A1C

As someone who has type 2 diabetes, tracking my blood glucose levels is very important.

The problem is … tracking your glucose levels on a daily basis isn’t really enough … at least it’s not enough for me.

Everyone who has diabetes should be getting their A1C tested on a periodic basis.  The A1C value represents a 3 month running average of your blood glucose levels.  People with well controlled diabetes have an A1C level under 7%.  Non-diabetic levels are below 6%.  The American Diabetes Association has a good writeup on A1C.

Getting your A1C tested usually means going to your doctors office and having it tested.  Sometimes this can be done with a simple finger stick blood test but, often, it requires a full blown blood draw (nobody likes those).

A few months ago a co-worker clued me in to the fact that Bayer had home A1C testing kits … so I picked one up to see how well it worked.  It cost around $35 for 2 tests.

The results have been quite informative … back in the summer, when I was riding my bike at least 20 miles per week, my A1c was a 5.8.  This is very good for someone with type 2 diabetes.  Pretty much non-diabetic levels.

After the weather changed, and I was no longer able to ride, all the real exercise I got was going to the health club.

Even though I was going 2-3 times a week, working out for 45-60 minutes, my A1C was creeping up … 6.3% one month, 6.5% the month after.

My workouts usually consisted of 30 minutes on the elliptical machine doing a “Cardio” workout.

Because of the change in my A1C, I changed my workout to be more aerobic … I used the “Aerobic Cross Training” program.  As a result, my A1C dropped down to 6%.

I expect next month’s levels to be 6% or lower.

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