Keep tabs on your diabetes with your A1C

GEHA | November 1, 2021

Everyday health Diabetes
This simple blood test measures your average blood sugar levels.

The A1C test is a simple blood test that measures your average blood sugar levels over the past three months. It is one of the commonly used tests to diagnose prediabetes and diabetes. It is also used to monitor how well you’re managing your diabetes. The higher your A1C level, the poorer your blood sugar control and the higher your risk of diabetes complications.

If you’re over age 45, or if you’re under 45 and are overweight, you should get a baseline A1C test. If the result shows you have prediabetes or diabetes, your doctor will recommend a treatment plan.

If you have diabetes, get an A1C test at least twice a year, more often if your medicine changes or you have other health conditions. Talk to your doctor about how often is right for you.

The A1C test is in addition to – not instead of – regular blood sugar self-testing if you have diabetes. Blood sugar goes up and down throughout the day and night, which isn’t captured by your A1C. If you’re reaching your A1C goal but have symptoms of highs or lows, check your blood sugar more often and at different times of the day. Keep track and share the results with your doctor.

Sources:
“A1C test.” mayoclinic.org, Mayo Clinic, 30 January, 2021.
“All About Your A1C.” cdc.gov, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 10 August, 2021.