In the past, those with diabetes would rely solely on daily finger sticks and urine tests to determine their blood sugar level. While such tests are accurate, they only give an 'in the moment' snapshot and are therefore limited in their usefulness. In the 1980s, the A1C test became available. This measures average blood glucose over a period of months. Since then, physicians and diabetics have spoken of the good A1C blood sugar level for type 2 diabetes. These tests are so accurate that they are even used for detecting whether a person is in the pre-diabetes stage as part of a regular blood screening test.
Good A1C Blood Sugar Level For Type 2 Diabetes:
If you are not diabetic, around 5% of your hemoglobin will be glycated. This means that you don't have to worry if you have a 5.7% A1C or lower. If it is 6.5% or higher, you have diabetes, and if it is between 5.7% and 6.4%, you have pre-diabetes. Diabetics should have their A1C level checked biannually at least.
If you have suffered from diabetes for quite some time, you will know that the A1C test only recently became reliable. This is because previously the method of testing wasn't controlled properly, leading to different laboratories coming up with different results. Thanks to the National Glycohemoglobin Standardization Program, the accuracy has been improved tremendously. Now, those who manufacture the A1C blood test must be able to demonstrate that they follow the same methods as those in major diabetes studies. Thanks to these measures, it is now even possible to purchase accurate at-home tests.
Naturally, accuracy will always remain a relative term. Even with today's controls, the results of an A1C test can vary by about 0.5%. Hence, if you get 6%, it may actually be somewhere between 5.5% and 6.5%, which means that you may be diagnosed as diabetic when you're not. On the other hand, your diabetes may also be missed. This is why tests should always be repeated to determine whether you actually have a good A1C blood sugar level for type 2 diabetes.
False results are quite common. People who are anemic, for instance, or those with liver disease or kidney failure, may have incorrect readings. In fact, even ethnicity can make a difference, with Southeast Asians, Mediterraneans, and Africans having a form of hemoglobin that, sometimes, interferes with an A1C test.
My Results Are High – Now What?
If you are in a pre-diabetic stage, you should be able to make some changes to your lifestyle and improve on your level. Some small changes in your lifestyle can make a really big difference, and your diabetes can even be resolved. Taking part in an exercise program and starting to lose a little bit of weight, for instance, can move you from the pre-diabetic stage back to non-diabetic. If you have been in a pre-diabetic stage or have had diabetes for quite some time, and your A1C level is going up, then you will need to change your medication and lifestyle. Additionally, you will probably be monitored more regularly.