Glucose Control Wins – Test!

A kit used by a woman with gestational diabetes.

A kit used by a woman with gestational diabetes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another week, another information packed newsletter from Diabetes in Control. If you have any reason to be interested in blood sugar control (that is, if you are alive and plan to be for a while), I highly recommend you sign up for their newsletter. I can’t highlight on this blog all that they publish that is important, or I would be posting little else.

There are many items in this week’s newsletter worth your attention. LINK  – this week’s newsletter is #649, if you need to search for it.

One is a report of a study, this time done in Sweden, that looked at 5 year outcomes among patients with inadequately controlled diabetes whose HgA1c improved versus those for whom it didn’t improve or worsened. It is important to note that this is a correlation study – there would be some other factors in the mix as to why some people’s HgA1c improved and others didn’t. Trouble is, we can’t do a causation study, as you can’t with-hold treatment from people

“Patients who had suboptimal glycemic control and reduced their HbA1c value by slightly less than 1% were 50% less likely to die within 5 years than were patients whose HbA1c did not improve….”

“After adjusting for baseline risk factors and treatment changes during the study period, patients whose HbA1c decreased were half as likely to develop cardiovascular or coronary heart disease as were those whose levels increased. They were also 33% less likely to experience fatal cardiovascular disease and 41% less likely to die from any cause than were those in the poorly controlled group. All of these differences were statistically significant.”

“We must make an effort to identify patients who don’t respond to diabetes medications earlier.”

Test, test and target. Even small improvements can mean big benefits. Do you know where your post-meal glucose values go? Blood glucose test kits are not expensive. Don’t wait for your fasting blood sugar to go up before you take action.

English: Illustration of the changes in blood ...

English: Illustration of the changes in blood glucose over time following a high and low GI carbohydrate. Designed and made Public Domain by Scott Dickinson (user: Studio34), Sydney, Australia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Compare these results to the results from studies targeting how closely diabetic subjects followed the researcher’s versions of good lifestyle habits. What works is “the facts, ma’am” – test you glucose, set post-meal targets and keep tweaking and trying. The winning strategy is to find out what really works for you by watching your personal responses.

Consider the dismal outcome recently reported for the Look AHEAD trial, which went for 11 years and cost $220 million, which focused on achieving weight loss and found NO benefit in terms of reduction of heart attacks or strokes in people with diabetes.

Washington Post article on the results – LINK

Analysis of the results that is more informative – from Tom Naughton LINK

Extensive resources can be found on the web sites listed in the sidebar under “Blood Sugar Health”.

See also my post Restoring normal blood glucose levels associated with less progression to type 2 diabetes

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