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Understandinfg What Should My A1C Level Be? | Diabetes Daily Post
Understanding What Should My A1C Level Be?

What should my A1C level be?

A1c262223222Diabetes is a progressive disease characterized by high blood sugar levels which if not well controlled can cause serious complications. It is important for patients to understand what an A1C is and what your A1C should be. An A1C is a blood test that can be conveniently completed at any time of the day as it does not require fasting. This test estimates your average blood sugar over the past 3 months. It is usually done every 3 months.  However, if you have very good blood sugar control it may be done less often such as every 6 months.

According to the American Diabetes Association, most patients should target A1C levels less than 7%.  In some patients with diabetes a different goal is recommended.  Some patients who are young, healthy and have a long life expectancy may have a lower target such as <6.5%.  Though, an older patient with other disease states may have a target that is < 7.5%.  Some elderly patients who also have chronic illnesses but may be at risk of falling because of dizziness from low blood sugars may even have a higher goal of <8%.

Your A1C can be converted to an estimated average glucose (eAG).3TheeAG for an A1C of 7% is 154 mg/dL, for 8% is 183 mg/dL, for 9% is 212 mg/dL.3This value is what you may be more familiar with as it is similar to what you see on your glucometer. To read more information about A1C and eAG you can visit the ADA website at http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/blood-glucose-control/a1c/. Lowering your A1C to your goal can reduce your risk of death, heart attacks, blindness, kidney failure, nerve damage and amputations. However, lower is not always better.  If your A1C is too low, you are at risk of low blood sugars (hypoglycemia).  Hypoglycemia increases your risk of falls, loss of consciousness, dementia, and even death.

There is no “one-size-fits-all” A1C goal.  The American Diabetes Association recommends choosing the correct goal for each individual patient. Every person is different, although the majority will have a goal of <7%.  You should speak to your health care provider to learn your values and identify what the best goal is for you.

Brought to you By Our Guest Staff Writers:
Monica Debski, PharmD Candidate 2014, School of Pharmacy-Boston, MCPHS University and
Jennifer Goldman-Levine, PharmD, CDE, BC-ADM, ‎FCCP, Professor of Pharmacy Practice, School of Pharmacy-Boston, MCPHS University, Boston, MA Clinical Pharmacist, Well Life Medical-Salem, MA

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