Checking A1C at the Dr's Office

By JenDF Latest Reply 2011-11-15 21:25:08 -0600
Started 2011-11-14 09:01:11 -0600

I went for my second appt. with my team the other day and the intake nurse took my b/s and a1c right then and there. It was 2 in the afternoon. I was under the impression these tests are supposed to be done only in the morning before a meal or after a fasting period. When I asked her about it, she said she believed the same but was just "following dr's orders" and that they do it with every patient, regardless of time of day.
I don't mind the test; I just want to understand what the proper procedure is. I am trying to learn everything I can about being type 1. Can anyone shed some light on this please?

14 replies

JenDF 2011-11-15 21:22:07 -0600 Report

I called the lab this morning to ask about this because it seems even our replies are contradicting each other. The lab said that yes, a 3-month, routine A1c test should be done only after fasting. However, it is not uncommon for doctors to do a random A1c finger stick just to get a general idea of where a patient stands.

hollysmom1 2011-11-14 20:30:23 -0600 Report

This is very interesting to me, since my doctor told me in September that they could do my a1c test at the beginning of my appointment in December. In the past, it's always been done as part of my blood work, but all he wants this time is my a1c. I was actually going to call his office, because my next appointment is at 10:45 and there's no way I can fast until then. Thanks, everyone, for your input.

Caroltoo 2011-11-14 11:21:57 -0600 Report


My lab won't do it except in the morning when I have not eaten anything. They even considered refusing once when I stated I had consumed coffee before testing. (I did find, doing some comparative testing of my own, that coffee does give me a few points rise in BG reading that I do daily.)

A1C is a 2-3 month look at the average BG. So, I'm thinking that the emphasis on taking it fasting may be because of other tests the doc has done at the same time; i.e., she also requests a simple reading of my BG level at the time of the A1C and probably wants that to be fasting for comparison to the average.


kdroberts 2011-11-14 10:42:45 -0600 Report

The A1c is a non-fasting test. Fasting or not fasting will not change the result because it doesn't measure anything that will change quickly after eating. The glucose test depends on what they are testing. For a fasting BG then you need to fast. If the doc wants to see a random test then it can be taken any time. Sometimes random is a good one to do as it can often show problems that a fasting will not. Cholesterol is the only routine test diabetics get that needs to be fasting.

Heather44118 2011-11-14 09:54:06 -0600 Report

i was told that the A1C is non fasting. My doctor does a random blood glucose when I go in so we can see where I am at , at different times during the day.

RebC 2011-11-14 09:53:14 -0600 Report

My doc always takes my a1c at every appointment. It's not a blood draw, or I would definitely protest, just a prick of the finger. I've never had to fast in order to do my a1c tests…even when I was first diagnosed. Your blood sugar (if high, or low at the time of the test) can sway the results a little bit, but I've never seen a difference of more than .2 points.

MEGriff1950 2011-11-14 09:30:00 -0600 Report

Hello Jen DF, my OD will not order a blood draw for an A1C if I have eaten anything at all. When I took a diabetic education class the nurse that was sanctioned by the ADA explained why the test should be done while fasting but I cannot remember the details.
I have done some research and many sites say that the A1C is tested during an 8 hour fast. I am wondering though since it does show what the 2 to 3 month average is if your dr choses to do it with non fasting as a comparrison from your other tests. I would definately ask your dr about it during your next visit.