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The Question
Tue Sep 03 08:38:27 UTC 2013

My daily finger sticks usually run between 120 and 135, yet my A1C results are always under 7. In fact, the latest was 6.1. How does that happen?
Asked By: leetoo  

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type 2, diagnosed 4 years ago. Not real attentive to diet.( Addicted to chips, etc).
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Expert Answers (1)
2013-10-11 20:55:48.0


Thanks for asking dLife.

A1C is a blood test that measures the amount of glycated hemoglobin in the bloodstream over a 3-month period. Glycated hemoglobin is produced when excess glucose sticks itself to hemoglobin (red blood cells). The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) recommends people with diabetes aim for a target A1C level of 6.5 percent or lower. Your A1C at 6.1 meets the goal! A1C in the target range is associated with fewer complications of diabetes.

Read about A1C!

To convert A1C to average blood glucose, Click here and enter your A1C.

Take care.

Answered By: Liz Quintana
Accreditations: EdD, RD, LD, CDE
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Community Answers (4)
2016-05-10 14:03:25.0

It happens because the glucose measuring techniques with finger sticks are scientifically and, dare I say medically invalid. You don't get any useful information from them to let you change your diet/treatments and see the results of that change. In order to get enough data points to reasonably predict your A1c, you need to measure about 3 to 5 times per meal (see Nyquist). When I did this, I was able to see the spikes and the valleys that had been previously invisible and contributed to my artificially low A1c. Measuring this frequently is not practical because of pain and economic reasons. But it is essential if you want to scientifically accurate understanding of your blood glucose levels. I know once I saw the peaks and valleys, I was able to give up my addiction to chips because I got immediate feedback of how what I eat affected my glucose levels. Keep an eye out for the freestyle libre. about the same cost as finger sticks and it provides information that's useful in the management of your diabetes. I do wish the medical community would stop feeding us BS with regards to glucose measurement techniques.
Answered By: esj

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2016-05-06 12:12:45.0

We have to remember that the A1C is just an average and the fingersticks - no matter how frequent - only show a moment in time. Let's say (for simplicity) that the A1C goal is 5. You fingersticks are 5, 5 and 5. Your average (A1C) is 5. But you could have readings of 0, 5 and 10 and still get a result of 5. It all goes to show that managing the bia-beast is as much an art aw it is a science.
Answered By: pugmommy

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2016-03-18 22:00:22.0

Note that any of the several conditions that shorten the lifetime of your red blood cells will make your A1C lower than expected for your finger stick readings.
Answered By: robert_miles

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2013-10-18 09:03:01.0

These expert answers just keep getting worse, why? The question was NOT what is a good level, it was why are the blood sugars of fingersticks 120-135 but the A1C was 6.1? Here is a correlation chart for leetoo. http://www.rajeun.net/HbA1c_glucose.html It will show you that a 6.1 correlates to a 140 blood sugar. That being said ... conversions from an A1C to an average blood sugar are just that - a correlation. An A1C actually measures the amount of glucose sticking to the cells. It is not some statistical average. Even if it were a statistical average, our fingersticks are one moment in time and could never, statistically come out to what an A1C says. And let's not forget the FDA permissible 20% inaccuracy rate of home glucose meters - which vary with range. Most recently, Dr. Bernstein changed found the Abbott Freedom Lite is the most accurate meter these days but noted that's only within the 80-100 blood sugar range. All bets are off outside of that range. He used to advocate for the Aviva but it appears it's accuracy has fallen off ... I think they are not made overseas.
Answered By: dorisjdickson

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*** All information contained on dLife.com is intended for informational and educational purposes only. Our Expert Q&A is not intended to be a replacement or substitute for consultation with a qualified medical professional or for professional medical advice related to diabetes or another medical condition. Please contact your physician or medical professional with any questions and concerns about your medical condition.

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