chemically changed proteins are called Advanced Glycosylated End products, or AGE’s.  One easy way to measure this protein damage is a test called Hemoglobin A1C or Glycated Hemoglobin.

 

The problems associated with AGE’s are:

Another way to assess sugar stress in the body is by measuring dissolved glucose (sugar) in the blood after a 12 hour fast.  Over the years with increasing numbers of Americans becoming diabetic and pre-diabetic, the “reference ranges” for glucose have increased, up to 110 mg/dl.  But this just represents the typical results seen over the previous several years and using this as a benchmark for optimal health is not a good approach.  Healthy fasting glucose should be 65-85, as it was several decades ago before the diabetes epidemic.

Insulin levels become higher over time as we tax our bodies by eating too many carbohydrates.  Insulin is a hormone from the pancreas that is secreted after a meal, its purpose is to move sugar into our cells.  After the sugar of a particular meal has been processed, the insulin levels should fall.  Typical (but not healthy) fasting insulin levels in our country are 4-27 mU/L, but a healthy goal is 0-3 after fasting or 8-12 hours.  High insulin levels are associated with fat gain, body and joint aches, fatigue and brain fog.  When we have excess body fat our sensitivity to insulin decreases and the pancreas will begin to secrete more insulin.  We can get into a vicious circle of insulin and body fat increasing.  Following a low carb eating plan helps to minimize the body’s need to secrete large amounts of insulin.  Avoidance of bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, cereal and fruits other than berries will also help to minimize the formation of AGE’s and optimize fasting insulin.

Dr. Janel Meric

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