You want to control your diabetes as much as possible. You wouldn't be reading this if you didn't. So you regularly check your A1C level. This is the best measurement of our blood glucose control that we have now. It tells us what percentage of our hemoglobin -- the protein in our red blood cells that carry oxygen -- has glucose sticking to it. The less glucose that remains in our bloodstream rather than going to work in the cells that need it the better we feel now and the better our health will continue to be. As we are able to control our diabetes better and better, the reasonable goal is to bring our A1C levels down to normal -- the A1C level that people who don't have diabetes have. But before we can even set that goal, we have to know what the target is. The trouble with setting that target is that different experts tell us that quite different A1C levels are "normal." They tell us that different levels are normal -- but I have never heard of actual studies of normal A1C leve...
Imagine that your last hemoglobin A1c result was 5.9. Now it's time for a new test, and the results show that your A1c is 6.1. Does this mean your control has gotten a lot worse?
We have to remember that all these lab tests we get are subject to all kinds of errors. First, they're performed by human beings, and all human beings occasionally make mistakes.
When I was first diagnosed, my hemoglobin A1 (the old test that didn't break down into A1c) was 16. This was equivalent to an A1c of about 13. Obviously not good! I was put on metformin and given the standard dietary advice.
I drastically reduced my food intake, especially starches and sugars, went back for another test in several weeks, and then saw my doctor. He said my A1 hadn't changed. I told him that was impossible. "If it had gone from 16 to 14, I'd believe you, but it's impossible that it hasn't changed when I've changed my diet so much ( read more about dietary changes for diabetes here) . My fastings ...
I recently saw the following question:
My granddaughter’s HgbA1c was elevated to 10. Her glucose readings have been normal. Why does she have this elevated reading?
It seems obvious at first glance that either the elevated HgbA1c is wrong, or the glucose readings are misleading. I’ll assume that your granddaughter has a diagnosis of diabetes, and that the glucose readings you describe are being done by her with a home glucose meter, rather than being done in a commercial laboratory. You don’t describe her as being a child, teen, or adult, but the issues are mostly age-independent.
As you are aware, the glycosylated hemoglobin test (called by various acronyms including HgbA1c and A1C) has a normal range well below your granddaughter’s value of 10. In people without diabetes, the value is usually about 5; for people with diabetes, most endocrinologists would want to see the value below 7. So, based on her value of 10, one would assum...
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