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Good A1c Levels For Diabetics

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What Is A Hba1c Test

Can a Diabetic Patient have Normal A1C Levels?

The hemoglobin A1c test measures the amount of blood sugar attached to your hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the part of your red blood cells that carries oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. It is an important blood test that gives a good indication of how well your diabetes is being controlled.

You can check these average blood sugar levels yourself, but youll have to buy a kit, whereas your healthcare professional will do it for free. Its different from a finger-prick test, which is a snapshot of your blood sugar levels at a particular time, on a particular day.

You find out your HbA1c level by getting a blood test by a doctor or nurse. Your healthcare team will arrange this for you, but chase it up with your GP if you havent had one for a few months.

Most people will have the test every three to six months. But you may need it more often if youre planning for a baby, your treatment has recently changed, or youre having problems managing your blood sugar levels.

And some people will need the test less often, usually later on during pregnancy. Or need a different test altogether, like with some types of anaemia. A fructosamine test can be used instead, but its very rare.

An HbA1c test is also used to diagnose diabetes, and to keep an eye on your levels if youre at risk of developing diabetes .

The test is sometimes called haemoglobin A1c or just A1c.

The Basics Of High Blood Sugar

Diabetes is a problem with your body that causes blood sugar levels to rise higher than normal. This is also called hyperglycemia.

When you eat, your body breaks food down into sugar and sends it into the blood. Insulin then helps move the sugar from the blood into your cells. When sugar enters your cells, it is either used as fuel for energy right away or stored for later use. In a person with diabetes, there is a problem with insulin. But, not everyone with diabetes has the same problem.

There are different types of diabetestype 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes. If you have diabetestype 1, type 2 or gestationalyour body either doesn’t make enough insulin, can’t use the insulin well, or both.

Learn more about blood sugar Learn more about insulin

How To Lower A1c In Type 2 Diabetes

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  • What To Eat To Control High Blood Sugar?
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    Youre Eating Healthy Foods But Youre Eating Too Much

    Portion control is vital to managing your A1C, Gallagher says. Watching the amount you eat helps you maintain a healthy weight, but it also helps you manage your intake of carbohydrates and maintain healthy blood sugar levels, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . The agency offers a guide for estimating portion sizes. They also recommend taking steps to control your food intake, such as measuring out portions of snacks, rather than eating straight from the bag or box, and having your server wrap half of your meal if youre eating out, so you can enjoy it later. A registered dietitian or certified diabetes care and education specialist can help you develop a meal plan to help keep your blood sugar under control.

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    Which Classification Of Drugs Is Used To Treat Type 2 Diabetes

    A1c Values Chart

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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.

    Start An Exercise Plan You Enjoy And Do It Regularly

    Find something you enjoy doing that gets your body moving, whether its taking your dog for a walk, playing a sport with a friend, or riding your bike.

    The ADA recommends getting 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, says Jordana Turkel, a certified diabetes care and education specialist and registered dietitian at Park Avenue Endocrinology & Nutrition in New York City. Different types of exercise can lower your A1C by making your body more sensitive to insulin, Turkel says. She encourages her patients not to go more than two days in a row without exercising and to aim for two days of strength training per week.

    Be sure to check with your healthcare provider before embarking on an exercise plan, though. Together, you can come up with an individualized plan.

    And if you monitor your blood sugar daily, check it before and after exercise. As the ADA explains, exercise improves insulin sensitivity and lowers your blood sugar levels. In certain circumstances, though, stress hormones produced during more intense exercise can also increase blood sugar levels. In addition, other factors, such as what you eat before exercise and the timing of your workout, may also affect your numbers.

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    Why Do I Need An Hba1c Test

    The Centers for Disease Control recommends A1C testing for diabetes and prediabetes if:

    • You are over age 45.
    • If your results are normal, you should repeat the test every 3 years.
    • If your results show you have prediabetes, you will usually need to be tested every 1 to 2 years. Ask your provider how often to get tested and what you can do to reduce your risk of developing diabetes.
    • If your results show you have diabetes, you should get an A1C test at least twice a year to monitor your condition and treatment.
  • You are under 45 and are more likely to develop diabetes because you:
  • Have prediabetes.
  • Are overweight or have obesity.
  • Have a parent or sibling with type 2 diabetes.
  • Have heart disease or have had a stroke.
  • Are physically active less than 3 times a week.
  • Have had gestational diabetes or given birth to a baby over 9 pounds.
  • Are African American, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian, or an Alaska Native person. Some Pacific Islander and Asian American people also have a higher risk of developing diabetes.
  • You may also need an A1C test if you have symptoms of diabetes, such as:

    • Feeling very thirsty
    • Having more infections than usual

    What Is The Normal Blood Sugar Level For Kids

    What Is a Good Score on the A1c Diabetes Test?

    Blood sugar levels can vary based on age. Children younger than 6 have a different normal blood sugar level range than adults.

    The American Diabetes Association provides the following ranges as a guide:

    • Fasting: 80-180 mg/dL
    • Preprandial : 100-180 mg/dL
    • Postprandial : Less than 180 mg/dL
    • Bedtime: 110-200 mg/dL

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    How To Bring Sugar Level Down

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    What Tools Are Available If An A1c Test Is Not Accurate Or Sufficient

    Besides A1c tests, the most common measures of blood sugar are the oral glucose tolerance test , CGM, and self-monitored blood glucose tests.

    The OGTT is a diagnostic tool diabetes and prediabetes, assessing a persons response to consuming a fixed amount of sugar. After taking the sugar drink, blood sugar levels are measured two hours later. Below 140 mg/dl is considered normal, between 140 mg/dl and 200 mg/dl points to prediabetes or impaired glucose tolerance, and above 200 mg/dl indicates diabetes. It is not useful for tracking diabetes management.

    For those with established diabetes, CGM has the advantage of monitoring blood sugar levels consistently throughout the day , providing more detailed insight into time spent in-range, low blood sugars, and high blood sugars. Examples of CGM include:

    If CGM is not available, taking frequent fingersticks with a blood glucose meter when waking up, before and after meals, and before bed can also indicate when blood sugar levels are going low, high, and staying in range.

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    An A1c Goal Of Between 7% And 8% Is Reasonable And Beneficial For Most Patients With Type 2 Diabetes

    though if lifestyle changes can get that number lower, then go for it. For patients who want to live a long and healthy life and try to avoid the complications of diabetes, they will need to keep their blood sugars as normal as possible that means an A1c under 6.5%. However, studies show that using medications to achieve that goal significantly increases the risk of harmful side effects like hypoglycemia and weight gain. To live longer and healthier and avoid both the complications of diabetes as well as the risks of medications, theres this amazing thing called lifestyle change. This involves exercise, healthy diet, weight loss, and not smoking. It is very effective. Lifestyle change also can help achieve healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which in turn reduce the risk for heart disease. And heart disease is a serious and common complication of diabetes.

    Lifestyle change should be the cornerstone of treatment for type 2 diabetes. The recommendations go on to say that for patients who achieve an A1c below 6.5% with medications, we should decrease or even discontinue those drugs. Doing so requires careful monitoring to ensure that the person stays at the goal set with his or her doctor, which should be no lower than 7%, for the reasons stated above.

    How Often Should You Check Your Hemoglobin A1c Levels

    A1c Levels Chart For Type 1 Diabetes

    The American Diabetes Association suggests if people with diabetes want to reduce their hemoglobin A1c levels quickly, they should get their hemoglobin A1c levels checked every three months until they reach their treatment goals.

    People with diabetes who are meeting treatment goals and have stable blood control are recommended to check their hemoglobin A1c every six months according to the ADA.

    Tracking hemoglobin A1c levels allows an individual and their health-care professional to determine how well the person is controlling their blood sugar levels over time. However, they are not a substitute for daily glucose monitoring.

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    Take Medications As Directed

    Medications for diabetes can assist you in your efforts to lower your A1c levels, and you should take them as directed in order to get the most benefit out of them. Because your needs may change over time, its good to visit your doctor if you notice your levels changing. A simple schedule change or tweak in dosage may be all you need to get back on track.

    What Is Hemoglobin A1c

    To explain what hemoglobin A1c is, think in simple terms. Sugar sticks to things, and when it has been stuck to something for a long time, it’s harder to get the sugar off. In the body, sugar sticks too, particularly to proteins. The red blood cells that circulate in the body live for about three months before they die. When sugar sticks to these red blood cells by binding to hemoglobin A1c, it gives the doctor an idea of how much glucose has been around in the blood for the preceding three months. Hemoglobin A1c is a minor component of hemoglobin to which glucose binds. Hemoglobin A1c levels depend on blood glucose concentrations. The higher the sugar concentration in the blood, the higher the detectable hemoglobin A1c levels. At any point in time, hemoglobin A1c levels represent the average blood sugar concentrations in the person with diabetes for approximately the preceding 3 months. Other ways hemoglobin A1c may be termed include HbA1c, A1c, and Hb1c.

    Hemoglobin A1c levels can be altered by:

    • Oral or IV glucose intake
    • Combinations of these and other factors

    The goal for people with diabetes, with their doctor’s help, is to establish stable blood glucose levels resulting in hemoglobin A1c levels that are at least below 7% to reduce or stop complications of diabetes .

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    Random Plasma Glucose Test

    A random blood glucose test is a blood test thats performed any time of day that you arent fasting. It measures the sugar level in your blood at that moment in time.

    An RPG result thats over 200 mg/dL is indicative of diabetes, especially if youre having symptoms of diabetes such as excessive thirst, hunger, or urination.

    If your level is higher, your doctor will use one of the other tests listed to confirm the diagnosis.

    A1c Levels In People With Diabetes

    A1C test for Diabetes (HbA1c) – What is a Good A1C Test Result? SUGARMD

    For people with diabetes, an A1C under 7% is typically considered good control. Research shows an A1C above 9% significantly increases the risk of diabetic complications. For adults with diabetes, the target A1C range is typically between 7% and 8%. This depends on your age and other health factors.

    A1C levels correspond to the following average blood sugar levels:

    A1C Level
    240 mg/dL

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    How Is Gestational Diabetes Diagnosed

    Gestational diabetes is regularly diagnosed by measuring blood glucose levels. There are different ways to test for diabetes. Your healthcare provider can identify which test is best for you.

    Did You Know?

    Gestational diabetes develops during pregnancy, affecting four per cent of all pregnant women.You can help manage gestational diabetes by eating well and exercising regularly.

    Follow The Diabetes Treatment Plan Your Healthcare Team Recommends

    Diabetes treatment is very individualized, noted a February 2022 article in Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: Targets and Therapy. After all, factors including how long youve lived with the disease, your socioeconomic status, and any other conditions youre living with can play a role in the best treatment approach for you.

    Your healthcare team will help you determine which steps to take to successfully manage diabetes. Always talk to your doctor before making any changes, such as starting a diet very low in carbohydrates or beginning a new exercise regimen. This is especially important before making any medication or insulin changes.

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