By LexaDelly Latest Reply 2011-07-14 19:54:05 -0500
Started 2011-06-30 13:58:04 -0500

I've been reading about different a1c's and people are considering 5 to be too high and 14.1 to be awesome. And now I'm just so confused. My doctors want me to be between 6.5-7 because that averages blood sugars to be around 100.. What makes everything so different???

49 replies

avg 2011-07-12 21:00:43 -0500 Report

I am preparing for gastric bypass surgery, I started with an A1C of 11.1 october of 2010. I have been diabetic for many years now and was hesitant to go on insulin. Surgeons will not consider you a candidate for procedure unless your A1C is 7.5 or lower, so I started to see a local diabetic specialist at the medical center, In Jan. 2011. I saw him 1 time and have been seeing his N.P. every month since. She has adjusted my lantus insulin doses several times, but left my oral meds as they have alwyas been. Each month they run an A1C and evey time it has come down. In May Iwas finally 7.5 in June Iwas 7.3. my BS have been much better 65-100 fasting before breakfast. I have my surgical consult tomorrow, so I had an A1c done this afternoon, the nurse asked me what I thought my numbers would be and I figured 7.1. He asked me to stand, showed me the computer print out and I began to cry with happiness. It was 6.8 the nurse gave me a great big hug and sai " you have done wonderful this month good luck and keep up the good work". What a fantastic feeling. A n A1c of 14.1 is extremely high and still needs a lot of work, but if that is an improvement from the last check the congrats. Good Luck.

MarkS 2011-07-09 10:10:40 -0500 Report

Hi LexaDelly, an optimal HbA1c is determined by your physician. Typically, the lower the number the better. I believe that a normal HbA1c is less than 6 while the ideal standard for a diabetic is less than 7, which equates to an average daily blood sugar of about 150. The danger with trying to get your HbA1c low is the hypolycemia that follows. I know because that's one of my challenges, and I wear a continuous glucose monitor that helps me to adjust on a real time basis.

mysticalrose53 2011-07-03 15:23:27 -0500 Report

When I went to my Dr. a few weeks ago my A1c went from 7.8 to 10.Needless to say she increased my meds again.I am watching very close what I eat or drink.She also said that stress or an infection can bring it up as well.I am trying my darndest not to have to go on insulin.My greatest fear is to start to lose body parts or to have to go on dyalisis

parrysark 2011-07-03 09:59:56 -0500 Report

According to new values the medical community now want A1C to be as close as 5 as they can get. i have not had values above 5.8 and they just put me on meds for my diabetes. Its kind of like put the baby on its back, no they should be on their stomachs type deal.

Type1Lou 2011-07-02 07:05:53 -0500 Report

I found a chart somewhere (maybe at the bottom of myAic bloodwork report) that gave these values. 5.8 and under is what a person without diabetes should have. 6.0 through 6.9 reflects a diabetic but under good control (hence your guideline to be at 7 or under) 7.0 on up reflects a need to gain better control to avoid those nasty diabetic complications. It's sort of like golf, the lower the score, the better you're doing! Nice work!

NavyNerd 2011-07-02 00:48:37 -0500 Report

My doc said get it 6 to 7, so thats my goal. He fusses at me for anything over 9 (and I have had some 15s, so 14 was a step in teh right direction but not good by anny standard. 6-7 means most of your sugars are staying closer to teh target range of 100 to 120. (My mom was a diabetic counsleor, so whenever I get an A1C back I call her and she gives me a good job kid or a what can we do to help get it down talk LOL)

Maybe check with your doc/specific lab and see their scale? When I have labs done its all about scales. I have one test where the values change AM vs PM- 25 is high in teh AM, 12 is high in teh PM. Its all about perspective.

shorty1965 2011-07-03 13:33:21 -0500 Report

can u please ask your mom to help me understand.Why my chart say i'm a 10.3 and my numbers should be as high as 200 something and there only 103 to 151 how can that be?What is wrong with that?

jayabee52 2011-07-03 15:51:46 -0500 Report

You may be having highs or lows you are not feeling and therefore not recording with your meter. A1c is an AVERAGE of your BGs in a 90 day period which includes all your highs and lows.

My beloved Jem had a medical condition which necessitated her taking either cortisone shots or prednisone pills. It skyrocketed her BG#s whenever she had to take those meds. We struggled to get her BGs under 200 for weeks after that. Yet for one of those times she had an A1c of about 7. I expected a higher A1c and asked her endo about it. He explained that she probably was having lows we weren't catching on the meter. She was a brittle t2 so she had a pretty volitle BG history. She was blind, so couldn't easily read her meter when she felt low. And if I was away or sleeping when she felt low she just ate, (sometimes way too much) and got on the BG roller coaster.

That's how I learned about the A1c discrepancy problem

jayabee52 2011-07-03 18:30:03 -0500 Report

It WILL help you a lot. But I was answering a specific question about a discrepancy between your expected average readings and your actual A1c reading.

VickieF 2011-07-01 22:44:33 -0500 Report

Making it simpler.14.1 is awsome for someone who has brought it down from say 15. That means what they are doing is helping. It just takes time. An A1C of 5 is to low though. 6.5-7 as your Doctor said is very good.
Hope this helped.

AuntieM234 2011-07-01 21:22:42 -0500 Report

14.1 is definitely NOT awesome! By all means, listen to your Doctor! As long as I am under 7.0, my Doctor is happy. My most recent test put mine at 6.8. The higher readings place you at risk for kidney failure, heart attack, stroke, blindness, and any number of other ailments!

kdroberts 2011-07-01 20:54:47 -0500 Report

Just to complicate matters, an a1c of 5 could be awful and a lit worse than 6.5 or so. It all depends on how much your blood sugar fluctuates. Bouncing between 20 and 250 all day will give you a great a1c but will cause a lot of damage. Keeping blood sugar around 120 +/- 20 all the time will give you a higher a1c but one that will help prevent complications.

MewElla 2011-07-01 21:05:51 -0500 Report

This is such a good explanation…My A1C is 6,my dr said he wants me to hold it here, no lower..My test #'s were running higher in the a.m., dr said no problem for me to stay around 110-120, then I read so many people say should be at 100, confusing..what do you think?

2011-07-01 18:07:03 -0500 Report

Hey LexaDelly~~ I never heard where an A1c reading ABOVE 7 is high. All of my Dox have told me to get my A1c down when it was a 10! I,'ve only heard of an A1c 7 or below is the best. My last A1c was done just a week ago, and it was at a 8.1. My doc nearly bit my head off!!

berrykins0 2011-07-01 14:58:06 -0500 Report

i started out april 2009 8.2and after 5 months sept 2009 i was at 5.6.for 1yr1/2.now as of april 2011 i'm at 5.4. i started out taking 1 pill may2009 than 2 pills june 2009 until june2010 and at that point i was put back one only 1pill.

shorty1965 2011-07-03 13:45:54 -0500 Report

What do you do to get your numbers down that low .Thats where i need to be but don't know how.what do you eat all the time?

wrmjw1 2011-07-01 10:43:18 -0500 Report

mine was around 6.5 the last time I had it checked and my blood sugars have been in the 100-120 range. I find it easier to control diabetes as long as you stick to a certain routine.

tabby9146 2011-07-01 09:48:44 -0500 Report

5 is not high at all, it is awesome. My last one was 5.4. I have not had mine checked in a year and a half, but need to soon. I'm stll paying doctor bills for other things withn my family

AuntieM234 2011-07-01 21:41:47 -0500 Report

You can purchase a A1c Test Kit at Walmart for $8.87. It contains everything you need for taking a blood sample and has a postage-paid envelope for mailing in the sample. A comprehensive report will be mailed to you within 7-15 days. ;-) Mara

shorty1965 2011-07-03 13:50:07 -0500 Report

Thank you i needed that.

AuntieM234 2011-07-03 15:04:13 -0500 Report

You're Welcome! I also saw an ad yesterday for an Alc tester. It is made by Bayer and gives an instant Alc readout. I have no idea what it costs, though, or where to find it. ;-) Mara

AuntieM234 2011-07-03 17:18:37 -0500 Report

Actually, I saw it here, once yesterday, when I was logged out of DC, but the home page screen was still up. You may try watching the logged out screen a little while, or try going online at Bayer.com. Also, if you have a large pharmacy located near you, maybe check there. If you need me to help you check, I will do so. I'm going to be away from my computer for awhile now. Leave a message for me if you want me to help. ;-) Mara

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2011-07-01 07:42:05 -0500 Report

To add to what others have said, some people can be doing all the right things, but their diabetes is not cooperating. For example if you are more resistant to insulin, or almost any carb makes your BG go up, your good A1c could be higher. During Jan and Feb I had a couple of flu/viruses that kept my BG high. My A1c was higher as a result. It was still a good number but higher than the previous 3. So I was not happy about it, even though my Dr. was still pleased with the number.

Kirla 2011-06-30 14:39:03 -0500 Report

Numbers can be so confusing even the experts have different opinions about them. I believe a normal A1C from people without diabetes is around 4-6 approximately. I’m not an expert its just what I believe. Anyway most doctors would like you to keep your numbers under A1C 7.

6.5 to 7 is a good target for someone using insulin. Otherwise the risk of going low is high for people trying to get it lower who use insulin or certain combinations of oral meds. Most experts believe that number above 7 isn’t good because the high blood sugar above that can cause complications. Many believe keeping it below 7 is a good target for reducing the changes of getting complications.

So for diabetics having an A1C between 5 and 7 is where it should be. Above that we need to figure out ways to reduce it. Some people have good luck reducing high carb starchy foods because there the carbs that causes high blood sugar. Some people take more oral meds and some take more insulin. You have to find what works for you.

I started with an A1C of 14.1. Not to good. Left me with blood sugar above 300 most of the time. I started to drink lots of water and to eat lots of low carb vegetables and by testing before and after each meal I soon realized what foods were spiking my blood sugar and slowly reduced foods like bread and most foods made of grains along with pasta, rice, corn, potatoes, oatmeal, cereals, chips, crackers, cakes, cookies, candy, soda, fruits, fruit juices, milk and most foods that contain more than 5-6 net carbs per serving as found on the package label. I don’t eat any of them foods. Haven’t had any in over 2 years now.

By doing what I did above I was able to reduce my A1C to 5.9 in only a few months and have been able to keep it there for 2 years now. I was able to quit all meds and as long as I don’t eat the high carb starchy foods my blood sugar stays at good levels. Never had to use insulin. Hope I can keep doing it for many years to come.

tabby9146 2011-07-01 09:49:35 -0500 Report

well I am definitely diabetic and at diagnosis, my A1C was 5.7 and the second time I had it checked, it was 5.4 and I have it for sure.

LexaDelly 2011-06-30 14:48:34 -0500 Report

Thank you! Yes, I'm using insulin so I was just wondering why there are so many ranges. The different countries one also makes sense so thank you!

CaliKo 2011-06-30 14:33:36 -0500 Report

There's a very good explanation of the A1C test on the Mayo Clinic website, page through the information, it tells what it is, what it's testing, why its used and what the results mean. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/a1c-test/MY0...
I hope you find it helpful.

lmkilday 2011-06-30 14:42:02 -0500 Report

It was helpful. My A1C was 6 and my doctor said that was good, but the article placed his comment into context.

jayabee52 2011-06-30 14:22:01 -0500 Report

I don't know who are considering 5 to be too high, and 14.1 to be "awesome". If that last statement were to be put in its context it might be helpful. 14.1 might be considered awesome if the person had an A1c of 20 previously. The awesomeness of that would be that reduction of the A1c from what it WAS to what it is now.
In reality 14.1 would mean that that person had a LOT of hard work ahead trying to get the A1c down toward normal range, but if someone reported an A1c of 14.1 when they had previously had a reading of 20 or more, I would congratulate that person for all the hard work they've done getting the A1c down that far, especially if it was in a short time.

The issue of a "5" not being good, may be because not all countries use the same Blood Gluose scale or meaurement. We in the USA use a mg/dl scale while other places use a mmol/dl scale. A "5" in Great Britain may be considered high. We have folks posting in DC, fairly regularly who are from countries using the mmol scale. There is a way to convert the readings from one scale to the other, but I don't know how to do it.

My last A1c was 5.5 and I am quite pleased to learn that.

majikinfl 2011-06-30 18:29:06 -0500 Report

To convert mmol/l of glucose to mg/dl, multiply by 18.
To convert mg/dl of glucose to mmol/l, divide by 18 or multiply by 0.055.


Mistletoe 2011-06-30 14:21:39 -0500 Report

I believe I read that 5.8 is normal and anything over is high for A1C, but I am sure anything close to 5.8 is great.

Kinn D.
Kinn D. 2011-06-30 14:16:18 -0500 Report

I don't know why those people are confused because the lower your A1C is the lower your blood sugar has been. my doc. also want mine between 6-7

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