Ways to measure A1C levels at home

The A1C test is something every diabetic must be aware of. It doesn’t indicate the entire image of one’s diabetes management, however it may be a good indicator of healthy levels. In this article, you can learn about measurement of A1C at home.

What do you mean by A1C test?

It is a simple blood test. It shows a person’s average blood sugar over the previous three months. It is denoted as a percentage. Also, individuals who are not diabetic usually have an A1C under 5.7%.

Now, this signifies that an HBa1C test might be a good preparatory point for a diabetes diagnosis. Also, it is an indicator of usefulness of any diabetes care strategy. According to ADA, there are certain A1C standards for using it as part of a diabetes diagnosis. These include:

A1C levelsWhat it indicates
< 5.7%Normal
– 6.4%Pre-diabetes
> 6.5%Diabetes 

A1C targets for diabetic patients must be as per person’s choice. However, as a general rule, an A1C of 7% or below is an advisable limit. An A1C level of 7% shows an average blood glucose of roughly 154 mg/dl (8.6 mmol/L).

Few diabetic patients go after A1C levels under 5.7%. However, they aim for a very low A1C level, and this might not be always recommended. That too, if it’s possible via too much hypoglycemia (low blood glucose levels).

Importance of measuring the A1C

High blood glucose levels may cause several short- and long-term complications. Thus, people must keep a track of their A1C and ensure to keep them in a healthy range. If a person finds that their glucose levels (and A1C) are enhancing above the target limit, there are many things a person can practice to lower them. These things can be:

  • diet alteration
  • discussion about medicine adjustment with a healthcare provider
  • including some lifestyle changes.

These A1C tests provide a person with a clear picture of the glucose levels for the last 3 months. Hence, it makes sense to measure the A1C levels at least every 3 months. This helps in keeping a check of progression of the blood sugars.

It testing means helps to diagnose diabetes, a person may need to check their fasting blood sugar and antibody levels. This helps in determine the type of diabetes a person is living with. This can be type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

Also Read: Can diabetics eat grapes?

How to use an A1C home test kit?

There may be numerous reasons to measure the levels of A1C at home. These can include restricted access to visit a doctor, the distance to a laboratory, and pricing of the lab work. Also, there are great alternatives to measure A1C at home. It is good to visit a doctor before making any changes to diabetes care plan.

One very reasonable A1C home test system is the A1C Self Check. This kit is available with four A1C tests. It provides a person with A1C result in just a matter of 5 minutes. Follow the guidelines attached with the kit. Also, ensure to drop in enough blood or it would beep an error message.

Setting Goals for A1c Levels

The target level of A1c for diabetics is generally below 7%. The greater is the A1c, the greater is the risk of diabetic complications. Any person who has had unmanaged diabetes for a long run may have A1C more than 8%.

If a person is diabetic or his or her level is above target, the physician might alter his or her treatment plan. This helps in reducing the sugar levels.

A blend of diet, medicines, and exercise help to drop down the sugar levels. If a person’s diabetes is under good control, he or she might be capable of waiting longer between the blood tests. However, professionals suggest glucose checking at least 2 times a year.

People with health conditions impacting hemoglobin like anemia, might get confusing results using this test. Other things that may have an impact on the A1c results may involve:

  • supplements like vitamins C and E
  • high cholesterol levels
  • liver and kidney problems.

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