# My new A1C: more fun A1C discussion!

I did one of those Walmart Reli-on mail in A1C tests last week. Got my results through email today.

5.6.

Hmm, well, Ok. that is normal. According to their chart, 5 is around 97 average BG number. So I guess 5.6 might be like 100. But last time I had a 4.9. I was getting all proud and used to my 4. (well, I don't know actually it is so close to a 5 - I mean, 4.9 - could have easily been 5 right? So, I am still at the 5 mark here so not too much of a change really.)

How much of a change are the decimal place numbers in our A1C's? Are those tenth of a percentages? So, I went up 7/10 of a point. A bit over half a whole percentage. (ok, I suck at math - this is probably wrong). Just wondering if 5.0% = 97 what is 5.1, 5.2 etc. Any easy way to calculate this?

I dont' test all day - just mostly breakfast and dinner and some times lunch (lunch is very small) so I couldn't look back at my records to affirm this number plus there is no way to account for the inbetween meal number and sleep number flucuations. (did I spell that right?)

I am not surprised by the small rise. Since I have been exercising more and and alas means I am hungry more often I have been eating a bit more. So, no big deal I guess. Anything is better than that 9.2 I was Dx'd with that is for sure!

But I still wondering about the accuracy of the Walmart test. It got good reviews on the Walmart site though. You drop your blood on a little piece of cardboardy type of paper. How do I know this method is anywhere near accurate? Until I get a job and insurance it may have to be my guide for now.

But I am wondering about the effectiveness of the A1C test altogether after reading one of the blogs on here yesterday. http://www.tudiabetes.org/profiles/blogs/is-a1c-becoming-irrelevant

Since sugar moves around in my blood, how can I know that the blood captured for that A1C wasn't on the higher end at the time. Also does your BG number at that exact moment make a difference in what your A1C might turn out to be? These are interesting questions. Esp. in the light, that we all know that we can test on several different fingers at the same time and have different results. And that our meters can be 20 points off anytime we test. The A1C could also be some points off. (esp. one like the at home tests).

Walmart graph: If 4 - 6 % is normal, what is low? Has anyone ever been below 4? If you were at 0, wouldn't you be dead? :)

Have you tried the Bayer A1C Selfcheck / A1CNow!
You get a number without mailing it away

http://www.a1cnow.com/

Comes in a 2 pack and is occasionally on sale for around 24/25\$ for two tests

Yes, I know about that one. They used it on me at free CVS test last time. I have no insurance and no job so money is very scarce. The Walmart A1C was only \$9 bucks per test. Cheaper than two tests for \$25 dollars.

Dr Bernstein says a normal blood sugar is 4.3 to 4.6 in a person with a perfect pancreas. How achievable that is even for most of the public is doubtful with the amount of carbs everyone eats. Jenny Ruhl says anything below 5.5 is good and should eliminate most complications down the road. Your target is what you decide. I shoot for below 5.5 myself. Dont think I will make 4.3 or 4.6. I know at times I will not make my target but I continue my quest. I think the spikes you have though as just as important as your A1C too.

5.6 is an average of 115.

Didnt know. thought the Walmart one was more expernsive… Thought I remember it being a bit more for something similar…

Really? 115!

Hmm, that doesn’t sound like my average looking at my log book. I don’t think I am that impressed with this Walmart test.

Thanks Pauly!

Did they test alot of non-diabetics to figure out those numbers? I agree with you with all the crap people I find that hard to believe. They would have to get people of all kind of diets doing A1C’s on a regualr basis to really see.

Well, I would love to be at the “normal” pancreas range but there are so many spikes that are often uncontrollable that have nothing to do with what I eat (hormones, adrenaline etc). So I guess all I can do is control the stuff I can.

The thing that bugs me is that if all these tests esp. our daily meters can have such a margin of error (20 points is a lot!) how can I never know if I am keeping in my range? Almost makes me think I am wasting my money on strips.

I wish I could afford that Bayer one though. I think it is wasteful to throw out a whole meter tester after only two test which is another reason why I didn’t buy it.

The walmart one has no meter. Just a piece of cardboard that you mail in. Hardly no waste.

Well… not all are that far off. Some are surprisingly good… But that can vary a lot across models and manufacturing. What I did was found the meter that worked for me, that is always off by just 1 or 2 pts from the lab tests I get done at the hospital, and stuck to it. lol Also… there are some meters that I know how much they are off by… One is my Contour (not the USB one) which I don’t care for very much, but which is usually off by 20 pts… (20 pts lower, always, on the dot…) So I just always add 20+ pts in my mind to that result, and in that sense, I can more accurately predict my BG numbers. I’ve gone online, to all the people’s websites, and gotten many, many meters, for free… whatever the brand, you name it. I looked and looked until I found something I felt comfortable with. (For me, that’s the Breeze2 and the Freestyle Lite or Freestyle Freedom, which are only off by 1 or 2 pts. The Accu-check was off by about 15 pts, the Contour by 20, the One Touch Ultra Mini by 32-40 pts, the Glucocard Mini or Reli On Micro was off by maybe 5 pts, and its sooooo cheap, it makes it worth it as a meter, to me… etc.)

Thanks Duck!

I like your little chart. I was confused about the decimal numbers since I suck at math.

I really don’t think I had many 115’s though. Most of my number have been below 110. And I actually had some of my lowest waking numbers during this A1C period. Unless I have higher in between numbers and night numbers - unless I had a CGM there is really no way to know.

I know it is a good A1C. The average of 115 just seems a bit off too me but if our meters can be 20 points off I am sure our A1C’s can be a few decimal numbers off too.

Thanks Liz.

Yes, I have the Relion. It is all I can afford right now. I have the Walgreens one which was the first one I bought when I didn’t know what I was doing - strips are really expensive. I have a free Breeze 2 that came with a free disc of strips. I have used a few times when I was out of my regular. I did notice it seemed on the higher side than my Relion. I hate how big it is but it does have some nice features.

So I guess the Relion isn’t too bad than. Do you use the Micro or the bigger one? I have the small one. I like the compact ones.

I have learned how to use the saved features on it yet but I write all my numbers ina book anyhow.

Right now, I am using the Freestyle Freedom. Since most of the time, I don’t even have an extra dollar for things… My family is paying a big price helping me with rent and utilities, I usually have to fend for myself when it comes to strips and such things… I rely on friends who can help me with strips, or whenever I can meet with the doctor to get her to sign something for Abbott, which isn’t all that often… Whatever I get sent is usually what I use. Right now, it’s FreeStyle. Sometimes it’s Contour… Sometimes it’s One Touch. At one point I was using the Breeze2, because a friend had some extras and didn’t want them. I hope one day, when I have a job, I can help someone else who also needs it.