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November is National Diabetes Awareness Month (NDAM). Please take some time to check out our T1D topics. We encourage you to share this information on your social media to help educate and raise awareness about Type 1 Diabetes.

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A1C number = how much sugar in the blood

The A1C is a blood test that helps determine if your diabetes management plan is working well - both Type 1 and Type 2 take this test. It’s done every 3 months to find out what your average blood sugar has been. You may also hear this test called glycosylated hemoglobin, glycohemoglobin, hemoglobin A1c, and HbA1c. 


How the test works

Essentially, the test can tell how much sugar is in the bloodstream by looking for proteins (hemoglobins). When glucose (sugar) enters the blood, it binds to the protein in the red blood cells, creating “glycated hemoglobin”. The more sugar in the blood, the more glycated hemoglobin. It’s important to test your blood sugar levels (BGLs) throughout the day; however, an A1C test gives you a bigger picture with a long-term average of those blood sugar levels.


What do these numbers mean?

The A1c is an average of what your blood sugar levels have been over the 3-month period. In general, the higher your A1C number, the higher your likelihood of diabetes complications. You don’t want a high A1C; it means there is too much sugar in your blood and your body isn’t absorbing it.


  4.6 - 6.0    Normal (does not have diabetes)

  5.7 - 6.4    Pre-diabetes (warning: may develop Type 2 or have beginning onset of Type 1)

     6.7+       Diabetes (someone diagnosed with diabetes)

<7.0 - 7.5   Target range (for adults diagnosed with diabetes)


New glycemic targets for children, as reported by Diabetes Canada, are as follows:


Children <6 years of age:        A1C <8.0%

Children 6 to 12 years of age: A1C ≤7.5%

Adolescents: same as adults


This target range varies between individuals, some people naturally run a little higher, some lower. It is important to note that especially in children a higher A1C is recommended. The A1C number will help you and your doctor determine though if your diabetes management plan is working well.


A1C level - Estimated average blood sugar level.

5 percent           5.4 mmol/L

6 percent             7 mmol/L

7 percent           8.5 mmol/L

8 percent         10.2 mmol/L

9 percent         11.8 mmol/L

10 percent       13.3 mmol/L

11 percent       14.9 mmol/L

12 percent       16.5 mmol/L

13 percent       18.1 mmol/L

14 percent       19.7 mmol/L


What’s a “perfect A1C”?

This is often said when someone with diabetes has met their A1C target range, (which is 5-7). Keep in mind that an A1C test like any other blood glucose level reading is just information to guide you in your diabetes management. Some run higher while others run low – it really depends on the individual. This number can vary wildly too throughout your life. Consult your doctor to find a target A1C range and a diabetes plan that works for you.


SOURCE: Beyond Type 1

DISCLAIMER: You are strongly encouraged to confirm any information obtained from or through this site, and review all information regarding any medical condition or treatment with your physician. PLEASE DO NOT DISREGARD PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE OR DELAY SEEKING MEDICAL TREATMENT BECAUSE OF SOMETHING YOU HAVE READ ON THIS SITE.

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