Print Overview The A1C test is a common blood test used to diagnose type 1 and type 2 diabetes and then to gauge how well you're managing your diabetes. The A1C test goes by many other names, including glycated hemoglobin, glycosylated hemoglobin, hemoglobin A1C and HbA1c. The A1C test result reflects your average blood sugar level for the past two to three months. Specifically, the A1C test measures what percentage of your hemoglobin — a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen — is coated with sugar (glycated). The higher your A1C level, the poorer your blood sugar control and the higher your risk of diabetes complications. Why it's done An international committee of experts from the American Diabetes Association, the European Association for the Study of Diabetes and the International Diabetes Federation, recommend that the A1C test be the primary test used to diagnose prediabetes, type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. After a diabetes diagnosis, the A1C test is used to monitor your diabetes treatment plan. Since the A1C test measures your average blood sugar level for the past two to three months instead of your blood sugar level at a specific point in time, it is a better reflection of how well your diabetes treatment plan is working overall. Your doctor will likely use the A1C test when you're first diagnosed with diabetes. This also helps establish a baseline A1C level. The test may then need to be repeated while you're learning to control your blood sugar. Later, how often you need the A1C test depends on the type of diabetes you have, your treatment plan and how well you're managing your blood sugar. For example, the A1C test may be recommended: Once every year if you have prediabetes, which indicates a high risk of developing diabetes Twice a year if Continue reading >>
Hemoglobin A1c Test (hba1c)
Hemoglobin A1c, often abbreviated HbA1c, is a form of hemoglobin (a blood pigment that carries oxygen) that is bound to glucose. The blood test for HbA1c level is routinely performed in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Blood HbA1c levels are reflective of how well diabetes is controlled. The normal range for level for hemoglobin A1c is less than 6%. HbA1c also is known as glycosylated, or glycated hemoglobin. HbA1c levels are reflective of blood glucose levels over the past six to eight weeks and do not reflect daily ups and downs of blood glucose. High HbA1c levels indicate poorer control of diabetes than levels in the normal range. HbA1c is typically measured to determine how well a type 1 or type 2 diabetes treatment plan (including medications, exercise, or dietary changes) is working. How Is Hemoglobin A1c Measured? The test for hemoglobin A1c depends on the chemical (electrical) charge on the molecule of HbA1c, which differs from the charges on the other components of hemoglobin. The molecule of HbA1c also differs in size from the other components. HbA1c may be separated by charge and size from the other hemoglobin A components in blood by a procedure called high pressure (or performance) liquid chromatography (HPLC). HPLC separates mixtures (for example, blood) into its various components by adding the mixtures to special liquids and passing them under pressure through columns filled with a material that separates the mixture into its different component molecules. HbA1c testing is done on a blood sample. Because HbA1c is not affected by short-term fluctuations in blood glucose concentrations, for example, due to meals, blood can be drawn for HbA1c testing without regard to when food was eaten. Fasting for the blood test is not necessary. What Are Continue reading >>
(What It Is and Why It Matters) You’ve pulled out your logbook and are taking off your jacket to bare your upper arm for the blood pressure cuff, when the nurse walks in and asks you to hold out a finger. “Does it matter that I had breakfast this morning?” you ask, trying to remember if you were supposed to fast before coming in, as she pricks your finger and collects a blood sample. “No, it doesn’t,” she says. “There; all done. The doctor will be in shortly to discuss your result.” And, indeed, several minutes later, your doctor walks in and says with a smile, “Looks like things are coming together for you. You’re at 6.8%.” For some people, the doctor’s words would be enough for them to realize that the fingerstick in the imaginary scenario above was for a glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) test. What is Hba1c? The HbA1c test gives an indication of your blood glucose control over the previous 2–3 months and is an important part of your diabetes-care regimen. This article discusses what the test is, why it’s important, and how it’s used to help better blood glucose control. What is HbA1c? The ABCs Figuring out how the HbA1c test can help with your blood glucose control starts with understanding a bit about the test and what it measures. Hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a molecule found in great quantities in each of the body’s red blood cells. As red blood cells travel through the circulatory system, the hemoglobin molecules join with oxygen from the lungs for delivery to the peripheral tissues, where they exchange it for some of the carbon dioxide destined for release to the lungs. The hemoglobin molecule is made up of two pairs of protein chains (two alpha chains and two beta chains) and four heme groups (iron-containing structures that act as th Continue reading >>
5 Ways To Lower Your A1c
For some, home blood sugar testing can be an important and useful tool for managing your blood sugar on a day-to-day basis. Still, it only provides a snapshot of what’s happening in the moment, not long-term information, says Gregory Dodell, MD, assistant clinical professor of medicine, endocrinology, diabetes, and bone disease at Mount Sinai Health System in New York City. For this reason, your doctor may occasionally administer a blood test that measures your average blood sugar level over the past two to three months. Called the A1C test, or the hemoglobin A1C test, this provides a more accurate picture of how well your type 2 diabetes management plan is working. Taking the A1C Test If your diabetes is well controlled and your blood sugar levels have remained stable, the American Diabetes Association recommends that you have the A1C test two times each year. This simple blood draw can be done in your doctor's office. Some doctors can use a point-of-care A1C test, where a finger stick can be done in the office, with results available in about 10 minutes. The A1C test results provide insight into how your treatment plan is working, and how it might be modified to better control the condition. Your doctor may want to run the test as often as every three months if your A1C is not within your target range. What the A1C Results Mean The A1C test measures the glucose (blood sugar) in your blood by assessing the amount of what’s called glycated hemoglobin. “Hemoglobin is a protein within red blood cells. As glucose enters the bloodstream, it binds to hemoglobin, or glycates. The more glucose that enters the bloodstream, the higher the amount of glycated hemoglobin,” Dr. Dodell says. An A1C level below 5.7 percent is considered normal. An A1C between 5.7 and 6.4 perce Continue reading >>
Can Type 2 Diabetes Be Reversed?
Weve heard that diabetes is a chronic progressive illness. You cant get better, you have to get worse. The best you can do is slow it down. But at least five approaches now claim to reverse Type 2. What does that mean? The official expert line on Type 2 has long been that people start by controlling the condition with diet and exercise. But they move fairly quickly to pills (like metformin), then to insulin or insulin plus pills. In recent years, insulin has been started more quickly, and new drugs like the incretin mimetics are changing the progression of treatment. But it is still thought that the disease progresses and cant be stopped. Being told you are chronic progressive is like having a curse put on you. It can sap your confidence and destroy your hope. But is it true? Dozens of Diabetes Self-Management readers say no. On a blog post by Diane Fennell about a study of low-carb diets in Sweden, people commented eloquently on how they have gotten better by reducing carbohydrate intake. Bob wrote: By limiting carbs, my A1c dropped from an 8.6 to a most recent reading of 4.9. I also know people who eat whole-grain pasta, bread and have oatmeal every morning, because a doctor told them so, bemoaning their numbers. Following a different (acid/alkaline) diet, Dan wrote that his A1C dropped, and his cholesterol and blood pressure are normal. Hes off nearly all his statins, blood pressure medicines, and insulin. Terri wrote: I am a diabetic who eats a low carb vegan diet. I am far healthier now at 53 than ever before and maintain perfect glucose control. And on and on. Its worth reading the whole thread, and there are scores of similar discussions all over the Internet. The reality is that people with Type 2 get better all the time. They reduce their medicines or get off Continue reading >>
Hba1c Result In - Now I Am Confused!
Hi Andy. An A1C of 6.8 is equal to a 90 day average blood sugar of 165 (AVERAGE, some days you were lower, some days you were higher). Normal A1C is 4-6 according to my lab reports. If you are eating low carb and exercising regularly, you may need a medication adjustment/addition, as the closer you can keep your blood sugars to normal, the better off you'll be longterm. Don't be discouraged, just do all you can do to keep those numbers in line. Diabetes is progressive and sometimes, despite our best efforts, we need a little more help. My advice would be to up the exercise and watch the carbs and check you blood sugar often throughout the day, so you can see where your high times are. Thanks all, I know I am doing a decent job at the moment, low carb is rubbish in the UK, especially in the morning when I am concerned about cholesterol as well. I have very little time and baby to get ready, eggs are ideal but high in cholesterol. I think the main reason for posting was to make me feel better, I am off to see a retinopathy specialist today 6 months after my optician spotted some "cotton wool spots". (british health service is great) and have some minor concerns about my feet, but I am trying to see a podiatrist ASAP. The retinopathy thing scares senseless but by getting a grip of my numbers recently it has made me feel less scared. I used to lie in bed awake worrying when it was first spotted! I am sure I will be fine and I am doing the right things, but I have my nervous moments. Andy, I don't get the A1C thing either. My numbers have been absolutely crazy for the last year and so when I went for blood work I was fearful that my A1c would be in the 8's. Low and behold it was 6.4. Part of me thinks why try so hard if it can be that low when I'm completely out of wack sug Continue reading >>
The Normal A1c Level
Wow Richard, 70 lbs? I have lost 24 lbs from low carb diet due to SIBO. It also helped my AC1 go down three points from 6.2 and my cholesterol is lower, which surprised me. I can’t afford to lose anymore weight because I was small to begin with. I had noticed much bigger people in the UK over the last 5 years compared to 15-20. Was quite shocking. I thought we had the patent on obesity! I am not diabetic that I know of but I had weird symptoms… Thirst that continued all day and night. My husband called me a camel. Dry eyes, rashes, strange dark discolouration on arm, under the arm to the side, some circulation issues and blurred vision. Eye specialist could not figure out why. Sores in the mouth also. I had observed about three weeks into super low carbs (30 Gms carb/day) that athlete’s foot symptom, sores in mouth and rashes were clearing up. So, lowering carbs for SIBO actually turned out for the best. By the way, I love your final paragraph. Research is what led me to SIBO diagnosis, and I then told the GI what to look for! He was barking up the wrong tree for months. Said I needed to eat more carbs so I don’t lose weight. Well, carbs fed the bacterial overgrowth!!! Dang fool. On Saturday, June 23, 2012, Diabetes Developments wrote: There is a new comment on the post “The Normal A1C Level”. Author: Richard Comment: I think part of the problem is that doctors are trained over many years to treat with pills, not with food. We continue to do what we are trained to do no matter what. I do believe they want to help us but don’t have the nutritional knowledge because that is not their expertise. When you have a hammer, etc. Nutritionist are no better unless they are those involved in research. They just peddle the messages they are told to. Then again, why wo Continue reading >>
- What Is a Normal Blood Sugar Level?
- A Novel Intervention Including Individualized Nutritional Recommendations Reduces Hemoglobin A1c Level, Medication Use, and Weight in Type 2 Diabetes
- A Novel Intervention Including Individualized Nutritional Recommendations Reduces Hemoglobin A1c Level, Medication Use, and Weight in Type 2 Diabetes
What Do Your A1c Test Results Really Mean?
The hemoglobin A1c test, as we all know, is supposed to give a sense of your average blood glucose levels over the past three months. But here’s a question for you: have you ever tried to figure out what those average blood glucose levels actually are? Say you have an A1c of 6.5% — what, in mg/dl, does that translate to? Try searching Google — it’s hard to find an answer. To quote from a post I wrote a few years ago (see entry from 4:45), that’s partially because: “Not only is there no one standardized definition as to the correlation between A1c and mean glucose levels (JDRF says 1% = 24.4 mg/dl, ADA says 28.7), but different people have different correlations. For example, if you are a ‘high glycolator’ (more glucose sticks to your hemoglobin than the average) you can have a relatively high A1c but a low mean glucose. The speaker gave the example of a patient who had a 8.2% A1c, but a mean glucose of 159 mg/dl (he was speaking using the generally accepted idea that 7% roughly equals a mean of 154 mg/dl). Treat him more aggressively, and you’ll end up with hypos. And if you’re a ‘hypoglycolator,’ it’s the opposite.” Well, just this week, a new paper was published in the American Diabetes Association’s Diabetes Care journal that provides a more solid answer to this question than I’ve seen — even though, as I must warn you, personal variability (as described above) means there’s still no precise answer. In the study, researchers wanted to find out what your average blood sugar would have to be in three situations — fasting, after meals and before bed — in order to achieve a particular A1c. Here are their results: A1c test results of 5.5-6.49% were associated with an average fasting blood glucose level of 122 mg/dl. A1c test results Continue reading >>
Your Good Health: Woman On Metformin Falls Short Of Goals
Your Good Health: Woman on metformin falls short of goals Dear Dr. Roach: My elderly sister, 73, has Type 2 diabetes, and is taking 500 mg of metformin twice a day. After two years on metformin, her fasting glucose level is only 125 mg/dl and A1C only 6.8 per cent. If she continues taking medication, will her fasting glucose level ever get to around 85 mg/dl and her A1C get to five per cent? She wants to be in the normal ranges. In your opinion, is the goal of drug therapy, like metformin, only the control of diabetes? If so, then how can she reach her goals of 85 mg/dl and A1C of five per cent? Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a common disorder of unknown exact cause, but which generally is caused by resistance to the action of insulin and by a gradual decrease in the amount of insulin the pancreas is able to put out. There are many types of treatment for diabetes, but the most important are a healthy diet and regular exercise (a registered dietitian nutritionist is a valuable source of information). In people who need medication, metformin is a very good first choice for many, especially people who are overweight. The goal of treatment is the control of symptoms, but also to reduce the risk of complications of diabetes, especially blood vessel disease. Small blood vessel disease leads to kidney failure, nerve damage and vision changes. Large blood vessel disease leads to heart attack, stroke and peripheral vascular disease, which sometimes can mean amputations. There remains debate about the optimal blood sugar goal. For older people and those at high risk for (or who already have) large blood vessel disease, treating people with a goal A1C level of five per cent actually has more risk than a goal of around seven per cent. However, for younger people, most diabetes expert Continue reading >>
Success Story: Don Fillenworth
Name: Don Fillenworth, age 55 Location: Bismarck, N.D. In mid-October 2012, I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and had an A1C of 9.6. This was quite a shock for me, as there is no history of diabetes in my family. Before I was diagnosed, my feet were constantly numb and tingling, and I was losing feeling in the front portion of the bottom of both my feet. I had no clue that this was an indicator of diabetes, as I was not familiar with the disease at the time. My doctor prescribed metformin, which I take twice a day, and referred me to a diabetes educator and nutritionist at our local medical center. My cholesterol and blood pressure levels were also really high, but I was already on medications for both. My wife accompanied me to the diabetes education and nutrition courses. The courses were very educational and informative! We both were amazed at the amount of information we received. The lifestyle changes were pretty aggressive, including major diet changes as well as exercise. Fortunately, my wife is so dedicated and helpful! Though she didn’t have to, Cindy committed to the same diet changes, as well as to starting a walking routine with me. Originally, my goal was to walk about one-and-a-half miles a day. Within a month, though, we were walking five to six miles a day during our lunch and dinner times. In January, I received the results from a follow-up doctor’s visit and blood screening. In three short months, I have lowered my A1C level to 5.9! My blood pressure and cholesterol levels have decreased greatly and are now in normal ranges. I have also dropped more than 20 pounds and my feet no longer tingle. I feel great! Even my doctor was amazed at my dedication and progress. I don’t consider being diagnosed with diabetes as a bad thing at all. It gave me Continue reading >>
Hba1c 6.8 , Need Urgent Input
I joined this group today & I am sure this forum is going to help me a lot. I am 35yr old working lady with a 7 yr old daughter. My Dad has type 2 diabetics & I was detected with sugar level in border line in 2013 wit hbac1 of 6.2. After that I started controlling my diet & maintained in good level with ranging from 5.4 to 5.8. But recently I did blood test & I got hba1c of 6.8 & doctor adviced me to start with medicine. 1st thing, I am little confused that is that I crossed the normal range (6.5 as per doct) once that means I am diabetic ? Can I do a trial by controlling diet for 2-3 months & recheck again ? I am really nervous as we are planning for second child & I am very confused too. Only observation now a days is I am feeling week, a pain in lower head or I would say neck. I feel tensed for small reasons. Can you please tell me really I am diabetics ? Can I still control this by dieting without taking medicine ? DO you have any good diet chart for me ? D.D. Family Getting much harder to control Hi and welcome to DD its nice to want to control without meds but many here including myself can not. There is no shame in it and it was either that or very high numbers. Do you have a home meter, if so what are your 2 hr readings after eating. What is your fasting reading, what I know today I would never wait for an a1c to find what my readings are. Can you diet well it looks like that is not working at this point, what exact foods are you eating now. How many grams of carbohydrates-sugar are you eating per day. Some can reduce the carbs and get better control but it shows your body is not able to keep up with what you are doing now. Please ask all the questions you would like. The improvement you can make without meds depends on how far away you are from an 'optimal' di Continue reading >>
Pre-diabetes - I Have Just Been Diagnosed With Prediabetes. My Fasting Blood Was 6.8. What Can I Do?
Home Q & A Questions Pre-Diabetes - I have just... Pre-Diabetes - I have just been diagnosed with prediabetes. my fasting blood was 6.8. what can I do? You can't really prevent diabetes ... but you can control it (blood sugars) by changing your diet/eating habits, etc. I would suggest that you see a dietitian. They will really help you make the right choices in what you eat. Please see links below. You may find the information in these helpful. what I did was to at once attend the local hospital sessions on diet and management of diabetes, it was of no cost I think they meet twice a week (I live in Indiana, I first started on Metiformin but once I got started on the diet then I was taken from two tablets a day down to one and then am only on the diet now, it is so much easier controlloing it this way that to have to use and adjust to some of the side effects of the medication I want to encourage you to either go through your local hospital dietary or a person that deals with diet I think you will be so very happy that you did this I wish you the very best I can't believe your doctor did not tell you. First thing you should do is change your doctor. Then go to the American Diabetes Assoc. web site for information on how to adopt a low carb diet. The sooner the better. I am still horrified that your doctor said nothing. I agree that your doctor should have taken time to explain and to point you in the right direction for help/resources. My understanding is that it could be a condition whereby your pancreas may still be producing enough insulin, but that your cells could be becoming resistant to taking the insulin in. The other scenario is that your pancreas could be making too much and you are struggling with hypoglycemia - low blood sugars. Both these are "pre-diabetic" Continue reading >>
How Is My Diabetes Doing (a1c Was 6.8), And Is 1,000 Mg Of Metformin Too Much Medicine (2's Per Day)?
Answered Jan 6, 2018 Author has 988 answers and 912.9k answer views This is not a question that should be asked on Quora. It should only be asked of a real licensed physician who has your medical history, diagnostic tests, and diagnosis in their hands. An A1C number without any other context means nothing. I always am troubled by people who reply to these A1C questions as if they have some insight into your health. I dont know your weight. I dont know how long youve had type 2 diabetes. I dont know your age. I dont know what your A1C numbers have been over time. I dont know anything about you. Please, dont ask critical healthcare questions about yourself on the internet. Youll mostly get junk answers, because real physicians will rarely ever answer your question. So you get amateurs and charlatans answering your question, which have no value whatsoever. Managing type 2 diabetes is a daily job. The consequences of not doing it right is that you could lose your eyesight, get heart disease, lose your kidneys, and/or die. Just talk to your physician. Continue reading >>
Hemoglobin A1c Blood Test Isn't Perfect
The hemoglobin A1C is a great blood test for type 2 diabetics, but not for diagnosing diabetes. Don't misunderstand. I love the hemoglobin A1C blood test. It doesn't require fasting. It can be done in the doctor's office with a fingerstick just like your glucose monitor, and you can know the results before you leave the office. And it lets you know how your blood sugar has been doing over the past two or three months. It sounds perfect. But it isn't. For diabetes management you and I need to know what our blood sugar is doing all the time, not just every three months. A great HGA1C reading does not mean there have been no hyperglycemic or hypoglycemic episodes over that time. So the hemoglobin A1C cannot replace daily checks with a glucose monitor and log book records. Taken together with daily readings, the hemoglobin A1C gives an accurate picture of whether you are keeping your blood sugar in the ranges that will keep away the complications. There is more and more evidence that an HGA1C between 6.5 and 7 will do just that. And here's an encouraging fact. If your A1C was 9 and you lower it to 8, there is a 20% reduction in risk of complications even though you aren't in the target range yet. That's good to know. You should also know that the American Diabetic Association says to get the test done every three months if your are diabetic. Here's how it works. Hemoglobin is the medical term for red blood cells, and glycated hemoglobin is the term for red blood cells with sugar stuck to them. Over the life of a red blood cell, which is 120 days if all goes well, more and more sugar sticks to it as it travels through your bloodstream. The amount can be measured accurately, and doctors know how much should be on each normal cell. If the level is high, that signals diabetes. Continue reading >>
Type 2 Diabetes | Dailystrength
I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes about 10 months ago,(in Dec, 2010). At that time my A1c was 6.6. I'm tested every 3 months and my September 2011, A1c result was 6.8. So far my doctor feels that my diabetes is under control through diet and exercise. When I test my blood glucose level in the morning it is usually 95-110. These are fasting readings. When an A1c level of 6.8 is computed on a daily average basis, I was somewhat shocked to find out that this number extrapolates out to an average daily blood glucose level of 164! How is that possible ? Additionally, I have noticed that I really drink alot of water during the day and urinate clear urine quite frequently day and night. However, when I check my blood sugar in the morning it is always below 110. Could the apparent diferences in the aforementioned numbers be due to "spikes" in my glucose when I'm eating ? I have really adjusted my diet such that I don't eat rice, potatos, white bread or pasta. I only drink water now too. Unfortunately, I still eat only 2 square meals a day and I do not snack between meals. I'm a black male 58 years of age I'm not overweight at all. My father had diabetes (Type 2). It was a shock when my doctor told me that I have diabetes. I also have General Anxiety Disorder (GAD); so it has been quite a struggle mentally. I know that I should do more to fight this disease, but sometimes I feel like even with diet and exercise there has not been any significant improvement from the 6.8 A1c readings for June and September. My doctor said that he will not put me on meds until and unless my A1c hits 7.0 Well, I'm feeling hungry again, so I will have to get something to eat now. Any insight from anyone would be great. Are frequent urination and thirst signs of diabetes even in those whose A1c i Continue reading >>