Blood tests

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Blood tests

Postby vivian maxine on March 9th, 2017, 12:27 pm 

It ranks right after "how can an AlC test read a three-month glucose average level?" but I really am curious about this - why ways of doing blood tests seem to contradict each other. If doctor wants to test for cholesterol, he asks you to fast before the test. Most do, anyway. Yet, if he is going to test for glucose, there is no need to fast. If eating the wrong foods before a cholesterol test would elevate the cholesterol reading, why wouldn't eating high-carb foods before a glucose test elevate that reading, especially if it was a food loaded with sugar?
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Re: Blood tests

Postby bangstrom on March 9th, 2017, 3:05 pm 

Hemoglobin survives for about three months in the bloodstream and it slowly combines with glucose to form hemoglobin A1C. The higher your glucose levels, the higher your A1C. The test only measures combined hemoglobin A1C so a momentary high blood sugar will not interfere with the test. The test is sensitive to the age of your red blood cells since the oldest RBC’s have the most combined glucose so a large bleed or donating blood will lower your A1C. It is an indirect measurement of glucose.
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Re: Blood tests

Postby vivian maxine on March 9th, 2017, 4:17 pm 

bangstrom » March 9th, 2017, 2:05 pm wrote:Hemoglobin survives for about three months in the bloodstream and it slowly combines with glucose to form hemoglobin A1C. The higher your glucose levels, the higher your A1C. The test only measures combined hemoglobin A1C so a momentary high blood sugar will not interfere with the test. The test is sensitive to the age of your red blood cells since the oldest RBC’s have the most combined glucose so a large bleed or donating blood will lower your A1C. It is an indirect measurement of glucose.


That explains A1C anyway. Thank you. And maybe that also explains my other quandary. I need to give that some thought. I appreciate this.

P. S. Bangstrom, does your statement about A1C not being affected by a momentary high blood sugar also apply to the other glucose test? I don't know what it is called but it's the one where scores are like 99, 100, 120, etc.
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Re: Blood tests

Postby Athena on March 9th, 2017, 5:47 pm 

If you wanting to lower your blood glucose, of course, you know cutting carbs will help. Carbs become sugar, so bread and potatoes, etc. eventually become glucose, right? You can also lower your blood sugar level by exercising. Your blood sugar will peak an hour or two after eating and this is a good time to exercise to lower your blood sugar. A couple of cups of coffee a day can help.

I have been reading about the importance of keeping the microbes in our guts healthy. A lot of gas can indicate the bacteria in our gut is doing fine, but our ability to digest food is not doing fine because our ph is wrong. Meaning our stomachs are not acid enough to digest our food, so we have too much gas causing bacteria having a party down there. In this case, drink a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water, or eat fermented foods like yogurt and sauerkraut, or at least use a healthy oil to make a vinegar and oil dressing and have some of that daily on a salad. This is not normally what doctors tell us to do, because for younger folks, the problem is commonly not enough fiber so they tell us to increase our fiber intake, and this feeds the bacteria and makes matters worse! But for us older folk, we may need something to correct our ph. The improved digestion may lower your blood sugar and also increase your ability to digest calcium, preventing osteoporosis.

I think those of us who are at risk of diabetes and osteoporosis should be testing our stools with ph paper to be sure our internal ph is what it should be for good digestion. Only when we are sure our diet is healthy, and our ph is what it should be, and we have exercised daily and slept well, should we take the next step of medicine. Our bodies can lose the ability to be self-regulating and we need to know at which level this occurs. Unless your doctor has specialized in geriatric medicine s/he may not know this. As we age we normally have less stomach acid and this may be what we need to correct.

We may have to learn to help our bodies regulate and that means paying attention what we eat, how much we exercise and when, and be sure you are sleeping well. Intentionally do all this on a regular schedule to help the body be regular.

Sleep apnea or being a night worker can lead to diabetes. If we are not sleeping well, we should check out why. A good night's sleep is that important.

By testing your blood glucose level before and after eating and before and after exercising, we can know how well our bodies are regulating the digestion of food and burning of gluose.
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Re: Blood tests

Postby Braininvat on March 9th, 2017, 7:48 pm 

I think those of us who are at risk of diabetes and osteoporosis should be testing our stools with ph paper...


I checked my piano stool for structural integrity, so I won't fall on the floor and hurt myself. Does that count as a good stool test?
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Re: Blood tests

Postby someguy1 on March 9th, 2017, 8:40 pm 

vivian maxine » March 9th, 2017, 10:27 am wrote:It ranks right after "how can an AlC test read a three-month glucose average level?"


The glucose molecules bind to the hemoglobin molecules, which stick around for three months. Clever design. That's a figure of speech not necessarily implying there's a designer. But it's a clever idea to implement a three month moving average.
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Re: Blood tests

Postby vivian maxine on March 10th, 2017, 4:59 am 

someguy1 » March 9th, 2017, 7:40 pm wrote:
vivian maxine » March 9th, 2017, 10:27 am wrote:It ranks right after "how can an AlC test read a three-month glucose average level?"


The glucose molecules bind to the hemoglobin molecules, which stick around for three months. Clever design. That's a figure of speech not necessarily implying there's a designer. But it's a clever idea to implement a three month moving average.


That's what I've been thinking. The things our body does that we are never aware of is amazing.
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Re: Blood tests

Postby bangstrom on March 10th, 2017, 2:14 pm 

The other "glucose" test is a direct measurement of glucose in the blood serum so it goes up and down minute by minute. The numbers are in milligrams of glucose per decilitre (100 ml) or mg/dL. That odd choice of units is used for most blood chemistry results because the numbers come out nicely in that range without decimal points or large numbers.

The three month range is the average lifespan of the red blood cells which contain the hemoglobin. After about three months, the cells start to get ragged and broken and the old cells are removed by the spleen and recycled into new cells with new hemoglobin.
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Re: Blood tests

Postby vivian maxine on March 10th, 2017, 2:47 pm 

bangstrom » March 10th, 2017, 1:14 pm wrote:The other "glucose" test is a direct measurement of glucose in the blood serum so it goes up and down minute by minute. The numbers are in milligrams of glucose per decilitre (100 ml) or mg/dL. That odd choice of units is used for most blood chemistry results because the numbers come out nicely in that range without decimal points or large numbers.

The three month range is the average lifespan of the red blood cells which contain the hemoglobin. After about three months, the cells start to get ragged and broken and the old cells are removed by the spleen and recycled into new cells with new hemoglobin.


All right. And would the direct measurement require fasting? Seeing the difference now, I suspect it would.

Thank you very much. Good to understand what goes on. And good to learn that "A1C" is more than just the title of a test. I did not know about that hooking up of sugar and hemoglobin.
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Re: Blood tests

Postby neuro on March 10th, 2017, 6:17 pm 

Braininvat » March 10th, 2017, 12:48 am wrote:
I think those of us who are at risk of diabetes and osteoporosis should be testing our stools with ph paper...


I checked my piano stool for structural integrity, so I won't fall on the floor and hurt myself. Does that count as a good stool test?


It depends.
If it passed the test it is a good stool test.
Otherwise it is a bad stool test.
And a bad stool in general.
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Re: Blood tests

Postby mitchellmckain on March 22nd, 2017, 6:01 pm 

Two thoughts...

1. I am sure it depends on what they are testing for in your blood.

2. If they are testing glucose levels then I think they are going to learn something whether it is after fasting or after eating. In which case they are going to ask you how recently you ate before the blood test.
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Re: Blood tests

Postby vivian maxine on March 22nd, 2017, 6:12 pm 

With all the posts here plus some more reading cleared it up. The one in the full blood test tests for immediate glucose level and, yes, requires fasting. The A1C does not for reasons explained by Bangstrom.
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