How accurate are the hemoglobin A1c tests (which I'll call just A1c) that most of us with diabetes get about 4 times a year? The A1c is supposed to tell us what our average blood glucose (BG) level has been over the previous several months, and it has provided information that was lacking in the early days of diabetes treatment.
However, researchers have now begun to dig deeper into the meaning of the A1c test to try to explain why some people's A1c doesn't seem to agree with their daily BG measurements.
We should have an approximate idea of how well we're controlling just by measuring our BG levels with our home meters. But the meters only tell us what the BG level is at the time we test. Even if we test 8 or 10 times a day, there are times when we're not testing, especially overnight.
And not everyone can afford to test even eight times a day. For instance, Medicare thinks that people on insulin need only 100 strips a month, enough to test about three times a day. For people ...
U ntil recently, the A1C test was not recommended as a means to diagnose diabetes. But that's changed.
For years, physicians and patients have been advised to use the hemoglobin A1C test (also called "HbA1c" or more recently, "A1C") as a tool to monitor diabetes control. As is well-known, the A1C test measures the average blood glucose level (BGL) over several months. If your A1C is elevated, then it's safe to assume that your average BGL has been high. There are potential glitches in the logic, however, if your A1C is normal: your A1C might be normal because your blood glucose has been normal throughout the past few months, or your A1C might be normal because you have had lots of elevated BGLs, and lots of hypoglycemic levels, and the highs and lows balanced out.
(Parenthetically, there are also a few very rare situations where the A1C might be inaccurate: abnormal hemoglobins fouled up some of the early assays and caused falsely-elevated values; on the other hand, problems with ...
When I read Gina's post regarding planning for a diabetic pregnancy , it was a trip down memory lane for me. Very timely as well, since I'm starting to think about my next pregnancy! Obviously, having already traversed the challenges of a pregnancy complicated by type 1 diabetes, I'm feeling confident that I can do it again.
There were several practices that I had to master during my preconception and pregnancy phases, which I believed helped me to keep my blood sugars stable and my A1C below 6%.
First of all, restricting my carbohydrate intake was key, especially during the morning hours. We all have dawn phenomenon going on to one degree or another, and pregnancy hormones make the morning insulin resistance worse. Thus, restricting my carbohydrates to 15 grams at both breakfast and my morning snack helped tremendously. Also, during my pregnancy, I discovered how much better I felt when I ate eggs for breakfast, rather than cereal or o...
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