Blood sugar calculations

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I have a glucometer that I test blood sugar morning, and before dinner.  I see many on here that use 2 digit numbers....such as 7.4, etc.  I am assuming that is their a1c, but how do they test that themselves, or is there some sort of conversion calculation I should be using?  I am only one month in of my diagnosis, so I am still trying to figure all this out.

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  • Posted

    Hi vickie15389,

    I'm assuming, ma'am, that you are in the United States of America.  (Sorry, I couldn't check as you haven't filled in any detailis about yourself on your profile here.)  If that is the case, it's because you use a different blood glucose measurement system over there than in the majority of countries in the world.

    In the US you use a system that meaures blood glucose levels in mg/dL (milligrams per deciLiter) (The American Standard for blood glucose measurement), whereas in the majority of the world we use the International Standard for blood glucose measurement, which is in mmol/l (millimoles per litre).

    You can convert mmol/l to mg/dL by multiplying the number by 18. i.e. the 7.4 that you used as an example, IF it is a 'normal' at home blood glucose test, would be equivalent to 133 mg/dL.  (To convert from mg/dL to mmol/l you would simply divide mg/dL by 18.)

    IF it is a HbA1c (A1c) level, I'm afraid you'll find the US is years behind the majority of the world.  We now use a level that is measured in mmol/mol (millimoles per mole), rather than the system used in the United States, which is still given as a percentage. i.e. 7.4% would be equivalent to 57.4 mmol/mol.  (There's a calculator on the following page which will convert the NGSP/DCCT measurement (National Glycohemoglobin Standardization Program/Diabetes Control Complications Trial ... the system used in the United States) and IFCC (International Federation of Clinical Chemistry ... the system used by most of Europe and many other countries around the world.)

    What I would advise you, ma'am, is NOT to get 'hung up' on the different measurements systems.  Your diabetes support team will, very likely, only refer to the system that you are currently using ... and that's OK.  All you need to do is see what's happening to your blood sugar (glucose) levels AND to see whether your current treatment regimen is working for you.

    In case you haven't been informed, your HbA1c (A1c) level is a measurement of what your blood glucose levels have been like over the previous 3 months ... with a slight emphasis on the latter 4 to 6 weeks of that time.  It can't show you what your blood glucose levels have been like on a day-to-day basis, so it wouldn't show where, during the day, your blood glucose level would be rising, nor where it is falling.  That's what you use a home blood glucose meter for.

    As you "test blood sugar morning, and before dinner", it's evident that you are a type 2 diabetic, ma'am.  A type 1 diabetic would check blood sugar (glucose) levels more frequently throughout the day, and once they'd been taught how to do it, they would make adjustments to their insulin dosage in an attempt to bring it back nearer to a 'normal' level.

    If I haven't explained things very clearly, vickie15389, please don't hesitate to say so.  I will do my best to try and explain things more clearly.

    Be well, ma'am.

    Lots of Love and Light.


    x x x x

     x x x

    P.S. Please don't be offended, or alarmed, at the 'x's'.  It's merely a logo, of sorts, that I've used for the last 40-odd years.

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    • Posted

      Thanks so much.  That makes it much clearer!  I'm still trying to figure this whole thing out.  My test seems to always be higher in the morning.  I'm not sure how that can really be as I have been closely watching my diet as far as carbs and sugar.  Seems very confusing to me sad

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  • Posted

    The figures we show are blood glucose figures, not HbA1c and  iswhat is shown on our meters, no calculations required. If yu are American or some other country the figures on your meter May be calculated differently. As.  You have been diagnosed with diabetes you are under a doctor who has given you the meter so either ask the doctor or check the manual to see exactly what the meter measures but it is certainly not Hba1c which is measured three monthly approx via a blood test
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  • Posted

    My monitor was 8.4 this morning.

    However when I was diagnosed a couple of years ago the surgery gave me a completely different figure.

    Because I am not on insulin surgery would not give me a monitor.

    However we have an excellent Chemist in the village and he managed to get me one free from the surgery.

    The surgery do supply me with the test strips and lancets on prescription so they must know I have a monitor!!

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