The A1C or Hemoglobin A1C check is one thing everybody dwelling with diabetes needs to be conversant in.
It doesn’t present the entire image of your diabetes administration, however it may be an excellent indicator of whether or not your common blood sugar ranges are inside a wholesome vary.
Right this moment, I’ll present you simply and precisely measure your A1C at residence.
We’ll additionally talk about what an A1C check really tells you, why it’s a related check, and interpret the outcomes.
What’s an A1C check
The A1C check is a blood check that displays your common blood glucose over the past 3 months. It’s reported as a proportion and individuals who don’t dwell with diabetes typically have an A1C under 5.7%.
That implies that an A1C check generally is a good start line for a diabetes prognosis in addition to an indicator of whether or not your diabetes administration method is profitable.
The American Diabetes Affiliation has established the next A1C tips for utilizing the check as a part of a diabetes prognosis:
A1C targets for folks dwelling with diabetes needs to be tailor-made to the person, however typically, an A1C of seven% or decrease is beneficial. An A1C of seven% interprets to a median blood sugar of round 154 mg/dl (8.6 mmol/L).
Some folks dwelling with diabetes attempt for A1C ranges under 5.7%, however aiming for a really low A1C just isn’t all the time advisable, particularly if it’s achieved via an extreme quantity of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
Focus on your goal A1C together with your physician and keep in mind that it could possibly all the time be adjusted up or down relying on what’s applicable for you.
Why is it necessary to measure your A1C
Since elevated blood sugars can result in a lot of short- and long-term problems, it’s advisable to control your A1C and be sure that it’s held at a wholesome stage.
When you discover that your blood sugars (and thereby your A1C) are rising above your goal, there are a number of issues you are able to do to scale back them, akin to discussing adjusting your remedy together with your physician, altering your food regimen, and making life-style adjustments
You’ll be able to learn our full information to decreasing your A1C for extra info.
Because the A1C assessments offer you an image of your blood sugar stage for the final 3 months, it is sensible to have your A1C measured at the very least each 3 months to maintain observe of how your blood sugars are progressing.
It the check is used for a diabetes prognosis, you may need to even have your fasting blood sugar and antibody ranges measured to find out which kind of diabetes you reside with, akin to kind 1 or kind 2 diabetes.
The way to use the A1C residence check equipment
There may be many causes to measure your A1C at residence, akin to restricted entry to see your physician, the gap to a lab, the price of the lab work, and many others.
There are nice choices for measuring your A1C at residence, however please seek the advice of together with your medical staff earlier than making any adjustments to your care or self-diagnosing diabetes.
One very inexpensive A1C residence check equipment is the A1CNow SelfCheck which I display use within the video under.
The equipment comes with 4 A1C assessments and will provide you with your A1C lead to solely 5 minutes. Comply with the directions that include the equipment and ensure so as to add sufficient blood or it’s going to return an error message.
Are residence A1C check kits correct?
Most residence A1C kits are thought-about to be as correct as lab A1C assessments. The outcomes are correct inside plus/minus 0.5 proportion factors, which is about the identical as most lab outcomes.
To make sure accuracy, search for merchandise which are NGSP-certified (Nationwide Glycohemoglobin Standardization Program) and/or have FDA clearance or CE mark. All of the merchandise talked about on this article are NGSP-certified.
Once I tried the A1CNow SelfCheck at residence (see the video above), the A1C outcomes got here again with precisely the identical consequence because the A1C lab check I had carried out just a few days earlier (I used Quest Diagnostics for the lab check).
How a lot does an A1C check equipment value?
The A1CNow SelfCheck I used within the video is $53.83 on Amazon (as of September 2020) for 4 assessments. I selected this equipment because it was the most cost effective resolution, however comparable residence A1C kits may be discovered on Amazon starting from $60-$100 for 4 assessments.
You can too discover residence A1C kits in most pharmacies akin to CVS and Walmart.
A1C kits that require you to gather a blood pattern at residence and ship it to a lab are additionally out there.
These assessments require a considerably bigger blood assortment (4-5 massive droplets) and you’ll find yourself ready as much as 4 weeks (like I did after I tried it out) on your check outcomes, relying on how briskly the mail will get to the lab and again to you.
Is it lined by insurance coverage?
Whereas most well being insurances (non-public and authorities plans) cowl blood work prescribed by your physician and carried out in a lab, it’s uncertain that your insurance coverage will cowl an at-home A1C check until it’s a prescribed equipment.
Nevertheless, you may all the time name your insurance coverage firm or lookup your advantages and discover out in case your plans cowl at-home kits. If it does, your insurance coverage firm might have a most well-liked model or particular course of so that you can get your equipment.