If My A1c Is Normal My Glucose Is Good
An A1C result thatâs below 5.7% is normal âs standards, but having a result below that number isnât the end of the story. Pregnancy, hemoglobin variants, anemia, liver disease, and certain medications can cause inaccurate A1C results.
Additionally, the A1C test is measuring your average glucose value over the past 3 months, but averages inherently do not capture highs and lows. So, you could have a normal average while also having abnormal glucose spikes. The A1C test should only supplement your regular blood sugar testing, not replace it completely.
I Feel Fine So I Dont Need To Test My Levels
Zanini points out that having high blood glucose can come as a surprise to anyone. âIt’s possible they didn’t notice any symptoms or were simply feeling ‘more tired than usual,ââ she says. âIt’s easy to attribute being tired to many other things. . .so this is why regular physicals with your healthcare provider are important.â The bottom line? Listen to your body, take note of symptoms as they arise, and consider monitoring your continuous glucose values.
What Is Normal Fasting Blood Sugar And What Is A Diabetes Blood Sugar Level
The results of the fasting blood sugar test will come back as a number:
- 99 mg/dL or lower: This is a normal fasting blood sugar level.
- 100125 mg/dL: Fasting blood sugar in this range typically indicates prediabetes. This means your blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as diabetes.
- 126 mg/dL or above: This indicates high blood sugar, the main sign of diabetes.
If you have a high fasting blood sugar level, your healthcare provider may repeat the test to make sure. If the test reveals that you have prediabetes, your healthcare provider will recommend you repeat the fasting blood sugar test every year or two. The results will help you know whether you are progressing to Type 2 diabetes.
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High Blood Sugar Levels
If you have diabetes, you can find out if your blood sugar level is high by having a blood sugar test.
You may have regular tests by your care team or GP surgery, or you may have tests you can do at home.
|Type of test||High level|
|Test done by a health professional to check your blood sugar level over the last 2 or 3 months||48 mmol/mol or over|
|Test done by a health professional after not eating for a few hours||Over 7 mmol/L|
|Home test done after waking up or before eating||Over 7 mmol/L|
|Home test done at any other time||Over 11 mmol/L|
Make A Note Of Your Readings
It may sound obvious, but you must record your readings. Note them down in a diary, a notebook or in your phone calendar. Some meters have software that lets you do this. You could try a diabetes app too.
You and your healthcare team can then look back over your results to see if you need to adjust your treatment.
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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
Only Diabetics Get High Glucose Values
While a high glucose value can indicate diabetes, nondiabetics can also have higher values than normal. When researchers studied people wearing a continuous glucose monitor who did not have a diabetes diagnosis, they found 93% of individuals reached glucose levels that are considered dangerous, with 10% spending over 2 hours per day in these dangerous levels. Traditional glucose measurements, like a single point in time blood glucose value, are unable to capture these abnormalities.
There are actually several causes of high blood sugar unrelated to diabetes that the CDC recognizes. These include certain foods, like artificial sweeteners and coffee. Other factors like stress can do it, too. If you live with an endocrine or pancreatic condition, had surgery recently, or are experiencing intense physical stress , you may also see your glucose value rise.
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Whats My Target Range
You might be asking, what’s the normal range for blood sugar levels? The answer is, there is a healthy range that you should ideally be aiming for. The infographics above show the general guidelines, but your individual target range for your blood sugar levels may be different. Youll healthcare team will agree with you what it is.
Youll get different readings at different times of the day, depending on things like what youve eaten and how much you are moving around. Heres a guide to help you get started on finding your target range:
If youre a child with type 1 diabetes
- when you wake up and before meals: 4 to 7mmol/l
- after meals: 5 to 9mmol/l
If youre an adult with type 1 diabetes
- when you wake up and before meals: 5 to 7mmol/l
- before meals at other times of the day: 4 to 7mmol/l
If you have type 2 diabetes
- before meals: 4 to 7mmol/l
- two hours after meals: less than 8.5mmol/l
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High Glucose And Diabetes
When you eat, your body breaks food down into glucose, a form of sugar, explains the American Diabetes Association . That glucose is carried through your bloodstream to your cells and tissues, which use it for energy.
The hormone insulin plays an important role in this process. It helps transfer sugar out of your bloodstream and into the cells that will use or store it, says ADA. A high blood glucose level means this process isn’t working the way it should because your body can’t make enough insulin, doesn’t use it effectively or both.
It’s not a situation to be ignored, even though you may not have any symptoms yet. Prediabetes â when your blood sugar level is higher than normal but not high enough to be considered diabetes â can develop into diabetes if you don’t make needed lifestyle changes, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. Diabetes, undiagnosed or untreated, can lead to serious complications over time, including heart disease, blindness and kidney failure as a result of your blood sugar being too high all the time, according to the Mayo Clinic.
There are two main kinds of diabetes. Says Robert H. Eckel, MD, president of medicine and science at the ADA, “90 to 95 percent of diabetes is type 2 diabetes.” Type 1 diabetes develops most often in young people, the ADA notes, although it can also be diagnosed in adulthood. A third type, gestational diabetes, occurs during pregnancy.
Read more:Normal Glucose Levels in Men and Women
What Is The A1c Test
The A1C test is a blood test that provides information about your average levels of blood glucose, also called blood sugar, over the past 3 months. The A1C test can be used to diagnose type 2 diabetes and prediabetes.1 The A1C test is also the primary test used for diabetes management.
The A1C test is sometimes called the hemoglobin A1C, HbA1c, glycated hemoglobin, or glycohemoglobin test. Hemoglobin is the part of a red blood cell that carries oxygen to the cells. Glucose attaches to or binds with hemoglobin in your blood cells, and the A1C test is based on this attachment of glucose to hemoglobin.
The higher the glucose level in your bloodstream, the more glucose will attach to the hemoglobin. The A1C test measures the amount of hemoglobin with attached glucose and reflects your average blood glucose levels over the past 3 months.
The A1C test result is reported as a percentage. The higher the percentage, the higher your blood glucose levels have been. A normal A1C level is below 5.7 percent.
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What Is High Blood Glucose
To fully understand your blood glucose levels, itâs important to know: a) what values are actually considered high, and b) factors that can cause your elevated reading in the first place.
High blood glucose, also known as hyperglycemia, occurs when there is too much sugar in the bloodstream. Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, is the result of too little glucose in the bloodstream. Hyperglycemia usually occurs because your body doesnât produce enough insulin or canât properly use the available insulin to remove the glucose from the bloodstream.
Using milligrams of glucose per deciliter of blood for measurement, high blood glucose readings after a meal indicating prediabetes can fall between 140 and 199 mg/dL. Levels reaching 200 mg/dL two hours after eating indicate you may already be insulin resistant or diabetic, though that diagnosis will need to come from your doctor. By comparison, the typical standard for normal glucose readings is to remain under 140 mg/dL throughout the day and under 100 mg/dL after eight hours of fasting.
A range of lifestyle factors, habits, and health conditions can cause high blood sugar. To debunk common hyperglycemia myths, review causes and symptoms, and discuss the best ways to address them, we spoke with two experts on high blood sugar levels: registered dietitian and For The Love of Diabetes creator Lori Zanini and registered dietitian nutritionist and diabetes management expert .
How Are High Blood Sugar Levels Treated
Treating high blood sugar levels involves fixing what caused them in the first place. Your diabetes health care team will give you specific advice on how to keep your blood sugar levels in a healthy range. But here are some ways to manage the common causes of high blood sugar levels:
|Reason for High Blood Sugar Level||What to Do|
|Not getting enough insulin or other diabetes medicine||
|Not following the meal plan||
|Not getting enough exercise||
|Illness or stress||
|Use of other medicines that can increase blood sugar||
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What Do Glucose Levels Mean
Glucose levels are primarily about glucose / insulin balance (also called glucose homeostasis in your blood stream. Insulin is a hormone produced by your pancreas which your body needs to burn the sugar and convert it into energy.High glucose level means that glucose / insulin balance is disturbed and may need to be corrected. Higher amounts of glucose need more insulin to be processed. Diabetes is a condition when you blood glucose levels are higher that your insulin can manage, so glucose in not burnt and its levels in the blood remain high while you experience energy shortage symptoms, like weakness or dizzness, because your body cells cannot get glucose from your blood and starve. In this state yor can also feel thirsty or urinate often.
There are two major causes for glucose / insulin disbalance. First, pancreas produces too little insulin or you have a condition called insulin-resistance , which means that glucose-lowering effects of insulin do not work for your body cells. Type 1 diabetes is less common and occurs only in 10% of all diabetes cases. This condition is caused by an auto-immune damage to the pancreas, which means that your body’s immune system destroys your pancreas cells impairing its normal work.
High blood sugar means that your are on your way to diabetes or may already have it. However, the condition can be reversed. The earlier you take action the greater the chance to get back to healthy blood sugar levels.
Different Types Of Diabetes
Diabetes is characterised by the bodys inability to use glucose. There are different types of diabetes including:
- Type I diabetes due to a lack of insulin
- Type 2 diabetes due to a complex mix of insulin not working properly and insufficient insulin
- Gestational diabetes a form of diabetes that some women develop during their pregnancy. Pregnancy blocks the action of insulin and can bring out a tendency to diabetes. Mothers with gestational diabetes are at increased risk of developing diabetes in subsequent pregnancies and in later life.
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The Power Of Consistency
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A1c Test For Blood Glucose
If your fasting blood sugar result was above the normal range, your doctor may repeat the test to confirm it or may order a hemoglobin A1C test, which shows blood sugar levels over the past three months. “That fasting value only gives us a certain snapshot of how the person is doing,” says Deena Adimoolam, MD, an assistant professor of endocrinology at the Icahn School of Medicine in New York City. “The hemoglobin A1C will help us to understand how long this issue has been going on and how high the person’s blood glucose levels have been over a certain amount of time.”
A hemoglobin A1C result of 6.5 percent or higher confirms a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. An A1C result between 5.7 and 6.5 percent is considered prediabetes. While prediabetes puts you at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, Dr. Eckel notes that your A1C result can give you a clearer picture of your risk. “If your hemoglobin A1C is 5.8 or 5.7, that chance of developing type 2 diabetes is less than if it’s 6.3 or 6.4,” he says.
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Tests For Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes is diagnosed using blood tests. Youll probably be tested between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. If your risk is higher for getting gestational diabetes , your doctor may test you earlier. Blood sugar thats higher than normal early in your pregnancy may indicate you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes rather than gestational diabetes.
How To Do A Finger
Your healthcare team will show you how to do it the first time, but these are the key steps:
- Wash your hands with soap and warm water. Dont use wet wipes as the glycerine in them can affect the test result. Make sure your hands are warm so its easier to get blood and wont hurt as much.
- Take a test strip and slot it into the meter to turn it on. Some meters will have tests strips built in.
- Remove the cap from your finger prick device and put in a new lancet. Then put the cap back on and set the device by pulling or clicking the plunger.
- Choose which finger to prick but avoid your thumb or index finger . And dont prick the middle, or too close to a nail. Place the device against the side of your finger and press the plunger. Use a different finger each time and a different area.
- Take your meter with the test strip and hold it against the drop of blood. Itll tell you if the test strip is filled, usually by beeping.
- Before you look at your reading, check your finger. Use a tissue to stop bleeding, then use it to take out the lancet and throw it away in your sharps bin.
- You can use the same tissue to take out the test strip and throw that away too. Taking out the strip will usually turn the meter off.
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