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[IP] At home A1C

	A1C is an average for approx. 3 months.  If you test more often than
this, it really won't benefit you much.  You should have a good feel for
your A1C # anyway as it is a DIRECT correlation of your bg's.  I will look
for the chart I have at home that says, if your bg average is this, your A1C
will be this.
	Since most of us don't have an easy way to know what the average is
without guessing too much, an A1C is the best way.  What it is basically
(and pardon my medical ignorance here) is the number of hemoglobin attached
to the red blood cells in the sample of blood drawn....when bg levels are
high, hemoglobin attaches to red blood cells.  red blood cells live 2-3
months, so that is why its considered a 2-3 month average...the higher the
concentration of hemoglobin attached to the red blood cells, the higher the
bg levels had to be and the higher the number will be on the A1C test.  I
may be way off here, but that's what I remember from the explanation I got
when I asked what the A1C was.
	some meters can work with software that will allow you to download
your bg records into a variety of reports, one of which is the average
report.  I use an AccuCheck advantage meter, the software was somewhere
between 35 and 50 buckaroos, but it is a very user friendly and useful tool.

	we should all be using meters that your endo can download your bg
readings everytime you go for a visit. (approx. 3-4 months).
	meanwhile I have a very useful document that is basically a
"logbook" but is one page in size.  It is set up in a logical way and allows
enough room for all important info when trying to verify basal rates, or
when trying to determine if some type of change in your regimen is needed.
If anyone wants this document, please feel free to e-mail me directly at:
email @ redacted and if my firewall likes your firewall, I'll
send you the attachment (Xerox has a high security level so sometimes I
can't receive e-mails from non-Xerox people!!).
OH, and one more exciting thing about A1C tests:  there is now a little
finger prick test, so any of you that are still 'donating' a HUGE tube of
blood just for an A1C test, ask about the finger prick unit.  when I left
Iowa last May, they still did the huge tube full way, but when I went to an
apt. in CO in June or July, they had the finger prick way.  how excited was

I got a Rx from my Endo for the new at-home A1c test after an email 
discussion with him.  He said that he didn't see any benefit in doing them 
any more often than once a quarter since the test are basically a 2-3 month 
average.  He gave me the Rx so that it's one less tube that I have to have 
drawn when I do go in for blood work if that's what I want to do.

I have to agree with him somewhat.  Once a month is the MOST that I can see 
doing an at-home A1c.  Any more often than that seems like overkill.


Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter 
and those who matter don't mind. ~ Dr. Seuss


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Tavia Rodrmguez
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