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Hemoglobin - A1c 7.1
An A1c of 7.1 indicates that you have diabetes.
An A1C test measures the percentage of hemoglobin in your body that is coated with sugar. Hemoglobin is a red blood cell protein. This protein lives in your body for about three to four months; therefore, the test gives doctors your average blood sugar for the last three to four months.
The A1C test is used to diagnose type 1 and type 2 diabetes. After diagnosis, it’s used to measure how well a person is managing their diabetes. The test is also known as the glycated hemoglobin, glycohemoglobin, estimated glucose average, glycosylated hemoglobin, hemoglobin A1C, Hb1C and HbA1C.
The test gives a better indication of your current health based on information from a longer period of time than most other blood glucose tests. It is highly credible because it isn’t strongly influenced by daily factors, like when you had your last meal or what you ate.
For that reason, you don’t need to do anything special before taking the test. All you need to do is stay hydrated. It’s important to note, if you’re taking other tests at the same time, the doctor may still ask you to fast before coming in.
What Does Your A1C Number Mean?
A score of 6.5 percent or higher on two different occasions indicates you have diabetes. Physicians will usually repeat the test a second time on a different day before diagnosing diabetes. Initial tests are often used for comparison.
Your A1C score tells you what percentage of your hemoglobin is coated with glucose. Your hemoglobin is a protein found in your blood. This score is used as an indication of diabetes because if a certain percentage of the protein in your blood is coated with glucose, your insulin hormone isn’t clearing out enough glucose from your bloodstream.
High A1C scores are correlated with diabetes. A higher A1C level indicates that you have poor blood sugar control and that you’re at risk for diabetes complications.Blood sugar is typically measured in milligrams per deciliter or millimoles per liter. To understand what your A1C score would look like if it were on your daily blood glucose monitor, compare your score to this chart:
Converting Your A1C Score into Your Estimated Average Glucose Score
|A1C Score (percentage)||eAG (in mg/dL)||eAG (in mmol/L)|
For example, a 7 percent A1C score is equivalent to an eAG score of 154 mg/dL and 8.6 mmol/L.
What Does an A1C of 7.1 Mean?
An A1C of 7.1 means that you have diabetes, but it hasn’t gotten out of control yet. An 7.1 A1C score isn’t bad, but it isn’t great. View the full A1C range chart to see how a A1C score of 7.1 compares.
Taking action now on your diet, stress and exercise will not only prevent your score from getting worse, but it can also reduce your score.
Is A1C 7.1 bad?
An A1C of 7.1 means that you have diabetes, but it hasn’t gotten out of control yet. An 7.1 A1C score isn’t bad, but it isn’t great. You need to continue working on your score to prevent it from getting bad.
Taking action now on your diet, stress and exercise will not only prevent your score from becoming bad, but it can also reduce your score.
What is a good A1C level? What is a normal A1C score?
Once you have diabetes, 7 percent is a common goal for people going through treatment for diabetes. A score under 7 percent is good for someone who has diabetes. It means that you have your blood glucose levels under control.
A normal A1C score is 5.7. This score is possible for someone with type 2 diabetes, but only if you’re in remission. Doctors consider a person’s diabetes to be in remission when their A1C score falls into the range of 5.7 to 6.4 for at least a year.
What is a bad A1C score?
A score of 8 percent is common for people who have had diabetes for a long time but haven’t taken action to treat it. If you have this score, you should begin treating your diabetes through medical and nonmedical channels.
Once your score is above 9 percent, you should immediately seek medical attention to reduce the glucose in your bloodstream. A 9 percent A1C score can be dangerous. If you’ve tested this high, you should not attempt to remedy your blood glucose levels independently. At this point, the glucose that has attached to your hemoglobin has thickened your blood considerably. Your blood is supposed to be thin so that it can travel through your blood vessels. Your heart has to put in extra effort to carry this thick blood to and from your heart.
As your A1C level increases above 10 percent, you’ll be at serious risk of kidney failure, blindness, stroke, heart attack and more. Additionally, when your A1C level is greater than 10, the Department of Transportation (DoT) no longer allows you to have a commercial driver’s license. If your score is higher than 10 percent, seek immediate medical care.
How Often Should You Check Your A1C Score?
Check your A1C score twice a year if you don’t take insulin and your blood sugar level is consistently in your target range. 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.
Checking your A1C score frequently can help you determine if the actions you are taking to treat your diabetes are working.
What to do if your a1c score is 7.1
The following tips can help you lower your A1C score. Implementing any of these tips as part of your lifestyle should improve your score.
Follow a calorie-restricted diet of 1,200-1,500 calories per day, as per Joslin Diabetes Center at Harvard Medical School.
Your A1C score takes into account your actions from the last 3-4 months. While more recent glucose numbers affect A1C more than older numbers, they’re all affecting your percentage score. However, you should purchase a blood glucose monitor to monitor how your body reacts to changes on a daily basis.
For example, you can test to see what your body’s carb tolerance is by testing your blood sugar before a meal, tracking the carbs in that meal and then testing your blood sugar every hour after the meal. You should hit your original number by hour three. You don’t want your blood sugar going up more than 30 points after the meal. You should never be higher than 140, but you should aim to be 120 or lower. If you don’t reach your original number by hour three or if your blood glucose level is higher than 140 at any point, you should reduce your calorie intake.
Losing 5 or 10 percent of body weight for people who have type 2 diabetes can reduce A1C scores.
Mild exercise can make your cells more sensitive to insulin hormones, which makes it easier for the insulin to remove glucose from your blood. When you exercise your muscles use up glucose, which can lower your blood sugar levels.
When you’re stressed, your body wants to ensure that sugar and energy are readily available to fuel you, therefore, your insulin level falls. Additionally, growth hormone and cortisol levels rise, which causes body tissue to be less sensitive to insulin. Both of those changes cause glucose to be more available in the bloodstream. These effects last 6-8 hours and cause your blood sugar to be difficult to control.
Avoid refined carbohydrates, like sodas, juices and desserts, which are high in sugar.
Take vitamins that reduce insulin resistance, like Vitamin D, Calcium and Magnesium in order to improve your blood sugar control. Talk to your doctor to figure out what combination of the three is best for your body.
For example, a 7 percent A1C score is equivalent to an eAG score of 154 mg/dL and 8.6 mmol/L.
A1c 7.1 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.
You can reduce your A1C score without medication, but you should consult with a doctor to ensure that is the best course of action for you. After you talk to a doctor, he or she may recommend that medication is the best option for you. Nonetheless, your doctor will also recommend non-medicinal ways to lower your A1C score, like modifying your diet, participating in mild exercise and reducing stress.
You can reduce your A1C score through restricting your calories to between 1,200 and 1,500 calories a day. It’s generally safe to start by cutting 500 calories out of your diet per day. About 50 percent of your calories should come from carbohydrates, a third should come from fat and a fourth should come from protein.
You should also moderate your carb intake. You can test out what the right amount of carbs is for you by using a blood glucose monitor. Through this process:
- Test your blood glucose before you start eating.
- Enjoy a delicious meal and record what you eat in a food journal.
- An hour after eating, test your blood glucose level. Is it above 140? If your blood glucose is above 140, you ate too many carbohydrates in your meal. You should reduce them in a meal tomorrow and follow these steps again. If your score is below 140:
- Test your blood glucose two hours after eating. Has your blood glucose returned to the level it was at before you ate? If it has this is a good amount of carbohydrates for you to eat in a meal. If not:
- Test your blood glucose three hours after eating. Has your blood glucose returned to the level it was at before you ate? If it has this is a good amount of carbohydrates for you to eat in a meal. If not, you should reduce the carbs in your meal tomorrow and follow this process again.
You can also do blood glucose tests to see how your body reacts to some foods versus others. Consuming soda, juices, desserts and other refined carbohydrates will negatively affect your diet. After your testing, you can figure out which foods have the smallest impact on your blood glucose level? Those are the foods you should be eating in your diet!
Mild exercise causes your muscles to use up glucose, which can lower your blood glucose levels. Additionally, your body becomes more sensitive to insulin hormones. That makes it a lot easier for insulin to remove glucose from the bloodstream.
These steps will also help you lose weight. For people who have type 2 diabetes, losing 5 or 10 percent of your body weight can reduce your A1C score. People who have higher A1C scores will see more profound changes to their scores as they lose weight than people who have lower A1C scores, but on average people’s A1C scores drop by 0.1% for every 2.2 pounds they lose. That’s not necessarily because the weight was causing the diabetes but because the actions you take to lose the weight help reduce your blood glucose level.
Lastly, avoid stressful situations. Stress causes the body to reduce insulin levels and increase levels of growth hormone and cortisol. Your body wants you to have more glucose in your body to give you energy and help you cope with the stress. The growth hormone and the cortisol cause your body tissue to be less sensitive to insulin – the opposite effect as exercise. These effects can last for 6-8 hours. During that time your insulin will not be removing glucose from your blood, which will make it difficult for you to control your blood sugar.
When there’s a lot of glucose in your bloodstream, your kidneys step in to help filter it out through your pee. In order to cause you to pee, your kidneys have to filter out water from your blood. Your body naturally triggers your thirst in order to add water back into your bloodstream.
If you ignore that thirst and don’t drink water, your body can get the needed water from your saliva or your tear ducts. This is a common reason why people experience dry eyes and dry mouth.
There are home tests that you can purchase at your local pharmacy. They typically cost about half of what a hospital test costs and use a smaller amount of blood. Many at home kits have been cleared by the FDA and meet the standards of the National Glycohemoglobin Standardization Program for measuring A1C. There are multiple brands available like CVS, Walgreens and others.