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Discussion Starter #1
For those of you who have been wondering how accurate those over the counter A1c tests are...

DH was diagnosed 3 months ago, his A1c was 6.7 He has been pretty good these past 3 months, hasn't cheated much at all, but he was concerned that his next A1c might be high, so he bought an A1CNow test kit. The kit said you will get the very same results as you would if blood is drawn from your veins and tested in a lab. So the test showed an A1c of 6.1 which made him very happy, of course.

Well, the next day the nurse drew blood for his test and it came back 6.3 Instead of being happy with the drop, he was unhappy because he had been expecting the 6.1 But I am very pleased.

The information sheet that came with the kit says that 50% of an A1c test reflects your bg for the past 2 months, 25% reflects your bg for the past 3 months, and 25% reflects your bg from before that, but they didn't specify how many months before.
 

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Thats fairly close :)....

Last week I did a quick average of my readings on the same day I had my A1c test...I got 6.1 and the result was 6.3.

I record all my readings and all I did was average it...easy as...

The problem with A1c is that it is an average...Ive had some highs and lows and it smooths those out...makes me feel like I'm cheating :( I guess getting into the 5% club would indicate less swings...
 

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I don't think anything will come back exactly the same. Even lab tests have variables depending how long the specimen sits. I did one in March and it was 5.3. Of course I was very happy . I need to do the 2nd one this month. Since I pay for all my own lab work, my doctor agreed to let me do the home tests.
 

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*nods* I agree...
 

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The information sheet that came with the kit says that 50% of an A1c test reflects your bg for the past 2 months, 25% reflects your bg for the past 3 months, and 25% reflects your bg from before that, but they didn't specify how many months before.
Now see, that's more what I think mine reflected, though the info I was reading online kept saying it was the last 2-3 months w/ heavy weighting (50%?) the one month prior. So, when I got my A1C, I was both thrilled it was down to 6.2, and quietly disappointed because my meter was telling me I should be a 5-percenter already. My endo said it was picking up my very high numbers before dx.

I listened to Jenny Ruhl's interview that Frank posted last week, and she brought up the fact that people recycle red blood cells at different rates ... which means, once again, there are no bankable formulas.

Thank heavens I'm not an accountant-type like my father was. My head would have exploded long ago.
 

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Good to hear positives for the A1CNow tester!

First of June I tried the ReliOn mail in, first try was "quantity not sufficient" The blotter needs to have two fairly large blobs of blood, compared to the BG tester I use.
Results - second try came back with A1C = 5.7
The actual lab result one month later showed A1C = 5.3

Either reading was better than the previous test of 6.9 :D My average BG was 111 which would calculate to A1C = 5.5
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Results - second try came back with A1C = 5.7
The actual lab result one month later showed A1C = 5.3

Either reading was better than the previous test of 6.9 :D My average BG was 111 which would calculate to A1C = 5.5
I will always believe what you call the actual lab results, are the most reliable. And fortunately in this case, also the lowest. Congratulations on dropping from 6.9 to 5.3. Great job. :first:

P.S. And thanks for the info. about the mail-in A1c test. We thought about getting that, glad now that we didn't.
 

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One thing I read on Gretchen Beckers Blog was that 3 people with the exact same bg profile can have an HbA1c and come up with 3 different numbers varying as much as + or - 1 point. So these 3 people could be 4.5 , 5.5 or 6.5 with the exact same bgs. She calls it Low Glycators vs High Glycators. This is why the HbA1c test by itself isn't a great tool. You need those daily bg reading.
 
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My average monthly BGs have been well below 100 for the past year and a half (2/3 of the time, at 90 or below). In that time, my lab-tested A1c has varied between 5.4 and 5.8 (getting much higher than my meter average than in the past), and A1cNow tests have varied between 5.0 and 6.5 (right before my lab-tested 5.8). (Bayer only claims accuracy of within 0.5 of your "true" A1c.)

My last lab test was in April. It was about then I read Gretchen's "Wildly Fluctuating" blog post about iron deficiency being able to affect A1cs (if you have less available iron, your red blood cells are replaced less often--and collect more glucose, so your A1c will indicate an average BG higher than it really is). I started a daily iron supplement. I have tested three times since then (once a month) using the Bayer A1cNow; they have been: 5.6, 5.7, and (most recently) 5.1. Of course, you only get two tests from the same box, so there are variables--such as shipping conditions--that could be affecting these results, as well. Still, I am hopeful that my next lab-tested A1c will be closer to what I think it should be, based on my meter averages.
 

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My $ 0.02 worth. I don't think one should start checking there own A1C If you monitor you blood and eat properly your A1C should take care of itself..
 
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