Decoding Your Lab Report (Continued)
Name That Test
For diabetes, there are several panels of tests a doctor may order for either diagnosis or maintenance of the disease.
The most feared/revered of all the tests, the A1C measures blood glucose control over a 2- to 3-month period. This is the standard test used to determine blood glucose control in people with diabetes.
The lipid profile tests blood fats and are used to determine the risk of heart disease or stroke. High triglyceride and cholesterol levels can be caused by diabetes. Some tests are:
- HDL-C –HDL cholesterol is good cholesterol and contains the highest amount of protein. It should be greater than 40 mg/dl (2.2 mmol/l) in men and greater than 50 mg/dl (2.7 mmol/l) in women.
- LDL-C –LDL cholesterol, which contains the highest amount of cholesterol, is also called bad cholesterol because LDL deposits can build up on the walls of arteries, should be below 100 mg/dl (5.5 mmol/l). The target for high-risk level patients, including those with diabetes, is less than 70 mg/dl (3.9 mmol/l).
- Triglycerides –levels should be less than 150 mg/dl (8.3 mmol/l).
- VLDL-C –Very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol is part of an extended profile your doctor may order. It is the third of the major lipoprotein particles (the other two being HDL and LDL). VLDL contains the highest amount of triglyceride.
- Non-HDL-C – also part of the extended profile, Non-HDL-cholesterol can build up in the arteries, form plaques, and cause narrowing of the vessels and blockages.
Related tests: Direct LDL-C; Homocysteine; Lp-PLA2 (Lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2); hs-CRP (High-sensitivity C-reactive protein); Apo A (Apolipoprotein A-I); Apo B (Apolipoprotein B-100); Lp(a) (Lipoprotein (a))
Lows are really nothing new to me. In the past (almost) 22 years, I've experienced every variety of low blood sugar. Two seizures, multiple black outs, the "I'm fine" at 32, the nauseating 85, and everything in between. That certainly doesn't mean that I'm used to them or that each low doesn't feel like a new and treacherous journey. They still scare me. They still annoy me. And they still overrun my life at times. Since I've hit the gym and the calorie counting on an aggressive...