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What Is A1c? - Topic Overview

A1c is a test that shows the average level of blood sugar over the past 2 to 3 months. People who have diabetes need to have this test done regularly to see whether their blood sugar levels have been staying within a target range. This test is also used to diagnose diabetes.

A1c test results show your average blood sugar level over time. The result is reported as a percentage. Your goal is to keep your hemoglobin A1c level as close to your target level as possible. You and your doctor will work together to set your safe target level.

The result of your A1c test can also be used to estimate your average blood sugar level. This is called your estimated average glucose, or eAG. Your eAG and A1c show the same thing in two different ways. They both help you know about your average blood sugar over the past 2 to 3 months.

The table below shows A1c with estimated average glucose.

A1c and estimated average glucose (eAG)1
Hemoglobin A1c %

Estimated average glucose (mg/dL)

6%

126

7%

154

8%

183

9%

212

10%

240

11%

269

12%

298

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 24, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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0-69
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70-130
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If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

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