House Calls

House Calls Started This Year

House calls are meant for patients who are temporarily or permanently home bound, or for other good reasons can't make it into the office.

To schedule a house call: Tel (203) 853-1919; email

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Hemoglobin A1C, Why Would You Like To Know It?

Persons with a fasting blood sugar level of 126 mg/dL on two separate occasions, are considered to have diabetes. Diabetes type II is by far the most common form of the disease.

Hemoglobin A1c (or HbA1c) is a measure of the ever-fluctuating blood sugar level over a fairly long period of time, usually about three months. The blood level HbA1c is used to monitor the disease progress or disease control, and in many cases also to identify people suspected to have diabetes.

An HbA1c level of less than or equal to 6.0% is considered normal, whereas a level above 6.5% represents diabetes.

Depending on whether one follows the recommendation of the American College of Endocrinology or the American Diabetes Association, the target HbA1c should be between 6.5% and 7%.

The most common complications of uncontrolled type II diabetes are cardiovascular, renal (relating to the kidneys), and ophthamological (retinopathy).

If you have diabetes, reaching an acceptable level of HbA1c is extremely important. This may require lifestyle changes (making appropriate diet modifications, increasing exercise, and reaching an optimal body weight), and medications where necessary. In our office, we can determine your HbA1c with blood from a finger stick; it takes 8 minutes to get the results.

So, when in your doctor's office, don't forget to inquire about your blood sugar levels; early detection is very important, and will save potential complications.

Pain Awareness Month

The following appeared in the earlier this month. 

"September is Pain Awareness Month. This busy month is marked by a variety of different initiatives and activities, all with the goal of promoting education, advocacy and awareness about chronic pain in order to break down the barriers to effective pain management.
Under-treatment of pain is a significant public health issue with far-reaching impact. With over 100 million people in the U.S. affected by chronic pain, it is no surprise that the societal burden of chronic pain is simply staggering. The Institute of Medicine in 2012 reported that the economic burden of pain exceeds $500 billion per year in the U.S., including health care utilization costs and lost workforce productivity."

I'll be attending the annual meeting of the American Academy of Pain Management later this month, for three days, for continuing medical education. Learning is a life-long experience, and I to get as much out of this meeting as possible.

Twitter / Dr. Staw