a1c test?

By diva53d Latest Reply 2012-01-31 17:09:09 -0600
Started 2011-09-13 11:22:21 -0500

Okay I am really new here and diabetes . I gather the a1c is the test drinking glucose? Am I right? Mine was I gather from reading others, was very high. either 12 or 17 can't remember exactly what Dr. said. Lets go with the 12. She said I have type 2. Right now she has me testing bg a couple times daily and diet & exercise. I have a two more weeks before I see her again. I finally see a dietitian this week. Average readings are 7.9. I am really doing all I can think of. Are these considered high reading or average?

I think I am going to need all of you to help and guide me!

35 replies

Clanceycat 2011-09-16 12:37:03 -0500 Report

I read everything I could get my hands on. One of my favorite books to begin with was "Your First Year with Diabetes" it had a lot of good information. I also subscribed to Diabetes Forecast which I find very helpful. One thing I feel really stupid for doing was buying a bunch of "diabetic" cookbooks. When I checked the huge library of cookbooks I already had, most of them had all the nutritional information I needed. The diabetic cookbooks just cost more! For me, what it came down to was diet and exercise. I've lost about 40 pounds and my numbers decreased dramatically. Also, eating small portions and eating every 2-3 hours (again, small amounts) seems to keep my blood glucose numbers in a good place. Good luck.

Copperchef 2011-09-16 11:07:43 -0500 Report

The A1C test result reflects your average blood sugar level for the past two to three months. Specifically, the A1C test measures what percentage of your hemoglobin — a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen — is coated with sugar (glycated). The higher your A1C level, the poorer your blood sugar control. And if you have previously diagnosed diabetes, the higher the A1C level, the higher your risk of diabetes complications.
The average is between 6 to 7.5 for type 2. Normal ranges for non diabetics are usually 5 to 6.3 and no other symptoms. That is at least what the Mayo clinic says.

kdroberts 2012-01-31 17:09:09 -0600 Report

The studies show "normal" to be about 4.6-5.3. The problem with the A1c and trying to map it to an average blood sugar is that it doesn't measure blood sugar and multiple other factors can affect the result. Not to mention that average blood sugar isn't really all that helpful as it's the highs and lows that cause issues, not usually the middle ground.

rebeccaeagerton 2011-09-15 15:01:53 -0500 Report

I go to the dr office every four months for my AC1 test. It looks at the average of the blood sugars over a 3 month range. So, I am not sure about the test you are talking about.

Type1Lou 2011-09-15 18:53:34 -0500 Report

Back in 1976 when I was diagnosed, they had me drink some icky stuff they called "glucola" which was heavily sweetened. They called it a "Glucose Tolerance Test". They then tested my blood sugar at intervals (can't remember how many minutes/hours apart) to see how fast my blood sugar would rise and keep rising. Maybe they still use something like that?

Carol2x 2011-09-15 19:49:32 -0500 Report

It is still called the glucose tolerance test. But to just check the glucose you don't need to drink the stuff-they just draw your blood. A1c is also a blood test

diva53d 2011-09-15 16:27:17 -0500 Report

Rebecca, I think it was a glucose test to find out if I was diabetic.

Carol2x 2011-09-15 19:56:28 -0500 Report

It is a test to see how your body breaks down the sugar. Not always used with Diabetics.
Mostly if they are not sure.

rebeccaeagerton 2011-09-15 17:46:00 -0500 Report

Oh yeah, that nasty stuff where you drink that taste like pure sugar?! When I had that done, I was in the office all day because I kept throwing up after drinking only a few drinks.

2011-09-15 18:40:21 -0500 Report

Hey Rebecca, what kind of test are you talking about? I never had to drink anything to see if I was a diabetic. Yes, I was extremely overweight when I was diagnosed, and all I had to do was some lab work. But drink anything? Nope not I. What kind of liquid did you have to drink, anyhow? Sorry to sound so ignorant but is this test relatively new? Maybe it wasn't done when I was diagnosed. (was diagnosed 16 yrs ago).

diva53d 2011-09-15 19:14:06 -0500 Report

annalease it pure glucose you drink. They take your blood then you drink the glucose and wait for 2 hours then they take your blood again. It shows them how you react to glucose in large a quantity. That's the best I can describe it. I was nauseous for the 2 hours. My # for that was 17

2011-09-18 00:17:17 -0500 Report

I'm sure glad that I didn't have to drink anything. So glad that my PCP who diagnosed me over 1.5 decades ago, told me that all he needed was a fasting glucose test. I'd rather give blood, than drink anything that sounds really disgusting. Maybe I didn't have to drink anything due to the fact that I was borderline, and my wt. ballooned to over 280 and that was all that he needed. I've been on Metformin and other diabetic drugs ever since.

Carol2x 2011-09-14 16:51:38 -0500 Report

I have seen them out there-but, haven't tried one and don't know anyone who has. Has anyone out there tried those machines out there. It is an A1c test kit.

sue11542 2011-09-18 14:14:58 -0500 Report

I tested the A1C against the lab. I was very surprised at how accurate it was, I think my doc was more surprised than I was. The lab came back with 7.5 and the home test was 7.7. The one I used was the Bayer test. I was very impressed and plan to try it again in about a month or so. This time I am gonna take it with me to the docs office and when they draw blood I'll do a finger stick and let you know if I am still as impressed as I was.

Carol2x 2011-09-14 16:51:38 -0500 Report

There are machines out there that measure just the A1c. I don't know how accurate they are, though.

diva53d 2011-09-14 15:56:44 -0500 Report

Thanks Markie!

I m trying to take sl in morning. then after breakfast mid morning. Some day's it jumps up to 8.1 even having the same breakfast. then next day will only jump to 5.7 I have a diabetes class tomorrow. so hope it will enlighten me more as to what I may be doing wrong.
Will keep a posting of how I do!


MarkieMarkie 2011-09-16 16:05:14 -0500 Report

You're welcome… your readings sound a bit strange as A1C is done on a 3 month scale - i.e. every three months to see what your average insulin rate is… let me know what your doctor has to say.


diva53d 2011-09-16 16:21:34 -0500 Report

Will do I see the diabetic RN on 19th in the am That's a one on one.. then I see Dr. that same afternoon.. they changed my appointment today . So will see what's what.. I'll let ya know..:)

MarkieMarkie 2011-09-14 09:49:48 -0500 Report

12 or 13 is high… your A1C should be 7 or below… AIC is the average insulin level reading for every 3 monhts. Your sugar levels should be:

70 - 130 when fasting (usually 1st thing in the morning before eating and medications).

180 or below - 2 hours after your meal.

Do not take your SL right after you eat because it will always be high… wait at least 2 hours…

You may want to take it before bedtime to make sure it is not too low… if it is have a healthy snack so that your SL wont fall too low before you wake up in the morning.

I usually test at least 3 to 4 times per day… I know supplies can be expensive so you may wish to test at intervals with a fairly routine diet to see where your SL are. For example, if you test in the morning and then in the evening… the following day you may wish to test between your morning mean and your noon meal and then again after your noon meal and before supper and switch off to see if your SL are staying fairly consistant or close to where you want them to be.

Hope this helps… this information I retrieved from a diabetes classe with BCS Community Health Center here in Bryan, Texas and it has been extremely beneficial to me as I dropped my AIC from 11 to a 7.2 and have lost 17lbs.

Good luck…


2011-09-13 16:36:21 -0500 Report

Those readings were quite high. On an extremely bad day for me is when I get my A1c tested and it's a 13 my doctors are "yelling" at me. So a 17 even a 12 is high. The "normal averaged" reading is a 7 or below.

diva53d 2011-09-13 17:50:51 -0500 Report

Thanks annalease! Between type 2 and high bp I swear it's rough! Guess my Dr. will be yelling at me too!

2011-09-15 18:30:48 -0500 Report

Well, maybe not yelling, per say, but shall we say, "Talking very loudly? lol ;)

diva53d 2011-09-13 11:48:47 -0500 Report

Thanks James for the warm Welcome. I am in Ontario Canada. As you can gather very new to type 2 .. Learning learning, feel like I am back in school. I figure I will know more of what everyone is talking about as time goes on and i become aware of things. Then the #'s on my meter are averaged out at 7.9. With that I would say Yep I am type 2. I have a good outlook on many things and this is just one more to the growing list I have as I get older.
Blessings on you and yours


jayabee52 2011-09-13 12:21:55 -0500 Report

Your glucometer has a program which figures out an estimated A1c?

I love it here at DC so many people with so much experience and good attitudes about it. I've been a person with diabetes (PWD) fpr 16 years now. I wish I had this site available to me when I was first Dx'd, but it is here now and I am thankful for it.



2011-09-18 00:22:47 -0500 Report

James, you and I were both diagnosed in the same year. But can you or anyone else on this site tell me where I can get a meter that also tells me what my A1c is? I'm dying to know what it is, w/o having to always go through my Dr.

2011-09-18 13:36:04 -0500 Report

Thx. J~A~B~ I don't know where you get all of your useful web site info, but your better than the white pages!! Lol :D Thx again amigo! Much oblige!!

jayabee52 2011-09-18 13:50:39 -0500 Report

You are most welcome Anna, I try. I was just able to find the answer to the question. Sometimes that takes a bit of time. But I am enriched by doing it, as I learn a lot along the way. Sometimes I'll get so absorbed in reading something I stumbled upon doing research I almost lose the question I am researching.

jayabee52 2011-09-13 11:41:37 -0500 Report

Howdy Diva, WELCOME to DC!

A1c is short for "Glycosated Hemoglobin A1c" It is a test which is generally done every 3 months and it gives an AVERAGE of what your BG numbers have been doing for the past 90 days. As your BG numbers rise and fall so will your A1c average.

Here is an article about A1c from the National Institutes of Health: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/artic...

Are you here in the USA or in another country. Here in the US we use a different metering standard than many countries around the world,

As far as A1c numbers go 7.9 is easily an indicator of diabetes. The article tells you the ranges for diabetes for an A1c test.

My most recent A1c was 5.5, which is considered "normal", but I most certainly am a diabetic since I have had an A1c in the 9s before.

Praying God's richest blessings on you and yours


Next Discussion: Facebook »