When you check your blood glucose, your home meter gives you a snapshot of your blood glucose level at that time.
But it only tells you little about your control in general.
There are other things your meter does not tell you. For instance:
- Do you run high while sleeping?
- Are you low at other times?
If you want to get a better idea of your overall blood-glucose control, that is where the A1C test comes in to play. The A1C test gives a true measure of your blood-glucose control for the past 2-3 months.
What Is the A1C Test?
The A1C test checks the amount of glucose that is attached to the hemoglobin(A1c) in your red blood cells.
When too much glucose enters these cells, the A1C becomes “glycated,” or coated with sugar.
Glycated (“sugar frosted”) A1C stays in the blood for two to three months, and the more glucose in your blood the higher your A1C result will be.
What is Your A1C target?
The American Diabetes Association suggests an A1C of 7%. However, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists recommends an A1C of 6.5%.
Don’t be Fooled by Your A1C
Sometimes, an A1C value can trick you.
If your blood glucose levels swing to extremes throughout the day and night, your A1C result may average out to a false good number.
See how you feel.
If your A1C is below 7% but you don’t feel well, check your blood glucose level at different times of the day to see if you are swinging.
Share this fact with your healthcare provider – it will help you both decide what changes to make.
If you feel well and have an A1C that is below 7% or 6.5%, whatever you are doing is right for you.
It is still important, however, to check your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, but you can congratulate yourself on a job well done.
Unlike Santa, if your A1C is out of range, you won’t get a lump of coal. Rather, you get a wealth of facts that can help you take great care of yourself and THAT’S a gift worth having.