This calculator is meant to be used as an estimation of blood sugars (measured by mg/dL) to a1c percentage.
Click here if you’d like to convert your blood glucose to mmol/L.
Every person with diabetes walks into their doctor’s office and has their progress measured by their A1C percentage. Here’s why it matters so much, and how people with type 2 diabetes can understand what that average means for them.
This guide is specific to people with type 2 diabetes looking to understand a little more about their A1C%.
What is an A1C?
An A1C is your average blood glucose levels over ~90 days.
The A1C test you take is sometimes called the hemoglobin A1C, HbA1c, glycated hemoglobin, or glycohemoglobin test.
Why do people with diabetes have an a1c test?
People with diabetes will have an A1C test done in order for their doctor to understand how treatment is working.
A1C’s are not a grade. Rather, they are a way to make sure treatments like, insulin, oral medication, diet and exercise are working as intended.
Your doctor may adjust your treatment based on your A1C. Using the calculator above, however, is not a meaningful way to make treatment decisions on your own.
See your doctor if you believe you need a change in your treatment.
How do I find out my average glucose?
If you have a glucose monitor, it may sometimes provide averages. If not, add up all the numbers from your glucose test, then divide by how many numbers there are to find your average.
Then, plug that number into the calculator to get your estimated A1C.
How often should I get my A1C checked?
For people with type 2 diabetes, If your A1C is high, your care team may ask you to come back every three months until it falls back into range.
If your management seems to be going well, your doctor may ask you get checked twice per year.
If you’re taking insulin, or oral medication, you may continue seeing your care team every three months for adjustments and an A1C test.
How do I get an A1C test?
There are reliable at-home A1C tests, however, it’s important to have your doctor verify your results, and help you make treatment decisions.
If you share diabetes symptoms with your doctor, they may also order an A1C test to confirm your diagnosis.
What A1C % is “normal?”
In terms of blood sugar, people with diabetes aim for a fasting/before meals blood sugar of 70-130 mg/dL and 2 hours after meal < 180 mg/dL.
If you notice your A1C increase to more than 7%, your doctor may re-evaluate your treatment for better blood glucose control.
A high A1C can put you at increased risk for complications like cardiovascular disease, retinopathy and neuropathy. Additionally, constant high blood sugars can negatively affect all of your organs due to the thickening of your blood.
|A1C Test Result %||Estimated Average Glucose (eAG) mg/dl|
Do you measure in metric? Convert these values.
How can I lower my A1C?
Your doctor will help you with a plan.
For people with type 2 diabetes, diet, exercise, as well as insulin and oral medications can all play a role in lowering your A1C.
Try not to think of those treatment options as a punishment. Rather, they’re a path to better diabetes management and overall healthier life.
Managing My Numbers
Managing diabetes can seem like full-time job. There are some routine things that you can do to maintain your blood sugar goals:
- Get your A1C checked 2-4 times per year and know your number.
- Change your diet if you need to. Find something that works in your life, and don’t just roll with the next fad. Focus on veggies, lean meats, whole grains and healthy fats.
- Move your body, especially after a meal. Regular exercise, spread throughout the week can really change your numbers and help you meet your goals.
- Take your medications as prescribed, always. Don’t feel like insulin, injections, or oral medications mean you’ve failed. They’re a positive way to help you meet your goals.
Talk to your pharmacist, doctor or diabetes educator about any issues related to your medication. Your care team is crucial to helping troubleshoot, so you can meet your goals.
I’m discouraged about my results
Don’t be. My first test rang in at a whopping 13%. My next test was 10%. Both were dangerous, but I still gave myself a pat on the back for lowering my A1C. With gradual changes and tracking, you’ll find that each A1C test gets better and better.
If your number isn’t getting better, and you’re doing all you can, be honest with your doctor about what you’re doing, and let them help you.
I hope this A1C calculator helps you understand a little more about your results.