But what precisely ARE we measuring ? Why are we measuring it ? And when we use these tools, are we ACTUALLY measuring rake glucose concentrations ? The fact is, most of these tests aren ’ t immediately measuring blood glucose levels. They ’ ra measuring diverse things in the blood that should give an indication of glucose level, but the fact is every unmarried one of these tests is an approximation. That doesn ’ t mean they ’ ra not utilitarian — they ’ rhenium very utilitarian, and taken together can help us get a good estimate of how we ’ re doing. And as engineering improves, they are increasingly accurate approximations of lineage glucose, but they are approximations however. ad
Let ’ s start with A1C. The A1C test is measuring the total of glucose that has “ stuck ” to the hemoglobin in our blood. Hemoglobin is the protein in crimson rake cells that carries oxygen. Those crimson rake cells by and large have an average life of about two to three months, and so the idea here is that measuring the come of glucose that has stuck to the hemoglobin in those cells can give us a movie of our average blood glucose levels during this prison term frame. The number we get is actually the share of glucose in relation to the hemoglobin. Using a formula, a clinician can get an equivalent estimated “ average ” lineage glucose charge, or eAG. A person without diabetes should have an A1C below 5.7 % ( 5.7 % corresponds with an “ average ” blood glucose of about 117 ). For those of us with diabetes, we are aiming for an A1C below about 7.0 % ( which corresponds with an average blood glucose of about 154 ).
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While the A1C test is very valuable and has improved in accuracy over the years thanks to standardization of testing procedures, it ’ s not perfect. As celebrated, the bolshevik blood cells tend to have an average life of three months, but that ’ s not constantly true. Their life can be increased or decreased by a count of factors, including iron lack anemia, vitamin B-12 insufficiency anemia, and kidney disease. And a low A1C doesn ’ thyroxine always mean great dominance. Remember, the A1C is merely testing for an average. If you ’ ra running a wholly bunch of austere lows with intermittent severe highs, you might end up with a fine-looking A1C, but the reality is that those severe highs are still doing damage, and that A1C is merely being lowered by excessively many severe LOW blood sugars. As with all the numbers we live by with diabetes, it is the context that very matters here. An A1C by itself can alone tell us so much .
well, that ’ south all the space I ’ ve got for this week, but I will continue this entrance following week when we dissect the processes behind the numbers on our meters and our CGMs. And then we ’ ll take a look at how to best blend all this approximated information to get a clear picture of how well we are managing our diabetes .
Want to learn more about the HbA1c test? Read “H-B-A-1-C: What It Is and Why It Matters” and “What Does A1C Stand For?” and see our blood sugar chart.