I see Gillian the diabetic nurse and she is a wonder. Straight, simple explanations. She can’t understand why she is seeing me as my Hba1c test brings back a score of 6 – well below the threshold of diabetes. I explain I’ve never had a proper test to confirm I have diabetes (the Whipps X fiasco) and am only diagnosed as diabetic by symptoms. I also express concern that despite my blood glucose levels being low and controlled I still have hyperglaecemic attacks. We come to the conclusion that my insulin/pancreas is not functioning well enough to cope with my glucose levels, low as they may be, and that this may have been a result of the statins that damaged my immune system giving me firstly rheumatoid arthritis and now diabetes.
I still need to consider myself as a diabetic and continue my lifestyle and it is likely that my diabetes is the result of a “gene”being switched by the “bad” statin rather than a previous poor lifestyle or genetic factor.
Otherwise blood levels are good for kidney function and general blood functions and my cholesterol level is 5. I confessed I hadn’t been taking statins for a few months because I suspected they were increasing my rheumatoid arthritic pains and we both agreed I didn’t need to worry about resuming taking statins.
Also had the flu jab.
How is the blood sugar level checked over a period of time?
A test known as the HbA1c test can show the average blood sugar level over the previous six to eight weeks.
HbA1c is the compound produced by the chemical reaction between haemoglobin and glucose in the blood. HbA1c is also called glycated haemoglobin.
High blood sugar levels produce more HbA1c. But because the process happens over several weeks, an occasional blip of high blood sugar is not enough to influence the HbA1c level.
This means only consistently high glucose levels cause HbA1c levels to rise – and why HbA1c levels are used as a measure of diabetes control.
- HbA1c is about 6 per cent of the total haemoglobin in people who don’t have diabetes. The target to aim for is an HbA1c level of below 6.5 per cent if possible – although 7 per cent or less is very good.
- HbA1c of 7.5 per cent shows only fair control of diabetes.
- HbA1c above 8.5 per cent shows poor control of diabetes.
- Any increase in the HbA1c level indicates poorer control of diabetes.
The United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study Group (UKPDS) was a 20-year-long research trial in diabetes.
It showed that for every 1 per cent rise in HbA1c, a person with Type 2 diabetes is 30 per cent more likely to develop late-stage complications arising from damage to the small blood vessels.