My doctor (who is somewhat concerned about my low carb diet) wanted to check my HbA1c results. This is supposedly a long term measure of blood glucose, and the lower the reading, the better. She was happy with any result of 7.0 or below, but evidence suggests that your cardiac risk increases in a straight-line fashion for readings above 5.4. The higher the reading, the greater the risk. Some experts suggest that an HbA1c should be between 5 and 5.9, while "normal" people often have a reading between 4.6 and 5.4. Long term damage to your body from high blood glucose levels will occur when the HbA1c levels exceed 6.0.
So what was my HbA1c reading? It was a disappointing 6.1. I was hoping to be in the 5.0 to 5.9 range. Now put that "disappointing" result in context: six months ago, using insulin and drugs, it was 7.2, and in May 2010, it was as high as 9.5. I am off insulin and am only taking Metformin now, so most of the drop in the number came from dietary changes due to my low carb lifestyle. So this is great progress, in just four months. But I can still do better. I expect the HbA1c reading will change over time as I lose more weight. I still have another 50 pounds to go to reach my goal weight and as I achieve that goal, I expect my blood glucose levels to drop.