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by Dr De La Flor
Your questions answered
Dear Dr. De La Flor,
My doctor told me that my HbA1C is borderline. Is that a diabetes test? Can you explain this to me?
Julia


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Tenerife - 01.08.2011 - Dear Julia,

The acronym Hb A1C test is a common blood test used to diagnose diabetes and then to gauge how well a patient is managing his blood sugar levels. The test result reflects your average blood sugar level for the past two to three months!

Specifically, the test measures what percentage of your haemoglobin a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen is coated with sugar (glycated). The higher your level, the poorer your blood sugar control. And, if you have previously diagnosed diabetes, the higher the A1C level, the higher your risk of diabetes complications.

After a diabetes diagnosis, the test is used to monitor your diabetes treatment plan. Since the A1C test measures your average blood sugar level for the past two to three months instead of your blood sugar level at that point in time, it is a better reflection of how well your diabetes treatment plan is working overall.

Since your result came back borderline my advice is to talk to your G.P. and set a realistic nutritional plan for the next six to eight weeks, after that you should be tested again to make sure your sugar levels have been tamed. A wise combination of sensible eating and exercise should ward off medication, keep you away from doctors and save you a scare... Remain encouraged, your health is vital and a little daily investment is going to pay you big dividends in the short as well as long term. Best wishes!

Dear Dr. De La Flor,

My dad had bladder cancer. What symptoms should I look for and what preventive measures should I take?

Tim

Dear Tim,

First of all I want to praise your preventive mindset. Prevention and education are essential pillars of health. You should know that the most common symptoms of bladder cancer include:

  • Blood or blood clots in the urine (hematuria). Hematuria occurs in 80 per cent of people who have bladder cancer and is the most common symptom. Usually it is not painful.

  • Pain during urination (dysuria).

  • Urinating small amounts frequently.

  • Frequent urinary tract infections (UTIs).

Symptoms that may indicate more advanced bladder cancer include: Pain in the lower back around the kidneys (flank pain); Swelling in the lower legs; A growth in the pelvis near the bladder (pelvic mass). Other symptoms that may develop when bladder cancer has spread include: Weight loss; bone pain or pain in the rectal, anal, or pelvic area; anaemia. The symptoms of bladder cancer may be similar to symptoms of other bladder conditions.

You didnt give me any more details of your symptoms but please, if you or any reader notices some of these symptoms, make sure you inform your GP immediately. Best wishes.

 

Dr. De La Flor, licensed G.P./Family Doctor, holds certificates in coaching, nutrition and medical exercise from Berkeley University and the American Council on Exercise. His medical approach is highly influenced by Positive Psychology; an empowering, encompassing way of approaching patients through the study of their strengths and virtues to enable them to thrive and lead fulfilling lives, accept the past, find happiness in the present, and hope for the future. You can reach the doctor at 00-34-697.888.666 to schedule a consultation in his surgery or in your home/business.

 


This article appears in the print edition 648 of Island Connections



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