by E-women
10 August 2005
A new national survey found that two thirds of people with the most common form of diabetes were failing to control their blood sugar, and most had never even heard of the best test to measure their risk of life threatening complications.
“We have the tools to control this disease today, but diabetes management has worsened in the past 10 years, even as we’re doing better as a nation with our blood pressure and cholesterol numbers,” said Dr. Jaime Davidso, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School who headed a recent national committee to help deliver better testing and treatment to diabetics.
Type 2 diabetes, which accounts for 90%-95% of all diagnosed diabetes cases, comes when the body either does not produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin, the substance that takes sugar from the blood into the body’s cells where it can be converted to energy. Over time, excessive amounts of sugar in the blood contribute to heart disease, stroke, nerve damage, kidney damage and blindness, among other complications.
Diabetics who monitor their blood sugar levels have tended to focus on levels obtained from blood tests before and after meals, but a more sophisticated test that measures sugar attached to red blood cells is of equal importance to diabetes specialists. Called the A1C test, it reveals a person’s average blood sugar levels over the past two or three months, which tells more about how well a person is managing their condition and what their risks are for serious complications.

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