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My HbA1c doesn’t correspond to my glucose monitor. Any ideas?

Discussion in 'Prediabetes' started by Jampan, Jun 1, 2018.

  1. Jampan

    Jampan Prediabetes · Member

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    Hi all,

    So my doctor takes ages to have appointments and blood tests etc...

    In the meantime I’d been using the eBwell glucose monitor. I get an average fasting blood of 6.3 which I’ve tested for the last month. It’s gradually coming down to 5.9 on the last three mornings, as I’ve been playing with the Keto diet.
    I’ve noticed if I only eat beef and check before bed I’ve had a 5.3 and a 5.0
    Strangely if I eat only chicken, it’ll spike up to 7.7 - 7.9

    Finally got my HbA1c result and it’s 33 which looks to be well within normal range for that.

    So my question is can I have a high blood sugar in general and a low HbA1c? I can’t see it, but hopefully some of you know why.

    Also my cholesterol was 5.7 which is a bit high.

    BTW my hands are thoroughly washed clean and dried on clean towels before pricking fingers.
     
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  2. sally and james

    sally and james Family member · Well-Known Member

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    Fasting blood glucose is often a higher reading than those taken later in the day, except where a carb heavy meal is involved, when the sky's the limit. This is because your body releases sugars first thing in the morning to get you going. This is often referred to as "dawn phenomena" or, less attractively, "liver dump".
    HbA1c is not always as perfect and as accurate as it is sometimes made out. If you have a particularly fast or slow turn over of red blood cells this can affect results, for example. However, for most people, most of the time, it gives a good enough broad picture.
    If you are only able to take one blood sugar reading per day, try early evening, just before your evening meal, that is assuming you haven't been snacking on carbs all afternoon! This is often the lowest reading of the day.
    As for the chicken and the beef, how are these cooked? If you are buying a ready cooked, hot,supermarket chicken these can be loaded with sugar. It won't be the beef/chicken themselves causing the difference in reading, it will be something added or eaten alongside. Having said that, blood sugar does to do funny things, for all sorts of reasons.
    By the way, welcome to the forum and ask all the questions you need.
    Tagging @daisy1 for Newbies info, which will appear further down this thread as soon as she has time.
    Sally
     
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  3. Jampan

    Jampan Prediabetes · Member

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    Thanks for the info. I’ll have a go at early evening for the fasting blood. The chicken was cooked by me but I’m suspecting possibly pumped with a sugar water? I tried chicken thighs from Iceland and a whole chicken to roast from Asda and both spiked it. I actually did it as a test by only eating the chicken and nothing else. At least I know to stick to the other meats now anyway. :)
     
  4. Jenny15

    Jenny15 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    HbA1c can be unreliable if there are certain medical issues present, such as low iron, I believe. It sounds like your home blood testing confirms you are getting things well under control, which is fantastic. Well done!

    Total cholesterol isn't a very helpful number, it's better if you can tell us the LDL, HDL and Triglycerides, if I recall correctly. Do you happen to know what your latest blood pressure result was?
     
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  5. Jampan

    Jampan Prediabetes · Member

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    Hi Jenny thanks for that. :) My doctors seem incredibly unhelpful. I didn’t get anything other than my cholesterol was considered Abnormal, and I pressed them for the number of 5.7. I’m sorry I can’t remember the blood pressure one as it was a while back, though it was apparently considered fine. If there’s a good LDL/HDL home test available I think I’ll get one of those.
     
  6. andcol

    andcol I reversed my Type 2 · Well-Known Member
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    5.7 isnt abnormal! In fact it is spot on average for the UK population. They set the 5 level to try to medicate everyone. There is no real science there
     
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  7. daisy1

    daisy1 Type 2 · Legend
    Staff Member Retired Moderator

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    @Jampan

    Hello Jampan and welcome to the Forum :) Here is the Basic Information we give to new members and I hope you will find it useful and interesting. Ask as many questions as you want and someone will try to help.


    BASIC INFORMATION FOR NEW MEMBERS

    Diabetes is the general term to describe people who have blood that is sweeter than normal. A number of different types of diabetes exist.

    A diagnosis of diabetes tends to be a big shock for most of us. It’s far from the end of the world though and on this forum you'll find well over 235,000 people who are demonstrating this.

    On the forum we have found that with the number of new people being diagnosed with diabetes each day, sometimes the NHS is not being able to give all the advice it would perhaps like to deliver - particularly with regards to people with type 2 diabetes.

    The role of carbohydrate

    Carbohydrates are a factor in diabetes because they ultimately break down into sugar (glucose) within our blood. We then need enough insulin to either convert the blood sugar into energy for our body, or to store the blood sugar as body fat.

    If the amount of carbohydrate we take in is more than our body’s own (or injected) insulin can cope with, then our blood sugar will rise.

    The bad news

    Research indicates that raised blood sugar levels over a period of years can lead to organ damage, commonly referred to as diabetic complications.

    The good news

    People on the forum here have shown that there is plenty of opportunity to keep blood sugar levels from going too high. It’s a daily task but it’s within our reach and it’s well worth the effort.

    Controlling your carbs

    The info below is primarily aimed at people with type 2 diabetes, however, it may also be of benefit for other types of diabetes as well.

    There are two approaches to controlling your carbs:
    • Reduce your carbohydrate intake
    • Choose ‘better’ carbohydrates
    Reduce your carbohydrates

    A large number of people on this forum have chosen to reduce the amount of carbohydrates they eat as they have found this to be an effective way of improving (lowering) their blood sugar levels.

    The carbohydrates which tend to have the most pronounced effect on blood sugar levels tend to be starchy carbohydrates such as rice, pasta, bread, potatoes and similar root vegetables, flour based products (pastry, cakes, biscuits, battered food etc) and certain fruits.

    Choosing better carbohydrates

    The low glycaemic index diet is often favoured by healthcare professionals but some people with diabetes find that low GI does not help their blood sugar enough and may wish to cut out these foods altogether.

    Read more on carbohydrates and diabetes.

    Over 145,000 people have taken part in the Low Carb Program - a 10 week structured education course that is helping people lose weight and reduce medication dependency by explaining the science behind carbs, insulin and GI.

    Eating what works for you

    Different people respond differently to different types of food. What works for one person may not work so well for another. The best way to see which foods are working for you is to test your blood sugar with a glucose meter.

    To be able to see what effect a particular type of food or meal has on your blood sugar is to do a test before the meal and then test after the meal. A test 2 hours after the meal gives a good idea of how your body has reacted to the meal.

    The blood sugar ranges recommended by NICE are as follows:

    Blood glucose ranges for type 2 diabetes
    • Before meals: 4 to 7 mmol/l
    • 2 hours after meals: under 8.5 mmol/l
    Blood glucose ranges for type 1 diabetes (adults)
    • Before meals: 4 to 7 mmol/l
    • 2 hours after meals: under 9 mmol/l
    Blood glucose ranges for type 1 diabetes (children)
    • Before meals: 4 to 8 mmol/l
    • 2 hours after meals: under 10 mmol/l
    However, those that are able to, may wish to keep blood sugar levels below the NICE after meal targets.

    Access to blood glucose test strips

    The NICE guidelines suggest that people newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes should be offered:
    • structured education to every person and/or their carer at and around the time of diagnosis, with annual reinforcement and review
    • self-monitoring of plasma glucose to a person newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes only as an integral part of his or her self-management education

    Therefore both structured education and self-monitoring of blood glucose should be offered to people with type 2 diabetes. Read more on getting access to blood glucose testing supplies.

    You may also be interested to read questions to ask at a diabetic clinic.

    Note: This post has been edited from Sue/Ken's post to include up to date information.
    Take part in Diabetes.co.uk digital education programs and improve your understanding. Most of these are free.

    • Low Carb Program - it's made front-page news of the New Scientist and The Times. Developed with 20,000 people with type 2 diabetes; 96% of people who take part recommend it... find out why

    • Hypo Program - improve your understanding of hypos. There's a version for people with diabetes, parents/guardians of children with type 1, children with type 1 diabetes, teachers and HCPs.
     
  8. pollensa

    pollensa · Guest

    Possibly, but its a question I would ask your doctor to explain as worthwhile question. I can confirm not a doctor, but personal I am the opposite I have had experience the other way around, for over one year testing either daily or three month intervals, where all numbers finger testing normal absolutely normal fasting, 2hr and random anytime after breakfast, tests at the three monthly intervals, same as previous 3 months, with perhaps one number difference either way, i.e. indicates its not just a matter of a good day or lucky day! Yet had two A1C that were high compared to normal real blood, I was informed its referred to as Discordant, and normally second A1C test is taken to clarify.

    overall info given, don't be concerned, A1C is only a predictor indication of whats going on over 3 months, even told I refer in Spain not UK in avoidance of doubt, don't even worry about what the average blood sugars are noted equivalent to the A1C, basically, informed here spain, its the majority of results that's viewed as been correct.

    Confusing, for me anyway, but well, I am happy my finger testing is normal all the time, consistently, and even though I have had what they inform refer DISCORDANT A1C which was HIGHER against my normal finger prics, I have continued my daily lifestyle change, routine, low carb, keto, intermittent fasting, exercising whatever, and couple weeks ago, had A1C 5.5% and average sugars showed against that normal range too, so??? us humans can be a little complicated sometimes, or is it the system that's complicated, I think the latter, but I may be wrong Ha.Ha.

    Hope this helps sharing the experience of comparison to your own situation.

    have a nice day.
     
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  9. Alison Campbell

    Alison Campbell Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    This quote taken from a US based article seems relevant
    http://www.phlaunt.com/diabetes/14046782.php

    The reliance on the A1c as a screening test means that people with anemia, the sickle cell trait, a thallassemia gene, or any other abnormality of the red blood cells, and anyone whose red blood cells live longer or shorter lives than average are likely to get an extremely inaccurate A1c test result which may result in many of them being told they have normal blood sugar when, in fact, their blood sugars are high enough to cause diabetic complications. I have heard of people with post meal blood sugars as high as 300 mg/dl receiving A1c test results in the 4.7% range that is the very low end of normal.
     
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  10. Jampan

    Jampan Prediabetes · Member

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    Thanks Alison. That’s really useful for my further research. :)
     
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  11. Citroenut

    Citroenut · Member

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    at 3.25 he gives the formula how to convert A1c to blood sugar.

    In my case it is pretty accurate. My A1C is 4.9% and my fasting blood sugar is 5,7-5,9.
     
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  12. Jampan

    Jampan Prediabetes · Member

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    Thanks Citroenut. So it looks like mine is 5.7
     
  13. britishpub

    britishpub Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    @Jampan a HbA1c of 33 corresponds quite closely to FBG's of 5.7 and normal running levels between 5.5 and 6
     
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