Excited about A1c?

Do people really get excited about A1c’s? My Dr. gets excited when he see’s mine,and I can’t understand why. It’s 6.4 now and was 7.9 earlier this year. Is it really that important?

My cousin had high A1C and eventually his foot needed to be amputated. He never went blind. He died before that in his early 60s. I am excited if I smell a chance to escape a similar destiny.

Yes it’s that important!

I know of 2 predictors of complications: A1C and bg variability. It is important to keep an eye on both.


I heard your suppossed to get 4 A1c tests done a year. I only get 2. Am I not getting enough then? 6.4 I take it good. what is considered bad?

I do only one A1C test per year. For me an A1C test is mainly a waste of time. I test my bg frequently which gives me a way better picture of my bg control than the single number. For me A1C serves as a sanity check. I know beforehand which number to expect and if the number would be off then something would be wrong. I never had an A1C surprise in 25 years.

What is a good and a bad A1C number? Let me be evasive. The question is similar to: “What is the average speed that I can drive without getting a ticket?”. I am in danger of getting a ticket whenever I drive above the speed limit even if my average speed is moderate. Similar rules apply to diabetes. Time spent above 140 mg/dl does the damage. Spending half the time at 60 mg/dl and half the time at 200 mg/dl is not the same as spending all the time at 130 mg/dl even that the average is the same.

High A1C tells that bg control is definitely bad. Low A1C is inconclusive.

Aim for being below 140 mg/dl instead of an A1C number. As a side effect your A1C number will be good.

Its actually my doctor who jumps for joy whenever my A1C improves. I have mine done quarterly. And yes, it is important. She said, it signifies that the diabetes management recommended is doing well, lessening the chances of probable complications.

I say - do both. A1c can be surprisingly high even when BG seems normal.

I have an A1c every quarter - so 4 a year. BUT, I also test about 8 to 10 times a day and maintain tight control.

Over the past year, it has been VERY exciting to see my progress. From a whopping 7.9 down to 5.4 - that’s progress.

I have an endo who is thrilled, delighted, happy, etc. and I have the same reaction. But I have an internist who is silent. He prefers a “7”! So I’ve defied him. He knows it. I know it. It is sad to see him unhappy about my 5.5 to 5.9. I have thought about telling him we could schedule an appointment for him to have some continued education, but I guess that would be presumptuous. He is an otherwise good thinker and I appreciate his take on other lab tests. I know what goes into my A1c, and I’m happy when work pays off.
Yes, hb. The A1c is important, but keeping yourself below 140 one hour after meals is the most important target you can have. The A1c then will take care of itself.
GREAT to have a 6.4 when it was 7.9! Good work!

I have been tight on money so putting off my A1C because I am more focused on my daily numbers. But I just found out Walgreen’s is doing them free next month so I can’t wait to see how far I’ve come down from my 7.2 in May (which includes the time before I got on a stable insulin regimen) We need some rewards even if it’s only a number!

I’ve been wondering, does the supplemental insurance that comes with medicaid cover A1C tests? I’ve not had mine done yet, as I haven’t had insurance until recently.

Way to go, Cheri!!

These are general standards; you and your provider should decide on YOUR target:
American Diabetes Association: under 7% (and as close to 6% as you and your health care provider decide is safe)
American Assoc. of Clinical Endocrinologists: under 6.5%

Note that roughly 50% of Americans adults with diabetes do not meet these standards!

One reason it’s important to get regular A1Cs (2x a year for well-controlled and those not on insulin; 4x a year for not-on-targets and those using insulin) is that there are many hours in the day for which we don’t have test results (those of us who don’t test overnight often, for example, or those not using a continuous glucose monitor). So a person can run a fairly low meter average yet still have lots of highs. Conversely, a person can also have lots of lows that translate to a low A1C.

Although I test on average 8 times a day, I’ve had meter averages of 120 and A1Cs of high 7s, as well as meter averages of 120 and under 7!

So I like to look at my meter and my A1C results as partners. I need both to help manage my care.

Also, as an interesting side note, I used some at-home A1Cs kits after my last endo visit. My endo reading was 6.7. On the kit that came with a meter (Bayer), I got a 7.4 and a 7.6. The three other kits required dropping blood on a card and mailing it to a lab. Of those tests, I got one 6.7, one 6.6, and one 7.6! So what’s my REAL number? That’s a good question!

Im excited to see the A1c I have coming up…I donated the blood yesterday for my appointemnt with the Doc on the 9th of next month. So that ship has sailed, so to speak.

I expect (hope) to see a drastic change from 14 plus to 7 or 8 (-ish lol). I’d be happy with that. I can fine tune it after that. But according to the meter Im in the 7or 8 range and thats cool with me. For now…anyways. Gotta start somewhere.

OMG - how in the world does your Internist justify being unhappy about 5.5 or 5.9!!! You’re doing great!!

Thanks, Kelly!!

I get mine done every three months when I go in for the appt. and mine has only gotten better since being on the pod, my Doc comes in overjoyed when she gets my results which makes me feel very good about myself.

pre pod 09/01/08, 9.1
post 12/18/08, 6.5
03/19/09, 6.0
07/10/09, 5.9
10/16/09, 5.7

You are doing amazing Linzie! I have only broken 6 once and I wouldn’t want to do it that way again… if/when I can do it again, if it’s without a gazillion lows I’ll be super thrilled too :slight_smile:

Great, now I feel guilty for not having another one( a1c) in December like my Dr. wanted. He said he could wait till March for when I get the tests my endo ordered done. I don’t like needles, I’m terrified of them! Don’t know how to get over it though.Going for my H1N1 shot on Friday. Freaking out in my head now.
Thanks for the posts , it really helps to know there are people out there who have answers that KNOW what they are talking about, and are going through same stuff I am. Sick of all the beat around the bush, vague answers. : )
this good site.