What Changes They Have Made To The A1c Guidelines
For most adults, the American Diabetes Association currently recommends an A1C of less than 7%, a TIR of over 70%, and a time below the range of less than 4%. In past years, the Standards of Care contained an A1C Testing section that advised diabetics to test their A1C two to four times a year with an A1C target of less than 7%.
The Importance Of A1c
One way to monitor your blood sugar is to extract a little blood with a glucometer device. This gives you a blood sugar reading at that point in time. Your doctor may ask you to do this once a day or several times a day.
Another way to monitor your blood sugar is by wearing a continuous glucose monitoring device. This approach has become more popular in recent years, says Carla Cox, PhD, RD, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator in Missoula, Montana, and spokesperson for the American Association of Diabetes Educators.
A third way is to obtain your hemoglobin A1C number regularly when you go for lab work. The A1C, which is given as a percentage, indicates your average blood sugar over a two- to three-month period. This number can help show you and your diabetes team if your current diabetes treatment plan is effective, according to the American Diabetes Association . Most people with diabetes will get their A1C measured at least twice a year.
Sometimes, its helpful to convert a series of blood glucose readings into an A1C number. You may do this to further your own understanding of your blood sugar numbers or to share that number with your diabetes care team.
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How Is The A1c Test Used To Diagnose Type 2 Diabetes And Prediabetes
Health care professionals can use the A1C test alone or in combination with other diabetes tests to diagnose type 2 diabetes and prediabetes. You dont have to fast before having your blood drawn for an A1C test, which means that blood can be drawn for the test at any time of the day.
If you dont have symptoms but the A1C test shows you have diabetes or prediabetes, you should have a repeat test on a different day using the A1C test or one of the other diabetes tests to confirm the diagnosis.2
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Understanding The Range Of A1c
Now that you have an estimate of your A1C, check if youâre at risk for diabetes by comparing your result to the tolerances used by both the ADA and CDC:
If your estimated range falls anywhere above 5.7%, get ahead of the risk early. Take control of your health and start monitoring your glucose more closely with a CGM.
What Are The New Guidelines For A1c
Answer:- In most adults, the aim of diabetes is below 7%. If the level of A1C is within 5.7 and below 6.5%, then the Prediabetics is within range. But if the level of A1C is over 6.5% implies its within the diabetics range.
Answer:- You may reduce the A1C by regular dieting and exercising. Yet, the doctor has prescribed the medicines, for example, Glucophage, miglitol, or insulin. But must follow the directions as defined by the physician.
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Average Blood Sugar To A1c Calculator
This A1C calculator might help you figure out what those mysterious numbers on your lab blood test result mean. It converts your hemoglobin A1C calculator result into your typical blood sugar level and vice versa! Youll learn what is A1C? And what usual ranges it falls into in this article. Read on to learn how to calculate A1C, the hazards of high glycated hemoglobin A1C levels, and how to reduce A1C when necessary.
You might be familiar with the term hemoglobin, which refers to the transport of oxygen. HbA1c is very similar to what you recall from biology class. Although it sounds like a robots name, its actually a type of hemoglobin that has sugar particles linked to it. We find glycated hemoglobin in everyones blood, and the amount grows as blood sugar levels rise. The A1c test measures the percentage of hemoglobin that has glucose attached to it in the lab. But why isnt the result identical to that of a basic blood sugar level test?
Average From A Glucose Meter
Although an A1C level gives you a sense of average glucose levels over the past few months, a person with type 1 or type 2 diabetes needs a blood glucose meter to check blood sugar and make treatment decisions on a day-to-day basis.
If you test often during the day like before and after meals and other times that your blood sugar can vary and use an accurate glucose meter, this can give you valuable information on daily variations in blood sugar levels. Many blood glucose meters are also equipped to provide 7, 14, 30, or 90-day averages. A 90-day average on your meter can be used in the calculator above to estimate how it may correlate to an A1C.
Glucose meter averages are based on the frequency that you have tested per day, so if you do not have many data points or are unable to test at certain times , it probably wont give you a full picture of your blood sugar levels and may skew lower than an A1C test result.
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How To Lower A1c Level
Your doctor will tell you to lower your A1C levels if your test shows they are too high. Here are a few pointers to get you started:
- Consult your doctor about medicine. Make sure youre following the doctors instructions when taking them. Mention any other medications youre taking for different ailments, as they could interact.
- Check your blood sugar levels more frequently and make sure youre using the suitable treatments . If you believe this is a problem for you, seek professional treatment.
- Increase your physical activity. You dont have to train to be an Olympic athlete, but you should strive to include a few short walks in your daily routine. Every step is crucial!
- Attempt to reach and maintain a healthy BMI .
- The BMI is the most fundamental indicator, but you should also consider your waist-hip ratio. A large amount of visceral fat has been related to an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease.
- Maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet. If youre overweight, dont go over your daily calorie restriction, and attempt to eat even less. Say goodbye to processed meals and sweets.
If you follow those recommendations, your hemoglobin A1C levels will almost certainly improve.
Benefits Of Lowering Your A1c Test Result
Keeping your A1C test results low can significantly reduce the risk of long-term diabetes complications such as nerve problems, damage to your eyes, kidney disease and heart problems.3
1American Diabetes Association. Standards of medical care in diabetes2017 . Diabetes Care. 2017 40: S1-S135. Available at: . Accessed July 28, 2017.
2Nathan DM, Kuenen J, Borg R, Zheng H, Schoenfeld D, Heine RJ. Translating the A1C assay into estimated average glucose values. Diabetes Care. 2008 31: 1473-1478. Available at . Accessed July 28, 2017.
3American Diabetes Association. A1C and eAG. Available at: . Accessed July 28, 2017.
4Tylee TS, Trence DL. Glycemic variability: looking beyond the A1C. Diabetes Spectrum. 2012 24: 149-153. Available at . Accessed July 28, 2017.
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Why Was My Hba1c Result Higher/lower Than The Result Given By The Calculator
In addition to the reasons given just above, there are some other practical reasons which may explain difference between the calculators estimate and your lab results. We will look at a few of the more common reasons for differences.
If you take a relatively high proportion of your blood glucose tests at the same time of day, eg upon waking, the HbA1c result the calculator gives will give a decent reflection of your early morning results but may not so well represent your blood glucose levels at other timers in the day.
Similarly, if you take more before meal, rather than after meal, readings, the HbA1c result given by the calculator will give a better reflection of your before meal results than after meal ones.
Typically, most peoples after meal results are higher than their before meal results, so if you take significantly more before meal results than after meal readings, you may find that the calculator gives you a lower result than your lab test result will.
What Is A1c And Why Is It Important To Know Your Percentage
A1c is a measure of your average blood sugar level over the past two to three months. It’s important to know your A1c percentage because it can help you and your doctor see how well your diabetes treatment plan is working. If your A1c is too high, your blood sugar levels are too high, which can lead to serious health complications like heart disease, kidney disease, nerve damage, and blindness.
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Blood Glucose Levels Move Up And Down
Your results can vary because of natural changes in your blood glucose level. For example, your blood glucose level moves up and down when you eat or exercise. Sickness and stress also can affect your blood glucose test results. A1C tests are less likely to be affected by short-term changes than FPG or OGTT tests.
The following chart shows how multiple blood glucose measurements over 4 days compare with an A1C measurement.
Blood Glucose Measurements Compared with A1C Measurements over 4 Days
The straight black line shows an A1C measurement of 7.0 percent. The blue line shows an example of how blood glucose test results might look from self-monitoring four times a day over a 4-day period.
Stick To A Regular Schedule So You Can More Easily Follow A Healthy Diet
Skipping meals, letting too much time pass between meals, or eating too much or too often can cause your blood sugar levels to fall and rise too much, Cleveland Clinic points out. This is especially true if you are taking insulin or certain other diabetes drugs. Your doctor can help you determine the best meal schedule for your lifestyle.
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Why Do People With Diabetes Have An A1c Test
People with diabetes will have an A1C test done in order for their doctor to understand how treatment is working.
A1Cs are not a grade. Rather, they are a way to make sure treatments like, insulin, oral medication, diet and exercise are working as intended.
Your doctor may adjust your treatment based on your A1C. Using the calculator above, however, is not a meaningful way to make treatment decisions on your own.
See your doctor if you believe you need a change in your treatment.
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The Big Picture: Monitoring Treatment
This relatively simple blood test can tell you a lot. The test results give you a picture of your average blood sugar level over the past two to three months. The higher the levels, the greater your risk of developing diabetes complications. Your doctor will tell you how often you need the A1C test, but usually youll have the test at least twice a year if youre meeting your treatment goals. If youre not meeting your goals or you change treatments, you may need to get an A1C test more often.
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How To Calculate A1c To Average Blood Sugar
There’s nothing more simple than using our A1c calculator. Just input the level of hemoglobin A1c from your laboratory test to get your result immediately. You can freely switch between units in both the hemoglobin and average blood sugar fields.
For those curious about the actual calculations, here is the A1c to average blood sugar formula:
Average Blood Sugar = HbA1c * 28.7 – 46.7
If you want to convert hemoglobin A1c level from a percent to millimoles per moles , use the following equation:
HbA1c = HbA1c * 10.93 – 23.5
To do the reverse calculation , use this formula:
HbA1c = HbA1c * 0.09148 + 2.152
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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How To Lower A1c
If your A1c test shows that your levels are too high, your doctor will tell you to lower it. Here are some useful tips on how to do that:
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?
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What Is An A1c Test
The hemoglobin A1c test tells you your average level of blood sugar over the past 2 to 3 months. It’s also called HbA1c, glycated hemoglobin test, and glycohemoglobin. Itâs a lot like a baseball player’s season batting average. A single game doesn’t tell you how a player is performing in their career. And 1 day’s test results don’t give you the complete picture of how your treatment is working.
People who have diabetes need this test regularly to see if their levels are staying within range. It can tell if you need to adjust your diabetes medicines. The A1c test is also used to diagnose diabetes.
What Is The Cost Benefit Of Lowering A1c
Recently the ADA published analysis diabetes costs. They showed total estimated costs of $327 billion with $237 billion on direct costs and $90 billion in indirect costs.5Economic costs of diabetes continues to rise.
Data from numerous studies show that better A1C results in lower total healthcare costs.6 A study using claims data from a large health maintenance organization showed that the group of mainly type 2 patients whose A1C was lowered by 1% experienced lower total health care costs in the range of $685 to $950 less per year compared to people who had no A1C improvement.
Another analysis from a large managed care organization showed that total diabetes-related costs for people whose A1C was greater than 7% was $1,540 per patient during the 1-year follow-up. This was 32% higher than the total diabetes-related costs for people whose A1C was at or below 7%.
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What Does The A1c Test Measure
When sugar enters your bloodstream, it attaches to hemoglobin, a protein in your red blood cells. Everybody has some sugar attached to their hemoglobin, but people with higher blood sugar levels have more. The A1C test measures the percentage of your red blood cells that have sugar-coated hemoglobin.
How The Test Works
The sugar in your blood is called glucose. When glucose builds up in your blood, it binds to the hemoglobin in your red blood cells. The A1c test measures how much glucose is bound.
Red blood cells live for about 3 months, so the test shows the average level of glucose in your blood for the past 3 months.
If your glucose levels have been high over recent weeks, your hemoglobin A1c test will be higher.
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Can Other Blood Glucose Tests Be Used To Diagnose Type 2 Diabetes And Prediabetes
Yes. Health care professionals also use the fasting plasma glucose test and the OGTT to diagnose type 2 diabetes and prediabetes. For these blood glucose tests used to diagnose diabetes, you must fast at least 8 hours before you have your blood drawn. If you have symptoms of diabetes, your doctor may use the random plasma glucose test, which doesnt require fasting. In some cases, health care professionals use the A1C test to help confirm the results of another blood glucose test.
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