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How to convert A1c to blood sugar level

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A1C readings are helpful if you understand what your daily blood sugar (sugar) levels mean.

Understanding how A1c accumulates over two to three months and how it translates into actual average blood sugar levels is an important part of diabetes management.

This article explains the importance of glycated hemoglobin as measured by A1c, the broader context of how glucose reacts with proteins in the body to form advanced glycation end products (AGEs), and how A1c results We will explain how this is reflected in the results. Estimated average blood glucose (eAG) and what you can do with that information.

Woman sitting on the ground and checking blood sugar level

Key Point:

  • The A1c test reflects the percentage of glycated hemoglobin (A1c) in your blood and indicates your average blood sugar level over the past two to three months.
  • This test specifically measures glycated hemoglobin and provides an indication of your average blood sugar level. It is part of the body’s extensive glucose metabolism and in excess can lead to the formation of AGEs.
  • Although not directly measured by the A1c test, AGEs are formed when sugars react with proteins and fats, which can cause complications of diabetes by damaging tissues such as blood vessels and nerves.
  • eAG levels are derived from A1c results and reflect average blood sugar levels in more common daily monitoring terms.
  • For effective diabetes management, it’s important to work with your healthcare team to set individualized A1c and blood sugar goals.

table of contents

What A1c actually measures: Glycated hemoglobin

A1c is reflected The percentage of glycated hemoglobin, or HbA1c, in the blood. Glycated hemoglobin is formed when glucose in the bloodstream binds to hemoglobin in red blood cells.

The higher the glucose level in the bloodstream, the more glucose attaches to red blood cells and therefore the higher the A1c.

This process reflects your average blood sugar levels over the past 2-3 months and provides information about your blood sugar control.

A1c is a direct measurement of glycated hemoglobin, but consistently high A1c levels can indicate long-term exposure to high glucose levels, which can increase the risk of AGE formation in the body. It is important to understand that there are

These compounds can contribute to blood vessel and nerve damage associated with complications of diabetes, such as retinopathy (eye damage), neuropathy (nerve damage), and nephropathy (kidney damage).

Therefore, consistently high blood sugar levels can increase the production of AGEs and contribute to diabetes-related complications.

However, it is important to note that the A1c test specifically measures the amount of glucose bound to hemoglobin and serves as an indirect indicator of average blood sugar levels and potential for AGE-related damage over time.

What is your estimated average blood sugar level?

Before we start talking about A1c results, you need to understand what eAG is.

eAG represents the average blood sugar level over a period of time and typically reflects the time frame of A1c.

You may not hear the term eAG in the doctor’s office, but it plays an important role when you aim to improve your A1c and minimize your risk of diabetic complications.

It’s important to understand that blood sugar levels naturally fluctuate throughout the day due to a variety of factors, including what you eat, activity, and stress. Therefore, eAG is not a fixed number that blood sugar levels always follow.

Instead, think of eAG as an overall average that smooths out day-to-day fluctuations and provides a more comprehensive picture of blood sugar control over time. This average is a tool to help you evaluate how well your diabetes management plan is working and make any necessary adjustments.

Now, let’s take a deeper look at how all this ties together…

Convert A1c to blood sugar level

For example, seeing an A1c result of 8.0 percent may lead some people to believe that their blood sugar levels are consistently within their target range. But a closer look at what his A1c 8.0 percent actually means in terms of average blood sugar levels may reveal a different story.

An A1c of 8.0 percent corresponds to an eAG of approximately 183 mg/dL (10.1 mmol/L). This average value is significantly higher than the ADA-recommended goals of eAG less than 154 mg/dL (less than 8.6 mmol/L) or A1c less than 7.0 percent for most non-pregnant adults.

The discrepancy between current blood glucose measurements and the 3-month average as reflected by A1c is alarming and highlights the importance of understanding both measurements in diabetes management.

Converting A1c to eAG gives you a clearer picture of your overall blood sugar management beyond daily measurements. This additional perspective can help you make informed adjustments to your diabetes treatment plan.

You can easily use this American Diabetes Association eAG/A1c conversion table (ADA) to instantly convert your latest A1c results into more understandable eAG results.

Chart from A1c to eAG

A1c eAG (mg/dL) eAG (mmol/L)
5 percent 97 5.4
6 percent 126 7.0
7 percent 154 8.6
8 percent 183 10.2
9 percent 212 11.8
10 percent 240 13.4
11 percent 269 14.9
12 percent 298 16.5

in general, ADA Recommended Fasting blood sugar level 80-130 mg/dL (4.4-7.2 mmol/L), 1-2 hour postprandial blood sugar level less than 180 mg/dL (10.0 mmol/L), A1c less than 7.0 percent for diabetic patients. expensive.

For more information about blood sugar levels, see below. What is normal blood sugar? Learn more about blood sugar and A1c levels Blood Sugar Chart: Blood Sugar and A1c Target.

Determine your own A1c and eAG goals

In an ideal world, all A1cs would be a magical 5.0. However, managing diabetes can be difficult.

This means that determining an appropriate A1c goal is important. youyour body, and your life as a diabetic are very personal decisions that you and your health care team must make together.

For example, a person who is hypoglycemic unaware (unable to detect early signs of hypoglycemia) may decide that an A1c target of 6.0 percent is too dangerous and may feel that the risk of severe hypoglycemia is too high. There is a gender.

For example, people who live alone may find that going to bed with blood sugar levels below 120 mg/dL puts them at higher risk for hypoglycemia.

For people with blood sugar levels above 240 mg/dL, the goal may be to gradually lower their blood sugar levels with the help of their medical team.

This means your A1c will also be set to a higher goal than “normal.”

Whatever your blood sugar goals, they should be reviewed regularly and adjusted as necessary in collaboration with your healthcare team to reflect changes in your health, lifestyle, or diabetes management needs.

See below for more information on commonly recommended A1c levels. What is “normal” HbA1c? and What is the A1c danger level?

How often should I take an A1c test?

If you have diabetes, your health care provider may order an A1c test in one of the following ranges: 2 and 4 times a yearIt depends on factors such as the level of blood sugar control and the frequency of severe hypoglycemia (hypoglycemia) or hyperglycemia (hyperglycemia).

For home A1c tests: How to measure A1c at home.

final thoughts

Everyone’s diabetes management situation is different, with different personal needs, challenges, and goals. that’s ok. Work closely with your healthcare team and focus on what’s right for you and your current life as a diabetic.

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