A tale of HbA1c with a happy ending

First, I should explain what HbA1c is – I will let the experts do it for me. Here is how Diabetes UK explains Hb1Ac:

The term HbA1c refers to glycated haemoglobin. It develops when haemoglobin, a protein within red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout your body, joins with glucose in the blood, becoming ‘glycated’.

By measuring glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c), clinicians are able to get an overall picture of what our average blood sugar levels have been over a period of weeks/months.

For people with diabetes this is important as the higher the HbA1c, the greater the risk of developing diabetes-related complications. 
HbA1c is also referred to as haemoglobin A1c or simply A1c.

When someone displays raised HbA1c but does not have diabetes, they are considered to be prediabetic, that they are at high risk of going on to develop diabetes. By reducing this value we reduce the risk of diabetes and the complications that go with it.

And so onto the tale and its happy ending. I had a lovely e-mail today from someone who came to me saying that her HbA1c was raised and she was worried about developing type II diabetes. We talked about her diet and I gave her suggestions, some recipes and some simple tips for eating better. Her e-mail said that she had just had her blood test and that her HbA1c was back in the normal range.

Your advice has been more helpful than I can possibly say – thank you so much.  I’ve even lost some weight which I wasn’t  even trying to do.

Such nice words. It was simple eating well advice, giving her some recipes that were realistic to cook on a work night plus some little things she could do to make pre-prepared meals and convenience meals a little better. We talked a little about snacks and drinks finding a few little swaps that she could use as her default options, she didn’t have to cut out her favourites or completely deny her sweet tooth.

Her news made me really happy – my experience and advice made a real difference to someone’s health. Warm fuzzy moment!

It demonstrates that catching something early we can reverse the risk. It was so lovely to see that some simple changes could make a difference. If you are concerned about the risk of type II diabetes, maybe it runs in your family, or you have raised HbA1c then get in touch.

If you are diagnosed with diabetes then it is best to work with an appropriately trained dietitian to manage your glucose levels, although I could help you put into practice advice you have been given or help to eat well as advised by Diabetes UK.

For more information on HbA1c go to Diabetes UK as well as lots of information about diabetes and its prevention.

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