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All About A1C

Reviewing Your A1C Test With a Doctor
Reviewing Your A1C Test With a Doctor

What is A1C?

This test measures the average amount of sugar (glucose) in your blood over the past 2 to 3 months, letting you know how well your blood sugar is being controlled over time.

A1C testing vs self-testing

You may be wondering what the difference is between A1C and the blood sugar tests you take yourself with a blood glucose meter. Great question!

First, the American Diabetes Association® recommends a blood sugar level of between 80 and 130 mg/dL before a meal and less than 180 mg/dL 1 to 2 hours after the beginning of a meal.

Learn Why Your Blood Sugar May Go Up or Down

As you know, many things can make your blood sugar go up or down.

If you work through lunch and don't get enough food, your blood sugar might go down. If you eat an extra piece of birthday cake, your blood sugar might go up. If you change up your exercise routine, your blood sugar might change, too.

Understand How Different Foods and Activities Can Cause Changes in Your Blood Sugar

The tests you take with your blood glucose meter at various times of the day show your blood sugar at the time of the test.

And they can help you understand how different foods and activities cause changes in your blood sugar.

See Why A1C Is Important in a Different Way

A1C is important in a different way.

An A1C test shows your average blood sugar over the past 2 to 3 months, so it gives you a picture of how well your blood sugar is being controlled. And it helps your health care provider see how your diabetes treatment plan—including diet and exercise—is really working.