There are two blood sugar levels that you test when you are diabetic.
There is your day-to-day, finger-pricking test, which measures the sugar level in your blood at that particular point in time. This is to help you keep track of and manage your daily routine in terms of diet and exercise and ensure that you are not pumping too much (or too little) sugar into your system.
The second test requires a trip to the hospital or your GP surgery’s Phlebologist for a blood sample from your arm. This is then used to measure sugar levels in your body. Glucose sticks to the haemoglobin in the red blood cells in your body, creating glycosolated haemoglobin (HbA1C). This can take up to 3 months to break down, so the HbA1C test is a good long-term measure of the glucose in your system.
The reading used to be expressed as a percentage but is now based on the same mmol/l basis as the daily tests. A healthy HbA1C level and a target for good diabetic control is under 40.
My last HbA1C reading was 129 (November 2012)
This reading was alarming to my GP who said she had not seen a HbA1C level that high for quite some time. HbA1C tests are usually done annually but I will be having another one in the New Year to see if my new diet and medication regime have helped to bring my level down towards normal levels.
Update February 2013 – 51 mmol/l
My new HbA1C reading is 51 mmol/l. This is back in the ‘normal’ range although I would like it to be a little lower as according to the Diabetes UK website the target level for diabetics is 48 or lower.
Update December 2013 – 33 mmol/l
Great news. My latest HbA1C test came back firmly in the normal range at 33. Hopefully I can maintain this level going forward and, perhaps, eventually come off the medication I am currently taking.