How To Check Your Own Blood Sugar Level
One way to check ones own sugar level is by pricking a finger with a lancet and placing the blood that comes out onto a test strip, then inserting the strip into a glucose monitor. A meter can tell you what your levels are in about 5 seconds. Another option is by taking an oral glucose tolerance test , which takes longer but may also provide more accurate results. A persons individual level will depend on many factors including how old they are, their ethnicity, their weight and height, and the activity theyve performed recently. Blood sugar levels can be checked by pricking a finger to get a drop of blood and putting it on a glucose meter.
Blood Sugar Basics: What Is Blood Sugar
The term blood sugar refers to the sugar, or glucose, that is floating around in your bloodstream at any given time. Blood sugar, or blood glucose is the main source of sugar found in your blood, and comes from the food you eat.
If you are monitoring your blood sugar, it is important to keep these numbers in check according to the American Diabetes Association .
Your blood sugar needs to be in the right range for you to be healthy. At least some glucose is necessary for your muscle, liver, and some other cells to use as fuel so they can function.
At least some sugar is necessary for your cells and organs to function properly. When our blood sugar levels get too low, it is called hypoglycemia. Without enough glucose as fuel, we lose the ability to function normally. This can make us feel weak, dizzy, and sweaty. And it can even lead to loss of consciousness.
On the other hand, blood sugar levels that get too high are also harmful, this is called hyperglycemia. Our blood sugar levels can get too high when we dont have enough insulin, or when our insulin isnt working well. This is the case for people who have prediabetes or diabetes. If it isnt treated, high blood sugar can lead to serious problems that can be deadly
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains that keeping blood sugar levels in the target range is vital. It can help us prevent serious health concerns like heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease, for example.
What Is The Normal Blood Sugar Level For Adults
As we age, our bodies become less able to regulate blood sugar levels as well as they used to. That’s why the ADA recommends that older adults aim for a fasting blood sugar level of less than 100 mg/dL. After eating, it’s ideal that your blood sugar level is below 180 mg/dL.
The ADA recommends that most adults with diabetes aim for the following blood sugar goals:
- Fasting: Less than 100 mg/dL
- Preprandial : 70-130 mg/dL
- Postprandial : Less than 180 mg/dL
- Bedtime: 100-140 mg/dL
If you experience high blood sugar levels or low blood glucose levels compared to this range you should speak to your doctor.
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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.
Maintain A Healthy Weight
Work with them to determine how many calories you should be eating. If you need to lose weight, ask them how much weight you should be losing per week to stay healthy.
Crash diets and extreme workout plans may make for entertaining television, but they arent realistic for long-term maintenance. Theyre often unhealthy as well.
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How Can I Get My Number Down Quickly
- Exercise helps to lower your blood glucose levels by allowing your body to use its own insulin more effectively. This will, in turn, help lower A1C levels. Exercise also tones and builds muscle which is more metabolically active than fat. Ask your health care professional for advice on how to start a safe exercise program.
- Medications can play a very important role in lowering A1C. Be sure to follow your health care providers advice regarding diabetes medicines. For those who are newly diagnosed with diabetes, it can be very helpful to keep a diary of foods eaten, medications taken and timing. This information can be very useful to your physician.
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A1c Calculator For Average Blood Sugar Level
The HbA1c tool calculates your average blood glucose level in units. The glycated Hemoglobin A1C test shows your average blood sugar level over the past 2 to 3 months. If youd like to know your average blood sugar level over that time frame, just enter your most recent HbA1c results into the A1c calculator below, then hit enter. Furthermore, you can calculate your A1c level simply by entering your average blood sugar level into that field, hit enter for your result. . So basically, when people ask Can I calculate my A1C at home?, the answer is yes. Reference the A1C chart with your result value. A helpful tool for diabetics with t1d or t2d diabetes!
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How The A1c Blood Test Works
Body stores glucose to provide energy whenever it requires. The glucose or sugar that the body does not use remains in the blood. This extra glucose attaches to red blood cells. Then, they bind with the hemoglobin of those red cells. The A1c blood test measures the amount of glucose bound to the red blood cells.
The red blood cells remain for only three months in the human body. As a result, the A1c test usually measures the average blood sugar level of three months. The measurement of sugar for the past three months gets measured in percentage in the A1c blood test. A little blood sample taken from a finger stick or a small vial of blood drawn from an arm is enough to do the test. The blood test gets generally done in a lab.
How To Calculate A1c / Formula
It doesnt get any easier than utilizing our A1C calculator. Simply enter the level of hemoglobin A1C from your lab test to get an instant result. Both the hemoglobin and average blood sugar sections allow you to move freely between units.
Here is the formula for converting A1c to average blood sugar for people who are inquisitive about the details:
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A1c Levels Explanation And A1c Calculator
Your A1C test result 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 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.
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Why The A1c Test And A1c Average Blood Sugar Chart Are Important
The A1c blood test can detect ones average blood sugar level for the past three months. And the A1c Test Blood Sugar Chart also helps compare the result with the ordinary sugar levels.
Managing Blood Sugar
Blood sugar or glucose means the amount of glucose that remains in blood at a given time. So, regularly checking your blood sugar levels is very important. A quick measurement of blood glucose at a given time will determine if it is too high or low.
One can also determine how ones lifestyle, as well as medication, is affecting the blood glucose levels. Thus, it can help create and organize a proper lifestyle plan and diet to maintain the blood sugar level.
Identification of Prediabetics
Through the A1c blood test, the doctor can identify if anyone can get diabetes soon. This test can help alert the individual to take primary care to avoid cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Diagnosing type 1 and type 2 Diabetes
A1c blood tests help to diagnose type one and type 2 diabetes. It may require two A1c tests or one A1c test and another blood test to confirm the disease.
- Monitoring Diabetes Treatment
The first A1c blood test result will set a baseline of A1c level for you. After that, the test should get repeated from time to time to keep track of your sugar level.
The test will alert you if your sugar level gets higher. So, one should take the A1c test regularly. Because it will help you monitor the diabetes treatment plan.
How Often an A1c Test Is Needed
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What Can I Learn From Converting My Hba1c To Average Blood Glucose Level
Converting your lab test HbA1c to average blood glucose level can be useful to compare your own average blood glucose results.
If, for example, your own average blood glucose results are lower than the average provided by the calculator, this suggests you may not be testing during periods of the day when your blood glucose levels are higher, which could include after meals.
You may therefore wish to carry out more blood glucose testing at different times of day to see if you are experiencing high results that you may not otherwise be aware of.
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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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What Are The Risks Of Chronic High Blood Glucose Level
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.
- A higher risk of cardiovascular disease, such as myocardial infarction or stroke.
- Theres a chance youll get chronic renal disease or perhaps kidney failure.
- Nerve injury and paresthesia are more likely.
- There is a high risk of retinopathy and vision loss.
- Infections, including as skin infections and mycoses, are common.
- Difficulties with conceiving,
- Diabetic foot, which could cause amputation!
They may diagnose you with diabetes if your A1C result is equal to or higher than 6.5 percent. If this is the case, make an appointment with your doctor away!
What Do Your A1c Results Mean
The A1C test measures the glucose in your blood by assessing the amount of whats called glycated hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a protein within red blood cells. As glucose enters the bloodstream, it binds to hemoglobin. The more glucose that enters the bloodstream, the higher the amount of glycated hemoglobin, Dr. Dodell says.
According to the ADA, an A1C level below 5.7 percent is considered normal between 5.7 and 6.4 signals prediabetes and over 6.5 percent indicates type 2 diabetes. For many people with type 2 diabetes, the goal is to reduce A1C levels.
Your A1C goal is specific to you. Several factors come into play, such as your age, how advanced the diabetes is, and whether you have any other health conditions. If you can keep your A1C number below your goal which, for many people with diabetes, is less than 7 percent, says Dodell you can reduce the risk of complications, such as nerve damage and eye problems.
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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
How To Control Blood Sugar Naturally
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How Precise Is The A1c Test
When repeated, the A1C test result can be slightly higher or lower than the first measurement. This means, for example, an A1C reported as 6.8 percent on one test could be reported in a range from 6.4 to 7.2 percent on a repeat test from the same blood sample.3 In the past, this range was larger but new, stricter quality-control standards mean more precise A1C test results.
Health care professionals can visit www.ngsp.org to find information about the precision of the A1C test used by their lab.
What Is Estimated Average Glucose
Estimated average glucose, eAGsummarizes the blood glucose level during the past 3 months.
We obtain it by transforming percentage of HbA1c to eAG value, given either in mg/dL or mmol/L.
Why does the eAG measure exactly 3 past months?
The estimated average glucose range comes from the HbA1c measurements that estimate the amount of the particular protein located within the red blood cells.
The average lifespan of a red blood cell equals 120 days, which is almost 4 months but we must remember that not all the blood cells are being born and die at the same time. To receive accurate readings, we need to make sure that most of the cells that we study were alive during the period wed like to measure thats why were confident of 3, not 4 months.
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