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I was diagnosed with DM2 3 months ago, I've been overweight for some years now and I had some headache the last months so I went to my GP and my blood pressure was a little bit high. I've been taking less salt on my meals and it was not necessary to take meds. But when I was finally getting relaxed about this I heard that I have Dm2 and suddenly I have to do a lot of blood tests. I want to understand what is actually HbA1c?? Of course I've heard about cholesterol before but I don't really know what it is. And I've been reading that now putting all those things  together I have an increased chance of heart attack and stroke??? That would be bad news!  Can anybody explain it to me in simple words?

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HbA1c: most people never hear about it until they get the diagnose of DM, so you are not the only one who doesn't know what it is. To understand HbA1c you should know that part of the sugar in our blood sticks to proteins. Red cells are one of the things that sugars sticks to, and we can measure the percentage of sugar that stuck to blood cells in the last 3 months. Why 3 months? that's an average of the lifetime of a red blood cell. So when the doctor asks HbA1c he or she will have an idea whether the average values of BG were normal or not the last weeks. Now cholesterol: cholesterol is a fat we have and need in our body (brain cells, skin, hormones, ... need it), but it should not be too much cholesterol around in our blood vessels because it can stick to the blood vessels.There are 2 types of cholesterol. The HDL that takes the cholesterol from the circulation back to the liver (which is actually good!), and the LDL take care of the other way, taking the cholestol from the liver back into circulation (and that's why we called it bad cho). Diet and very frequently meds are necessary to get them in the right values. About the risk of heart attack and stroke, keep in mind that if you have a normal weight, a healthy diet and you exercise regularly, your risks will be substancially lower than other people with DM who don't take care of these aspects. 

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