How To Read Lab Results For Diabetes?

How To Read Lab Results For Diabetes
Tests for type 1 and type 2 diabetes and prediabetes –

Glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test. This blood test, which doesn’t require not eating for a period of time (fasting), shows your average blood sugar level for the past 2 to 3 months. It measures the percentage of blood sugar attached to hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying protein in red blood cells. The higher your blood sugar levels, the more hemoglobin you’ll have with sugar attached. An A1C level of 6.5% or higher on two separate tests means that you have diabetes. An A1C between 5.7% and 6.4% means that you have prediabetes. Below 5.7% is considered normal. Random blood sugar test. A blood sample will be taken at a random time. No matter when you last ate, a blood sugar level of 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) — 11.1 millimoles per liter (mmol/L) — or higher suggests diabetes. Fasting blood sugar test. A blood sample will be taken after you haven’t eaten anything the night before (fast). A fasting blood sugar level less than 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L) is normal. A fasting blood sugar level from 100 to 125 mg/dL (5.6 to 6.9 mmol/L) is considered prediabetes. If it’s 126 mg/dL (7 mmol/L) or higher on two separate tests, you have diabetes. Oral glucose tolerance test. For this test, you fast overnight. Then, the fasting blood sugar level is measured. Then you drink a sugary liquid, and blood sugar levels are tested regularly for the next two hours. A blood sugar level less than 140 mg/dL (7.8 mmol/L) is normal. A reading of more than 200 mg/dL (11.1 mmol/L) after two hours means you have diabetes. A reading between 140 and 199 mg/dL (7.8 mmol/L and 11.0 mmol/L) means you have prediabetes.

If your provider thinks you may have type 1 diabetes, they may test your urine to look for the presence of ketones. Ketones are a byproduct produced when muscle and fat are used for energy. Your provider will also probably run a test to see if you have the destructive immune system cells associated with type 1 diabetes called autoantibodies.

What is the normal range for blood sugar for diabetics?

What are blood sugar targets? – A blood sugar target is the range you try to reach as much as possible. These are typical targets:

Before a meal: 80 to 130 mg/dL. Two hours after the start of a meal: Less than 180 mg/dL.

Your blood sugar targets may be different depending on your age, any additional health problems you have, and other factors. Be sure to talk to your health care team about which targets are best for you.

How do you read A1C on a lab report?

All About Your A1C How To Read Lab Results For Diabetes What has your blood sugar been up to lately? Get an A1C test to find out your average levels—important to know if you’re at risk for prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, or if you’re managing diabetes. The A1C test—also known as the hemoglobin A1C or HbA1c test—is a simple blood test that measures your average blood sugar levels over the past 3 months.

  1. It’s one of the commonly used tests to diagnose and and is also the main test to help you and your health care team manage your diabetes.
  2. Higher A1C levels are linked to diabetes complications, so reaching and maintaining your individual A1C goal is really important if you have diabetes.
  3. When sugar enters your bloodstream, it attaches to hemoglobin, a protein in your red blood cells.

Everybody has some sugar attached to their hemoglobin, but people with higher blood sugar levels have more. The A1C test measures the percentage of your red blood cells that have sugar-coated hemoglobin. Testing for diabetes or prediabetes: Get a baseline A1C test if you’re an adult over age 45—or if you’re under 45, are overweight, and have one or more for prediabetes or type 2 diabetes:

If your result is normal but you’re over 45, have risk factors, or have ever had gestational diabetes, repeat the A1C test every 3 years. If your result shows you have prediabetes, talk to your doctor about taking steps now to improve your health and lower your risk for type 2 diabetes. Repeat the A1C test as often as your doctor recommends, usually every 1 to 2 years. If you don’t have but your result shows you have prediabetes or diabetes, get a second test on a different day to confirm the result. If your test shows you have diabetes, ask your doctor to refer you to services so you can have the best start in managing your diabetes.

Managing diabetes : If you have diabetes, get an A1C test at least twice a year, more often if your medicine changes or if you have other health conditions. Talk to your doctor about how often is right for you. The test is done in a doctor’s office or a lab using a sample of blood from a finger stick or from your arm.

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Diagnosing Prediabetes or Diabetes

Normal Below 5.7%
Prediabetes 5.7% to 6.4%
Diabetes 6.5% or above

A normal A1C level is below 5.7%, a level of 5.7% to 6.4% indicates prediabetes, and a level of 6.5% or more indicates diabetes. Within the 5.7% to 6.4% prediabetes range, the higher your A1C, the greater your risk is for developing type 2 diabetes. Managing Diabetes Your A1C result can also be reported as estimated average glucose (eAG), the same numbers (mg/dL) you’re used to seeing on your blood sugar meter:


A1C % eAG mg/dL
7 154
8 183
9 212
10 240

img class=’aligncenter wp-image-189362 size-full’ src=’’ alt=’How To Read Lab Results For Diabetes’ /> Get your A1C tested in addition to—not instead of—regular blood sugar self-testing if you have diabetes. Several factors can falsely increase or decrease your A1C result, including:

Kidney failure, liver disease, or severe anemia. A less common type of hemoglobin that people of African, Mediterranean, or Southeast Asian descent and people with certain blood disorders (such as sickle cell anemia or thalassemia) may have. Certain medicines, including opioids and some HIV medications. Blood loss or blood transfusions. Early or late pregnancy.

Let your doctor know if any of these factors apply to you, and ask if you need additional tests to find out. The goal for most people with diabetes is 7% or less. However, your personal goal will depend on many things such as your age and any other medical conditions. Work with your doctor to set your own individual A1C goal. Younger people have more years with diabetes ahead, so their goal may be lower to reduce the risk of complications, unless they often have hypoglycemia (low blood sugar, or a “low”). People who are older, have severe lows, or have other serious health problems may have a higher goal. A1C is an important tool for managing diabetes, but it doesn’t replace regular blood sugar testing at home. Blood sugar goes up and down throughout the day and night, which isn’t captured by your A1C. Two people can have the same A1C, one with steady blood sugar levels and the other with high and low swings. If you’re reaching your A1C goal but having symptoms of highs or lows, check your blood sugar more often and at different times of day. Keep track and share the results with your doctor so you can make changes to your treatment plan if needed. : All About Your A1C

What is the normal HbA1c level by age?

Reference values for HbA1c in age-groups – Healthy subpopulations of SHIP-0 and SHIP-Trend were combined to derive reference intervals for HbA1c in different age-groups (Table 3 ). For individuals aged 20–39 years the upper reference limit (URL) for HbA1c was 6.0% (42.1 mmolmol) increasing to 6.1% (43.2 mmol/mol) for individuals aged 40–59 years while for people aged ≥60 years the URL was 6.5% (47.5 mmol/mol).

Why is my A1C high but blood sugar normal?

How To Read Lab Results For Diabetes 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 (the lifespan of a red blood cell). 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 (the oxygen-carrying protein in your blood) attach to molecules of glucose (the sugar in your blood). The more sugar you have in your blood, the higher your percentage of glycated hemoglobin. Your blood glucose levels are probably based on your premeal blood glucose levels. While this usually works well, it does not take into account the level of your blood glucose after you eat. It may be that your blood glucose is rising unexpectedly after your meal because you are either not taking enough insulin or not taking insulin far enough ahead of eating your meal.

  • To see if this is the reason that your A1C is high, measure your blood glucose 2 hours after breakfast, lunch, and dinner for several days (in addition to your premeal blood glucose levels).
  • Blood sugar that is more than 200 mg/dl 2 hours after a meal is too high.
  • In addition, your blood glucose may be high throughout the night, when you are asleep.
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To find out, wake yourself up at 4:00 a.m. several times during the week to check your blood glucose. At 4:00 a.m., blood glucose that is higher than 150 mg/dl is too high. Continue to check your blood glucose 2 hours after meals and in the middle of the night once a month to be certain that you are not having unexpected high blood glucose levels at these times.

What is a good A1C level chart?

– Traditionally, A1C levels are reported as a percentage. Alternately, they may be reported as estimated average glucose (eAG), in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or millimoles per liter (mmol/L). Blood glucose meters and continuous glucose monitors also give eAG readings, some from at least 12 days of data.

The A1C test gives a more accurate long-term average. It takes into account fluctuations throughout the day, such as overnight and after meals. A normal A1C level is below 5.7%. Normal eAG is below 117 mg/dL or 6.5 mmol/L. If someone’s A1C levels are higher than normal, they may have diabetes or prediabetes.

Their doctor might order a repeat test to confirm this.

What does 7.0 blood sugar mean?

Fasting blood sugar test – A blood sample is taken after you haven’t eaten for at least eight hours or overnight (fast). Blood sugar values are expressed in milligrams of sugar per deciliter (mg/dL) or millimoles of sugar per liter (mmol/L) of blood. In general:

Less than 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L ) is normal 100 to 125 mg/dL (5.6 to 6.9 mmol/L ) is diagnosed as prediabetes 126 mg/dL (7.0 mmol/L ) or higher on two separate tests is diagnosed as diabetes

What sugar level indicates type 2 diabetes?

What does a high blood glucose level mean? – If your fasting blood glucose level is 100 to 125 mg/dL (5.6 to 6.9 mmol/L), it usually means you have, People with prediabetes have up to a 50% chance of developing Type 2 diabetes over the next five to 10 years.

But you can take steps to prevent Type 2 diabetes from developing. If your fasting blood glucose level is 126 mg/dl (7.0 mmol/L) or higher on more than one testing occasion, it usually means you have diabetes. In either of these cases, your provider will likely order a before diagnosing you with prediabetes or diabetes.

An A1c shows your average blood sugar over a few months. There are a few different types of diabetes. The most common forms are:

Type 2 diabetes (T2D) : T2D happens when your pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin or your body doesn’t use insulin well (), resulting in high blood glucose levels. This is the most common type of diabetes. : T1D is an in which your immune system attacks the insulin-producing cells in your pancreas for unknown reasons. Your pancreas can no longer produce insulin. At diagnosis, people with Type 1 diabetes usually have very high blood glucose (200 mg/dL, or 11.1 mmol/L, or higher). : This condition can develop in pregnant people — usually appearing during the middle of pregnancy, between 24 and 28 weeks. The high blood sugar (diabetes) goes away once the pregnancy is over. Pregnant people have screenings for gestational diabetes with a glucose challenge test and/or,

What is alarming level of HbA1c?

What do the results mean? – A1C results tell you what percentage of your hemoglobin is coated with glucose. The percent ranges are just a guide to what is normal. What’s normal for you depends on your health, age, and other factors. Ask your provider what A1C percentage is healthy for you. To diagnose diabetes or prediabetes, the percentages commonly used are:

  • Normal: A1C below 5.7%
  • Prediabetes: A1C between 5.7% and 6.4%
  • Diabetes: A1C of 6.5% or higher

Providers often use more than one test to diagnose diabetes. So, if your test result was higher than normal, you may have another A1C test or a different type of diabetes test, usually either a fasting blood glucose test or an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT).

What is a dangerously high HbA1c level?

An A1C test is used to diagnose and monitor diabetes by measuring the body’s average blood sugar level over the past three months. A high hemoglobin A1c, or A1C, shows your body has difficulty regulating glucose levels. An A1C of 6.5% or higher indicates diabetes.

Dangerous levels of A1C are 9% and higher. An A1C above 9% increases the risk of long-term diabetes complications like blindness, nerve damage, and kidney failure. Under 7% is considered good diabetes control. In non-diabetics, A1C levels stay below 5.7%. An A1C between 5.7% and 6.5% suggests prediabetes.

This article explains what happens to your body when your A1C is too high. It also details what different A1C levels mean and complications from dangerously high A1Cs. More importantly, it shows how monitoring your A1C levels can help to prevent diabetic complications.

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Does eating less sugar lower A1C?

Avoiding carbs altogether would make your blood sugar levels lower and eventually lower your A1C levels. However, your body needs carbohydrates, even if you have diabetes. Healthy carbs (such as fiber) provide long-lasting energy and help stabilize your blood sugar levels.

What sugar level is too high for a diabetic?

Prevention – Good day-to-day control of your diabetes can help you prevent a diabetic coma. Keep these tips in mind:

Follow your meal plan. Consistent snacks and meals can help you control your blood sugar level. Keep an eye on your blood sugar level. Frequent blood sugar tests can tell you whether you’re keeping your blood sugar level in your target range. It also can alert you to dangerous highs or lows. Check more frequently if you’ve exercised. Exercise can cause blood sugar levels to drop, even hours later, especially if you don’t exercise regularly. Take your medication as directed. If you have frequent episodes of high or low blood sugar, tell your health care provider. You may need to have the dose or the timing of your medication adjusted. Have a sick-day plan. Illness can cause an unexpected change in blood sugar. If you are sick and unable to eat, your blood sugar may drop. While you are healthy, talk with your doctor about how to best manage your blood sugar levels if you get sick. Consider storing at least a week’s worth of diabetes supplies and an extra glucagon kit in case of emergencies. Check for ketones when your blood sugar is high. Check your urine for ketones when your blood sugar level is over 250 mg/dL (14 mmol/L ) on more than two consecutive tests, especially if you are sick. If you have a large amount of ketones, call your health care provider for advice. Call your health care provider immediately if you have any level of ketones and are vomiting. High levels of ketones can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis, which can lead to coma. Have glucagon and fast-acting sources of sugar available. If you take insulin for your diabetes, have an up-to-date glucagon kit and fast-acting sources of sugar, such as glucose tablets or orange juice, readily available to treat low blood sugar levels. Consider a continuous glucose monitor, especially if you have trouble maintaining stable blood sugar levels or you don’t feel symptoms of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia unawareness). Continuous glucose monitors are devices that use a small sensor inserted underneath the skin to track trends in blood sugar levels and send the information to a wireless device, such as a smart phone. These monitors can alert you when your blood sugar is dangerously low or if it is dropping too fast. But you still need to test your blood sugar levels using a blood glucose meter even if you’re using one of these monitors. Continuous glucose monitors are more expensive than other glucose monitoring methods, but they may help you control your glucose better. Drink alcohol with caution. Because alcohol can have an unpredictable effect on your blood sugar, have a snack or a meal when you drink alcohol, if you choose to drink at all. Educate your loved ones, friends and co-workers. Teach loved ones and other close contacts how to recognize the early symptoms of blood sugar extremes and how to give emergency injections. If you pass out, someone should be able to call for emergency help. Wear a medical identification bracelet or necklace. If you’re unconscious, the bracelet or necklace can provide valuable information to your friends, co-workers and emergency personnel.

Aug.11, 2022

What is the ideal fasting blood sugar level for type 2 diabetes?

A normal fasting blood sugar level is less than 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L). Hemoglobin A1C test – The ‘A1C’ blood test measures your average blood sugar level over the past two to three months. Normal values for A1C are 4 to 5.6 percent. The A1C test can be done at any time of day (before or after eating).

Is 6.1 blood sugar high?

Glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test – This test indicates your average blood sugar level for the past 2 to 3 months. In general:

Below 5.7% is normal Between 5.7% and 6.4% is diagnosed as prediabetes 6.5% or higher on two separate tests indicates diabetes

Certain conditions can make the A1C test inaccurate — such as if you’re pregnant or have an uncommon form of hemoglobin.