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New Screening Recommendations for Diabetes

Posted: Oct 15 in Medical Weight Loss News by

Earlier this year, the American Diabetes Association revised their guidelines for Type II Diabetes Screening. For many years, the recommendation has been to screen individuals at risk with fasting blood sugar levels, or blood sugar levels after a glucose load (the individual is asked to consume 75 grams of glucose, then the blood glucose is checked two hours later).

Now, the ADA is recommending another option: the Hemoglobin A1c test. We have long used this test to monitor treatment of Diabetes; however, until this year, it was not recommended for screening. The A1c test has several advantages:

1) It is not necessary to be fasting for an A1c test
2) We do not do a glucose load before the test, so you don’t have to come back after 2 hours for a re-check
3) The test gives a representation of average glucose levels for a 3 month period, so it is less likely that a high or low number is a “fluke.”

The test can now be used both to screen for diabetes, and also to assess risk. A level of less than 5.7 is considered normal. 5.7 to 6.4 indicates an individual is at risk, or has “pre-diabetes.” 6.5 or more indicates Diabetes.

If you are at risk and have not had an a1c test, please feel free to have our staff draw it next time you are in. Again, you are welcome to stop by and have it drawn – it is not expensive and you do not need an appointment. If it does come back outside of the normal range, set up an appointment with Dr. Lazarus or Heather to review treatment options, or to review the best ways to PREVENT diabetes!

-Ethan Lazarus, M.D.

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