written by: Janis Bennett
• edited by: Diana Cooper
• updated: 3/18/2011
Keeping track of blood glucose levels is an important responsibility for people with diabetes. An A1C blood test should also be done at least twice a year. With new technological advancements, there is now a blood glucose meter that tests A1C that can be used at home.
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One of the biggest responsibilities a diabetic has is keeping control of the levels of sugar in the blood. The most useful tool to measure blood sugar involves the dreaded finger prick blood test. But, this test is vital to monitor blood glucose levels in order to stay healthy. In addition to daily blood glucose monitoring, a person with diabetes should also be aware of their hemoglobin A1C levels by using blood glucose meters that test A1C or having an A1C test done at the doctor's office.
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What Is A1C?
A1C is short for the hemoglobin blood test. Basically, the hemoglobin A1C test measures blood sugar over a period of two to three months, which is important because glucose will stick to red blood cells and stay there for the entire life of the cell, which is about three months. The results are provided in the form of a percentage. The ideal number for a person with diabetes is to have an A1C level below seven percent. Any number higher than that signifies that changes need to be made. Previously, this test could only be done in a doctor’s office, with the blood sample being sent to the lab for analysis. An A1C blood test is usually done when a person is first diagnosed with diabetes, either type 1 or type 2, and then at least two times a year after that. Now, there have been advances in technology and A1C testing can be done at home, just like traditional blood glucose testing.
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Portable blood glucose meters allow a diabetic to gather a drop of blood and then measure the level of glucose in that blood sample. The small size of these monitors makes them very portable as a typical person with diabetes needs to test their blood several times a day. With technological advancements, there are now blood glucose meters that test A1C at home too. This gives a diabetic even more information about the level of sugar in their blood to ensure they are controlling their diabetes and living as healthily as possible.
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Blood Glucose Meter That Test A1C
The technology of being able to test both blood glucose levels and A1C at home is new, but is quickly becoming popular amongst diabetics because they know how important both of these figures are to gain control of blood sugars. If you are looking for blood glucose meters that test A1C, there is currently only one product on the market that does both traditional blood glucose testing and the A1C test.
The Bayer HealthCare's A1CNow+ Blood Glucose Monitoring System is a portable meter that can be held in your hand and will provide lab-quality A1C test results that are 99 percent accurate and trustworthy in as little as five minutes. A simple finger prick blood sample is all that is needed. This device has been certified by the National Glycohemoglobin Standardization Program (NGSP).
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Meter That Test A1C At Home
For those that already have a reliable blood glucose meter, simply purchase a separate meter to test your A1C levels at home. Currently, there is only one company that is making A1C home meters, Bayer Diagnostic Care in California. There are a few other portable A1C meters available, such as the one from Quotient Diagnostics in England, but they are geared towards professional use in a clinic setting or doctor’s office.
Bayer Diagnostic Care is the manufacturer of the A1CNow Selfchecker meters. With this portable meter, A1C results can be received in five minutes. This is also the only A1C meter that is approved by the NGSP and it is also FDA approved. This meter is easy to use, maintenance free and portable. Only 5μL of blood is needed for the test. Many flexible spending accounts can be used to purchase this meter. Check your plan for details.