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 >>
How Often Should You Check Hba1c
Diabetes Forum • The Global Diabetes Community Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community » Ideally, how often should we check HbA1C? The cost for this test is quite expensive so I always think twice before drawing my blood to lab. I am in Canada and I get tested every 3 months. I think it would depend on your control of blood glucose and your medication. I will have my next A1c in February after a gap of six months. This suits me. There is no point in testing more often than once every three months but if your control is good then six months or annually can be sufficient. My first follow up was three months, the next is six - we don't have to pay for ours, so I have to take my guidance from a GP that refuses to advise his T2 diabetic patients to test themselves to see how they are doing... so... who knows if that's a decent gap or not! I do think every six months unless uncontrolled. Given HbA1C measures an average over the last 3 months, there does not seem to be much reason to get it measured any more often. After that, it depends on why you are getting it measured - to confirm you are still doing ok, to make you feel good about improvements or because you have concerns things are getting worse. I believe in the UK, it is typically taken every 6 or 12 months. If you have a glucometer you can track bg using a method that @Bluetit1802 uses, I think this method gives a predicted A1c value but personally I know little about it. Perhaps Blue can help? Rachox Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member I had my first two tests after diagnosis at two months intervals, my next will be at three. I use the app MySugr, which gives a predicted estimate of my HbA1c. At my last HbA1c check at the Drs MySugr was suggesting 34.4 when my lab result Continue reading >>
All About The Hemoglobin A1c Test
People with diabetes used to depend only on urine tests or daily finger sticks to measure their blood sugars. These tests are accurate, but only in the moment. As an overall measurement of blood sugar control, they’re very limited. This is because blood sugar can vary wildly depending on the time of day, activity levels, and even hormone changes. Some people may have high blood sugars at 3 a.m. and be totally unaware of it. Once A1C tests became available in the 1980s, they became an important tool in controlling diabetes. A1C tests measure average blood glucose over the past two to three months. So even if you have a high fasting blood sugar, your overall blood sugars may be normal, or vice versa. A normal fasting blood sugar may not eliminate the possibility of type 2 diabetes. This is why A1C tests are now being used for diagnosis and screening of prediabetes. Because it doesn’t require fasting, the test can be given as part of an overall blood screening. The A1C test is also known as the hemoglobin A1C test or HbA1C test. Other alternate names include the glycosylated hemoglobin test, glycohemoglobin test, and glycated hemoglobin test. A1C measures the amount of hemoglobin in the blood that has glucose attached to it. Hemoglobin is a protein found inside red blood cells that carries oxygen to the body. Hemoglobin cells are constantly dying and regenerating, but they have a lifespan of approximately three months. Glucose attaches, or glycates, to hemoglobin, so the record of how much glucose is attached to your hemoglobin also lasts for about three months. If there’s too much glucose attached to the hemoglobin cells, you’ll have a high A1C. If the amount of glucose is normal, your A1C will be normal. The test is effective because of the lifespan of the hemogl Continue reading >>
How Often Should I Be Tested For Prediabetes?
Your healthcare provider will test for prediabetes using a hemoglobin A1c test, a blood test that measures your average blood glucose level over the last three months. If you fall into the prediabetes range of 5.8% to 6.4%, you will be tested every year. If your blood glucose levels are in the normal range, it is reasonable to be checked every 3 years. If you have prediabetes, you should be checked for type 2 diabetes every 1-2 years after your diagnosis. Continue Learning about Prediabetes Videos Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs. Continue reading >>
Hemoglobin A1c Testing: An Introduction
SHARE RATE★★★★★ Hemoglobin A1C testing (A1C) is the test used to measure your average blood glucose level over an extended period of time (2 to 3 months). It is used along with other blood glucose measurements, including random blood sugar testing, fasting blood sugar testing, and oral glucose tolerance testing, that provide a snapshot of your blood glucose at one point in time, to help determine whether your blood sugar is under control. The strength of A1C testing is that it is able to give a larger picture of how blood glucose levels change over days, weeks, and even months. How does A1C testing work? Hemoglobin is an important component of blood (it contains iron and gives blood its red color), responsible for transporting oxygen throughout the body. It is contained within red blood cells that have a lifespan of about 120 days.1 For the purposes of detecting elevated glucose levels and getting a picture of they change over time, hemoglobin A1C is useful because blood glucose tends to attach to hemoglobin. Normally, about 6% of hemoglobin has glucose attached. This combination of hemoglobin and glucose is called glycated hemoglobin or glycohemoglobin. There are different forms of glycohemoglobin, including A1A, A1B, and A1C. Of these, A1C is the most common, making up about two-thirds of glycohemoglobin.1 Advantages of A1C testing over glucose testing in diabetes No need for fasting Cost-effective and standardized test Shows blood glucose levels over time Indicator of future complications Reflects the course of diabetes and need for different levels of treatment How is an A1C test done? The A1C test is a blood test that your healthcare provider will perform. Someone at your doctor’s office or the clinic where you are having the test done will take a sampl Continue reading >>
Ultimate Guide To The A1c Test: Everything You Need To Know
The A1C is a blood test that gives us an estimated average of what your blood sugar has been over the past 2-3 months. The A1c goes by several different names, such aswa Hemoglobin A1C, HbA1C, Hb1C, A1C, glycated hemoglobin, glycohemoglobin and estimated glucose average. What is Hemoglobin? Hemoglobin is a protein in your blood cells that carries oxygen. When sugar is in the blood, and it hangs around for a while, it starts to attach to the red blood cells. The A1C test is a measurement of how many red blood cells have sugar attached. So, if your A1C result is 7%, that means that 7% of your red blood cells have sugar attached to them. What are the Symptoms of a High A1C Test Level? Sometimes there are NO symptoms! That is probably one of the scariest things about diabetes, your sugar can be high for a while and you may not even know it. When your blood sugar goes high and stays high for longer periods of time you may notice the following: tired, low energy, particularly after meals feel very thirsty you may be peeing more than normal, waking a lot in the middle of the night to go dry, itchy skin unexplained weight loss crave sugar, hungrier than normal blurred vision, may feel like you need new glasses tingling in feet or hands cuts or sores take a long time to heal or don’t heal well at all frequent infections (urinary tract, yeast infections, etc.) When your blood sugar is high, this means the energy that you are giving your body isn’t getting into the cells. Think about a car that has a gas leak. You put gas in, but if the gas can’t get to the engine, the car will not go. When you eat, some of the food is broken down into sugar and goes into your bloodstream. If your body can’t get the sugar to the cells, then your body can’t “go.” Some of the sugar tha Continue reading >>
How Often Should People With Diabetes Check Their A1c?
A new study concludes that people who have diabetes should check their blood glucose level with A1C tests more often than the experts recommend. But even then the study doesn’t go far enough. The study looked at more than 400,000 tests by about 80,000 people whose doctors prescribed them between 2008 and 2011. It focused on the relationship between the retest interval and the percentage change in A1C level. The results of this massive analysis just appeared in the current issue of Diabetes Care. The abstract of the study is free online, and an endocrinologist friend of mine kindly gave me a copy of the full text. If you want to quickly reduce your A1C level, the best strategy is to get an A1C test every three months. That’s the main conclusion of the study. This is particularly true if you level is 7.0 or more. While Diabetes Care is a professional journal of the American Diabetes Association, this is more frequent than the ADA currently recommends. People who are “meeting their treatment goals” and who have stable blood glucose control should get A1C testing at least every six months, according to the ADA’s “Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes—2014.” Only when people recently change their treatment or aren’t achieving their blood sugar targets do they need to be tested every three months, the ADA’s recommendation continues. But what does “meeting their treatment goals” mean? While the ADA says that the goal can vary for different people, the general glycemic goal is an A1C level of less than 7.0. This goal is just a little less than the average A1C level that Americans with diabetes had in the most recent years for which data are available. An analysis by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the mean (average) A1C amo Continue reading >>
A1c (hemoglobin A1c)
~ Martin J. Abrahamson, M.D. The A1C is an important measurement of how effectively you are managing your diabetes. The A1C, which is also called a glycohemoglobin or hemoglobin A1C test, reflects your average blood glucose control for the two- to three-month period before the test. This test can be done on a sample of blood obtained from a fingerstick or from a small vial of blood drawn from your arm and then tested in a laboratory..At Joslin we recommend that this test be done every three to six months. A person without diabetes would have an A1C between 4% and 6%. According to Joslin’s Clinical Guidelines, we recommend that you aim for an A1C value of less than 7%, as long as achieving this goal does not increase the risk for developing low blood glucose (or blood sugars), called hypoglycemia. Ask your healthcare provider what your A1C target should be. The higher your A1C, the greater your risk for developing complications such as heart attacks, strokes, kidney disease, neuropathy and circulation problems. By keeping blood glucose levels and your A1C in your target range, you’ll greatly lower your chances of getting these complications. As a complement to the A1C test, we recommend that you monitor your blood glucose regularly at home with a meter. Checking your blood glucose tells you how your diabetes is doing on a day-to-day basis. Some people check their glucose once a day while some check eight times a day, depending on how their diabetes is treated and how well-controlled their diabetes is. Your healthcare team can help you determine how often to check. There are times when you should check more often than usual, such as when you’re sick or if you’re starting a new diabetes medicine. Also, women who are pregnant and have diabetes need to check more oft Continue reading >>
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 >>
How Often Should You Check Your A1c Measures If You Have Diabetes?
ANSWER If you have diabetes, you should check your blood sugar often to make sure your levels are in check. A hemoglobin A1c test is a blood test that measures your average blood sugar level over the past 2 to 3 months. It's a way to check how well you control your blood sugar over time. A1c measures how much glucose has been "sticking" to your red blood cells. If your treatment changes or your blood sugar control is not on target, then you should repeat the test every 3 months. Continue reading >>
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 >>
Blood Sugar Testing: Why, When And How
Blood sugar testing is an important part of diabetes care. Find out when to test your blood sugar level, how to use a testing meter, and more. If you have diabetes, self-testing your blood sugar (blood glucose) can be an important tool in managing your treatment plan and preventing long-term complications of diabetes. You can test your blood sugar at home with a portable electronic device (glucose meter) that measures sugar level in a small drop of your blood. Why test your blood sugar Blood sugar testing — or self-monitoring blood glucose — provides useful information for diabetes management. It can help you: Judge how well you're reaching overall treatment goals Understand how diet and exercise affect blood sugar levels Understand how other factors, such as illness or stress, affect blood sugar levels Monitor the effect of diabetes medications on blood sugar levels Identify blood sugar levels that are high or low When to test your blood sugar Your doctor will advise you on how often you should check your blood sugar level. In general, the frequency of testing depends on the type of diabetes you have and your treatment plan. Type 1 diabetes. Your doctor may recommend blood sugar testing four to eight times a day if you have type 1 diabetes. You may need to test before meals and snacks, before and after exercise, before bed, and occasionally during the night. You may also need to check your blood sugar level more often if you are ill, change your daily routine or begin a new medication. Type 2 diabetes. If you take insulin to manage type 2 diabetes, your doctor may recommend blood sugar testing two or more times a day, depending on the type and amount of insulin you need. Testing is usually recommended before meals, and sometimes before bedtime. If you manage type 2 Continue reading >>
How Often Should People With Diabetes Check Their A1c?
A new study concludes that people who have diabetes should check their blood glucose level with A1C tests more often than the experts recommend. But even then, the study doesn’t go far enough. The study looked at more than 400,000 tests by about 80,000 people whose doctors prescribed them between 2008 and 2011. It focused on the relationship between the retest interval and the percentage change in A1C level. The results of this massive analysis just appeared in the current issue of Diabetes Care. The abstract of the study is free online, and an endocrinologist friend of mine kindly gave me a copy of the full text. If you want to quickly reduce your A1C level, the best strategy is to get an A1C test every three months. That’s the main conclusion of the study. This is particularly true if you level is 7.0 or more. While Diabetes Care is a professional journal of the American Diabetes Association, this is more frequent than the ADA currently recommends. People who are "meeting their treatment goals" and who have stable blood glucose control should get their A1C tested at least every six months, according to the ADA’s "Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes 2014." Only when people recently change their treatment or aren’t achieving their blood sugar targets do they need to be tested every three months, the ADA’s recommendation continues. But what does "meeting their treatment goals" mean? While the ADA says that the goal can vary for different people, the general glycemic goal is an A1C level of less than 7.0. This goal is just a little less than the average A1C level of Americans with diabetes in the most recent years for which data are available. An analysis by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the mean (average) A1C among adults with Continue reading >>
The A1c Test & Diabetes
What is the A1C test? The A1C test is a blood test that provides information about a person’s average levels of blood glucose, also called blood sugar, over the past 3 months. The A1C test is sometimes called the hemoglobin A1c, HbA1c, or glycohemoglobin test. The A1C test is the primary test used for diabetes management and diabetes research. How does the A1C test work? The A1C test is based on the attachment of glucose to hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen. In the body, red blood cells are constantly forming and dying, but typically they live for about 3 months. Thus, the A1C test reflects the average of a person’s blood glucose levels over the past 3 months. The A1C test result is reported as a percentage. The higher the percentage, the higher a person’s blood glucose levels have been. A normal A1C level is below 5.7 percent. Can the A1C test be used to diagnose type 2 diabetes and prediabetes? Yes. In 2009, an international expert committee recommended the A1C test as one of the tests available to help diagnose type 2 diabetes and prediabetes.1 Previously, only the traditional blood glucose tests were used to diagnose diabetes and prediabetes. Because the A1C test does not require fasting and blood can be drawn for the test at any time of day, experts are hoping its convenience will allow more people to get tested—thus, decreasing the number of people with undiagnosed diabetes. However, some medical organizations continue to recommend using blood glucose tests for diagnosis. Why should a person be tested for diabetes? Testing is especially important because early in the disease diabetes has no symptoms. Although no test is perfect, the A1C and blood glucose tests are the best tools available to diagnose diabetes—a serious and li Continue reading >>
How Often To Test Your Blood Glucose
Checking your blood sugar, keeping a record of your results, and using your results to improve your management is an important part of having diabetes. But before you grab your meter and check your blood glucose level, ask: Why am I checking now? How will I use the information to make decisions in how I manage my diabetes? If you don't know, find out before you do a check. Our blood sugar guide answers your questions about when and how often to check. Checking your blood sugar, keeping a record of your results, and using your results to improve your management is an important part of having diabetes. But before you grab your meter and check your blood glucose level, ask: Why am I checking now? How will I use the information to make decisions in how I manage my diabetes? If you don't know, find out before you do a check. Our blood sugar guide answers your questions about when and how often to check. Checking your blood sugar, keeping a record of your results, and using your results to improve your management is an important part of having diabetes. But before you grab your meter and check your blood glucose level, ask: Why am I checking now? How will I use the information to make decisions in how I manage my diabetes? If you don't know, find out before you do a check. Our blood sugar guide answers your questions about when and how often to check. Checking your blood sugar, keeping a record of your results, and using your results to improve your management is an important part of having diabetes. But before you grab your meter and check your blood glucose level, ask: Why am I checking now? How will I use the information to make decisions in how I manage my diabetes? If you don't know, find out before you do a check. Our blood sugar guide answers your questions about when Continue reading >>