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From Long Island, New York, USA:

I am a 73 year old female, diagnosed nine years ago with type 2 diabetes, treated with pills for five years, and I see an endocrinologist every six months. My blood glucose has been 120 mg/dl [6.7 mmol/L] or lower, but my latest reading was 199 mg/dl [11.1 mmol/L] with an A1c of 6.2%. I have additional medication to take now and will see the doctor in three months. How can the A1c be accurate based on two tests in six months? I feel that I should now be testing at home. Do you agree?


Yes, I agree that if you are diagnosed with diabetes, you should be doing blood glucose monitoring. If an endocrinologist is providing your care, I am surprised you have not had instruction on blood glucose monitoring. You should ask your doctor about this. The hemoglobin A1c only reflects average blood glucose control over the previous 2-3 months. Home monitoring, on the other hand, allows you to see current levels. The frequency of testing should be discussed with your diabetes team and be individualized according to your needs in optimizing control.


[Editor's comment: Blood glucose monitoring is important on a daily basis to see the effectiveness of your treatment plan. See a previous question on this topic.

The A1c, in and of itself, does not require any blood glucose results, since it measures the amount of sugar that becomes attached to the hemoglobin. SS]

Original posting 19 Jan 2002
Posted to Blood Tests and Insulin Injections


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