So what is an A1C anyway? An A1C is a vital test if you're diabetic, or may have been how your diabetes was diagnosed. An A1C test tells your doctor what your average blood sugar has been over the last 3 months. The number represented by your test is the percentage of sugar that is bound to your red blood cells. A person without diabetes should have an A1C of less than 5.7. A person with diabetes should aim to have their A1C be less than 7.
But my A1C was higher than 7, what does that mean? The higher your test result, the higher your average sugar. This means you have a higher chance that you will suffer from the complications of diabetes, including heart disease, kidney disease, pain in your hands/feet (neuropathy), and damage to your eyes (retinopathy).
So what's the good news? It's never too late to get a handle on things! If you stay informed about your health, you can use your A1C to guide you in how your manage your disease and slow down the progression to complications. It doesn't replace your daily blood sugar readings, however, it can tell you how you've been controlling your diabetes over time. Your doctor will draw your A1C approximately every 3 months. If you maintain your daily blood sugars at doctor prescribed levels, you will see you A1C fall, or maintain your awesome numbers.
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