How to monitor your A1C


Diabetes statistic Infographic from Cigna

Monitoring Glucose Levels At Home

Your doctor will want you to monitor your daily glucose levels and record them for him or her. When you check and record your daily glucose levels, it helps you better manage your diabetes through diet, exercise, and any medication the doctor may have prescribed for you.

Your doctor teaches you how to use this glucose kit and how often to use the kit. Depending on circumstances the doctor may want you to check your levels from once to several times per day. You must invest in a blood glucose machine to use at home and when you are traveling on the road. Blood glucose monitoring kits are affordable prices and a necessity for any type or stage of diabetes.  A1C test kits are now available for home use.

Some doctors want patients to check the glucose level before and after eating, before and after physical activity, before bed, sometimes during the night, and anytime you experience signs or symptoms too high or too low blood sugar levels.

Using a blood glucose kit involves pricking your finger at the tip, to obtain a drop of blood. Your kit includes test strips to collect the blood sample to put into the monitor. If the results you get seem “off”, do the test again for accuracy. There are a few factors that help to determine your test results such as the time you took the test and the amount of the blood sample used.

As you read your blood test be aware that every person is different, thus no one is going to respond to diet, exercise, and medicine the same way. The goal is to keep your glucose levels as close to the standard range as possible, remembering that what is normal for one person, may not be normal for you.

Noncompliance Is Not Good

The average glucose, blood sugar range is 70-130. If you can keep your range at least near normal, you decrease your risk for other health problems stemming from your diabetes such as but not limited to kidney disease. Your doctor will let you know what number he wants you to target.

Know You Are Controlling Your Diabetes

  • Glucose levels tell you if you are on the right track in controlling your diabetes.
  • Your body also tells you if you are going in the right direction.
  • You will feel better and have more energy during the day.
  • You will also notice you rest better and night and get up feeling refreshed, ready to start the day.

The A1C Tells The True Story

The doctor uses other means to monitor how you are controlling your diabetes through specific blood draws and sometimes a urine specimen in a laboratory. The doctor may order a test called an A1C otherwise known as a glycohemoglobin test or an HbA1C.

It is up to the physician how often he wants you to have these labs drawn done. If you are following his recommendations, this lab test will show improvement in your diabetes. If improvements continue, you may be able to eliminate medication, but not until your doctor says you can. Your treatment plan is working when results show improvements in these tests.

Monitor Your Ketones

Increased ketones in the urine happen when the A1C significantly elevates, due to not following your diet and exercise plan, accidents or injuries to your body, or if you are in a health crisis and sick.

Another way that the doctor may want you to monitor your glucose levels is through the monitoring of ketones in the blood or urine. Monitoring ketones are especially important if you are a diabetic on insulin. The doctor may ask you to buy some test strips to keep at home checking for ketones in your urine.

Remember to follow what your doctor wants you to do and be compliant with your plan of treatment. You have the ability to regulate and control your blood glucose levels.

Do Not Make Diabetes Worse

If you are not compliant with your doctor’s recommendations, your doctor will want you to have more frequent testing done through a lab. Recommendations are to set a goal of under 7 percent for your A1C levels, according to the American Diabetics Association.

Be aware that if you have diabetes, you will always be a diabetic. However, if you monitor your diabetes closely and remain compliant with your treatment plan and your doctor’s recommendations you can reverse all signs and symptoms of this disease process.

If you chose to do the opposite, your diabetes would start to damage vital organs such as the kidneys and heart. If you are a non-compliant. Diabetic patient, you eventually will experience numerous health problems. Noncompliance means higher health care costs. It is better to be compliant and remain healthy.

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