Alc Number

Blue Elfin 00
By Blue Elfin 00 Latest Reply 2013-07-06 14:54:25 -0500
Started 2013-05-31 08:44:09 -0500

Hi! How do I find out what my Alc number is? I was told that the diabetic borderline number is 126. My range of numbers is mostly from 110 to 137 when I do my diabetic testing. So how do I figure what it is from these numbers? My lowest number was 88 and my highest number was 174. I do not need insulin or pills. Can somebody tell me just how do I stand in this—the Alc number, that is? Thanks to any or all replies!

11 replies

Bun10 2013-06-08 13:11:45 -0500 Report

When you are working out a dietary plan for yourself, test you BS after you introduce a new food. Raisins in cereal (which I wanted to include because they are high in iron) raised my BS. My doctor told me just to add some slivered almonds and it would be fine. Dehydrated fruits tend to have a higher sugar content than the actual fruit did originally. Just throwing that out there for you.

Blue Elfin 00
Blue Elfin 00 2013-07-06 14:43:24 -0500 Report

Thanks for that info . My Diabetes Nutritionist wants me to stay away from cold cereals. That Oatmeal is better (hot Cereals) mainly. I was eating bacon and eggs every morning with one grapefruit and a cup of coffee. I was told to stick to only 2 or 3 eggs a week due to my cholesterol being somewhat high ( 206). Thanks for replying to me!

John Crowley
John Crowley 2013-05-31 12:40:41 -0500 Report

Blue Elfin,
So A1c is a test generally performed in your doctors office. They take a small blood sample and test it.

There are some approximate conversion charts and formulas that help you take your average blood glucose levels and convert them into approximate A1c levels; however, you do need to keep in mind that these are only approximations.

A blood glucose test is just a moment in time. An A1c test does a better job of accounting for all of the fluctuations in between your blood glucose tests. So for some patients, the "approximate" conversion charts and formulas give them a good guess at their A1c, but for others they can be quite far off.

So to really know your A1c, you need to get it tested. There is an at-home A1c test available from Bayer. You can pick one up at just about any pharmacy for about $40 or so (it contains two tests).

I hope this helps.

Blue Elfin 00
Blue Elfin 00 2013-06-05 05:54:11 -0500 Report

Thanks John! That information will definitely come in handy. I never heard of the A1c before I joined this site a couple of days ago. I was told a few months back to go to the Drugstore and pick myself up a "Free Style Glucose Tester" and test myself daily and mark my numbers down in a tablet on a daily basis. So I did! Also to mark day by day in it my daily meals to keep an eye on my carbs intake. The Diabetic nutritionist showed me how to do that. They did a blood test in the lab at the hospital to test my diabetes. They told me the number was 136. Is that what you mean when you talk about the A1c ? They said it was a diabetes test. That was all I was told. The diabetic nutritionist wrote all the numbers down on paper from my Glucose Tester and said she has to give it to my Doctor. Then I came home. Thanks for your reply John!!

John Crowley
John Crowley 2013-06-05 12:04:45 -0500 Report

So the test they did at the hospital was most likely just a glucose test like you're doing at home. A1c is a percentage (to be really technical, it is the percent of your red blood cells that have been glycated which means that glucose has kind of left it's mark on the cell). A non-diabetic will have an A1c of 4 or 5%. Often the goal for an adult with diabetes is around 6%. If your A1c gets above 9% your doctor will likely be very concerned and try to prescribe aggressive treatments to get things in better control.

Nick1962 2013-05-31 10:03:58 -0500 Report

The way I figure it between office visits is: take your average BG number (which you can get from your meter usually), add 77.3, then divide by 35.6 and that gives you a pretty good A1c.
So, if you average 126 (mg/dl), its: 126 + 77.3 / 35.6 = 5.71 A1c (and that’s not a bad number either).

Or, here’s a handy table for both US and Canadian conversions

Hope that helps and welcome to the group!

Blue Elfin 00
Blue Elfin 00 2013-06-05 06:28:49 -0500 Report

Thanks Nick! That was helpful! The "Blood Glucose Tester does good with food but it is also does well as an "Emotional Thermometer" as well, I noticed. I am highly emotional and a bit high-strung according to a few Doctors now. When I'm emotional, my body quickly reacts with stress related symptoms and have been on "Nerve" pills ( on and off—every year) for most of my life. I have an "easily excitable" nature. It shows up on the BG tester when I've been angry at my son which is often over personal and financial problems. That rises the numbers as well. I'm trying to work out those kind of problems so I can stay on a more calm on an emotional level since it is beneficial to my health. I don't have to take pills or injections for my diabetes at this time. I appreciate your help. Thanks much!!

Nick1962 2013-06-05 09:38:02 -0500 Report

John or I should have mentioned just what an A1c is. The Hemoglobin A1c is an average (in percentage form) of your blood glucose (BG) over the past 2-3 months. It is not the individual numbers you get from your meter. Like John said, it is also just a brief snapshot of time in your overall health, so it’s best not to put too much weight on that one test. The only reason I calculate mine is because I set up my daily tracking spreadsheet (my log book) to do so. I only rely on the A1c I get from my blood work at my doctor’s visits.

You can have an ideal A1c, but still have huge daily swings in BG’s which is what we as diabetics want to avoid. This is why we test daily. Foods, and like you already know, stress can have an effect on your BG numbers, but again, like John said, this is only a small snapshot in time so it’s best not to get too worked up over them unless you see pretty high or low numbers, or they stay high or low for an extended time.
Your daily individual numbers can change within minutes, and even from different test sites, so when you see those, think “ballpark” (again, unless really high or low) or you’ll just be adding more stress to the situation.

Once you get into this more, and learn how to interpret and use the results of your testing (both daily and A1c), it will become a whole lot clearer for you. For now though, test daily as often as you can, and record those numbers. Keep a log of the foods you ate as well because that’s important, and if you want, maybe even track your mood at the time. Couldn’t hurt.

Blue Elfin 00
Blue Elfin 00 2013-07-06 14:54:25 -0500 Report

I found that is so true what you have stated here. I was told to try and eliminate some of the stress I was feeling by getting rid of a couple of problems I was trying to cope with but shouldn't have. Thanks so much for your reply!!

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