Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Diabetes Lab Values

Below is a question I recently received from

My fasting glucose number was 127. Does this sound like pre-diabetes or diabetes? What should I do to control by blood sugar?

A fasting blood sugar of 126 or greater is indicative of diabetes. However, be sure to get a second test from your PCP to confirm this diagnosis.

On a more interesting note, it is now accepted to use another lab value, hemoglobin A1c, to confirm a diagnosis of diabetes. Hemoglobin A1c (also known as glycosolated hemoglobin) is lab value that measures how well blood sugars were managed over a period of 3 months; it is also used by medical professionals to gauge how well diabetic patients have controlled their blood sugars. A hemoglobin A1c reading of 5.7-6.4% is indicative of pre-diabetes and a reading of 6.5% or higher confirms a diabetes diagnosis.

Whether you are in the pre-diabetes or diabetes stage, it is highly recommended that you meet with a certified diabetes educated and/or registered dietitian to help plan lifestyle interventions to keep you on the track to good health!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Friuts And Veggies

Here is a question I recently received from

I have pre-diabetes and am trying to lose weight. How many servings of fruit and veggies should I have each day?

Losing weight is a great strategy to prolong diabetes and also for overall health. Excellent start!

It is recommended that people eat 5 servings for fruit and vegetables daily. To clarify, that is 5 servings total of combination of fruits and vegetables (not 5 of each). Sadly, most Americans do not eat the recommended amounts, so trying to increase fruit and vegetable consumption is an effective and tasty way to help with weight loss.

For diabetes purposes, it is important to try and focus on non-starchy vegetables versus starchy vegetables (potatoes, corn, and peas).

Also, remember to eat the rainbow. Fruits and vegetables come in a variety of different colors- the reasoning for that is they all contain different nutrients. For example, tomatoes contain lycopene, which gives it its reddish tint is is also linked to prevent certain types of cancer. The orange tint from sweet potatoes and carrots is beta-caroetene, which helps with eyesight.

Check back soon!

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Here is a question I recently received from

I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes last month. I’m having difficulty understanding how many carbs and sugar I can have each day. I’m finding that nearly everything contains carbs and sugar! Can you help me with this?

Good question! For new diabetics, sources of carbohydrate and carbohydrate counting tend ti be confusing. However, with some rules of thumb, you'll be on your success.

Portion control is the main theme here. A diabetic diet is a carbohydrate controlled diet. In other words, do not eat too many carbohydrates in one sitting. Do not "save" carbohydrates for later in the day; your body will thank you for this!

Carbohydrates are found in starches (breads, cereals, pastas, potatoes, corn), milk and dairy (milk, yogurt, cheese), fruit and fruit juices, and, of course, sweets. It is important to read the food label that indicates PORTION SIZE and TOTAL CARBOHYDRATE. Carbohydrate is the main focus and, by examining the food label, you will see that the total amount of sugar is part of the total carbohydrate count.

Now, time for a math lesson: As a woman aim or 3-4 carbohydrate servings per meal and 1-2 carbohydrate servings per snack. (Remember that 15 grams of carbohydrate equals 1 carbohydrate serving.) This means that you should aim for about 45-60 grams of carbohydrate per meal and 15-30 grams of carbohydrate per snack.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Diabetic Classes

Here is a question I recently received from

I am trying to find a class for our grandson. He is 19 and has a part-time job but no insurance. He just found out last week that he is a type 1 diabetes after losing a lot of weight and his blood sugar was 523. He is on insulin but needs to go to a class to manage is diabetes without going hungry. Where do we start? Any suggestions would help us a lot.

The answer to this question depends on what is available in your area and/or how far you are willing to travel.

Your best bet would be to contact his physician's office, or your local hospital or health clinic. They will be able to refer you to resources in your area. Some hospitals offer diabetes education classes and/or have specialized diabetes clinics.

Also, some communities have local diabetic support groups. This may be beneficial to help him cope and manage diabetes with the help of fellow diabetics.

Another option is to meet with a certified diabetes educator. These are certified health care professionals who have completed extensive training to assist patients with diabetes. To locate one in your areas, visit

Be sure to refer to the American Diabetes Association website for additional information on diabetes.

And, of course, be sure to check back with!

Best of luck!