Hemoglobin A1c and staying healthy with type 1 diabetes
There are many ways you, your family, and your diabetes doctor and nurses will know if your diabetes is in good control.
- Blood sugar records. The doctors and nurses will:
- Look at your blood sugar records
- Download your blood sugar meter readings when you come to appointments
- Look for trends in your blood sugars and can make suggestions for changes you can make to better control your blood sugars
- Hemoglobin A1c (A1c) results.
- Every 3 to 4 months when you come for appointments you will have a test called A1c.
- The nurse will do a finger stick and get a small drop of blood from your finger. In less than 10 minutes you will get the result.
- The result is the average amount of sugar in your blood stream in the past 3 to 4 months.
- The higher your blood sugar during the past 3 to 4 months, the higher the A1c will be.
- Kids under age 18 should try to have an A1c of 7.5 percent or lower. This is the same as an average blood sugar of 185.
|A1c(%)||Average blood sugar (MG/DL)|
Keeping your A1c as close to normal as possible, throughout your life, will help your organs stay healthy. This lowers your chance of getting long-term health problems.
It is important for you to:
- Get your A1c checked at each diabetes visit every 3 to 4 months.
- Keep track of your blood sugars and make changes to your insulin doses when needed.
- Eat healthy and count carbohydrate each time you eat or drink so you can match your insulin dose to the carbohydrate.
- Be active every day to help balance your blood sugar and lower your chance of heart disease.
- Get your blood pressure checked at each diabetes visit every 3 to 4 months.
- Get your urine checked for a protein called microalbumin. This will be done 5 years after you find out you have diabetes and then each year after that.
- Get your blood checked for cholesterol and other fats in your blood within the first year after you find out you have diabetes and every 5 years after that, as long as it is normal.
- See an eye doctor (optometrist or ophthalmologist) at the age of 10 or after you have had diabetes for 3 to 5 years. Then see them 1 time a year after that.
Be sure to see your diabetes doctor or nurses every 3 to 4 months. They specialize in taking care of children and adolescents with diabetes.