The A1C test gives you a picture of your average blood glucose (blood sugar) control for the past 2 to 3 months. The results give you a good idea of how well your diabetes treatment plan is working.
These are some ways the A1C test can help you manage your diabetes:
- Confirm self-testing results or blood test results by the doctor.
- Judge whether a treatment plan is working.
- Show you how healthy choices can make a difference in diabetes control.
How Does it Work?
Hemoglobin, a protein that links up with sugars such as glucose, is found inside red blood cells. Its job is to carry oxygen from the lungs to all the cells of the body. Glucose enters your red blood cells and links up (or glycates) with molecules of hemoglobin. The more glucose in your blood, the more hemoglobin gets glycated. By measuring the percentage of A1C in the blood, you get an overview of your average blood glucose control for the past few months. Your doctor should measure your A1C level at least twice a year.
What’s Your Number?
The American Diabetes Association suggests an A1C of 7% and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists recommends a goal of 6.5%. However, this varies for each person and your goals may more or less stringent.
Adapted from American Diabetes Association