I am currently anemic and was wondering if that affects blood sugar readings?

Patty Bonsignore


Anemia can affect the blood glucose numbers and your A1C levels, making them both inaccurate. For anemia to make your blood glucose readings inaccurate, the hematocrit has to be fairly low, and some meters have a lower threshold than others. Check the specification guidelines found on the paper insert that comes in your box of strips to see what the anemia threshold is for your meter. If you are having a hard time finding this information, ask your pharmacist, as he or she can look it up. Some meters are better than others at providing accurate readings, even in the presence of anemia. If you are prone to anemia, it is best to get a meter that reads blood glucose levels at lower hematocrit levels. Also, it’s important for you to realize that anemia can affect the accuracy of your A1C. Some studies have found that iron-deficiency anemia can underestimate A1C levels, while other studies indicate anemia can overestimate the A1C. In either case, treating the anemia is the best way for you to ensure that your A1C will reflect your true blood glucose numbers.

March 13, 2013 at 9:08 am

2 replies

SandyW5 2018-05-04 07:37:33 -0500 Report

The level of ignorance of the average doctor about diabetes is shocking. They often give very bad advice on managing the condition and all associated issues. Even if they are knowledgeable they fail to keep abreast on current thinking.

birch21 2013-03-27 16:41:06 -0500 Report

Thank you so very much. I had asked that question at the doctor's office and was told by one of the CRNP that being anemic didn't affect blood surgar or the A1C.