A1C? Feet?

By Kira_xo Latest Reply 2009-11-10 18:22:39 -0600
Started 2009-11-08 03:15:31 -0600

I was just recently diagnosed with type 2 so I have not made a doctors appointment yet [will do it Monday when everything is open]. But I keep seeing phrases like A1C pop up. What is A1C? I have never heard of that term before. Also why do diabetics have to check their feet everyday? I know these must seem like very odd questions! I'm sure once I get an appointment the doctor will explain them to me but I'm just curious.

9 replies

Timothy James
Timothy James 2009-11-10 16:28:37 -0600 Report

A lot of great comments already, but I wanted to tell you a little more about A1C, just in case you're interested…

We regularly check our blood sugar, and that give us a picture of what the level of glucose is in our blood right in that moment. The red blood cells (the hemoglobin molecules) however, hold on to those little bits of sugar for a long time.

Your red blood cells (hemoglobin) are capable of binding little bits of sugar, and the higher your blood sugar (blood glucose), the more sugar that is caught on the bed blood cells.

Each red blood cell lives in our body for about 3 months before being replaced by new red blood cells. When your diabetes practitioner takes a blood sample, there are blood cells that are new and some that are three months old. By looking at how much sugar is stuck to those red blood cells on average, we can see how your blood sugar has been over the last three months.

So that's your A1C!

Kira_xo 2009-11-10 18:22:39 -0600 Report

Thank you Timothy for explaining all that to me!!! That was really helpful and makes a lot of sense.

My first appointment was today and the doctor talked with me a little bit about the diabetes. He ordered blood work and he will know more when it comes back tomorrow. I'm assuming he is checking my A1C as well at cholesterol levels and thyroid issues.

Kira_xo 2009-11-09 00:07:16 -0600 Report

Thank you everyone. That sure does clear up a lot for me. Crashnot, thanks, I will def go check that book out!

jayabee52 2009-11-08 11:31:18 -0600 Report

Howdy Kira
You're using this site exactly how it was intended, asking "STUPID [or as you write "odd"]" questions. Now I believe the only stupid question is an honest, sincere question which is NOT asked.

Good for you Kira, you're on your way to eating that "elephant"

I wish there had been something like this site when I was learning about diabetes. But I am GLAD it is here now!

ptsparkle 2009-11-08 11:08:15 -0600 Report

One of the side issues of this disease if not controlled early, is neuropathy. This is a loss of feeling in the feet and even up part of the legs. One little cut or bruise can lead to an ulcer (sore) that can easily lead to ganggreene (sp?).I know from experience, have been non-weight bearing from July. Almost lost my foot.
Don't mean to alarm you, but if you take care of yourself, and keep your bs levels in check, you will save yourself a bunch of grief later in life. Wished I would have taken care of myself instead of denial for many many years.
You will do fine, and there are many on this site who will listen, help, and encourage you. Best wishes.

Crashnot 2009-11-08 07:48:01 -0600 Report

Hi Kira,
A huge help to us has been the book "Reversing Diabetes" by Dr. Julian Whitaker. It explains things every clearly, and tells you lots of stuff your doctor won't even know to mention. Well worth the $14 price, and available on this site and Amazon. It's helped my husband get his type 2 under control and saved my Type 1 feet problems!

Hinboyz3 2009-11-08 07:23:13 -0600 Report

Don't apologize for not knowing what something is when your talking about diabetes. I too am so new to all that going on around me that at first when the doctor told me Im a type 2, everything was just a blur. But now I instantly got a reality check on how to take care of my self. If it wasnt for this site I don't know where I would be. All my questions get answered, and the people are so friendly. I guess because we are all in the same boat. But yes I check my feet daily sometimes twice a day, just to make sure their are no sores, skin irritations, etc. I go back to the doctors the end of December, I just hope I can get a good report. so remember no question is silly to ask, they are all important to us all. Just take good care of yourself, and try not to worry too much. Keep us all informed of your appointment.

hbkunkel 2009-11-08 05:35:36 -0600 Report

Your A1C is the average of your blood glucose over the last three months. The doctors are looking to keep it under 6.5 for good control. Diabetics can have problems with their feet and not even know it without visual inspections, therefore daily visual inspections are a big help to prevent somall things from getting bigger. Ask your doctor to see both a dietian and diabetic educator to get more information. Good luck and keep us posted as to how things are going.

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