A1C v. blood glucose test


I am now age 66, female.

Two years ago my fasting blood glucose result was in the 90’s – I thought it was too high. The doc didn’t do the A1C every time I went in but once a year instead. Both times with those FBG numbers in the nineties, the A1C was 5.5. The doctor was not in the least alarmed even when I grilled him about its importance.

Now the other day I had both FBG and A1C done again – (I had tried to cut some carbs and had dropped 10 pounds since six months ago.) This time my FBG was 85 and I was delighted. The BAD news is that the A1C was 5.7, which is the low end of the pre-diabetic status according to most labs.

Again, the doc was NOT unnerved and suggested nothing except ‘see you in six months.’ He does know I freak out and that I will cut back even more on carbs and try to walk more, but you’d think he’d have provided more information, wouldn’t you? This doc is a well trained, sophisticated, big city internist with a practice full of ‘seniors’ like me.

Oddly, a friend who goes to a highly ranked Kaiser facility in our huge city said his A1C is the same as mine, 5.7, and HIS doc is unconcerned as well. What gives? His doc said 'Oh, all my ‘senior’ patients seem to have this result – nothing to be worry about. Really??? Well, some of us are concerned. We don’t want to be deemed even ‘pre-diabetic!’

I have had a number of diabetics on one side of my family, including a couple of Type I cases decades ago. My grandmother had Type II and assorted others have as well. Great grandmother was a Type I.

Other than that, I am on 20 mg. Atenolol but not really for BP – I have a benign arrythmia and this helps though I’ve been told by cardiologist that I don’t really NEED it.

I also have high cholesterol but it’s lowered by very low-dose Zocor and I take a bit of CoQ10 as well. I also use cinnamon, twice a day. I used to have extremely high HDL, like in the 90’s, but that has dropped with time, naturally… now it is 71.

Am I nuts for being concerned about the A1C at 5.7 or should I run out and buy one of those meters and try to learn how to use it? I could stand to lose another 15 pounds so I should probably try to do that.

Thanks to all who read this and I look forward to any comments/suggestions.


I don’t mean to sound flippant, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with an a1c where yours is. What are you worried about? You don’t need medication, and everyone on this green earth needs to eat right (and the majority should cut a few carbs) and exercise. And due to the dawn phenomenon, a fasting level in the 90s is perfectly normal. DP is the process whereby your liver releases glucose in the early am in order for your body to be ready and energized for the day.

If you have diabetes in your family, then obviously you should watch out for it and do what is necessary to look after your health. But your #s do not suggest any necessary course of treatment to me. Now obviously, I’m not a doc, just someone with a long diabetes history and several family members in the T2 boat. And quite frankly, your doctor is correct to not be concerned and to not medicate you. You want meds to be effective when you actually need them.