What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a group of chronic conditions linked by the body’s inability to produce enough insulin or to appropriately respond to insulin (insulin resistance). This causes hyperglycemia and can lead to a number of acute and chronic health problems, some of them life-threatening. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 30 million people in the US have diabetes, and the disease is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.
What is Hyperglycemia?
Hyperglycemia is a condition where blood sugar levels are higher than the typical normal range. In addition to the threat of diabetes complications, including kidney disease, retinopathy and cardiovascular events, long-term, persistently high glucose levels can decrease energy, alter moods and compromise brain function.
How do Diabetic Patients Manage Hyperglycemia?
Maintaining a target blood glucose level is the key to managing diabetes. That means reducing major blood sugar swings, such as high blood glucose after eating or low blood glucose after taking diabetes medication.
What Testing is Available to Diagnose and Manage Diabetes?
Blood testing from BioReference can be used to diagnose and monitor diabetes, and to detect potential complications in diabetic patients. We offer various tests and panels, such as blood glucose and glucose tolerance tests, hemoglobin A1c, eAG (estimated average glucose), various cholesterol and lipid panels, urinalysis with microalbuminuria, and more.
What is Glycemic Variability?
Glycemic variability is caused by spikes (hyperglycemia) followed by drops (hypoglycemia) in glucose levels.
New developments in blood glucose monitoring have proven that there is a better way to measure your glycemic control than hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels alone. While HbA1c measures your average glucose level, it does not reveal anything about your glycemic variability. While HbA1c level may be normal, a patient might still be suffering from episodes of very high blood sugar, suggesting that diabetes is not adequately controlled.
GlycoMark Testing from BioReference
GlycoMark® is a simple, non-fasting blood test that measures a patient’s average maximum blood glucose over a one-to-two week period. The test measures 1,5-anhydroglucitol (1,5- AG), a particular type of glucose-like sugar in blood, to help identify high-glucose episodes. With this information, a physician can better understand how diabetes is responding to the designated treatment plan.
Two people may have the same HbA1c test results, but very different GlycoMark® readings. If you have a normal HbA1c level but an abnormal (low) GlycoMark® reading, your doctor may need to change your treatment plan to control your diabetes. Episodes of high blood sugar, despite normal HbA1c test results, have been linked to higher rates of diabetic complications, such as heart attack, stroke, blindness and nerve pain.
For more information about this test, please visit http://glycomark.com/
Understanding your glycemic variability will help your doctor provide personalized care for your diabetes. Speak with your physician to confirm if GlycoMark testing is right for you.