Tag Archives: A1c

Making Sense of BMI

Vantage Point: BMI – The Number of Dread

If you’ve ever had to step on a scale (begrudgingly) at the doctor’s office, you know that based on that scale’s number, the following conversation with your doctor may be about your body mass index (BMI).

For many years, as my age and weight increased, I wanted to hear less and less about this number. Not only did I already know that I had gained more than a few pounds, I was also very aware that my numbers (A1C, BMI, etc.) probably weren’t where they needed to be.

And honestly, I didn’t want to hear it! Luckily, my A1C surprised me. It was great. But my BMI could be better.

BMI is divided into these categories:

  • Underweight = Less than 18.5 BMI
  • Normal Weight = 18.5 to 24.9 BMI
  • Overweight = 25 to 29.9 BMI
  • Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater

So why get your BMI checked? Because for most people, it can provide a baseline for predicting the likelihood of developing serious illnesses in the future. We’re talking type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain types of cancer, just to name a few.

Reba Karr, our quality improvement coordinator, says, “There’s not a lot any of us can do to change our height, gender, or age. But even a modest weight loss, between 5% and 10% of your current body weight, can have a strong impact on overall health. If you combined calorie reduction with a gradual increase in exercise, such as walking, you can enhance the improvement more rapidly.”

The next time you see your doctor, have them check your BMI just to start the conversation about specific actions you could be taking to improve it. You can also visit our health and wellness resources for more info on weight management.

 

Breck Obermeyer is a community liaison with Health Alliance Northwest, serving Yakima County. She is a small-town girl from Naches and has a great husband who can fix anything and 2 kids who are her world.

Getting Sleep with Diabetes

Getting Enough Sleep with Diabetes

The Effects of Not Getting Enough Sleep

Over the last decade, the number of hours Americans sleep has fallen fast. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 72% of people sleep 7 hours or less, up 10% from 2001, which can have serious health effects. And getting enough sleep with diabetes is even more important.

“The public is less aware of the impact of insufficient amounts of sleep,” said Dr. Megan Ruiter, lead author of the National Sleep Foundation’s report. “Sleep is important—the body is stressed when it doesn’t get the right amount.”

Not only does sleep affect your body’s stress level, it also affects your blood glucose levels. A 2006 study in the Archives of Internal Medicine found people who say they sleep poorly have higher A1cs.

Studies confirm sleep-deprived bodies make an average of 32% less insulin after a meal, leading to higher blood glucose.

Tips for Getting Sleep with Diabetes

Here are some helpful tips for a good night’s rest from Diabetes Forecast.

Set a Schedule

Go to bed and wake up around the same time every day. This can help your body establish a healthy sleep/wake cycle.

Avoid Nicotine, Caffeine, and Alcohol

These substances can disrupt sleep. It’s best to avoid them before bed.

Get in the Mood

A bedtime routine can help you shift from being awake to feeling sleepy. Take a bath or listen to peaceful music just before you turn the lights out.

Exercise Earlier

Active people sleep better. Do your exercise in the morning or right after work for the best results.

Prep your Bedroom

Make sure it’s dark, quiet, relaxing, and at a cool (yet comfortable) temperature. Turn off (or silence) cell phones, TVs, and computers.

Don’t Go to Bed on a Full or Empty Tank

Eating a big meal just before bed or lying down with a growling stomach can make falling asleep tricky and can even wake you. If you’re going to eat a big evening meal, eat two hours before bed to give yourself enough time to digest.