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Do you let your diabetes control slide? Do you "forget" to see your doctor every three months? Here are some symptoms of high hemoglobin A1C that tell you that changes in your diabetes care are a must.

If all diabetics measured their blood sugar levels four or five times a day, every morning, and after every meal and snack, and then did what they needed to do go get their blood glucose levels back to normal, symptoms of high hemoglobin A1C levels would not be a very big concern. But the reality is that diabetics usually don't like to prick their fingers to take their sugars, and even if they don't mind the test, it can be hard to pay for the test strips. Unfortunately, your body can let your know your hemoglobin A1C levels have been high with some disturbing symptoms:

  • Men who have high HbA1C tend to develop erectile dysfunction. ED is one of the most common of all symptoms of high hemoglobin A1C levels in diabetic men. The longer they have had diabetes, the more they weigh, and the higher their HbA1C, the worse the problem tends to be. [1] Men who let their diabetes run unchecked also tend to have problems with premature ejaculation [2].
  • Women who have high HbA1C develop a variety of problems with sexual intercourse. Even if they have are not going through menopause, they often have to deal with vaginal dryness and inadequate lubrication as well as lower sexual desire, weaker orgasms, and pain during sex. [3]
  • In diabetics with high HbA1C diabetic retinopathy can develop suddenly [4]. You can literally go blind as you are walking down the street, although the disease process has been going on for years. About 50 percent of all diabetics already have the beginning stages of retinopathy [5]. You might notice a little bit of a blur for a few weeks, or maybe a few months. If you just achieve lower hemoglobin A1C, however, you might get a reprieve from that complication as lower blood sugars make more oxygen available to your retina [6]. Your vision might better for a while, and worse for a while until suddenly it gets much worse. You notice you are going blind, but not in both eyes, and not across your entire field of vision. You might see floaters, tiny blood clots that move as you blink your eyes. That's a sign that a blood vessel that has been weakened by years of stress has burst. Laser surgery often can repair the damage and doctors often can save your sight, but if you wait too long after the symptoms become obvious, laser surgery is impossible. At that point, maybe the doctor will be able to save your sight by monthly injections of a drug to stop blood vessel growth injected into your eye [7]. But every 1 percent reduction in HbA1C reduces your risk of blindness by about 30 percent [8]. Keep HbA1C at 7 percent or lower and you will probably keep your sight.
  • In diabetics who have high HbA1C, athlete's foot can develop into foot ulcers [9]. Horrible ulcers can develop very quickly. The writer of this article has seen a case in which a diabetic went to bed with intact skin on the foot and woke up four hours later with an infection that had already eaten to bone. In non-diabetics, fungal infections of the feet can be annoying. In diabetics with poor glycemic control, the tiny cracks in the skin caused by athlete's foot can invite the bacteria that cause cellulitis, ulceration, and even sepsis and septic shock. Usually the first sign that a diabetic foot infection has gone horribly wrong is an odor that you just can't wash away [10]. You can beat a diabetic foot infection, but you will need medical care not for a few days or a few weeks or a few months, but usually for about two years. Your best efforts to lower  hemoglobin A1C naturally and with medication will help even at this point, but once you get a diabetic foot infection, simply managing your blood sugar levels won't be enough. In fact, even amputation isn't always enough to stop the disease. Just don't let your diabetes get so far out of control.

If you fail to monitor your blood sugar levels so your diabetes runs out of control, you may not have any symptoms of high hemoglobin A1C levels for a very long time. When your body gives you a wake up call about your high hemoglobin A1C, you may have to get complex, expensive, and painful medical care immediately and keep getting it for a long time. It's better just to check, check, and check some more. If you don't know what to do to keep your blood sugar levels healthy, ask. Make the changes in your lifestyle for lowering blood sugar levels that will spare you the painful experience of diabetic complications.

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