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What Is The Difference Between A1c And Glucose

What Is The Difference Between Blood Sugar And Urine Sugar

What is the difference between A1c and Fasting Blood Glucose Testing?

Glucose is a normal component of blood. The normal blood glucose levels are:- Fasting blood glucose level: 70-110 mg/dl Postprandial blood glucose level: up to 140 mg/dl But glucose is not a normal component of urine. Under normal physiological conditions, when blood glucose level is within normal limits, the urine does not contain any glucose. However, under pathologic conditions like diabetes mellitus, when blood sugar level crosses renal threshold , the blood glucose appears in urine. This condition is called glycosuria or glucosuria.Continue reading > >

Use This Chart To View A1c Values And Comparable Blood Glucose Values:

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A note of caution: the A1c measurement is not always accurate. For example, if someone has certain type of hemoglobin mutations , is severely anemic , iron deficient or is being treated blood transfusions or medications to increase the production of new red blood cells, the A1c test may not be accurate.

If your finger-stick blood tests give an average blood sugar that is much higher or lower than your A1c test, ask your doctor if the A1c is the right test for you. An alternative test to the A1c is a fructosamine test. Unfortunately, the fructosamine test and the A1c are not interchangeable because they are measuring different things. The fructosamine test reflects the average blood sugars only over a 2-3 week period.

A1c Has The Power To Predict

In a nutshell, blood glucose monitoring is great for giving you feedback on how your daily choicesfoods, activities, etc.are affecting your diabetes management in the short term. A1C tells you what kind of impact those choices are having on your diabetes management overall. And, understanding that overall impact helps you and your doctor evaluate your risk for developing complications from diabetes. For example:

  • An ongoing diabetes study in the UK has found for each 1% decrease in a persons A1C, theres a 35% decrease in the risk of developing eye disease and kidney disease.1

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Why Is My A1c High When My Blood Sugar Levels Are In My Target Range

Results of an A1C test and a blood glucose check don’t always match up. The A1C test measures your average blood sugar levels over a 120-day period . But a blood glucose check measures your blood sugar at a single moment. If your blood sugar levels were high last week, and you adjusted your diabetes treatment plan so that your blood sugar returned to normal, the A1C result may still be high, because it includes the high blood sugar levels from the previous week.

The A1C test measures the percentage of glycated hemoglobin in your blood. Glycated hemoglobin is created when molecules of hemoglobin attach to molecules of glucose . The more sugar you have in your blood, the higher your percentage of glycated hemoglobin.

Blood Tests For Diagnosis


Up to four blood tests can help diagnose diabetes and high blood sugar. These blood tests are trustworthy, and experts employ them to check the blood sugar level of people with diabetes-related symptoms. Patients may perform some of these tests themselves as glucose monitors are available to patients to self-test their blood sugar.

Typically, all tests rank blood sugar levels in numbers, and the higher the number or percentage, the higher the level of blood glucose. Among the different blood sugar tests available for treatments, the A1C and fasting plasma glucose tests are the most popular.

Subsequent sections consider how these two tests work and compare them against each other.

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Describe How Glucose Tolerance Testing Can Be Used To Diagnose Diabetes

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Oral Glucose Tolerance Test

Although this test isnt as popular as the first two tests this guide compares, it doesnt make it any less effective. In reality, the reverse is more likely only when compared in terms of capabilities. The only downside of this test is that it takes time to execute.

The oral glucose tolerance test ranks blood sugar levels from 0 mg/dL to over 199 mg/dL. Normal/healthy blood sugar range sits just a little below 140 mg/dL. On the other hand, any significant low or high is deemed unhealthy for patients.

Blood sugar levels running from 140 mg/dL to 199 mg/dL are unhealthy and are indications that a person is prediabetic. Whats more, blood sugar levels above 199 mg/dL suggest that a patient has diabetes.

The oral glucose tolerance test is first taken after an overnight fast. That means that patients will have to take it in the morning and at a time when its been at least 8 hours since their previous meal a day ago. After taking that first test, theyll have to take a sugary drink or glucose-filled juice and repeat the test after two hours.

If the patients sugar level settles below 140 mg/dL two hours after taking the glucose drink, the patient is deemed to have a normal blood sugar range.

The following table outlines the different oral glucose tolerance test readings:

Type of Result
> 199

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What Are The Similarities Between A1c And Glucose

  • A1c and blood glucose are two tests a doctor uses to diagnose and confirm diabetes.
  • The regular A1c and glucose testing reveal whether the persons treatment is working well or need some adjustments.
  • Moreover, managing A1c and glucose is of utmost importance in order to prevent complications of diabetes, such as cardiovascular diseases.

What Is The Cost Benefit Of Lowering A1c

What is the Difference Between Blood Glucose & A1C?

Recently the ADA published analysis diabetes costs. They showed total estimated costs of $327 billion with $237 billion on direct costs and $90 billion in indirect costs.5Economic costs of diabetes continues to rise.

Data from numerous studies show that better A1C results in lower total healthcare costs.6 A study using claims data from a large health maintenance organization showed that the group of mainly type 2 patients whose A1C was lowered by 1% experienced lower total health care costs in the range of $685 to $950 less per year compared to people who had no A1C improvement.

Another analysis from a large managed care organization showed that total diabetes-related costs for people whose A1C was greater than 7% was $1,540 per patient during the 1-year follow-up. This was 32% higher than the total diabetes-related costs for people whose A1C was at or below 7%.

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Is Fasting Required For An A1c Test

Blood, or plasma, glucose levels donât remain the same throughout the day. Instead, they fluctuate, especially after a meal. However, this doesnât affect HbA1c testing.

Unlike various other tests for diagnosing or evaluating diabetes, such as the oral glucose tolerance test, fasting is not required with the A1c test. The reason why is simple. This blood glucose test measures your average blood glucose level over the last 90 days, rather than providing a snapshot of your fasting blood glucose level at a particular moment.

For this reason, you do not need to do A1c test fasting, and you can eat and drink as you normally would before the test.

Itâs important to note that the HbA1c test is not a replacement for regular blood glucose monitoring in people with diabetes.

What Is The Difference Between Blood Glucose & A1c

What is the Difference Between Blood Glucose & A1C? Subscribe for more tips just like this: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHj4WyZZp6o5cYzx-ffzhrQ

A1c or hemoglobin A1c and blood glucose are the two most common markers of diabetes. As our Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jaime Seeman explains in this video, there is a major difference between these two important biomarkers.

Blood glucose is the sugar that is circulating in your blood at a given moment and can be measured using a blood glucose meter. A1c is a three month average of your blood glucose, providing a more in-depth look at your metabolic health over the last 90 days,

If your’e struggling with blood sugar or A1c management, our BioCoach prediabetes and diabetes remission system helps you take control of your blood sugar levels and your health. Visit the link below to learn more about BioCoach and let us help you on your health journey today.

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Faqs About The Smart Blood Sugar

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How Often Do I Need An A1c Test

Difference Between A1C and Glucose

This calculator only estimates how the A1C of someone who self-monitors quite frequently might correlate with their average meter readings. But many factors can affect blood glucose, so its critical to have your A1C checked by your doctor regularly.

The ADA recommends an A1C test at least 2 times a year for those who are in good control. For those who have changed their therapy or who are not in good control and not meeting glycemic goals, an A1C test is recommended quarterly. Your doctor will help you decide whats right for you.1

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How Is A1c Calculated

A1C testing relies on hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the part of the red blood cell that carries oxygen throughout your body. When you have glucose in your blood, it sticks to hemoglobin. This is called glycation. The more glucose is in your blood, the more it sticks. And it can stay there for around three months about how long the average red blood cell lives.

The A1C test measures the average amount of glucose thats been attached to hemoglobin over time. Because the A1C test measures glucose levels over a period of time, it provides more information about blood sugar than a single blood sugar test.

Best To Avoid Reliance On A1c In Making An Initial Diagnosis Of Diabetes

The shortcomings of the A1c test are known, says Elena Christofides, MD, FACE, an endocrinologist and CEO of Endocrinology Associates, in Columbus, Ohio, upon reviewing the study for EndocrineWeb.

While she takes issue with some of the researchers statistical methods, such as how they grouped those with an abnormal glucose tolerance test together with those with a full-blown diabetes for the analysis, she says they are not the first to conclude that the A1c test is not a great tool to capture diabetes diagnoses accurately for most individuals.

When the ADA guidelines were in development,³ Dr. Christofides tells EndocrineWeb, there were significant arguments back and forth about even permitting the continued use of the HbA1c testdue to the fact that it would indeed miss a number of individuals. That is why the use of the A1c is still being used but the OGTT is still thought to be the more definitive test.

The guidelines also state that if the A1c is normal and there is still a suspicion of prediabetes or diabetes, doctors are advised to do the OGTT anyway, she says. So an A1c can be done so long as you are then advised to have another test to check your blood sugar levels if there is any concern regarding your risks.

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Hemoglobin A1c Outperforms Fasting Glucose For Risk Prediction

Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
Measurements of hemoglobin A1c more accurately identify persons at risk for clinical outcomes than the commonly used measurement of fasting glucose, according to a new study. HbA1c levels accurately predict future diabetes, and they better predict stroke, heart disease and all-cause mortality as well.

Measurements of hemoglobin A1c more accurately identify persons at risk for clinical outcomes than the commonly used measurement of fasting glucose, according to a study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. HbA1c levels accurately predict future diabetes, and they better predict stroke, heart disease and all-cause mortality as well.

The study appeared in the March 4, 2010, issue of New England Journal of Medicine.

As a diagnostic, “HbA1c has significant advantages over fasting glucose,” said Elizabeth Selvin, PhD, MPH, the study’s lead author. The A1c test has low variability from day to day, levels are not as affected by stress and illness, it has greater stability and the patient is not required to fast before the test is performed.

The revised ADA guidelines classify people with HbA1c levels in the range of 5.7 to 6.4 percent as “at very high risk” for developing diabetes over 5 years. The range of 5.5 to 6 percent, according to the ADA guidelines, is the appropriate level to initiate preventive measures.

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A Comparison Of Hba1c And Fasting Blood Sugar Tests In General Population

The difference between blood sugar and A1c

Go to: Abstract Objectives: Early diagnosis of diabetes is crucially important in reduction of the complications. Although HbA1c is an accurate marker for the prediction of complications, less information is available about its accuracy in diagnosis of diabetes. In this study, the association between HbA1c and FBS was assessed through a cross-sectional population-based study. Methods: A random sample of population in Kerman city was selected. The total number was 604 people. Their HbA1c and fasting blood sugar were tested. The association between HbA1c and FBS and also their sensitivity, specificity and predictive values in detection of abnormal values of each other were determined. The association of HbA1c with FBS was relatively strong particularly in diabetic subjects. Generally, FBS was a more accurate predictor for HbA1c compared with HbA1c as a predictor of FBS. Although the optimum cutoff point of HbA1c was > 6.15%, its precision was comparable with the conventional cutoff point of > 6%. Conclusions: In conclusion, FBS sounds more reliable to separate diabetic from non-diabetic subjects than HbA1c. In case of being interested in using HbA1c in screening, the conventional cutoff points of 6% is an acceptable threshold for discrimination of diabetics from non-diabetics. Keywords: HbA1c, Blood glucose, Diabetics *The adjusted values were computed in a multivariable regression model with sex, BMI and age as independent variables.Continue reading > >

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How The Test Works

The sugar in your blood is called glucose. When glucose builds up in your blood, it binds to the hemoglobin in your red blood cells. The A1c test measures how much glucose is bound.

Red blood cells live for about 3 months, so the test shows the average level of glucose in your blood for the past 3 months.

If your glucose levels have been high over recent weeks, your hemoglobin A1c test will be higher.

Why Are They Different

Hemoglobin A1C is the standard for measuring blood sugar levels over an extended time when you have diabetes. Its also used to diagnose diabetes initially. So, while it is important to measure your blood sugar regularly to see how much sugar is in your blood at any given time, measuring your A1C gives you a more definitive look at whether your blood sugar levels have been on track over the last two to three months.

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What If My Hba1c Is Normal But My Glucose Is Above Optimized

Sleep deprivation

Theres evidence that poor sleep patterns impair glucose metabolism. People on restricted sleep demonstrate worsened insulin response to food, resulting in higher blood glucose spikes. In one study, sleep-deprived people had higher glucose and insulin levels after consuming breakfast compared to those who slept a healthy eight hours. Other studies confirm this findinginsulin resistance is more common in people deprived of sleep.


The body releases a steroid hormone called cortisol to activate our âflight-or-fightâ responses to counteract acutely stressful situations. Cortisol stimulates the release of blood glucose by breaking down its storage form, glycogen. If youve experienced a stressful week, good chances are your blood sugars may be slightly higher than normal.


Because glucose fluctuates after meals, we recommend fasting for a full 12 hours prior to getting a blood test for an accurate reading. This means water only, not even black coffee. People react differently to coffee so we suggest to err on the side of caution and stick to just water.

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