The Hemoglobin A1c test tells the doctor and patient the average blood sugar level over the last 3 months.
A person without diabetes
|A1c less than or equal to 5.6%
|A1c 5.7 to 6.4%
Healthy level for a person with diabetes
|A1c less than 7.0%
What Causes A1c Levels to be high?
High average blood sugars over the past 3 months from:
- Too many carbohydrates from food and drinks
- Not getting enough exercise and/or
- Not taking diabetes medicines as prescribed
- Diabetes medicines need to be adjusted or changed
How Can My A1c Be Lowered to a Healthy Level?
- Limit how many carbohydrates you eat and drink
- Lose 5 – 10% of your body weight
- Be physically active 30 – 60 minutes at least 5 days a week, such as walking
- Take medications as prescribed by your doctor
Your A1c level should be drawn every 3 – 6 months to best understand your overall blood sugar control. Your diabetes educator(s) can help you to balance diet, encourage exercise, understand medications, and help you deal with stress to improve your A1C level and manage your diabetes.