How Often to Check A1C

David Mendosa Health Guide November 13, 2012
  • All of us who have diabetes regularly get our A1C checked. Few of us check it often enough.The A1C is the best way we have to show how well we are managing our disease. It’s a simple test that we can perform at home or at a doctor’s office or lab.Just like the fingerstick tests that we us...

12 Comments
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Dec. 03, 2012
    Some comments on amazon.com say the home test is inaccurate and not worth the money, compared to lab tests and to comparisons between batches of the home tests by consumers. Other comments by purchasers of the home test say the product is accurate. How can you rely on home tests that vary so widely?
    • David Mendosa
      Health Guide
      Dec. 03, 2012

      All home tests aren't the same, just like all homes aren't the same. I haven't studied the other home tests, but I don't think that any of them are standardized in accoradance to the DCCT and therefore approved by the NGSP. The A1C now is: see http://www.ngsp.org/docs/labs.pdf

       

      Not even most hospital labs have that degree of reliability. At this...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      All home tests aren't the same, just like all homes aren't the same. I haven't studied the other home tests, but I don't think that any of them are standardized in accoradance to the DCCT and therefore approved by the NGSP. The A1C now is: see http://www.ngsp.org/docs/labs.pdf

       

      Not even most hospital labs have that degree of reliability. At this link, check out any test that gives you different results. You will know which one to trust.

       

      Namaste,

       

      David


  • Anonymous
    Kristen
    Dec. 02, 2012

    I decided to go ahead and try it.  The pharmacy I went to actually had a $7.00 off coupon on the 2 test A1cNow test kit so it was only $21.00 instead of $28.00 so $10.50 for the test.  They have a 7 minute video on their website to watch on how to do the test.  I watched it, then read the instructions, then did the test along with the video. ...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    I decided to go ahead and try it.  The pharmacy I went to actually had a $7.00 off coupon on the 2 test A1cNow test kit so it was only $21.00 instead of $28.00 so $10.50 for the test.  They have a 7 minute video on their website to watch on how to do the test.  I watched it, then read the instructions, then did the test along with the video.  It was much easier than I expected.  I am so pleased with this and want to thank you for recommending this.  I will be A1c testing monthly from now on. 

    Two problems though.  My eyesight isn't perfect and I had to look really close to make sure I had enough blood in the collector.  I didn't and so had to add more.  Also, I didn't get the blood collector far enough into the shaker until I looked closer and pushed a little harder. 

    The directions and video are great and made it very easy.

    Thanks again for all your advice!!!!

    • David Mendosa
      Health Guide
      Dec. 02, 2012

      Dear Kristen,

       

      I am so glad that you tried it and that it works for you. How about getting a little magnifying glass to help you see the amount of blood better?

       

      Namaste,

       

      David

  • Anonymous
    JustaGirlinACube
    Dec. 02, 2012

    David, thank you for your posts.  They have helped me tremendously.  I am certainly going to check into the home kits; much cheaper than trudging to the doctor every three months. 

     

    My question deals with pain - I have been struggling with increasing neck & shoulder pain that was misdiagnosed for over 10 years, and my A1C's have always...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    David, thank you for your posts.  They have helped me tremendously.  I am certainly going to check into the home kits; much cheaper than trudging to the doctor every three months. 

     

    My question deals with pain - I have been struggling with increasing neck & shoulder pain that was misdiagnosed for over 10 years, and my A1C's have always been in the high 7's or 8's when the pain was the most unbearable (I was under control until about 5 years ago).  At this time I am being treated for the pain with success by a chiropractor and now have more good days than bad. 

     

    Have you found that pain increases one's A1C?  Thank you again for all you do.

     

    • David Mendosa
      Health Guide
      Dec. 02, 2012

      I get the pain in my shoulders from carrying a heavy camera and lens on long hikes and get it treated by a chiropracter as you have done. I don't know of a better way. Well, the pain per se may not cause higher blood sugar levels but pain is a symptom of inflammation, and that indeed does cause our levels to rise.

       

      Namaste,

       

      David

  • Anonymous
    Kristen
    Dec. 01, 2012

    I get my A1c checked 4 times a year because that is what Medicare will pay for.  I had a pharmacy do the home check test once the same day I had a lab A1c and the results were almost identical.  I had considered using the home checks but wondered if they would be accurate if I did them myself.  It seems like it needs to be refrigerated...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    I get my A1c checked 4 times a year because that is what Medicare will pay for.  I had a pharmacy do the home check test once the same day I had a lab A1c and the results were almost identical.  I had considered using the home checks but wondered if they would be accurate if I did them myself.  It seems like it needs to be refrigerated so many hours or days before the test and it needs to be done precisely.  Do you think they are now easier to do? 

    • David Mendosa
      Health Guide
      Dec. 01, 2012

      Dear Kirsten,

       

      The A1CNow Self Check isn't difficult when you follow the rather few steps carefully. Actually, you can store it in the fridge for months, but you have to take it out for an hour or so before testing with it. And this test is standardized, and many lab tests are not standardized. So I trust its accuracy more than I would from my doctor...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Dear Kirsten,

       

      The A1CNow Self Check isn't difficult when you follow the rather few steps carefully. Actually, you can store it in the fridge for months, but you have to take it out for an hour or so before testing with it. And this test is standardized, and many lab tests are not standardized. So I trust its accuracy more than I would from my doctor or the local hospital lab.

       

      Namaste,

       

      David

       

  • Arun
    Nov. 13, 2012

    David,

     

    You keep your sugar levels in tight control, and I rightly presume tighter than most of us do. Yet,  I am surprised that you had a variation of 0.4. What would you attribute this to? 

     

    Arun

    • David Mendosa
      Health Guide
      Nov. 14, 2012

      Good question. I can think of four things that make our A1C levels change. But the two most obvious ones, food and exercise, didn't change that much. Operator error is a possibility, but I think the best explanation is that I had added inflammation at that time, from dental, sinus, and allergy problems.

       

      Namaste,

       

      David

  • Anonymous
    anon
    Nov. 13, 2012

    Thanks! David, 

     

    Certainly insightful and very helpful --- to what do you attribute your A1C jump? diet/exercise changes? variation in the testing protocol? or the testing instrument itself (accuracy/precision issues)?

     

    $13/month is sure cheaper than the doctor's office for a monthly reading -- so quite the bargain. 

    • David Mendosa
      Health Guide
      Nov. 14, 2012

      Good question. I can think of four things that make our A1C levels change. But the two most obvious ones, food and exercise, didn't change that much. Operator error is a possibility, but I think the best explanation is that I had added inflammation at that time, from dental, sinus, and allergy problems.

       

      Namaste,

       

      David