Question regarding A1C Levels

By Mpwife99 Latest Reply 2012-02-12 10:01:01 -0600
Started 2012-02-06 16:34:07 -0600

Back in October 2011 when I got diagnosed with being Type 2 Diabetic, they did a blood test and my A1C level was 15.7 and my Blood Sugar Level was 695… My doctor put me on Metformin and Junvia, since October I've lost 65 pounds and (since May of last year to Now a total of 105 lbs.) My Doctor recently did a A1C test and my level came back at 5. She is now telling me it is to low but never explained anything beyond saying it needed to be 6 and she cut my Junvia down to 50mg.. I am totally confused about this… What does she mean its to low? Thanks in advance!

18 replies

Jeanae 2012-02-10 04:06:48 -0600 Report

First let me say- WAY TO GO!!! You should be so proud of your weight loss and getting your diabetes under control so again- Yeah You!!! I go to an endocrinologist that specializes in diabetes. I love this dr. I went through several quacks before I found him. My aic is 5.7 and he told me that 5-6 were good. In fact he WANTS me to shoot for a 5. So I would definitely ask your dr. why he or she feels that a 5 is too low. btw- I agree with everyone ese that posted. And again- Yeah You!

DeanaG 2012-02-10 01:40:15 -0600 Report

I found a website that has charts converting your A1C % # to a blood glucose number and it shows a 5% A1C is good and 4.0 to 4.9 as optimal.
Hope someone finds this useful.

sellingrowlett 2012-02-12 05:26:33 -0600 Report

I am a Diabetic. This is hard to control I get angry and upset with my husband when my sugar gets to low. He works with my as my assistant and he would rather play cards or something. It is hard to be a diabetic. You can have your highs' and low's so fast that you have to take your sugar before breakfast and 2 hrs. after breakfast or lunch or dinner. It is nice to have other's people's input. My sister's are diabetic as well and they keep telling me to watch what I eat.
no bread or 3 carbs at breakfast,lunch or dinner. I have lost 5 lbs in the last month due to not eating much and the dr has cut some of my medicine. I have also had lots of tia stokes. This all goest with the diabetes. I want to encourage you and your dad. He needs to exercise walk if possible. and watch his carbs this will help him. It is saving my life. eat half a hambuger or no bread. IF you have any suggestions please email me at small I welcome any help for my diabeties.

Mpwife99 2012-02-12 10:01:01 -0600 Report

I watch everything I eat.. I do not eat anything that is now whole grain or whole wheat. I do not eat red meat (Dr's orders). You can buy sugar free bread at the supermarket. I do not eat pasta or rice, I eat a lot of fresh veggies, fruit and chicken, turkey and fish… It is a huge life still change, I now avoid as much stress as I possibly can and I avoid arguing with my husband… I've had to make the life style changes on my own and do this by myself, my husband is active duty army and is currently in Korea and I am stateside.. I think controlling your diabetes is all about what you eat and drink and the portions you eat.

My Dr. is so pleased with my progress and attitude that she is saying she should have me come talk to her diabetic patients. My attitude was that I could have a pitty party for myself for a bit but that was it. There was no way I was going to let this 1) Kill me and 2) stop my life. My goal is to get off all medication and be able to keep my diabetes under control by diet and exercise…

jayabee52 2012-02-12 08:40:48 -0600 Report

Howdy Linda!
Since DiabeticConnect can be searched on Google and specific information can be found in any search done on Google (I've done searches on an obscure topic which showed the discussion to which I was replying) It is recommended you do NOT place your email address or any other contact info into a discussion like this. May I recommend that you click the "edit" link below your reply and edit the email address out and ask folks to friend you and send it to your DiabeticConnect inbox. I have a suggestion that you may think extreme, but it has worked for me.


Pop Wheatley
Pop Wheatley 2012-02-12 09:30:25 -0600 Report

This is very sad. Even when they found out he was a dietetic they laughed and acted as if it was not a big deal. I wonder if it would have helped if he had more than insulin in his pocket and had something more visible that showed he was a diabetic? Very sad…

George1947 2012-02-07 17:59:27 -0600 Report

As far as I'm concerned, an A1c of 5 is perfect! Tell that silly doctor to test his own self for his A1c… if it's lower than 5 he's low… :)

That would explain why he's wrong here… hehehe!

Old-n-Grey-n-Wiser 2012-02-07 14:38:23 -0600 Report

Looked for over an hour but could not find it, but awhile ago there was a post, I believe it was about pumps, that said that a 6.0 A1c was considered safer than a 5.0 reading as there is more of a chance of having lows when you are at the low end of the A1c scale.

Karenformydiabetes 2012-02-06 18:54:15 -0600 Report

Keep in mind that an A1C is an average of your blood sugar levels over a 6-8 week period. There is a calculation that is done to determine your average blood sugar once they have the A1C level. So a 5 is ideal for someone with out diabetes bacause their body can react normally after meals and in between to keep their blood sugars fairly level. Once we start taking meds to help control our blood sugars then the ups and downs become more erratic. So for a "diabetic" (which you may have reversed because of all your work over the last year - congratulations!) to have an A1C of 5 would generally imply they had a lot of 3.0-4.0 blood sugars to make up for all the after meal blood sugars of 11.0-15.0 (estimate). That may be what your doctor was considering - which also explains why she lowered your meds as well. Just a thought… Also something else that doctors (maybe not GP's) know but won't talk about is that the A1C test shouldn't be the only or reliable guideline because it can vary up to 3 points. which means for example that 2 people with the exact same sugar readings over the same time period can end up with different A1C levels. I have experienced this myself - my father and I are both type 1 diabetics and he always has a lower A1C reading than I do (his -6.7 vs mine-8.9) even though I have better blood sugar control (less high and low extreme's). My fasting is usually in between 3.5 - 6.5 range. So just a few thoughts to keep in mind with your doctor's comments.

Mpwife99 2012-02-07 00:24:08 -0600 Report

My BS levels were ranging from 80-90 before meals. a few times i had 78. They never had me taking them after meals. Since she reduced my Junvia my levels have been running between 92 and 107 before meals. I just can't believe I went from one extreme to another…

Thank you for your Comments I was so overwhelmed finding out I was diabetic.. When I found out I was diabetic my goal was to get this under control. Looks like I've done a really good job of doing so.
Thank you again.

Karenformydiabetes 2012-02-07 14:30:52 -0600 Report

Your very welcome. The way you dealt with your situation is more important than your initial reaction. Just remember that lots of people have similar reactions and feelings when they find out they have diabetes.
Usually type 2 is diagnosed as an adult, and so it is a complete lifestyle and mentality shift that has to be made, which can be very overwhelming.
Also, the media and some health professionals tend to add to the fear of developing diabetes (inadvertently or some maybe purposely).
Add to that the limited public knowledge about diabetes (you have to be proactive and search to learn about diabetes, what it means to have it, what action is needed, etc).
Finally, although many say "it's all about moderation" (and that is a key factor in successfully living with diabetes) - unfortunately, that word is not taught in our society. :)
The result: a lot of people end up feeling nervous, scared, overwhelmed, intimidated, or plain freaked out by the idea of having diabetes.
I've been type 1 diabetic for 26 years now (diagnosed at 9 1/2) and so for me, although I have a faint recollection of being "scared" and thinking "why me?" at the time, I've been able to accept and adapt successfully.
My dad, also type 1 diabetic (45yrs now), helped me learn to be proactive and get involved. He'd say "don't you let anyone tell you what your diabetes is. You know your body, you live with it every day. They do not. They can help you to know what to expect, but they can never tell you what your diabetes is like, or will be like. Only you can know for sure. You have to pay attention and listen."
That helped empower me and gave me confidence in living with my diabetes.
I learned "why not me?" is the better way to think. I have found the strength to cope successfully, so it's better me than someone else.
I want to congratulate you again on being proactive and taking action to stop your diabetes from progressing and for succeeding in reversing your situation. That is something to be very proud of! Keep up the great work!
Sharing your experience can help empower others to do the same.

jayabee52 2012-02-06 18:22:27 -0600 Report

Howdy Trudy!

Drs could follow some other "authorities" when they say things such as this, such as the American Medical Assn, or others, an Endochrinology association of some kind, or the American Diabetes Assn. Each of these authorities vary a bit from one another.

But from what I heard 5 is a good number for an A1c. The only thing that I could think would cause that reaction from your Dr is if you got that lowered A1c by having too many low readings. Look back over your BG logs and see if you have had many lows. If that is the case it is better if one doesn't tighten one's BG control too tightly.

Blessings to you and yours


Kirla 2012-02-06 17:08:36 -0600 Report

Not sure what your doctor is talking about. I believe a normal A1C for a person without diabetes should be between 4 and 6. Some say between 4.5 and 5.5 or somewhere in that range. So a 5 should be pretty good.

I believe that certain people can lower there A1C to a level that would be considered normal for most people and can lower and even stop taking meds altogether. You lost lots of weight which can help maintain your blood sugar levels back to a normal range along with diet modifications and exercise, I believe some people can learn to keep there blood sugar in a normal range. Your doctor has seen that you are doing excellent and figures you can start cutting back on some of your meds. Which I believe in a good thing.

The Junvia works by stimulating your pancreas to make more insulin. Since you did such a great job losing weight and eating the right foods and maybe exercising your doctor might be worried that you might start having low blood sugar. When taking insulin or certain combinations of oral meds its possible to start having low blood sugar which isn’t good if your blood sugar goes to low. So she cut back on your Junvia to help prevent you going low. Depending if you do start having low blood sugar your doctor may decide to cut your meds even more in the future.

When diagnosed my A1C was 14.1 and fasting blood sugar was 366. Not as bad as yours but still high. I made lots of changes to my diet and lost some weight and was able to quit all meds and have been meds free for almost 3 years now. Since my first A1C all have been at 6 or less ever since. I do this with diet and testing.

Type1Lou 2012-02-06 17:07:42 -0600 Report

Here are the A1c references that appear on my lab reports:
4.1%-6.4%: Non-Diabetic Children 1.5-18 years)
4.3%-6.0% Non-Diabetic Adults
6.2%-7.0% Diabetic well-controlled
7.0%-8.0% Diabetic fair controlled
>8.0% Diabetic poor control

I am at a loss as to why your doctor thinks that an A1c of 5 is unacceptable since it is a level for a NORMAL, non-diabetic individual. It shows that you are taking the right steps to manage your disease. Given your results and your motivation and your weight loss, I can see why your medications were adjusted lower. Congratulations on the EXCELLENT results and keep up the good work!

GabbyPA 2012-02-07 10:52:48 -0600 Report

I agree. I have heard this before that a doctor said the level was too low. If we have control that puts us in a normal range, that would be great. Now if that is achieved by repeated low episodes, then there is a problem. But the numbers you shared are not excessively low. So I would ask for that explanation.

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