It is incredibly important to have a normal A1C blood sugar level, as this means that you are controlling your diabetes and thereby avoiding complications. If these readings are not normal, you can end up having some serious problems. These problems include loss of limbs, nerve disease, impotence, stroke, heart disease, kidney disease, and blindness.
There are numerous different blood sugar level tests and they all tell different things. The A1C test is one that measures whether or not you have been managing your diabetes properly. A normal A1C blood sugar level demonstrates that you have looked after yourself properly over the past three months, for instance.
Fasting Blood Glucose Test:
Another important test is the fasting blood glucose test. Someone without diabetes would have a level of between 70mg/dl and 100mg/dl. Those with diabetes should try to keep their fasting levels under 120mg/dl, preferably under 110mg/dl. This means it is still higher, but manageable.
Then, there is the postprandial test, which measures blood sugar level two hours after a meal. In a non-diabetic, 140mg/dl is normal. This is higher in people with diabetes, however, and particularly if they consume too many carbohydrates. This is a very good test to determine whether they are eating an appropriate diet.
Actual Hgb A1C Test:
The actual Hgb (hemoglobin) A1C test is also used. This gives the level in a percentage. Hence, a normal A1C blood sugar level in a non-diabetic is usually 6% or below. Those who are diabetics can expect to be in the range of between 6% and 7% if they properly manage their condition. This test is repeated every quarter or so, showing the average level your blood sugar over that period of time. The percentage is an indication of the number of sugar molecules that are attached to the Hgb molecules. These molecules have a two to three month life cycle, which is why the test is done every quarter. If you have a 6% A1C level, then it means that, on average, your daily sugar level is between 115mg/dl and 150mg/dl. If it is 7%, however, your daily level is, on average, between 150mg/dl and 180mg/dl.
What this all means, overall, is that there are many different ways to measure blood sugar level and they are all equally important for people with diabetes. Non-diabetics have set the benchmark for what is considered to be healthy, which is a level of 100mg/dl or lower after eight hours of fasting, and 140mg/dl or lower two hours after a meal.
One significant problem is that many diabetics feel that having a high sugar level does not cause them any real problems other than the temporary effects of hyperglycemia, which they can usually bring under control again with ease. Unfortunately, however, these short term issues can lead to serious long term consequences, such as the ones described at the start of this article. This is why it is so important that people with diabetes regularly monitor their sugar level, so that they can adapt their lifestyle as and when needed.