Why Are My A1c And Blood Glucose Different
Beyond the difference in units used to report them, the A1c represents an average over time while your blood glucose reflects what is happening in your body now. Your blood glucose will capture the changes in your blood sugar that occur on a daily basis, the highs and the lows. Each blood glucose is a snapshot and each is different. The A1c is an indication that “in general” your glucose has been elevated over the last few months or “in general” it has been normal. It is inherently not as sensitive as a blood glucose. However, if your day-to-day glucose control is stable , then both the A1c and blood glucose should reflect this. It is important to remember the time lag associated with the A1c. Good glucose control for the past 2-3 weeks will not significantly affect the A1c result for several more weeks.
In addition to this, it is also important to remember that glycated hemoglobin and blood glucose are two different but related things. For unknown reasons, some peoples’ A1c may not accurately reflect their average blood glucose.
How Is The A1c Test Used After Diagnosis Of Diabetes
Your health care professional may use the A1C test to set your treatment goals, modify therapy, and monitor your diabetes management.
Experts recommend that people with diabetes have an A1C test at least twice a year.4 Health care professionals may check your A1C more often if you arent meeting your treatment goals.4
How Often Do You Measure A1c
Your doctor will want to see what your A1C results is 2-4 times a year, and will typically order this lab with other important labs when its time for your blood draw. You can buy at home A1c test kits at your local pharmacy for approximately $20-$40. The kits in this price range usually include 2 tests and you can see the results in about 5 minutes. It is possible to see a significant change in your A1C in a one month time period, but the test typically isnt done too often because red blood cells only turnover about every 120 days. On the plus side, if you have made some changes in the month prior to going to visit your doctor, those positive changes in the last 30 days are going to make more of an impact on your result than what you did 2 months ago.
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A Normal A1c Is Always Good News But What If It Comes With A Fasting Glucose Of 109 Which Is In The So
A fasting glucose is a snapshot of what someones blood sugar is at that exact moment, begins J. Mark Anderson, MD, DABFM, of Executive Medicine of Texas and who is board certified in family medicine.
It can show that someone has an increased risk of diabetes, but its not necessarily diagnostic, continues Dr. Anderson.
That is why many healthcare providers will routinely collect an A1C during a physical exam or if there is a concern about diabetes.
An A1C is a blood test that looks at the amount of glycated hemoglobin , giving a better long-term evaluation of your blood sugars.
Generally, it paints the picture of your blood sugar over the past two to three months.
Its best to have an A1C of 5.6 or less. 5.7-6.4 is considered prediabetes and 6.5 or greater is considered diabetic level.
Do You Need To Fast For A1c Blood Test
A1c is also used to monitor treatment for individuals diagnosed with diabetes, and even some medications may cause a false positive test, including hemoglobin A1C, its always a good idea to get fasting lipids or other tests done at the same time, You do not need to fast, will draw some blood and send it to a medical laboratory for analysis.
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What Do The Results Of The Test Mean
The test result is usually given as a percentage. The normal A1c is less than 5.7%. You have a higher risk for diabetes if your A1c is 5.7% to 6.4%. If your level is 6.5% or higher, you have diabetes.
The A1c test result also can be used to find your estimated average glucose, or eAG. Your eAG and A1c show the same thing in two different ways. They both help you learn more about your average blood sugar range over the past 2 to 3 months. A1c is shown as a percentage, while eAG uses the same units as your glucose meter.
Who Should Have Their A1c Tested
If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, your A1C should be measured regularly. You should check your A1C every 3 months if your glucose level targets are not being met, or when changes are being made to your diabetes management.1
If you are 40 years of age or older, you should have your A1C tested at least once every 3 years.2 If you have risk factors for type 2 diabetes, you may need to be tested earlier and more frequently.2 Some risk factors for diabetes include:3
Ask your doctor or local Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacist if you are unsure about how often you should be testing your A1C.
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High A1c With Symptoms Of High Blood Sugar
If you do have symptoms of high blood sugar and your initial A1C is high, this will confirm a diabetes diagnosisâespecially if you also had the random plasma glucose test done and that was high.
This means that your healthcare provider will need to see you as soon as possible to discuss starting a treatment plan to manage your diabetes.
This plan will depend on whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, but may involve insulin supplementation, medication, glucose monitoring, exercise, and lifestyle changes.
Your healthcare provider will likely repeat the A1C soon after you’ve started treatment to see how it’s working and how well you’re complying.
Are Home A1c Test Kits Accurate
Most home A1C kits are considered to be as accurate as lab A1C tests. The results are accurate within plus/minus 0.5 percentage points, which is about the same as most lab results.
To ensure accuracy, look for products that are NGSP-certified and/or have FDA-clearance or CE-mark. All the products mentioned in this article are NGSP-certified.
When I tried the A1CNow SelfCheck at home , the A1C results came back with exactly the same result as the A1C lab test I had done a few days earlier .
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How Nuffield Health Can Help You Get A Blood Test
At Nuffield Health we offer a wide range of blood tests including ones that require fasting.
Our range of in-depth Health Assessments include a variety of common blood tests that will give you a clear picture of your overall health and fitness.
If youre looking for a specific blood test or have been referred for a test by a medical professional, you can easily book and purchase blood tests online through our pathology direct service.
Contact us about blood tests at Nuffield Health
Fill in the form below and we’ll get back to you within one working day. If it’s urgent, you can call us on 0300 123 6200.
How To Use The A1c Home Test Kit
There can be many reasons to measure your A1C at home, such as limited access to see your doctor, the distance to a lab, the cost of the lab work, etc.
There are great options for measuring your A1C at home, but please consult with your medical team before making any changes to your care or self-diagnosing diabetes.
One very affordable A1C home test kit is the A1CNow SelfCheck which I demonstrate how to use in the video below.
The kit comes with 4 A1C tests and will give you your A1C result in only 5 minutes. Follow the instructions that come with the kit and make sure to add enough blood or it will return an error message.
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A1c Results And What The Numbers Mean
|Diabetes||6.5 percent or above|
When using the A1C test for diagnosis, your doctor will send your blood sample taken from a vein to a lab that uses an NGSP-certified method. The NGSP, formerly called the National Glycohemoglobin Standardization Program, certifies that makers of A1C tests provide results that are consistent and comparable with those used in the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial.
Blood samples analyzed in a doctors office or clinic, known as point-of-care tests, should not be used for diagnosis.
Having prediabetes is a risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes. Within the prediabetes A1C range of 5.7 to 6.4 percent, the higher the A1C, the greater the risk of diabetes.
Is There Anything Else I Need To Know About Fasting Before A Blood Test
Be sure to talk to your health care provider if you have any questions or concerns about fasting.
You should talk to your provider before taking any lab test. Most tests don’t require fasting or other special preparations. For others, you may need to avoid certain foods, medicines, or activities. Taking the right steps before testing helps ensure your results will be accurate.
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Individual Susceptibility To Glycation Might Be An Additional Benefit Of A1c Assessment
It is a common clinical finding that many subjects have an A1C value lower or higher than expected when examining their daily glycemic profiles. Using the DCCT database, McCarter et al. calculated the hemoglobin glycation index as the difference between observed and predicted A1C level and identified categories of patients with low, moderate, or high HGI. Most interestingly, they found that subjects with high HGI had a greater risk of developing retinopathy and nephropathy, even when they had good glucose control, and that subjects with lower HGI had a low incidence of microangiopathy despite high mean blood glucose levels. This finding demonstrates that A1C assessment might provide not only information on chronic hyperglycemia but also a measure of whole-body susceptibility of protein glycation and, therefore, risks of diabetes complications that are more strictly related to this pathogenic mechanism.
Can I Take The Test At Home
The FDA has approved or cleared a number of over-the-counter hemoglobin A1c test kits that you can use at home. At-home versions of the hemoglobin A1c test may not be as accurate as tests that are performed in a lab. But they offer a convenient alternative to testing in a medical office which may be useful for some patients.
Your doctor can advise you whether taking the test at home would be right for you and may be able to recommend a specific brand.
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Why Do I Need An Hba1c Test
The Centers for Disease Control recommends that adults over the age of 45 get tested to screen for diabetes and prediabetes. If your results are normal, you should repeat the test every 3 years. If your results show you have prediabetes, you should get tested every 1-2 years. You should also talk to your health care provider about taking steps to reduce your risk of developing diabetes.
If you are under 45, you may need this test if you have certain risk factors. These include:
- Being overweight or obese
How Often Should A Diabetic Take This Test
After a diabetes diagnosis, this test is often recommended four times per year if glycemic goals are not met. If the glycemic control is stable, then twice per year. Those with diabetes often must take extra care to keep their glucose levels as close to normal as possible. Chronically high glucose levels lead to problems like damage to the kidneys, eyes, cardiovascular system, and nerves.
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Why Do I Need To Fast Before My Blood Test
If your health care provider has told you to fast before a blood test, it means you should not eat or drink anything, except water, for several hours before your test. When you eat and drink normally, those foods and beverages are absorbed into your bloodstream. That could affect the results of certain types of blood tests.
Can I Drink Anything Besides Water During A Fast
No. Juice, coffee, soda, and other beverages can get in your bloodstream and affect your results. In addition, you should not:
- Chew gum
These activities can also affect your results.
But you can drink water. It’s actually good to drink water before a blood test. It helps keep more fluid in your veins, which can make it easier to draw blood.
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Why Is A1c Testing Important
An A1C test is one of the main blood tests that can help your doctor diagnose prediabetes and diabetes.1 A fasting blood glucose test is another important test that takes a snapshot of your current blood glucose level after you have fasted. Together, a fasting blood glucose level and an A1C level play important roles in checking to see how well your diabetes treatment plan is working.
Diabetes is a disease where your body either cant produce enough insulin or cant respond to insulin , resulting in high blood glucose levels. Insulin is important because it fuels your body by moving glucose from your blood to your cells. If there isnt enough insulin available, or if it cant be used properly, then the glucose will remain in your blood. Prediabetes is when your blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough for you to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
It is important to control your diabetes and keep your A1C within target levels to prevent diabetes complications such as heart, kidney, nerve and eye damage.
Medical Tests Every Man Needs
Have a special guy in your life? Make sure he’s up to date on these important health screenings.
Admit it, guys: You don’t even like going to the doctor when there’s something wrong, let alone for preventative check-ups. But being proactive about your healthby getting recommended screenings for serious conditions and diseasescould mean you’ll spend less time at the doctor’s office down the road.
Depending on age, family history, and lifestyle factors, people need different tests at different times in their lives. Here’s a good overview for all men to keep in mind.
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A1c Is Better Associated With Chronic Complications Than Fpg
Different from National Diabetes Data Group criteria, which were essentially based on distribution of glucose levels within the general population, the 1997 ADA criteria established diabetic glycemic levels by means of their association with retinopathy, the most exclusive and specific diabetes complication. Various observational studies documented that an increased prevalence of nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy can be observed with fasting glucose levels around 7.0 mmol/L and 2-h PG around 11.1 mmol/L . Interestingly, the same studies documented that retinopathy increased with A1C levels around 6.5% . These results were confirmed in a more recent study including almost 30,000 subjects recruited in several countries. Such study clearly showed that prevalent retinopathy started to increase in the A1C category of 6.57.0% . Therefore, a cut point of A1C for diagnosing diabetes with an approach similar to the one used with FPG and 2-h PG is available .
It is well known that cardiovascular disease is the most frequent chronic complication of diabetes, with incidence rates 5- to 10-fold higher than with microvascular disease. For this reason, the association of A1C with CVD can be considered a major issue when discussing the potential use of A1C for diagnosing diabetes. In this regard, it is worth mentioning that, in the general population, FPG is a poor marker of future CVD events, whereas 2-h OGTT and A1C are good predictors .
Non Fasting Blood Test Lists:
Non-fasting blood tests are those tests which their readings dont obviously affected by foods or drinks, it means theyre tested randomly at any time during the whole day.
- A1C test is not requiring a fasting period prior to sampling because it depends on glucose particles attached to RBCs surface and not depends on the circulating glucose.
- CBC blood test is not requiring a fasting period prior testing because it is only counts the blood cells, blood cells count not affected by food type in general.
- Thyroid function tests does not need fasting period, because thyroid hormone is responsible for metabolism processes, hence T4 and T3 is not a fasting blood test.
- TSH blood test isnt a fasting blood test.
- PSA blood test fasting is not needed, you dont have to fast from foods and drinking before taking prostate specific antigen test, as no study yet to told us about influence of PSA levels by some foods, however high PSA medications are responsible for lowering PSA levels, so that consult your urologist when testing PSA with taking its medications.
- Blood group type and RH tests does not require fasting before identify the ones blood type.
- Cancer antigens blood tests are not fasting tests in general, when testing for Cancer antigen CA.19.9, it is preferred to fast
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