HbA1c: What Your A1c Levels Mean About Your Blood Sugar

Woman Checking Blood Sugar

The human body is an extremely complicated construct that employs many components to fulfill numerous functions. When one part of the body is compromised, the entire construct begins to fail and shut down. Not every issue with the body is fatal or overly harmful, but others can be devastating if left unattended for too long. Unlike vehicles, the components used in the blood are more numerous and sensitive to certain issues. Imbalances in the smallest component of the human body can have dire ramifications on the body, with blood being among the most important.

Human blood is sensitive to many factors, though blood sugar ranks among the most severe issues thanks to the diets enjoyed by modern society. We live in a world where carbohydrates and sugary foods are easily and readily obtained, causing health issues the more they are consumed. This has led to a surge of health conditions that negatively affect our blood sugar, namely diabetes. This is a problem since our blood relies heavily on a compound called HbA1c to remain healthy, but only in limited amounts. Unfortunately, most people are unaware of what HbA1c is or how it affects our blood sugar levels.

What is HbA1c?

The term "HbA1c" might not be familiar to the average person, but its importance to our health cannot be overstated. HbA1c is a scientific term for glycated hemoglobin, a hemoglobin subtype chemically connected to glucose sugar. The HbA1c abbreviation stands for hemoglobin A1c and was first discovered in 1958 and categorized as a glycoprotein in 1968. Most people will recognize hemoglobin as the metalloprotein responsible for transporting oxygen through our bloodstream. 

Glycated hemoglobin is normal hemoglobin that has formed a chemical bond to a type of sugar, primarily monosaccharides. Monosaccharides can bond with hemoglobin spontaneously, leaving little room for our bodies to compensate for the newly formed bond.

An HbA1c Vial

Monosaccharides include:

  • Glucose: The simplest form of sugar commonly found in multiple foods. Glucose is less likely to bond with hemoglobin spontaneously.
  • Galactose is a sugar created by a bond between glucose and lactose molecules. This type of sugar is usually found in dairy products. Galactose is 87% more likely to bond with hemoglobin than glucose.
  • Fructose: A form of sugar found in fruits and other plants. Fructose is 79% more likely to bond with hemoglobin than glucose.

While the idea of sugar molecules bonding with something as important as hemoglobin might seem scary, it is important not to panic since there is a chance to undo any damage. HbA1c plays a role in monitoring the health of our bloodstream and body, but we will talk about that later. For now, it is enough to note that HbA1c is the bonded form of hemoglobin and sugar. Hemoglobin A1c might be a subtype of hemoglobin, but it is a sign of a greater issue insofar as your blood sugar is concerned.

What Does HbA1c Mean For Our Health?

Our bloodstream is designed to ferry oxygen and power the various organs our bodies need to function. Because blood plays a significant role in the human body, maintaining its health is extremely important. Part of what makes our blood viable is a concentration of sugar that keeps us energized and capable of expending energy. The sugar concentration in our blood is important but should not exceed a certain level. 

normal blood sugar concentration should not exceed 140 mg/dL, with the 140 mg mark being the absolute most sugar you can keep in your bloodstream. A reading of over 200 mg/dL means you have diabetes, which can be one of the most debilitating and devastating health issues in modern society.

You might wonder how this pertains to hemoglobin A1c since blood sugar is ostensibly a separate matter. The presence of hemoglobin A1c means there is enough sugar in your body for the molecules to bond to the hemoglobin in your bloodstream. When sugar molecules are prevalent enough to create these bonds, it usually means too much sugar in your body. While the presence of hemoglobin A1c does not necessarily mean you have crossed the point of no return, it is more common for its presence to be a sign your blood sugar is too high. A concentration of hemoglobin A1c over 6.4% usually indicates you have enough sugar in your body to contract diabetes.

Testing Blood Sugar Levels

Hemoglobin A1c is used to test the 3-month average blood sugar levels and as a diagnostic tool for diabetes. The 3-month timeframe exists because red blood cells only have an average 4-month lifespan. These tests determine if the glycated hemoglobin in our system is still at a healthy level or if we are approaching a health issue. If the hemoglobin A1c levels reach the point where diabetes becomes a threat, the possibility of more serious issues rises. Diabetes destroys our body's ability to regulate blood sugar like it used to, meaning we are at risk of:

  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Nephropathy
  • Neuropathy
  • Retinopathy

Because of the significant risks associated with high blood sugar levels and concentrations of hemoglobin A1c, it is more important than ever to manage our blood sugar preemptively. Allowing our blood sugar to spiral out of control will increase the odds of health complications and alter our lifestyle to counter the blood sugar we might consume. The problem is figuring out how to minimize the growth of hemoglobin A1c, and blood sugar growth can be difficult. Fortunately, you can use a few techniques and tools to manage your blood sugar levels and prevent sugar molecules from bonding to the hemoglobin molecules in your bloodstream.

Ashwagandha to Regulate Blood Sugar

While countless pharmaceuticals are available to treat conditions like diabetes and regulate diet, most people prefer natural supplements where applicable. Primarily because pharmaceuticals produce more side effects than natural supplements, and there are fewer pharmaceutical tools for diet regulation. 

Fortunately, the natural supplements available for regulating blood sugar levels are more common and can be easily introduced to your daily routine. One of the better choices to regulate your blood sugar levels naturally is to acquire Withania somnifera supplements. Withania somnifera, colloquially known as ashwagandha, is a plant that has seen significant use in Indian medicine for centuries.

Ashwagandha is known for several health benefits, not the least of which is a newly discovered ability to help regulate blood sugar levels. It is important to note that the research supporting ashwagandha's effect on blood sugar concentrations is still relatively new, but the available data supports its function for promoting reduced levels. Some of the available research focuses on people who have diabetes and need help reducing the blood sugar in their system. Nevertheless, the results of these studies are extremely promising.

Ashwagandha Root Powder

review of 24 separate studies, 5 of which focused on diabetes patients, assessed the efficacy of ashwagandha supplementation on blood sugar levels. The review concluded that the studies all demonstrated positive results for those with high blood sugar levels. Specifically, the subjects in the test groups of these studies had reduced levels of blood sugar and hemoglobin A1c. The fact that the ashwagandha reduced both of these compounds in the subjects speaks volumes about its ability to regulate blood sugar and combat diabetes.

The current hypothesis for why ashwagandha is effective in reducing blood sugar and HbA1c is that there is a concentration of withaferin A. Withaferin A is an extremely potent anti-diabetic compound that seems to stimulate the cells in our bloodstream and causes them to purge the excess glucose responsible for the elevated concentrations of hemoglobin A1c and blood sugar. While these effects might not be a proven preemptive countermeasure, we could theoretically apply the effects before your blood sugar levels get too high.

Moringa to Regulate Blood Sugar

Ashwagandha's benefits for regulating blood sugar are impressive, especially given the prevalence of diabetes in America. However, it is not the only natural substance capable of reducing our bodies' blood sugar and hemoglobin A1c. Another impressive plant called Moringa oleifera, or moringa, is a drought-resistant plant from the Indian subcontinent. 

Like ashwagandha, moringa has a history of being used in holistic medicine that has kept it relevant in modern society. Nevertheless, some question whether moringa can combat blood sugar levels and diabetes. Fortunately, evidence supports moringa's benefits for reducing blood sugar and hemoglobin A1c.

While it is true that most of the evidence supporting moringa's use in blood sugar management is based on animal studies, the results are too promising to disregard.

Moringa Leaves

A few notable human studies pass the muster of the scientific community that are worth considering and reinforce moringa's place as an anti-diabetic tool. The first of which is a study where 30 women were divided into the following groups:

  • Test Group: The test group was given 1.5 teaspoons of moringa leaf powder daily throughout the study.
  • Control Group: The control group was given a placebo throughout the study.

The study lasted 3 months, and the subjects in the test group demonstrated a 13.5% reduction in their blood sugar levels when it concluded. Meanwhile, in another study, 6 diabetic subjects were instructed to add 50 grams of moringa leaves to their meals. When the study was finished, the rise of blood sugar in their systems decreased by 21% during meals with the moringa leaves.

These studies, combined with the numerous animal studies, reinforce moringa's use as a blood sugar treatment tool. While moringa might have a little less supporting research than ashwagandha, there is enough to make moringa a worthy addition to your daily routine. You might have noticed that the studies did not mention reduced hemoglobin A1c levels. That is because there is no evidence suggesting a direct impact on hemoglobin A1c levels, but reduced blood sugar levels should prevent the sugar molecules from bonding with the hemoglobin. 

Unlike ashwagandha, the second study proves that moringa can be employed as a preemptive measure since it reduces the blood sugar level increase by 21%.

The Catch

Using supplements like ashwagandha and moringa can be valuable when you intend to regulate your blood sugar levels. Despite the efficacy of these supplements in reducing blood sugar levels and hemoglobin A1c concentrations, there is an important caveat. Supplements are not a substitute for proper medical treatment for serious conditions like diabetes. Therefore, you should consult your primary care provider before starting a supplement regimen and ensuring you receive the medication necessary to treat advanced diabetes. Otherwise, the supplements will fail to yield beneficial results or could backfire in some way.

Consulting With a Doctor

If your physician confirms you can use these supplements safely, there is little reason to avoid using them for your needs. The only obstacle left is locating supplements for ashwagandha and moringa that you can trust.

Keep it All Natural!

Blood sugar can easily spiral out of control, given the prevalence of junk food that is readily available and highly affordable. It is easier to pick something up from a drive-thru than to gather expensive ingredients for a home-cooked meal. Unfortunately, these foods are extremely harmful and can adversely affect blood sugar levels. 

This is why diabetes is a growing issue in America and why it has never been more important to keep track of what we eat and our blood sugar levels. Supplements like ashwagandha and moringa can stave off the blood sugar concentrations in our bodies, and regular testing for HbA1c can determine how far your blood sugar has spiked. The only issue you need to consider beyond your doctor's assessment is where to find the supplements you need.

Bella All Natural Moringa and Ashwagandha Supplements

We at Bella All Natural can help provide ashwagandha and moringa supplements you can use to manage your blood sugar levels. You can also enjoy the other benefits these substances provide and maintain your overall health. We encourage you to visit our website and peruse our range of ashwagandha and moringa supplements so you can work on a healthier version of yourself. Regardless of your decision, remember always to keep it All Natural!

Have you already tried either our ashwagandha or moringa supplements before? If so, what were your thoughts? We hope you loved them as much as we do, so be sure to let us know in the comments section down below!

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