A1c Results And What The Numbers Mean
|Diabetes||6.5 percent or above|
When using the A1C test for diagnosis, your doctor will send your blood sample taken from a vein to a lab that uses an NGSP-certified method. The NGSP, formerly called the National Glycohemoglobin Standardization Program, certifies that makers of A1C tests provide results that are consistent and comparable with those used in the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial.
Blood samples analyzed in a doctors office or clinic, known as point-of-care tests, should not be used for diagnosis.
The A1C test should not be used to diagnose type 1 diabetes, gestational diabetes, or cystic fibrosis-related diabetes. The A1C test may give false results in people with certain conditions.
Having prediabetes is a risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes. Within the prediabetes A1C range of 5.7 to 6.4 percent, the higher the A1C, the greater the risk of diabetes.
Eat A Balanced Diet With Proper Portion Sizes
Its best to check with a CDCES or registered dietitian/nutritionist to determine what a balanced diet and appropriate portion sizes mean for you. But a great rule of thumb is to fill half of your plate with veggies, a quarter with protein, and a quarter with whole grains, says Turkel. If you like fruit, limit your portion to a small cup, eaten with a little protein or lean fat to help you digest the carbohydrates in a way that is less likely to spike your blood sugar.
Also, avoid processed foods as much as possible, and try to avoid sugary sodas and fruit juice, which are high in carbs and calories, and thus can lead to spikes in blood sugar and contribute to weight gain, according to the ADA.
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.
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Finally: A1c Is Also Defined As Estimated Average Glucose Or Eag
Another term you may come across when finding out your A1C is eAG. Your doctor might report your A1C results as eAG. eAG is similar to what you see when monitoring your blood sugar at home on your meter. However, because you are more likely to check your blood sugar in the morning and before meals, your meter readings will likely be lower than your eAG.
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So What Do The Numbers Mean
When it comes to the numbers, there’s no one-size-fits-all target. A1C target levels can vary by each person’s age and other factors, and your target may be different from someone else’s. The goal for most adults with diabetes is an A1C that is less than 7%.
A1C test results are reported as a percentage. The higher the percentage, the higher your blood sugar levels over the past two to three months. The A1C test can also be used for diagnosis, based on the following guidelines:
- If your A1C level is between 5.7 and less than 6.5%, your levels have been in the prediabetes range.
- If you have an A1C level of 6.5% or higher, your levels were in the diabetes range.
Is The A1c Test Used During Pregnancy
Health care professionals may use the A1C test early in pregnancy to see if a woman with risk factors had undiagnosed diabetes before becoming pregnant. Since the A1C test reflects your average blood glucose levels over the past 3 months, testing early in pregnancy may include values reflecting time before you were pregnant. The glucose challenge test or the oral glucose tolerance test are used to check for gestational diabetes, usually between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. If you had gestational diabetes, you should be tested for diabetes no later than 12 weeks after your baby is born. If your blood glucose is still high, you may have type 2 diabetes. Even if your blood glucose is normal, you still have a greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes in the future and should get tested every 3 years.
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What Causes High Or Low Haemoglobin A1c Levels
The level of haemoglobin A1c is largely dependent upon the blood sugar levels. The higher the blood glucose level, the higher the amount of haemoglobin A1c. The higher the value of HbA1c, the greater the risk of experiencing complications associated with diabetes. Somebody who has had unmanaged diabetes for a long time may have a level of more than 8%. Factors responsible for altering the levels of haemoglobin A1c include:
- Oral or intravenous glucose consumption
- Combinations of any of the above-stated factors
Individuals with ailments influencing haemoglobin, like anaemia, might get ambiguous outcomes with this test. Other things that might influence the outcomes of the haemoglobin A1c involve supplements including vitamins C and E as well as high cholesterol levels. Kidney ailments and liver ailments are also seen to affect the test.
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How Can I Treat Low Blood Sugar
If youve had low blood sugar without feeling or noticing symptoms , you may need to check your blood sugar more often to see if its low and treat it. Driving with low blood sugar can be dangerous, so be sure to check your blood sugar before you get behind the wheel.
Carry supplies for treating low blood sugar with you. If you feel shaky, sweaty, or very hungry or have other symptoms, check your blood sugar. Even if you dont have symptoms but think you may have low blood sugar, check it. If your blood sugar is lower than 70 mg/dL, do one of the following immediately:
- Take four glucose tablets.
- Drink four ounces of fruit juice.
- Drink four ounces of regular soda, not diet soda.
- Eat four pieces of hard candy.
Wait for 15 minutes and then check your blood sugar again. Do one of the above treatments again until your blood sugar is 70 mg/dL or above and eat a snack if your next meal is an hour or more away. If you have problems with low blood sugar, ask your doctor if your treatment plan needs to be changed.
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Natural Ways To Bring Normal Range Of Hba1c
Those who have higher levels of HbA1c can bring down the level of HbA1c to the normal range through medications. Apart from this, there are some natural ways as well which can bring your HbA1c normal. These include:
- Quit smoking to get haemoglobin A1c levels down.
- You should eat a balanced and healthy diet to maintain the immune system and hormonal balance.
- Exercising is another natural way to control the increased glycosylated haemoglobin levels and it helps in losing weight and lowering blood sugar which ultimately results in enhancing insulin sensitivity.
- Adopt a healthy lifestyle to keep your blood sugar levels in control.
You can easily achieve this without disturbing your daily schedule like Ms. Dheeraj Sabharwal who has been able to reduce her HbA1c level from 9.8 to 6.2 by switching to a healthy lifestyle with the constant support and motivation of a Diet Coach, Fitness Coach the Diabetologist. She has successfully reversed diabetes while pursuing her teaching profession and also taking care of the family.
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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 provider’s 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.
What Are Normal Blood Sugar Levels
You might want to measure your blood sugar before meals to get a baseline, and then two hours after your meal to measure your normal blood sugar level. Your doctor might also suggest measuring blood sugar before bed to be sure you have been eating well throughout the day and can go to sleep with peace of mind.
These are considered within the range of normal for blood sugar:
- Less than 140 mg/dl if you do not have diabetes.
- Less than 180 mg/dl if you have diabetes.
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Why Should A Person Get The A1c Test
Testing can help health care professionals
- find prediabetes and counsel you about lifestyle changes to help you delay or prevent type 2 diabetes
- find type 2 diabetes
- work with you to monitor the disease and help make treatment decisions to prevent complications
If you have risk factors for prediabetes or diabetes, talk with your doctor about whether you should be tested.
Normal Blood Sugar Levels In People Above The Age Of 20
In young adults and adults above 20 who do not have diabetes, the regular blood sugar levels should be as follows:
- In healthy young adults who do not have diabetes, the fasting blood glucose levels should typically be between 70 and 90 mg/dL.
- As per research, a fasting blood glucose level that is above 90 mg/dL can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease in young adults.
- In healthy adults who do not have diabetes, the blood glucose levels should be lower than or 140 mg/dL.
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Random Blood Sugar Test
This measures your blood sugar at the time youre tested. You can take this test at any time and dont need to fast first. A blood sugar level of 200 mg/dL or higher indicates you have diabetes.
|140 mg/dL or below||N/A|
*Results for gestational diabetes can differ. Ask your health care provider what your results mean if youre being tested for gestational diabetes.Source: American Diabetes Association
If your doctor thinks you have type 1 diabetes, your blood may also tested for autoantibodies that are often present in type 1 diabetes but not in type 2 diabetes. You may have your urine tested for ketones , which also indicate type 1 diabetes instead of type 2 diabetes.
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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Blood Sugar Level Chart By Age
Blood sugar levels tend to rise with age due to an increase in insulin resistance and decrease in insulin sensitivity. In one study by the National Health Institute , each extra decade of age was linked to a 2.7 mg/dl increase in fasting glucose, and a 4.5 mg/dl increase in 2-hour post-prandial glucose levels.
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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 you’re not meeting your goals or you change treatments, you may need to get an A1C test more often.
How Does The A1c Test Work
The A1c test is a blood test you get at the doctors office. A member of your medical care team takes a blood sample, either from a vein in your arm or with a finger prick test using a lancet needle. It takes a few minutes, and the blood sample is sent away for analysis.
The test measures the amount of red blood cells with sugar-saturated hemoglobin. The results appear as a percentage, and your doctor uses it to review your average blood glucose levels from the previous 23 months. It confirms if your blood glucose is within healthy levels.
Hemoglobin is a protein in your red blood cells that works to carry oxygen throughout your body. When glucose enters the bloodstream, it binds with hemoglobin. The more glucose you have in your system, the more glycosylated hemoglobin you have. High levels can indicate diabetes.
A1c testing is used to diagnose prediabetes and type 1 and 2 diabetes. Regular testing is also used as part of a diabetes treatment plan. It aids diabetes control by monitoring a persons blood sugar levels to ensure their treatment plan is working effectively.
People with diabetes can also use a blood glucose meter at home.
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