Ever since you were diagnosed with diabetes, you test your blood sugar daily. So why do you need an A1c test every few months?
The tests you do yourself tell you what your blood sugar is at that moment. That can help you learn how food, physical activity, and other factors affect your blood sugar control. If you use insulin, daily tests help you adjust your dosage.
The A1c blood test, on the other hand, measures your blood sugar control for the past two or three months. Think of your A1c level as a kind of average. Regular A1c testing helps:
- Confirm the results of your daily tests
- Minimize health complications from chronic high blood sugar
- Show how well your treatment plan is working
Testing Needs Vary
For people with diabetes, providers usually set an A1c target of less than 7%. You may have an individual target set by your healthcare provider. Your A1c should be tested at least two times a year. How often you need the test depends on how well your blood sugar is managed and whether you’ve recently changed diabetes medications.