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People who have diabetes need to be responsible for approximately 90-95% of their own care. Your physician will prescribe the medication types and dosages based on blood sugar numbers that you record. Research has previously shown us that diabetes is never really cured but can definitely be controlled with proper steps. Having diabetes control is the key to preventing multiple organ complications. Awareness of certain test results and parameters make these complications less likely to occur in the future.
One of the most important blood tests needed to track diabetes is the hemoglobin A1C .The Diabetes Control and Complications Trial also known as the D.C.C.T. has shown us that when the A1C is between 6.5%-7%, the risks of retinopathy, nephropathy and neuropathy decrease. As the A1C rises to 7.5% and above, the chances of micro vascular changes increase leading to blindness, kidney failure and foot amputation. The A1C test is a simple blood test which can indicate the level of control you may have. It represents an average of what your blood sugar was over the prior three months for seven days a week and twenty four hours a day. The A1C should never replace the daily finger sticks which provide you with up to the minute blood sugar information, but used as an extra tool to see overall control.
When your diabetes is out of control, more sugar accumulates in the blood vessels instead of entering the cells where it belongs. The excess sugar attaches to the hemoglobin substance on the red blood cell which carries oxygen within the body. Those red blood cells turn over about every three months which allows you to see a new trend at that time.
An A1C of 4-6% is generally seen in people who do not have diabetes. The proper level for diabetes control after diagnosis is between 6.5-7%.As the A1C climbs, the incidence of small vessel disease increases.
The great news is now there is an affordable, easy and accurate at home A1C test. It is called the A1CNow by Bayer. This product may be used in your physician’s office as well. It requires a small amount of blood -5ul sample, similar to a daily finger stick; it is disposable and requires no maintenance. The whole process takes five minutes to obtain results. It comes in packages of two or ten tests and should not be opened until the test is performed. It is certified by the National Glycohemoglobin Standardization program and is considered lab accurate. Having these results can help guide you to better diabetes control.
Remember that A1C results can be influenced by anemia, excess vitamin C or E, kidney disease or liver disease. It is best to check with your physician when these conditions are present.
Why use the A1C –Now Test?
- Important information about your control
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