If you've been diagnosed with diabetes, your doctor has probably mentioned the A1C test. But what is A1C? What does it measure? And why is it important? In this guide, we'll answer all of those questions and more.
We'll also discuss the normal range for A1C and what that means for you. So whether you're just starting to learn about diabetes or you're looking for a refresher, read on!
What is an A1C test?
The A1C test is a type of blood examination that gauges your average three-month blood sugar level. A1C is short for glycated hemoglobin, which is a type of hemoglobin (a protein in red blood cells) that's been combined with glucose (sugar). At the same time, it can be used to identify diabetes or prediabetes, and it's also used to help manage diabetes by showing how successful your current treatment plan is working.
What Does A1C Measure?
A1C measures your average blood sugar level across the past three months. It's a good way to see how well your diabetes treatment plan is functioning on a long-term basis. Diabetes and prediabetes may both be identified with the A1C test.
The A1C test is different from the fasting blood sugar (FBS) test, which measures blood sugar levels after fastening for at least eight hours. A1C is a better measure of long-term blood sugar control because it shows how well one’s blood sugar has been controlled across the past three months, while FBS only shows one’s blood sugar level at one particular moment.
What's the Normal Range for A1C?
The normal range for A1C is 4-6%. This means that if you have an A1C of 6%, that means that on average, your blood sugar has been at 6% across the past three months. A1C is measured in percentages, so the higher your A1C, the higher your average blood sugar has been.
If your A1C is above 6%, that means your blood sugar has been too high and you may have prediabetes or diabetes. If you have diabetes, keeping your A1C below 7% is important. And if you have prediabetes, keeping your A1C below 6% is important.
What Does A1C Mean for You?
If you've been diagnosed with diabetes, your doctor has probably talked to you about your A1C goal. This is the A1C level that you should aim for, which will be different for everyone. Your A1C goal will be based on factors like your age, how long you've had diabetes, and whether you have any other health conditions.
If you're newly diagnosed with diabetes, your A1C goal may be around 7%. But if you've had diabetes for a while and your A1C is still high, your doctor may set a higher A1C goal for you. And if you have other health conditions, like heart disease or kidney disease, your doctor may set a lower A1C goal for you.
In conclusion, the A1C test is a type of blood examination that measures your average blood sugar level across the last 3 months. No matter what your A1C goal is, it's important to talk to your doctor about what it means for you and how you can reach it.
There are many different ways to manage diabetes and reach your A1C goal, so your doctor can help you find the best plan for you. With that said, you can take an A1C test by yourself with Okra’s Bluetooth Blood Glucose Meter. They also have a refill kit which is more environmentally friendly and can also save costs in the long run.