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The most convenient way to test your A1C level

By Samuel Kolodney 1 years ago 3339 Views No comments

The A1C test is the most convenient way to understand your average blood sugar levels over the previous three months. It leverages the natural process of glycation that occurs in red blood cells during their 90-day life cycle. The more sugar in your blood, the more glycation occurs. The A1C Test is so convenient because it doesn’t require a person to be tested at a particular time of day, fast, or consume anything special in order to obtain an accurate result.

Since the advent of the National Glycohemoglobin Standardization Program (NGSP)The accuracy of the A1C test has been improved. Coupled with how easy the A1C test makes it to be tested, it was recommended by an international expert committee in 2009 to be used to help diagnose diabetes in order to get more people tested.

Today diabetes affects over 29 million people in the USA and over eight million of them don’t even know they have it. Additionally, it is estimated that 86 million people have prediabetes and 90% of them don’t know they have it!

In contrast to the A1C Test, the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) is the preferred follow up test for diabetes. It requires three days of preparation before the test subject drinks a syrupy sweetened beverage with glucose prior to having their blood tested three, four, or more times over the course of four hours.

There are some drawbacks to the A1C test. It can unreliable for diagnosing or monitoring diabetes in people with hemoglobinopathies like sickle cell anemia that interfere with the results. Also, point of care A1C tests are not considered accurate enough to provide a definitive diagnosis.

Your healthcare provider can send your blood for testing to a certified lab that gives A1C test results accurate enough to diagnose if you have diabetes or not.

Many people are interested in not being surprised with a high A1C test reading when they visit the doctor. The easiest way to check how well you are keeping on track with your blood sugar goals is to use a convenient home test. The test is called the A1C Now and it displays test results within 5 minutes of inserting your blood sample.

A1CNowSelf Check

What does my A1C Test result mean?

By Samuel Kolodney 1 years ago 1358 Views No comments

Your blood sugar changes regularly based on when you eat, what you eat, and time between meals. If you use a glucose meter to check your blood sugar after a meal, you will find it is at its highest point. Whereas, if you were to check it four or five hours later, it would be considerably lower. If you were to test your blood sugar 10 or 20 times a day every day for 90 days and then took the mean average of all those tests that would be very close to the reading a single A1C test provides in 5 minutes.

The amazing science behind the A1C test is researchers figured out that, through a process called glycation, red blood cells accumulate sugar on the HbA1C area of the hemoglobin in proportion to the amount of glucose circulating in the blood during the 90 days they are alive before they get recycled by the body.

The even more amazing technology behind the A1CNow test is that researchers figured out how to chemically treat the blood sample to read the glycation of the HbA1c area of the red blood cell using an optical scanner. This reading is your A1C number, which indicates the percentage of glycation or sugar your hemoglobin accumulated over the past 90 days. This makes it the perfect way to calculate your average blood sugar.

What should my A1C number be?
A healthy person should expect to have an A1C reading between 4% and 5.6%, which according to the conversion chart below is an average blood sugar between 65 mg/dl and 122 mg/dl respectively. It is important to consider that normal fasting blood sugars should be between 70-99 mg/dl and 2 hours after a meal a normal blood sugar is expected to be less than 140 mg/dl.

If your A1C level is between 5.7% and 6.4% this doesn’t mean you have diabetes but it does mean you need to consider making some lifestyle changes that include more exercise and a low carbohydrate diet in order to help your body uptake the sugar that is in your blood stream. As you adopt these changes you will likely lose weight which will accelerate the pace A1C level returns to the normal range.

If you have an A1C level of 6.5% or higher you probably have diabetes and it means you should go and see your doctor right away to get on a plan to reduce your blood sugar. High blood sugar over a prolonged period of time can cause a number of terrible health problems including neuropathy, heart disease, kidney disease and many more issues.

To better understand the conversion of A1C to average blood glucose you can look at the chart below:

Jan 17, 2017 3:53:50 AM

Why Test Hemoglobin A1C?

By Samuel Kolodney 1 years ago 1459 Views No comments

Hemoglobin A1c is the area of the red blood cell that is used to determine the average amount of sugar in your blood. High blood sugar damages the cells and organs in the entire body. Like rust on a car that corrodes the metal, glucose attaches to the cells as like a sugar coating and keeps them from functioning properly.

A high A1C level is a warning that your cells are being overwhelmed by the sugar in your blood stream. It tells you your level of risk to contract diabetes, which if left uncontrolled is also associated with a host of other diseases including heart disease, cancer, and many other complications and co-morbidities of diabetes.

Testing Hemoglobin A1C is an easy way to quickly understand your blood sugar. This is because it uses red blood cells in your blood sample to get an average blood sugar based on the 90-day life cycle of these cells. This means you don’t have to take the A1C Test at a specific time and you don’t have to worry about if you just ate or haven’t eaten in a few hours in order to get an accurate reading.

Once you know the percentage of glucose attached to your red blood cells by taking an A1C test you can figure out how high your average blood sugars have been over the past three months.

An A1C level between 4% and 5.5% is within the normal range for a healthy person.

A person who is overweight and doesn’t exercise regularly is likely to have an A1c of 5.7 to 6.4%. This A1C Level is common for someone with prediabetes. It means that you need to take better care of yourself with better diet and exercise lifestyle choices.

A person with an A1c level of 6.5% or more is considered to have diabetes. At this blood sugar level your blood sugars are likely causing serious damage to your body.

The early stages of blood sugar damage are imperceptible because the damage is cumulative. The longer you live with high blood sugar the more damage occurs until you start to get symptomatic. Initial symptoms often include tingling or burning sensation in your feet or hands called diabetic neuropathy. It is important to remember most of your internal organs do not have pain receptors like those found in the hands and feet. So by the time you are feeling pain in these areas, damage is also likely occurring in your heart and kidneys.

The sooner you learn if your blood sugar is too high range, the easier it usually is to be able to control your blood sugar exclusively with lifestyle changes like improved diet and exercise.

Check out a convenient home test that gives you test results within 5 minutes, without having to go to a lab or mail in your blood sample. You just take the test and get your results. Check yourself today!

A1CNow Self Check

A1C Test Essentials

By Samuel Kolodney 1 years ago 982 Views No comments

The A1C test measures the glycation of HbA1c area of the hemoglobin in your red blood cells. As your red blood cells deliver oxygen to your body they travel with all of the other nutrients in the blood stream including glucose. Higher levels of glucose in the blood cause more rapid glycation of the hemoglobin. This is similar to the rusting process where oxygen binds to iron, in oxygen rich environments rusting occurs faster but in the case of A1C, instead of oxygen it is glucose that binds with the iron in your hemoglobin.

An A1C blood test indicates your average daily glucose levels over the past three months. This test looks at the portion of hemoglobin in your red blood cells called the HbA1c, which picks up sugar in a process known as glycation. The A1C test tells you the percentage of sugar your red blood cells accumulated during their 90 day life span.

The expected amount of HbA1c glycation for a healthy person is between 4% to 5.5%. An A1C level of 6.5% or more, is an indication you have diabetes. People with an A1C level of 5.6 to 6.4% are at risk for diabetes and have a condition known as prediabetes, which if caught early, can usually be managed with changes in diet and exercise.

Since you have an entirely new batch of red blood cells every 90 days, people who have increased risk factors for diabetes like lack of exercise, being overweight or having other family members with diabetes should get their A1C levels tested every 90 days.

There are many benefits to lowering your A1C level as close to the normal range as possible. The fact is that hemoglobin is very sensitive to increases in blood sugar. Like a canary in a coal mine, it is the first signal that other organs and tissues are being affected by high levels of sugar in your blood. The longer your other organs are exposed to high blood sugars the more likely it is to develop problems like neuropathy, heart disease, kidney problems and blindness.

The body is amazing. The best part is that lowering your A1C percentage by just one point can result in a 35% reduction of the likelihood of developing complications of diabetes.

Complications Correlated with High A1C Levels

By Samuel Kolodney 2 years ago 2170 Views No comments

The Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) was a study that provided a definitive link between A1c levels and the risk of developing comorbidities commonly associated with diabetes. The results of the study depicted in the graph below chart the correlations of A1C levels for patients with type 1 diabetes. The graph displays the relative increased risk for retinopathy, nephropathy, and microalbuminuria, as A1C levels rise. It also displays an accelerated risk of retinopathy and nephropathy as A1c levels approach 12%. The study concluded that improved glycemic control can delay the onset of diabetic retinopathy, nephropathy and neuropathy and slow the progression of these disease states in patients with type 1 diabetes. [1]

Patients with type 1 diabetes (n=1,441)
Adapted from DCCT. Diabetes 1995;44:968-43.

A1C Now Standards of Care

By Samuel Kolodney 2 years ago 1352 Views No comments

HbA1c testing is a useful way to determine a patient’s average blood glucose level. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends A1C testing to monitor a patient's ability to control their blood sugar. The A1c test should be performed quarterly on patients who are not meeting their target blood sugar levels. For patients who have diabetes and are meeting their glycemic targets, the A1c test should be performed semi-annually. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, American Diabetes Association and International Diabetes Federation, have published guidelines regarding the frequency of A1C testing, which are condensed in the chart below.

1. ADA Diabetes Care 2014; 37 (Suppl 1):S14-80
2. https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/qs6
3. IDF,https://www.idf.org/component/attachments/attachments.html?id=725&task=download

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