Every three to six months we have our A1C measured…but what does that number really mean? You know it’s a measure of your average blood sugar reading, but when was the last time your blood glucose monitor gave you a percentage? Your A1C is essentially a measurement of the Advanced Glycogenated End-products that have accumulated in your blood from blood sugar levels…the higher our blood sugars are, the more AGEs are present in our blood. These AGEs are also what lead to various complications we’re warned about: nerve damage, retinopathy, etc. So, as usual, our goal is to reduce our A1C which will reduce our AGEs, and we do this by controlling our blood sugars better. The Joslin Diabetes Center recently published an article about a new way to report your A1C so you can translate that number to the numbers you see on your monitor. This is your eAG= Estimated Average Glucose. So what does it mean to you when your doctor says your A1C is 8%? According to the Joslin ar...
Republished with permission of Amy Tenderich of DiabetesMine.com
For at least three consecutive years now at the annual ADA Conference, we keep hearing about a rumored switchover from the A1c as the gold standard average glucose measurement. Instead, we'll get something new and supposedly easier to understand: a new measure that more closely reflects the mg/dL (and international mmol/l) numbers we all get on our home glucose meters. This new test is now dubbed the eAG (estimated average glucose).
One of the big news announcements Scientific Sessions this week was the results of a large international study that supposedly underscores the accuracy of the eAG. In this 10-center study, 507 volunteers with diabetes had their A1c translated into eAG readings and compared with their running daily BG results, if I understood the press materials correctly. "Study investigators found a simple linear relationship," the ADA press release states.
Also stated: "Patients find it difficult ...
Does your hemoglobin A1c level not appear to agree with the average meter readings you get at home? You're not alone.
There are numerous reasons your A1c might appear to be higher or lower than what you were expecting. The most common reason is related to the fact that your A1c reflects an average blood glucose (BG) level. You can have a lot of highs but also a lot of lows and end up with a relatively normal A1c, the same as you'd have if you kept your BG levels normal all the time.
But this isn't the only reason for variation.
The A1c depends on glycation of the hemoglobin in your red blood cells (RBCs). Glycation means adding glucose, and the higher your BGs are, the more glucose you'll add to the hemoglobin.
Anything that affects the lifetime of your RBCs, which are assumed to live 120 days, will affect the A1c. If you give blood or have some kind of internal bleeding, or if you have a hemolytic anemia, you will lose some of the older RBCs cells wit...
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