A1c 5.6 Questions

If you have prediabetes (i.e. an A1C score between 5.7 and 6.5 percent) you should check your A1C score once a year.

For people who have type 2 diabetes, check your A1C score twice a year if you don’t take insulin and your blood sugar level is consistently in target range, or check your A1C score four times a year if you use insulin to manage your diabetes and your blood sugar level is not consistently within the target range.

A1C scores are accurate up to .5%, so if you’ve scored a 6.89 percent, your actual score can be anywhere between 6.39 percent and a 7.39 percent. This is why doctors will test your A1C score twice before diagnosing you with diabetes – they want to make sure the reading is accurate.

There are a few common reasons why your A1C score will have errors or misreadings.

  • A1C tests for patients who experience chronic bleeding may yield a false low.
  • A1C tests for patients who have iron deficiency anemia may yield a false high.
  • If your body produces a form of hemoglobin variant different than the normal hemoglobin A, your test can be inaccurate. This is more likely for people of African, Southeast Asian or Mediterranean descent. An example of hemoglobin variant is present in people with sickle cell disease, which changes the lifespan of red blood cells.
  • Patients who are going through hemodialysis might have false lows because the processes may be filtering the glucose out of the patient’s bloodstream.
  • Patients who have had a recent blood loss due to surgery or a heavy menstrual cycle may experience a false low.
  • Liver disease, sickle cell anemia and kidney failure can cause your reading to be inaccurate.

Additionally, your A1C percentage can be off by as much as half a percent based on the margin of error. While that might mean the difference between being diabetic and prediabetic, if you’re a half a percentage away from developing diabetes or prediabetes, you should make changes to your lifestyle to reduce your score.

A1C scores can be used to monitor women with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. The A1C test is different for pregnant women than for most people. Red blood cells do not live as long in the body of a pregnant woman as they do in a not-pregnant woman. Red blood cells live only a few weeks in pregnant women as opposed to a few months in other people.

However, A1C tests are not often used for diabetes diagnosed during pregnancy, which is called Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM). Instead, doctors use something called an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) which gives them information about how well your body processes the sugar in foods.

High A1C scores during the first three months of pregnancy can indicate a higher chance of a spontaneous abortion or birth defects for women with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. For pregnant women, it is best to keep an A1C score below 6 percent.

Studies indicate that when high blood glucose is treated aggressively and early on, treatment can quickly lower A1C levels in pregnant women. Treating high blood sugar can stop negative ramifications for pregnant women and their baby’s health.

If your considering becoming pregnant, you’re more likely to get GDM if you:

  • Are older 25.
  • Are overweight before becoming pregnant.
  • Have prediabetes.
  • Have a close family member who has or had type 2 diabetes.
  • Have had GDM during a past pregnancy.
  • Have delivered larger than normal children in the past.
  • Are black, Hispanic, Native American or Asian.

Developing GDM can cause complications for your baby. It could cause your baby to grow larger than they’re supposed to and require C-section for birth. Your baby could have low blood sugar after birth because his or her insulin production was high while in the womb. After normal feedings and possibly other intervention methods, your baby’s blood sugar should return to normal. Your baby would also have a higher risk of becoming obese or developing type 2 diabetes throughout his or her life. If you develop GDM, follow treatment precisely. Untreated GDM could cause a baby’s death either before or shortly after birth.

GDM can affect you too. Mothers that develop GDM can suffer from preeclampsia and subsequent gestational diabetes. When you have preeclampsia, you can experience high blood pressure and swelling in your legs and feet. It also causes there to be extra protein in your urine. Additionally, once you have GDM, you’re more likely to develop it in subsequent pregnancies and your more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

The Department of Transportation doesn’t have diabetes regulations for personal drivers licenses; however, the department does regulate commercial driver’s licenses. Part of the DoT’s Physical Qualifications and Examinations, people who have diabetes are not physically qualified to have a commercial driver’s license. Therefore, drivers must submit an exemption form through the Federal Diabetes Exemption Program in order to obtain a commercial driver’s license if they have diabetes.

Other commercial drivers with diabetes who take insulin must apply for an exemption from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. These exemptions are good for a maximum of two years. The administration requires that people with exemptions go through quarterly and annual medical monitoring and reporting in order to maintain the exemption from the Federal diabetes standard.

Insulin users must also participate in diabetes education programs every year to continue to participate in the exemption program. They must also be evaluated by a board-certified or board-eligible Endocrinologist to confirm that no medical problems related to diabetes will impair safe driving. These examinations are valid for 6 months and must be renewed if expired during the application process, which is relevant because the application can take up to 180 days to process.

People with A1C scores that are greater than 10 are not eligible for the exemption and cannot get a commercial driver’s license.

One of the major contributing factors for diabetes is a person’s weight. Fatty tissue is resistant to insulin, which means the more fatty tissue you have in your body, the harder it is for insulin to remove glucose from your blood.

Children having type 2 diabetes has increased alongside the percentage of children who are obese.

Additionally, technology is more prevalent in the lives of children than ever before. Less of them are engaging in physical activity and outdoor play. Physical activity causes a person’s cells to become more sensitive to insulin, making it easier to remove the protein from the bloodstream. The prevalence of physical activity in the lives of children in the past could have been a factor in decreasing their likelihood of type 2 diabetes.

A1C Scores Lower than 5.6

A1C Scores Higher than 5.6