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Glucose Control: Benefits | Dangers | Testing | Diet | Exercise | Special Times | Tips


Glucose Control - Blood Sugar Level Testing

Hemoglobin A1c test | Finger-stick testing | Newer Tests

About blood sugar testing

To control your diabetes, you absolutely have to know your blood sugar numbers. Testing your blood sugar is the only way to know whether your blood sugar is too high, too low or just right. There are two common tests to measure your blood sugar--the hemoglobin A1c test and daily finger-stick tests. You need to do both of these in order to really get a true picture of your blood sugar control. There are also some relatively new tests that you need to know about.  

Hemoglobin A1c test

(Pronounced he-mo-glo-bin A-one-C) measures your blood sugar control over the last three months. It's the best way to know if your blood sugar is under control.

What is the A1c Testing goal?

A hemoglobin A1c goal for people with diabetes is less than 7 percent but not everyone can meet that goal. Each person should try to get as close as possible. A change in your treatment plan is almost always needed if your test result is over 8 percent. Ask for a hemoglobin A1c test at least twice a year. If your treatment changes or your blood sugar stays too high, you should get a hemoglobin A1c test every three months until your blood sugar level improves.

Common causes of high blood sugar include eating too much food, eating the wrong foods, lack of physical activity, stress, a need to change medication and infections or illness.

HbA1c and Blood Glucose Levels
HbA1c Mean Blood Glucose


120 mg/dl


150 mg/dl


180 mg/dl


210 mg/dl


240 mg/dl


270 mg/dl

This table shows the correlation between blood glucose levels as measured daily and the longer-term measure of blood glucose status, the HbA1c. It is important to note, however, that this data was derived from the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial, a long-term study of intensive therapy in patients with type 1 diabetes. The patients in this study measured their blood glucose levels 7 times a day - and we know that hardly any people with diabetes monitor that often! Your 'mean blood glucose' level is probably derived by your glucose meter from the measurements you took over the previous 14 days. If you only measure when you know your levels are high - or low - or only before meals, etc., then your mean blood glucose levels will be skewed. For these reasons, it is important that you obtain an HbA1c blood test regularly and be aware of that number, too. It is an important indicator of long-term blood glucose levels.

Related information Home A1c test

Test your A1c I.Q.

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As the world’s top supplier of commercial blood pressure monitors and health management systems, Lifeclinic is committed to helping to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals across the globe. Active monitoring of blood pressure, heart rate, weight, body fat, body mass index (BMI) and blood oxygen levels when combined with proper diet, nutrition and physical fitness can help ensure a longer, more healthy lifestyle.

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