I recently went to my endocrinologist and she was more than pleased to see my A1C was 6.3. However, I wasn't because I've been suffering from an immense amount of lows. The A1C reading has been coming up more often than not recently, and as it turns out, everyone is happy about this reading! I went to a normal physician regarding a bump on my leg that luckily turned out to be fine but when asked what my sugars were usually, I told him I've had low sugars around the low 60's to mid 70's and he seemed pleased and said I was doing well.

Understandably, everyone's body is different so I don't expect that everyone feels this way about a sugar being in the 70 range but if I have a sugar that is around that number, that means that if I don't eat something, my sugar is going to drop. What's more, I feel sluggish and weak when my sugar is that low. It may not be in the 40 range but I still feel terrible at the low.

When I was first diagnosed 12 years ago, the 8 range was perfect for the A1C. I don't understand why that's high now. I'd rather not develop hypoglycemia because I'm trying to achieve a 6.3 A1C every time I go to my doctor.

Is there something I'm not quite understanding about these readings? A person without diabetes should have a sugar of around 90-120 so why should we have to have a sugar around 70 to be healthy? That just seems so dangerous.

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Comment by Randy on January 10, 2012 at 1:32pm

Your A1c is an average. I was dx'd at 12.3 last October. Started insulin in late November and to my surprise had an A1c of 5.6 in February. I knew this was not good because I was still in the 200 plus range for most of December. Still everyone was thrilled with my A1c. I finally figured out a low carb diet is best for me. I eat about 100 per day (not a sacred number, just a target) and test 6-10 times per day. I eat so I can take as little insulin as possible. Normally I run between 90 and 120, but quite often am in the 70's which is the low end of okay. It is rare for me to get below 70 or above 140, but it does happen. It has taken a lot of trial and error and testing to be at this level. But, my vision is improving and my p/n is as well. My goal has been to have a bg as close to normal as I safely can. My average A1c for the last 12 months is 5.5 and I want to keep it there or better. I have complications enough from ignoring my symptoms for way too long. Now that I know what is happening I can't afford to ignore my D reality again.

We all are different and this is my A1c story, but you are right that trying for numbers below 90 is not the best plan. Just understand that you A1c is only part of the picture. You really need to know what your numbers are that make up that average. Do everything you can to keep yourself as close to normal as possible.

Comment by Randy on January 10, 2012 at 1:41pm

Sorry if I rambled a bit. Just took my reading and was 56. Guess I miscalculated my last snack!

Comment by Shell Smitty on January 10, 2012 at 1:57pm

No rambling! What you said was quite helpful. It would be wonderful if the A1C was all we had to worry about but it's just one of many.

Comment by Shell Smitty on January 10, 2012 at 1:57pm

And I hope you're okay now!

Comment by Randy on January 10, 2012 at 2:30pm

All okay. Three glucose tabs and an early lunch. Might need to pick something up for the drive home though.


Comment by acidrock23 on January 10, 2012 at 7:33pm

8.0 that you mention as being "ok" a couple of year ago isn't good b/c it represents an "average' BG higher than normal,. There's a bunch of different charts out there and, well, I'm not a doctor but this onej suggests http://healthy-ojas.com/diabetes/a1c-glucose-chart.html. that an 8.0 is around 207 "average" which is not "normal". "Normal" people w/o diabetes run in the 80s so the "software" (brain) and "hardware" body can work pretty well in the 70s and 80s. If you get used to running higher, it can be uncomfortable to run lower however one can also get used to it if one pushes to stay at a lower level. Randy is also spot on about less carbs being a good way to get there. Less carbs will equal less insulin that leads to less up and down BG levels.

Comment by Melitta on January 10, 2012 at 9:12pm

Hi Chelly: I think that it is important to find a balance. If you achieved an A1c of 6.3 with too many lows, that simply is not good for your life. My suggestion, follow the guidance of the Behavioral Diabetes Institute in San Diego, which is (1) achieve the best blood sugars possible, (2) avoid lows, and (3) live your life. Randy is right, following lower carb (doesn't have to be low carb, but just lower carb) really makes a difference. Best of luck!

Comment by Gerri on January 11, 2012 at 2:25am

Fortunate for us that what's considered an acceptable A1c has come down over the years. Consensus is that BG over 140 causes damage & damage is cumulative. Normal BG is in the 80's. While non-diabetics go higher, their BG goes back to normal quickly. If only we were that lucky & it didn't take hours to correct highs.

When low, I'm immediately sleepy & fight to keep my eyes open. Feel like the blood has been drained from my body & I'm in slow motion. I don't feel terrible below 70 unless it's a fast drop.

Comment by Shell Smitty on January 11, 2012 at 10:31am

Thanks for all the advice and information! Definitely helped in my quest to discover what works and what doesn't work for me :)

Comment by acidrock23 on January 11, 2012 at 6:49pm

Quest is a good word for it!


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