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How Does A1c Relate To Blood Sugar

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What Does My Glucometer Tell Me About Blood Glucose

How to lower A1C & blood sugar levels naturally in less than 3 months

Your glucose meter will show you how much glucose is in your blood at the moment you prick your finger and sample the drop of blood. Using a glucose meter is a way to see the effects of the foods you eat, the amount of exercise you do, and the medications you take to manage your blood sugar.

Many people with diabetes aim to keep their blood sugar levels as close to the normal range as possible, which is around 80 milligrams per deciliter before a meal and less than 180 mg per deciliter two hours after a meal. You and your doctor will determine the best target range for you.

If you are of African, Mediterranean, or Southeast Asian descent, you may have what is called a hemoglobin variant, which can make the A1c test unreliable for diagnosing and monitoring diabetes. Likewise, people with sickle cell anemia or thalassemia may not get accurate results from the A1c test. The National Glycohemoglobin Standardization Program has developed information for diabetes healthcare providers about which hemoglobin tests to use for patients with such variants.

Determining Your Own A1c And Eag Goals

In an ideal world, sure, we would all eat zero carbohydrates and our A1cs would be a magical 5.0. But managing diabetes is not that simple.

This means that determining that right A1c goal for you, your body, and your life as a person with diabetes is a very personal decision that you and your healthcare team decide on.

For instance, someone with a background of hypoglycemia unawareness may find a target A1c of 6.0 percent to simply be too dangerous, putting them at too much risk for severe hypoglycemia.

Someone who lives by themselves may find that sleeping with blood sugars lower than 120 mg/dL, for example, is simply too scary.

Someone who has in recovery from diabulimia and has spent the past several years with blood sugars above 300 mg/dL will need to lower blood sugar levels very gradually with the help of their healthcare team and support team. This means their A1c is going to be set at a higher target than normal, too.

To learn more about setting A1c targets and lowering your A1c , please read our comprehensive guide to lowering your A1c.

Everyone is in a different place with their diabetes management, and we all have different personal needs, challenges, and goals. And that needs to be okay. Focus on whats right for you and your current life as a person with diabetes.

How Often Should My A1c Be Tested

The American Diabetes Association recommends you have the A1c test twice a year if your blood sugars are stable and you are meeting your treatment goals. Health care providers may repeat the A1c test as often as four times a year if there are changes in treatments or you are not meeting your A1c target. The A1c is like a report card on how well you are managing your diabetes.

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How Can I Meet My A1c Target

Managing diabetes requires a lifestyle of healthy self-care practices. The keys to bringing down A1C levels are the same as for bringing down blood sugar levels. The essentials are:

  • Taking the right medications at the right times and in the proper doses. Work with your doctor to evaluate your medications periodically so they can be adjusted when needed. Since diabetes is a progressive disease, it is likely that you will need to increase and/or add to your glucose-lowering medications over time.
  • Eating the right portions of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and healthy fats. A diet rich in fiber has been linked to lower blood sugar levels. You may want to learn more about counting carbohydrates and portion control. Eat about the same amount of carbs at each meal and at the same times each day. Ask a dietician to help you create a meal plan that will help control your weight and A1c.
  • Increasing daily physical activity. Engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise, such as brisk walking, five days per week and strength training two days per week. Find ways to move more and incorporate activities you enjoy into your day.
  • Managing stress and depression. Negative emotions, depression, and diabetes burnout can make following your treatment plan difficult. If you are finding it hard to cope with diabetes, let your doctor know and enlist the support of a loved one. There are many resources to help you.
  • What Does The A1c Measure

    A1c Levels Chart For Type 1 Diabetes

    The A1c test reflects a persons average blood glucose or sugar in the blood for the past three months. When glucose enters the bloodstream, it attaches itself to hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells. The A1c test measures what percentage of your hemoglobin is coated with sugar or glycated.

    A normal A1c is below 5.7%. This number represents an average of all the ups and downs in blood glucose levels as if recorded on a video camera over the past many weeks. The higher the A1c, the higher the blood glucose levels have been over time and the higher your risk is for diabetes complications.

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    Some Medications Such As Opioids Can Cause High A1c Levels

    Several different medications can interfere with A1C test results. Some can even cause errors in readings or bring up inaccurate results. Some opiates and even over-the-counter drugs can increase your A1C levels. According to a study by the NIH, common drugs like aspirin also cause high or low A1C levels.

    Of course, taking the occasional aspirin wonât affect your levels too much. It usually only starts to skew the results of an A1C test if you are taking these medications at regular, larger doses over a long period. This isnât a one size fits all rule, though. For example, among those with type 2 diabetes, aspirin didnât show any elevated levels at all.

    Why And When Should I Prefer Hba1c Test Done Over Another Diabetes Test

    HbA1c is a simple blood test that does not require any fasting or other special preparation beforehand and can be done at any time of the day.

    A fasting blood sugar level, as the name implies, requires you to fast for a certain period of time before having the blood test.

    An oral glucose tolerance test is another way to diagnose diabetes which requires a special diet for 3 days before having the test, and then fasting overnight before the test. This test also involves having several blood tests over a couple of hours before and after having to drink a certain volume of sweet liquid. The test is time-consuming and some people may find drinking the liquid sick. However, you should always consult your doctor for a test that you may require.

    You can get an HbA1c test cost and book online with 30-40% discount. Check bookmerilab website.

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    Why The Two Measures Of Blood Sugar

    Blood sugar, or glucose, is generally measured in two ways. The first way is usually done in a lab and tells your doctor about your HbA1c, or often just referred to as A1c. This measurement is a percentage of hemoglobin that is bound with glucose in your blood.

    Hemoglobin, abbreviated as Hb, is the part of the red blood cell that carries oxygen to your cells. Glucose, which is also used by cells for energy, hitches a ride on the hemoglobin, and with the help of insulin gets into your cells, where it is used for energy or stored.

    The more hemoglobin with glucose attached, also called glycated hemoglobin, circulating in your blood, the higher the percentage of these glucose-bound red blood cells. Thus, your HbA1c is a measure of the percentage of these glycated hemoglobin cells in the blood.

    The second way blood sugar levels are measured is in terms of weight per volume. A gram is equal to the weight of 16 drops of water and a milligram is one-thousandths of a gram. A deciliter is one-tenth of a liter. Thus, glucose reading on your glucometer of 100 is 100 milligrams of glucose per deciliter of plasma.

    Can The A1c Test Result In A Different Diagnosis Than The Blood Glucose Tests

    How To Lower A1C (Blood Sugar) PART 2 – Diabetes Type 2

    Yes. In some people, a blood glucose test may show diabetes when an A1C test does not. The reverse can also occuran A1C test may indicate diabetes even though a blood glucose test does not. Because of these differences in test results, health care professionals repeat tests before making a diagnosis.

    People with differing test results may be in an early stage of the disease, when blood glucose levels have not risen high enough to show up on every test. In this case, health care professionals may choose to follow the person closely and repeat the test in several months.

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    How Often Do You Need The Test

    Your doctor probably will have you take the A1c test as soon as youâre diagnosed with diabetes. Youâll also have the test if your doctor thinks you may get diabetes. The test will set a baseline level so you can see how well youâre controlling your blood sugar.

    How often youâll need the test after that depends on several things, like:

    • The type of diabetes you have
    • Your blood sugar control
    • Your treatment plan

    Youâll probably get tested once a year if you have prediabetes, which means you have a strong chance of developing diabetes.

    You may get tested twice each year if you have type 2 diabetes, you don’t use insulin, and your blood sugar level is usually in your target range.

    You could get it three or four times each year if you have type 1 diabetes.

    You may also need the test more often if your diabetes plan changes or if you start a new medicine.

    Itâs not a fasting test. You can take it any time of day, before or after eating.

    People with diseases affecting hemoglobin, such as anemia, may get misleading results with this test. Other things that can affect the results of the hemoglobin A1c include supplements, such as vitamins C and E, and high cholesterol levels. Kidney disease and liver disease may also affect the test.

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    Ask The Doctor: What’s The Difference Between Blood Sugar And Hemoglobin A1c

    Ask the doctor Q. In your article on blood sugar control, you kept talking about hemoglobin A1c. I measure my blood sugar all the time, but my meter doesn’t have a setting for a percentage reading. Is there a simple connection between blood sugar and hemoglobin A1c? A. I’m sorry we confused you. Blood sugar and hemoglobin A1c are connected, but they are different, too. Your blood sugar meter measures the concentration of glucose in the bloodstream at the instant you prick your finger. The reading is in milligrams of glucose per deciliter of blood, abbreviated as mg/dL. Blood sugar levels vary throughout the day. In people with diabetes, they can range from below 70 mg/dL to above 200.Continue reading > >

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    When To Take A1c Test

    If youre over 45 or under 45 and overweight, test your A1c conversion as a preventive measure. You should also think about it if you have any of the following diabetes risk factors:

    • Diabetes in the family history .
    • Low levels of physical exercise .
    • Blood pressure that is too high.
    • A high quantity of cholesterol in the blood
    • Have you ever had gestational diabetes or given birth to a baby that weighed over 9 pounds?

    Checking Blood Sugar Throughout The Day


    Testing glucose levels at the same time each day allows you to track patterns. For people who receive multiple daily insulin injections or use an insulin pump, it’s generally recommended to test before meals and snacks, occasionally two hours after the first bite of a meal, at bedtime, prior to exercising, when low glucose is suspected, after treating a low, and prior to critical tasks such as driving.

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    How Is The A1c Test Used After Diagnosis Of Diabetes

    Your health care professional may use the A1C test to set your treatment goals, modify therapy, and monitor your diabetes management.

    Experts recommend that people with diabetes have an A1C test at least twice a year.4 Health care professionals may check your A1C more often if you arent meeting your treatment goals.4

    Why Do I Need An Hba1c Test

    The Centers for Disease Control recommends that adults over the age of 45 get tested to screen for diabetes and prediabetes. If your results are normal, you should repeat the test every 3 years. If your results show you have prediabetes, you should get tested every 1-2 years. You should also talk to your health care provider about taking steps to reduce your risk of developing diabetes.

    If you are under 45, you may need this test if you have certain risk factors. These include:

    • Being overweight or obese
  • Fatigue
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    What Your A1c Is Really Measuring: Advanced Glycogenated End

    Your A1c is actually a measurement of the amount of advanced glycogenated end-products that have accumulated in your bloodstream over the course of the prior 3 months.

    Also known as AGEs, these are essentially a form of excess sugar from your bloodstream that is responsible for damaging crucial nerve-endings and blood vessels throughout your entire body.

    The more AGEs are present in your bloodstream, the more damage your body is experiencing that results in the classic list of diabetes complications like retinopathy, neuropathy, hair-loss, gastroparesis, dermopathy, and nephropathy.

    The higher your blood sugars are on a daily basis, the more AGEs build-up in your bloodstream. The more AGEs there are in your bloodstream means the higher your next A1c result will be!

    While we dont talk about AGEs regularly in the doctors office or online, they are exactly what your A1c is measuring.

    Start Measuring Your Blood Glucose Levels With A Dietitian

    How to improve your blood sugars & lower your a1c (for Type 1 Diabetics)

    The best thing to do for your health is to learn more about how your body handles its blood sugar and what causes it to spike. A continuous glucose monitor lets you see how your body responds to foods with varying glycemic index values.

    Those with diabetes have been using these safe, effective, FDA-approved devices for years. Now, you can get your own with NutriSense, which offers the same technology for the public for the first time, to use alongside their team of world-class Registered Dietitians. NutriSense CGMs come with an innovative app that lets you track your blood glucose levels.

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    What Can Affect Your A1c Results

    Anyone whos had diabetes for any length of time knows that A1C tests havent been reliable until recently. In the past, many different types of A1C tests gave different results depending on the lab that analyzed them. But the National Glycohemoglobin Standardization Program has helped improve the accuracy of these tests.

    Manufacturers of A1C tests now have to prove that their tests are consistent with those used in a major diabetes study. Accurate home test kits are also now available for purchase.

    But accuracy is relative when it comes to A1C or even blood glucose tests. The A1C test result can be up to half a percent higher or lower than the actual percentage. That means if your A1C is 6, it might indicate a range from 5.5 to 6.5.

    Some people may have a blood glucose test that indicates diabetes but their A1C is normal, or vice versa. Before confirming a diagnosis of diabetes, your doctor should repeat the test that was abnormal on a different day. This isnt necessary in the presence of unequivocal symptoms of diabetes and a random sugar over 200 mg/dl.

    Some people may get false results if they have kidney failure, liver disease, or severe anemia. Ethnicity can also influence the test. People of African, Mediterranean, or Southeast Asian descent may have a

    changes in lifestyle can make a big difference and even put your diabetes in remission. Starting an exercise program can help. Type 1 diabetes needs insulin treatment as soon as its diagnosed.

    Small Changes In Temperature Equipment Or Sample Handling

    Even when the same blood sample is repeatedly measured in the same lab, the results may vary because of small changes in temperature, equipment, or sample handling. These factors tend to affect glucose measurementsfasting and OGTTmore than the A1C test.

    Health care professionals understand these variations and repeat lab tests for confirmation. Diabetes develops over time, so even with variations in test results, health care professionals can tell when overall blood glucose levels are becoming too high.

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    Why Does A Person Need To Test Their Blood Sugars If They Can Get An A1c

    The A1C is only an average blood sugar reading. This can be made up of highs and lows. If someone is on a treatment that doesnt cause lows , then they dont need to do blood tests as often and the A1C is fairly representative of their average blood sugar. However, blood testing will give specific information on the pattern of their blood sugars, showing when they are high and low, and what lifestyle factors such as food and exercise cause them to be higher or lower.

    If a person is on insulin, self-monitoring their blood sugars is extremely important because it can give moment-to-moment information on how to adjust insulin. If a persons blood sugars are out of range, then testing gives information on what time of day to target therapy. For instance, if the morning numbers are higher, they may need nighttime insulin. Or if the morning numbers are at target but blood sugar is high after supper, they may need more medication at suppertime.

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