Know What A1c Test Measures, Conversion Calculator, Ranges & Tips

Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Mohammad Suleman Hussain, M.B.B.S March 4, 2022

Last updated on December 20th, 2023

A1C is a blood test carried out by a healthcare expert to find an average of blood glucose levels over the last two to three months. If a person has been diagnosed with prediabetes or diabetes, he or she possibly had their A1C tested. A1C is a useful tool to give a better understanding of overall blood glucose control, letting a person and his or her doctor detect whether there are any trends between each visit as well, and the doctor can assess how the existing diabetes treatment plan is functioning. Since A1C is evaluated in terms of a percentage, this value might be more difficult to understand than a blood glucose value similar to the one that appears on a blood glucose meter. Also, an A1C calculator can be used to understand how an A1C percentage compares with an average blood glucose value and the other way around. Prior to using a calculator, it can be useful for a person to be familiar with what A1C tells and what impacts its value.

What is an A1C test?

The hemoglobin A1c test gives an average level of blood glucose values over the previous two to three months. It’s also known by the terms HbA1c, glycated hemoglobin test, or glycohemoglobin. It’s very similar to a baseball player’s season flapping average. A solo game fails to tell a person how a player is executing in their profession. In addition, one-day results also fail to provide a complete picture of the working status of the treatment. Diabetics require going for this test often to understand if their levels stay within the limit. Also, the test tells a person whether there is any need to adjust the anti-diabetes medicines. Also, the A1c test can be used to diagnose diabetes.

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A1C Calculator

ADA recommends the utilisation of a new phase in diabetes care, estimated average glucose, or eAG. The doctors can report A1C results to patients by making use of similar units (mg/dl or mmol/l) that patients perceive habitually in their blood sugar assessments. The calculator, as well as the information given below, defines the association between the A1C and eAG and how eAG can help improve sugar control in patients with diabetes.

The association between A1C and eAG can be defined by the formula 28.7 X A1C – 46.7 = eAG. According to the American Diabetes Association, below is the a1c to glucose chart:

% mg/dl mmol/l
6 126 7.0
7 154 8.6
8 183 10.1
9 212 11.8
10 240 13.4

HbA1c Calculator

The HbA1c calculator given below will help you calculate a1c to average glucose. Put the value of your sugar level on the left side in the blood sugar to a1c calculator. You will get the optimum a1c scale value on the right side. Our blood sugar conversion table will tell you the ideal blood sugar conversion to a1c levels.

However, this A1c to blood sugar calculator doesn’t take into account higher side a1c by age. Therefore, older diabetes patients should consult with their diabetologist to figure out optimal hba1c normal value or alc levels.

Now go check your a1c to glucose through this a1c conversion calculator.

What does A1C evaluate?

Every diabetic patient might be speculating about what makes the A1C test diverse, particularly if a person is already checking his or her levels of blood glucose multiple times every day.

What is hemoglobin in this HbA1C test? Hemoglobin is a protein present within the RBCs, and its role is to move oxygen to the lungs as well as all the body cells. Glucose gets into the bloodstream and gets stuck or glycated to the hemoglobin. The greater the value of blood sugar, the more glycation of the hemoglobin is.

As the lifespan of an RBC is approximately 4 months, the A1C% reflects the average levels of blood sugar noticed on the hemoglobin cells of variable ages, i.e., days, weeks, or months old. If the blood sugar control has usually been stable, the hemoglobin cells would not be exceedingly sugar-coated or “glycated,” resulting in a lower A1C value.

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How Often Should a Person Go for an A1C Lab Test?

The concerned healthcare provider might tell a diabetic patient for an A1C test every 3 months to monitor diabetes intervention modifications like changes in the medicines, insulin pump settings, or other regions of diabetes self-care. If the blood sugar falls within the range and is stable, the doctor might only order the test every 6 months. If a person has not been diagnosed with this condition, at times, A1C can be used in combination with other evaluations in order to help diagnose diabetes. It might also be useful as a baseline evaluation for individuals having a strong family history of diabetes or other risk factors to perceive whether the levels are amplifying with time. According to Mayo Clinic, here’s some insight on how often should one take an HbA1C test.

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What are A1C Ranges and Objectives?

The lesser the value of A1C, the less sugar will be getting coated over the haemoglobin. The greater the A1C value, the more sugar will be present in the haemoglobin. Hence, greater A1C levels are characteristically associated with greater circulating levels of blood sugar.

A1C Ranges

What is a normal A1c? As per the CDC, a standard A1C level is under 5.7%. This is the value for any non-diabetic person. This is normal A1c. However, suppose a person’s body becomes less effective at transferring sugar into the cells to be utilised for energy or has become insulin resistant. In that case, levels might enhance from 5.7% to 6.4%, which is measured as being prediabetic. Those with levels ranging from 6.5% and more fall under the class of diabetics. Here is the A1c chart for type 2 diabetes for your reference.

A1c Conversion Chart

Hba1c Conversion Chart

Summarising the A1c average blood sugar chart, there are three ranges:

  • A1c Normal Range Scale: Less than 5.7%
  • Prediabetic A1c Scale Range: 5.7% to 6.4%
  • Diabetes A1c Scale Range: Above 6.4%

However, you should know normal A1c by age will increase and will depend upon various factors. So, this A1c conversion chart is generic in form and shouldn’t be implemented case-specific.

A1C goals

A healthcare provider can recommend a person for an individualised A1C goal that takes into account the following factors:

  • Person’s age
  • Will to spend time over diabetes self-care
  • Risk of hypoglycemia
  • Financial convenience of tools like test strips, medicines, insulin, insulin pumps, or glucose monitors
  • Other ongoing medical conditions and personal goals

Also, certain conditions have an impact on the A1C levels such as anemia and sickle cell disease. It is no good or bad in A1C results, they are just facts. Therefore, looking at the A1c chart without following these factors shouldn’t be done. There are a lot of challenges in a diabetic person’s life, and they don’t have control over regulating their blood sugar. Also, they lose control over other problems like pain from an injury, stress, not eating on time, and more. Don’t panic about looking at the A1C number; a person must discuss his or her lab result of glucose to A1c at each office visit.

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How Does A1C Associate With Glucose Averages?

Even though an A1C level provides a sense of average sugar levels over the previous few months, an individual having either type 1 or type 2 diabetes must have a blood glucose meter so that they can check their blood glucose levels and adopt proper treatment choices on a daily basis.

If a person frequently tests during the day, just like prior to and post-meals and other times when the blood glucose value may differ and utilize a precise glucose meter, this provides valuable info on daily differences in the levels of blood glucose. The majority of blood glucose meters are also equipped to deliver 7, 14, 30, or 90-day averages. A 90-day average on the glucose meter can help estimate how it may associate with an A1c to glucose.

Glucose meter averages depend upon the rate at which a person tests daily. Hence, if a person does not have many data points (i.e., testing occasionally or not throughout high or low blood sugar swings) or a person is incapable of testing at certain times (i.e., while a person is sleeping), it perhaps won’t provide a complete picture of the glucose levels and might slant lower as compared to an A1C test result.

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Estimated Average Glucose (EAG)

The ADA proposes to use estimated average glucose (EAG) for associating the A1C percentage with an average which is a more familiar evaluation tool. The ADA has calculated how A1C and EAG are linked, which is the groundwork for the A1C to EAG calculator. According to the National Institutes of Health, the EAG value from the A1C calculator gives information on how the blood glucose numbers average in a unit of assessment that is accustomed, similar to on a blood glucose meter. This value might not help in making treatment decisions. It can still help associate the A1C with estimated average glucose to give an improved idea of how close a person is towards his or her target ranges. If the A1C is higher, the EAG will also be higher. And vice-versa, if the A1C is lower, the EAG will be lesser. Thus, these two numbers will track likewise.

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Tips for Improving the A1C levels

Tips for Improving the A1C levels

  • Partner with a healthcare provider. Discuss whether there is a requirement to modify the medicine, insulin, or insulin pump settings.
  • Craft routines. Try testing using a blood glucose meter, consume medicines or insulin, and exercise at roughly the same time every day. This assists in creating routines so that a person never forgets his or her self-care activities and assists the concerned healthcare provider in detecting patterns in the levels of blood glucose.
  • Obtain more information. Test blood sugar more often and ensure checking two hours after taking a meal, not just prior to meals. These post-meal readings are mainly associated with the A1C number and inform how well the body is handling the food.
  • Make progression rectifications speedily. If a person finds that they always have a low blood glucose value before dinner, an afternoon snack is a great addition. If the blood glucose is high, a lot of water should be consumed, and it is a must to go for a walk (as long as the number is under 250 mg/dL; if the value is greater, do not exercise).
  • Tighten up the carb intake. A kitchen scale can help measure the accurate portions of carb-containing foods. Using an app like Calorie King to find the exact carb content of foods can be great in helping a person get on track.
  • Mitigate stress. Stress may elevate the levels of blood glucose, so look for ways to relax. Go for a walk, read a book, spend time with a friend, do yoga or meditation, or visit a therapist to get proper support. This constitutes self-care, particularly when a person is diabetic.
  • Magnify activity, even in slight quantities. Walking for 10 minutes post every meal has been found to make better blood sugar. Be physically active and keep moving.

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People frequently wonder how long it would take to recover their A1C number. By following an appropriate diabetes management plan, a person may improve his or her A1C by the next 3-month check. A1C might carry on going down at every visit if a person carries on partnering with his or her doctor and follows the above-stated tips.

It’s not useful to test A1C levels more often than every 3 months, and more often, testing is not always insurance-covered. If a person feels like he or she has followed the healthcare provider’s suggestions but the A1C level is high, it’s not advised to take that personally. Again, a lot of factors exist that make diabetes care problematic, and if a person carries on working on it, his or her number will come down.


The A1C test provides a clear picture of the overall sugar levels. Utilizing an A1C calculator offers a diabetic person an idea of how A1C interprets into an EAG number that a person may identify, using a similar unit of evaluation as revealed on a blood glucose meter. On the other hand, take care that A1C objectives may be diverse for every individual depending upon age, treatment goals, availability of diabetes supplies, as well as other existing medical conditions thus, don’t be anxious about discussing the same with a healthcare expert regarding setting unique goals to lead to better diabetes care.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Question):

What A1C level needs medicine?

Lifestyle modifications must be the foundation of type 2 diabetes treatment. The suggestion continues to say that for patients who attain an A1c under 6.5% with medicines, people must reduce or even stop those medications.

At what A1c is insulin suggested?

The treatment target for many diabetic patients is an A1C of 7% or less; those with greater levels might require a more intensive medicine plan.

What is the standard value of A1c for seniors?

The key evaluation of diabetes management is HbA1c. For healthy people with an age of more than 65 years with a long-life expectancy, the target must be 7.0 to 7.5%. For people having moderate comorbidity and a life expectancy of below 10 years, the target must be 7.5 to 8.0%.

What is the crucial value of A1c?

A person is non-diabetic when A1C is below 5.7. a person is pre-diabetic when the value lies between 5.7 and 6.4. When the A1C value goes more than 9.0, it is a critically high value.

Last Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal 


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