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At Home A1c Test

What Is The A1c Test?

What Is The A1c Test?

The A1C ("A-one-C") is a blood test that checks your average blood sugar over the past 2 to 3 months. This average is different from your day to day blood sugar. Sugar absorbed from your food goes into the bloodstream. The sugar sticks to the hemoglobin protein in red blood cells, forming hemoglobin A1C. The A1C stays in the blood for the life of the red blood cell, which is 90 to 120 days. This means that the amount of A1C in your blood reflects how high your blood sugar has been over the past 3 months. Another name for this test is hemoglobin A1C test. It is different from a regular blood sugar or blood glucose test. Why is this test done? There are 3 reasons to check your A1C: To diagnose prediabetes To diagnose diabetes To see how well you are controlling your blood sugar A1C tests are important because: They can check the accuracy of the blood sugar results you get at home. They help predict your risk of diabetic complications. A high A1C percentage means that your average blood sugar has been high, and this increases your risk of serious problems, like eye, kidney, blood vessel, and nerve damage problems. If your A1C is high, your diabetes plan will need to be changed. How do I prepare for this test? You don’t need to do anything to prepare for this test. One of the advantages of this test is that you don’t have to fast before you take it. How is the test done? Having this test will take just a few minutes. A small amount of blood is taken with a prick of the finger or from a vein in your arm with a needle. At some pharmacies you may be able to buy a device that allows you to test A1C at home. You may find that the results of the home test are not the same as results of tests done at your healthcare provider's office. Talk with your provider about whether it Continue reading >>

Home A1c Test

Home A1c Test

I set out on Sunday to find out just how easy the Home A1c tests are to take. I chose to try the Bayer A1c Now test which would give me the results in five minutes. Remember, there is another Home A1c test you can use that requires you send them a bit of blood on their form and in about a week you will have results by return mail. Here’s my original post. Okay, first thing was the price. I expected a price of about $30 to $33. I first went into a local Walgreens. No problem finding the test. Big problem in that they wanted $50 for it! That was just crazy to me. Then, I went to Walmart. $30 just like I expected, plus I had the $7 coupon. Much better. I came home. Read the directions (yes, a male who reads directions and watched the video Bayer suggests), and made sure I understood what I was doing. It’s really pretty simple. From washing my hands and following the directions completely to results was just about six and a half minutes. Not bad. The results? Well, even if it’s just close, I am doing pretty well. The Bayer device gave me an A1c of 5.6. I was really pleased with that number! It’s a very easy and convenient way to see how you are doing between visits with your doctor; a great way to ‘keep score.’ At home A1c tests should never take the place of lab work ordered by your doctor – unless you and your doctor have discussed it. Your A1c test is so important to on-going treatment that you should never take short-cuts with it. So, please always discuss it with your doctor. I know I will be chatting with mine in about a week when I see him. I have a lab A1c test coming up next week and I will let you know how the two scores compare. I expect a 0.1 or 0.2 difference. As always, thank you for reading. Continue reading >>

A1c Test

A1c Test

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 >>

A1c Home Test Kits For Diabetes

A1c Home Test Kits For Diabetes

Hemoglobin A1C tests are used to screen for and diagnose prediabetes and diabetes. A1C home test kits are a good option if you want to testyour A1C at home in between visits to your doctor, whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes. An A1C test gives a picture of how well your diabetes treatment is working by showing your average blood sugar level for the past two or three months. This can be very helpful in your diabetes management plan. All A1C home test kits allow you to provide a small blood sample, about the same as your glucose meter ,in the convenience of your home. Depending on the type of kit you purchase, you either get immediate results at home or you send the sample to a lab for analysis. Home A1C tests are not approved for diagnosing diabetes. You need to see a doctor for a diagnosis. There are factors that will affect the accuracy of A1C tests, so discuss this with your doctor to ensure you know whether they're appropriate for you. A1C results are affected by hemoglobin variants (such as sickle cell), anemia, transfusion, blood loss, pregnancy, and rheumatoid factor. Portable consumer options for immediate results at home are now available at major retailers, with both name brand and house brand versions. A1CNow SELF CHECK was the original FDA-approved brand from Bayer Healthcare. PTS Diagnostics purchased the A1CNow business in 2014 and markets it under the original name, plus they license it for store brand devices. Walmart sells it as ReliOn Fast A1C Test and Walgreens and CVS as At Home A1C Test Kit. This technology received FDA approval and allows you to learn your A1C number in five minutes. It's similar in appearance to your daily glucose meter, but you don't use it on a continual basis. You purchase this A1C meter in a two-test kit. Once you have Continue reading >>

Type 1 Diabetes Blog

Type 1 Diabetes Blog

I'm a big fan of having my A1C done every 3 to 5 months with my doctor. For me, it's my report card of how I'm doing managing my blood sugars, and it gives me a chance to course correct if needed, before too much time has gone on. Throughout the last ten years, I've had an average A1C in the mid-6%'s. That's a number that feels good to me, personally. With the challenge of managing my blood sugars while traveling for a year, I know my A1C has gone up. I had the lab test done in June, when I was back in the US for a friend's wedding, and saw a number in the mid-7%'s that I was not thrilled with. Thoughout the last three months in Africa, I've been much more diligent to keep my number down through pre-bolusing and accurate carb counting. I'm now in a place where I'd like to see how much progress I've made. My meter averages tell me I'm close to a 7% A1C, but I'd really like to see the weighted average of an A1C. I feel like the meter doesn't account for how much time I spent at 106 or 198 mg/dl; it just simply averages each blood test. With that in mind, I've asked my younger brother to bring me a home A1C test when I meet him in Spain in a few weeks. I figured this is the closest I'll get to getting a real-deal test done. I've done a lot of googling about the accuracy of these tests. Beyond many opinion pieces, the only study I've seen is here, and says that 93.2% of study paticipants had a home A1C results wihtin the acceptable range of ±13.5% of the laboratory reference value. To me, 13.5% is a fairly close range. But I'm curious if anyone has had experience with these home A1C tests? And if you think ±13.5% is truly accurate? Continue reading >>

Evaluation Of An Over-the-counter Glycated Hemoglobin (a1c) Test Kit

Evaluation Of An Over-the-counter Glycated Hemoglobin (a1c) Test Kit

Glycated hemoglobin (A1C) monitoring is an integral component of diabetes management. This study was conducted to evaluate the performance of the A1CNow® SELFCHECK device when used by lay users and health care professionals (HCPs) to measure A1C. Subjects performed two A1CNow SELFCHECK finger-stick self-tests followed by a finger-stick test of the subject’s blood by a HCP. The primary endpoint assessed accuracy of the subject and HCP A1CNow SELFCHECK readings. Secondary endpoints included precision, comprehension of instructional material (written material ± DVD), and product satisfaction. For accuracy comparison, a venous blood sample was drawn from each subject and tested by laboratory (TOSOH) analysis. Subject comprehension of product instructional material was evaluated via first-time failure (FTF) rate as recorded by the HCP, and subject satisfaction was assessed through written survey. A total of 110 subjects with (n = 93) and without (n = 17) diabetes participated. Of 177 subject A1C values, 165 (93.2%) were within the acceptable range of ±13.5% of the laboratory reference value and considered accurate. Regression analysis showed good correlation of subject values to laboratory and HCP results (R2 = 0.93 for both). The average within-subject coefficient of variation was 4.57% (n = 74). The FTF rates with and without instructional DVD were 11.3% (n = 56) and 39.6% (n = 54), respectively. Subjects with diabetes/prediabetes overwhelmingly indicated that they were “very” to “extremely” likely (93.5%) to discuss their home A1C results with their HCP. Lay users found the A1CNow SELFCHECK easy to use, and both lay users and HCPs were able to measure A1C accurately. Keywords: A1CNow, diabetes, glycated hemoglobin A1c, in vitro diagnostic for home use, over-t Continue reading >>

{diabetes Management} Home A1c Test Fail

{diabetes Management} Home A1c Test Fail

I’ve been curious about the home A1c tests. We have an A1c done in office every three to four months, but sometimes I wish I could check in between to see if changes we’ve made are making any difference. (And, yes I know the A1c is only one measurement of how well diabetes is being managed.) I saw the Bayer A1cNow Selfcheck kits on sale and decided that it was worth it to buy a box and check it out. That evening I pulled it out and did the test and was absolutely SHOCKED at the number that popped up. There is NO WAY that Q’s A1c was 10.5. That would indicate an average BG of 255. I don’t think so! So not only was I totally upset and discouraged, but I was perplexed. I wrote it off as inaccurate and decided to wait until our next endo appointment and use the second test in the box to compare. In the meantime I saw two other bloggers use the home kit and they each seemed to think that the test was accurate enough. Our next endo appointment rolled around. I have been struggling with Q’s A1c’s (both literally and emotionally) because they are higher than I would like them to be and we made some changes in the past couple of months that we really thought would bring it down. In fact her A1c dropped 0.5, a much appreciated improvement. We still have a little way to go, but we made a couple more changes to I:C ratios and correction factors that I think will help. We also talked about doing the iPro again. (Unfortunately this clinic requires three separate visits: putting it on, taking it off, and discussing results with the doctor in person. It’s 90 minutes each way for us.) Armed with an A1c taken in the endo’s office (finger prick, not blood draw), I pulled out the home A1c test to check it’s accuracy. It was 1.8 HIGHER than the result at the endo. FAIL. I Continue reading >>

Easy And Accurate Diabetes Monitoring At Home Is Available

Easy And Accurate Diabetes Monitoring At Home Is Available

The A1CNow device is the easiest and most accurate way for those of us who have diabetes to check our key blood glucose level at home. But it still has spotty availability. Chex Diagnostics, formerly known at Polymer Technology Systems, started shipping it six months ago after the company had purchased the A1CNow business from Bayer Diabetes Care last year. But many pharmacies don’t have it yet. The good news, however, is that we can get it for less than ever before. The pharmacist at the local Kroger supermarket told me today that he had never heard of a way to check our A1C at home. A pharmacist at the most upscale pharmacy near me remembered that they had sold the A1C test when Bayer made it but didn’t have any record of the Chex Diagnostics or Polymer Systems Technology device. I couldn’t find it on the Rite Aid, Target, or Costco websites. But Chex Diagnostics provides the A1CNow device to two retailers who sell it as house brands. Chex Diagnostics owns the proprietary names under which Walgreens sells as the “Walgreens At-Home A1C Test Kit” and which Wal-Mart sells as the “ReliOn Fast A1C Test.” You can get the two tests in the Walgreens At Home A1C Kit for $32.99, according to the company website. At least I think that’s the price, because much of the “overview” information is wrong. Besides describing what is obviously a blood glucose meter, it refers to a “lover limit of the A1C target.” Don’t you love it! The situation at Wal-Mart stores is much better, although its website hasn’t caught up. It’s not yet on the Wal-Mart website, which shows the Bayer version at $29.88 but as no longer available. But Wal-Mart stores started getting their ReliOn Fast A1C Test kits from Chex Diagnostics about two weeks ago, Chex’s Director of Marke Continue reading >>

How To Lower Your A1c Levels: A Healthful Guide

How To Lower Your A1c Levels: A Healthful Guide

An A1C blood test measures average blood sugar levels over the past 2 to 3 months. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommend the use of A1C tests to help diagnose cases of prediabetes, type 1, and type 2 diabetes. A1C tests are also used to monitor diabetes treatment plans. What is an A1C test? An A1C test measures how well the body is maintaining blood glucose levels. To do this, an A1C test averages the percentage of sugar-bound hemoglobin in a blood sample. When glucose enters the blood, it binds to a red blood cell protein called hemoglobin. The higher blood glucose levels are, the more hemoglobin is bound. Red blood cells live for around 4 months, so A1C results reflect long-term blood glucose levels. A1C tests are done using blood obtained by a finger prick or blood draw. Physicians will usually repeat A1C tests before diagnosing diabetes. Initial A1C tests help physicians work out an individual's baseline A1C level for later comparison. How often A1C tests are required after diagnosis varies depending on the type of diabetes and management factors. Lowering A1C levels Many studies have shown that lowering A1C levels can help reduce the risk or intensity of diabetes complications. With type 1 diabetes, more controlled blood glucose levels are associated with reduced rates of disease progression. With type 2 diabetes, more controlled A1C levels have also been shown to reduce symptoms affecting the small arteries and nerves in the body. This influences eyesight and pain while decreasing complications. Long-term studies have also shown that early and intensive blood glucose control can reduce cardiovascular complications in people with type 1 or 2 diabetes. Even small changes in A1C levels can have big effects. The ADA recommend that maintaining fair control Continue reading >>

Study: A1c Now Test Is Crap And So Are Many Doctor Office A1c Tests

Study: A1c Now Test Is Crap And So Are Many Doctor Office A1c Tests

A study published in the January issue of the journal, Clinical Chemistry put eight brands of A1c test kits, including the A1c Now test sold in pharmacies and online, through rigorous testing. The other kits were the ones marketed to doctors for use in their offices. You can read an abstract of this study here: Six of Eight Hemoglobin A1c Point-of-Care Instruments Do Not Meet the General Accepted Analytical Performance Criteria. Erna Lenters-Westra1, and Robbert J. Slingerland. Clinical Chemistry 56: 44-52, 2010. First published November 19, 2009; 10.1373/clinchem.2009.130641 The study concluded only two of the eight kits produced clinically valid results. What is most telling, though, is that the study reports: Because of disappointing EP-10 results, 2 of the 8 manufacturers decided not to continue the evaluation. Their test kits were removed from the study after they completed only one of three CLSI protocols that were planned. CLSI stands for "Clinical and Lab Standards Institute." Since four of the six kits that remained in the study ended up with unacceptable results, but must have had good enough results after the first protocol to encourage their manufacturers to keep them in the study, one can only conclude that the kits removed from the study did abysmally. Which meters were withdrawn from the study after they did very poorly at the first level of testing? A1c Now and Quo-test. Of the six remaining kits that completed all three laboratory test protocols, Only the Afinion and the DCA Vantage met the acceptance criteria of having a total CV <3% in the clinically relevant range. The CV is the "Coeeficient of variation." It is the statistic that represents the ratio of the standard deviation to the mean. It's a measure of how widely scattered data is. The larger it Continue reading >>

At Home A1c Testing Systems & Kits: Review

At Home A1c Testing Systems & Kits: Review

The A1C, a Glycated hemoglobin, is a form of hemoglobin that is measured primarily to identify the three-month average blood glucose concentration. The A1C test is limited to a three-month average because the lifespan of a red blood cell is only four months. In other words, it’s the indication of your blood sugar level for a three-month period. Typically, your doctor will test your A1C levels every 90 to 180 days depending on how well your blood sugar levels have been managed. In basic terms, the A1C test checks to see how much glucose is attaching to your red blood cells. You can work to keep your A1C within your target range using a recommended diabetes management regimen along with a well-managed diet, exercise routine and other healthy lifestyle . Normal a1C Prediabetes a1C Diabetic a1c Under 5.7 5.7 to 6.4 6.5 and above A1C Test Features and Pricing While most hospital conducted A1C tests cost around $86 per test (depending on your co-pay), you can now buy the A1C self-check home kit for around $40. Each kit includes one test with two strips, but you can buy a double test kit as well. The kits are not reusable so once you use your two lancets, you must buy another kit. Use Most people use this test every 30 days instead of waiting 90 days to be seen by the doctor. This helps patients have a more accurate reading on where their levels fall throughout the month. Insurance Coverage Most insurances will cover 1 or 2 tests per year and some hospitals will have a sample take-home A1C test that you can ask for. However, not all hospitals do so you may still need to buy over the counter kits depending on how many results a year you want to have or how many your doctor requires. Pros and Cons of Home Testing The A1C at home kit needs four large drops of blood which is eas Continue reading >>

Heritage Labs Debuts $19.95 Home A1c Test

Heritage Labs Debuts $19.95 Home A1c Test

Heritage Labs has introduced the Appraise® Home A1c Kit, a product that allows people with diabetes and pre-diabetes to measure their average blood glucose level over a three- or four-month period. Users can take the test at home, then mail it to Heritage Labs’ headquarters in Kansas. They can request to have the results delivered to them online via a secured website or through the mail. Processing can take as few as three days. The $19.95 FDA-approved kit is already available at Wal-Marts under the Reli-On A1c Test brand name and at Rite-Aid drugstores under the Appraise brand name. The A1c (also known as glycated hemoglobin or HbA1c) test has become a staple measurement of the effectiveness of diabetes treatments. By looking at blood glucose levels over a several-month period, the test helps doctors, diabetes educators, and diabetics themselves ignore the distractions caused by sometimes dramatic spikes in daily blood sugar readings. This time of year, I always like to look back at the previous year and reflect on the people and the events that shaped me; giving thanks for what I have learned and reflecting on what I would like to … Dear Nadia, Is marijuana used to lower high blood sugar? if so, does this mean I have to refrain from the munchies to get the benefits? Leah Dear Leah: The new Marijuana industry is still at its infancy in terms … Continue reading >>

Home A1c Testing Vs. The Lab

Home A1c Testing Vs. The Lab

So it was time again for my A1C and other blood tests last week. Over-time, in fact. You know how I hate going in to the lab when I have to be fasting for lipid tests and can't even have a latte on the way over in the morning. Ugh! And who ever said diabetics don't mind needles?! Anyway, I'd been saving the review unit A1c Now SelfCheck pack I got from Bayer a few weeks ago for just this occasion. What better way to test the accuracy of home a A1C testing kit? I don't mind admitting I had very little faith in the thing. My endo had some of these in her office last year, and we tried them several times. The results were always differed wildly from the A1C I got at the hospital lab. She thought her packs might be too old, although the date on the box seemed OK. So after dragging my behind to the hospital that day, and then enjoying a lovely post-needle cafe breakfast with my husband, I went home and snipped the seal on my A1C Now pack. Inside were all the trimmings for two tests, along with a lot of documentation and a mini-CD that's supposed to explain how to use it — which I didn't watch of course. I figured I'd be representative of the "average patient" who is too lazy to watch the CD. (Not to mention that I have ZERO patience myself and ripped right into the thing without thinking ;) ) Lucky for me, the little fold-out Reference Guide with photos did the trick. It told me what to open first, how to prick my finger for the blood (not more than a usual BG test!), and what to open only "AFTER blood collection!" And I must have done it right, because wouldn't you know, I got 6.3 on the Bayer test, and a 6.4 reported back from the hospital lab. Pretty impressive! (Yes, for those science guys but also for me -- under 6.5, Baby!) So I got to experience the "5-minute home A Continue reading >>

A1c Test

A1c Test

Definition A1C is a lab test that shows the average level of blood sugar (glucose) over the previous 3 months. It shows how well you are controlling your diabetes. Alternative Names HbA1C test; Glycated hemoglobin test; Glycohemoglobin test; Hemoglobin A1C; Diabetes - A1C; Diabetic - A1C How the Test is Performed A blood sample is needed. Two methods are available: Blood drawn from a vein. This is done at a lab. Finger stick. This can be done in your health care provider's office. Or you may be prescribed a kit that you can use at home. How to Prepare for the Test No special preparation is needed. The food you have recently eaten does not affect the A1C test, so you do not need to fast to prepare for this blood test. How the Test will Feel With a finger stick, you may feel slight pain. With blood drawn from a vein, you may feel a slight pinch or some stinging when the needle is inserted. Afterward, there may be some throbbing or a slight bruise. This soon goes away. Why the Test is Performed Your provider may order this test if you have diabetes. It shows how well you are controlling your diabetes. The test may also be used to screen for diabetes. Ask your provider how often you should have your A1C level tested. Usually, testing every 3 or 6 months is recommended. Normal Results The following are the results when A1C is being used to diagnose diabetes: Normal (no diabetes): Less than 5.7% Pre-diabetes: 5.7% to 6.4% Diabetes: 6.5% or higher If you have diabetes, you and your provider will discuss the correct range for you. For many people, the goal is to keep the level below 7%. The test result may be incorrect in people with anemia, kidney disease, or certain blood disorders (thalassemia). Talk to your provider if you have any of these conditions. Certain medicines can Continue reading >>

A1c Calculator*

A1c Calculator*

Average blood glucose and the A1C test Your A1C test result (also known as HbA1c or glycated hemoglobin) can be a good general gauge of your diabetes control, because it provides an average blood glucose level over the past few months. Unlike daily blood glucose test results, which are reported as mg/dL, A1C is reported as a percentage. This can make it difficult to understand the relationship between the two. For example, if you check blood glucose 100 times in a month, and your average result is 190 mg/dL this would lead to an A1C of approximately 8.2%, which is above the target of 7% or lower recommended by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) for many adults who are not pregnant. For some people, a tighter goal of 6.5% may be appropriate, and for others, a less stringent goal such as 8% may be better.1 Talk to your doctor about the right goal for you. GET YOURS FREE The calculation below is provided to illustrate the relationship between A1C and average blood glucose levels. This calculation is not meant to replace an actual lab A1C result, but to help you better understand the relationship between your test results and your A1C. Use this information to become more familiar with the relationship between average blood glucose levels and A1C—never as a basis for changing your disease management. See how average daily blood sugar may correlate to A1C levels.2 Enter your average blood sugar reading and click Calculate. *Please discuss this additional information with your healthcare provider to gain a better understanding of your overall diabetes management plan. The calculation should not be used to make therapy decisions or changes. What is A1C? Performed by your doctor during your regular visits, your A1C test measures your average blood sugar levels by taking a Continue reading >>

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