A1c 7 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.

Type 1 diabetes occurs when your body isn’t producing enough or any insulin. It’s considered an autoimmune disease because your immune system is attacking the cells in your pancreas that are supposed to create insulin. Only about 5 percent of the people who have diabetes have type 1 diabetes.

On the other hand, type 2 diabetes occurs when the body is resistant to insulin. Instead of providing energy to your cells, glucose builds up in your bloodstream and your insulin hormone doesn’t have the power to allocate it where it needs to go. The majority of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. Typically, your pancreas responds by producing more insulin to handle these heavy levels of glucose; however, at a certain point, your body cannot make enough insulin to handle the glucose.

People who have type 1 diabetes always need insulin because their bodies don’t produce any. Insulin injections allow people with type 1 diabetes to regulate their blood sugar. Insulin is also prescribed to people with type 2 diabetes when other medications aren’t working properly. It is important for people with both types of diabetes to note that when you take insulin, you’re at risk for hypoglycemia, so you need to monitor your blood sugar and symptoms carefully.

People are born with type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is caused by genetics and it is impossible to prevent. While genetic factors can contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes, other factors are also at play, like stress levels, eating patterns and exercise habits.

A1C Scores Lower than 7.0

A1C Scores Higher than 7.0