Friday, March 4, 2011

Question of the Week: Low Glucose but High A1c?

The following question was submitted by a reader for discussion on my blog, "I was recently told by my doctor I have pre-diabetes and that I need to lose weight, eat right, and get my sugar levels down.  On a 12 hour fast, my glucose level was 73 yet my A1C was 6.1%.  If my glucose is low, why is my A1c still high?  What can I do?"

An A1C test result reflects your average blood sugar level for the past two to three months. It measures the percentage of hemoglobin (the protein found in your red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout your body) is covered in sugar.  Therefore, a single blood glucose test reading or "finger stick" may not show the same results reflecting that A1c number.  It is possible to test high or low during a single test.  If you are able to keep good control over your blood sugars you should see your A1c decrease in time. 

Speak to your doctor or CDE (Certified Diabetes Educator) about testing your blood sugars two hours after meals to monitor your glycemic control.  This way you can check how your meal choices are affecting your blood sugars and adjust where necessary.  Getting to a healthy weight is also another way to help achieve your blood sugar goals.

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