Pharmacy Corner
Diabetes: self-monitoring blood glucose & things to watch out for A1C

If I’m already checking my blood sugars at home, why is my doctor sending me every 3 months to the lab?

You will notice that your blood sugar levels at home are always changing, and can even vary quite a bit on the same day. This is because you are checking your blood sugars at that specific point in time and this level changes depending on many things such as the time you’re testing, how long ago and what it was that you last ate.

When you go to the lab, your doctor is checking your average blood sugar level over the last 3 months.2 They are actually checking for something called glycosylated hemoglobin or A1C.2 The A1C value is very important because if this level is too high (above 7.0%) you are at higher risk of eye, kidney, and nerve problems. It is recommended that A1C be checked with your family doctor every 3 months and if your blood sugars are very well controlled then once every 6 months.

Tip

Tip: For a more detailed video explanation of A1C, click here.