How to check your A1C at home. Who would have thought?
*Obligatory Disclaimer: This is a personal process I developed under the supervision of my medical team. Always ask your physician for guidance.*
The above picture is my current A1C, taken at home. I take my A1C at home approximately 1 month before my scheduled A1C with my endocrinologist. Why? To see where I am, so I can make adjustments where I have control, such as my carbohydrate intake and activity level (ie. insulin sensitivity). I have a very tight control goal of 5.5 – 6.0. It is approved by my doctor and closely monitored. Your goal may and probably is different. Do *not* use my goal as yours. I am prepared to adjust my goal as my honeymoon period (another blog post?) ends.
The first question you may ask is, how do I get to take my A1C? The most accurate home testing kit (within .2 – .4) I have found is this one:
A1C Self-Check Now (This will take you to the Amazon page for the test kit.)
Each kit contains at least 2 tests. This is NOT like a glucometer where you can purchase extra strips to test your A1C. Once you test the number of times your kit contains (some contain 6 or 8 cartridges), you have to purchase another kit, because each test cartridge is coded to the device it comes with. This is VERY important. Do not use a cartridge that does not match the test machine.
This specific test kit contains:
- 1 Quick Reference Guide
- 1 Overview and Helpful Hints
- 1 A1CNow Self Check Monitor
- 2 Single-Use Cartridges
- 2 Shaker Pouches
- 2 Lancets
I have purchased several of these kits, each kit has a variation of directions.Follow the directions as needed! You don’t want to waste your precious test because you missed a step.
The directions generally go like this:
- Wash your hands thoroughly. (Very important!)
- Use the lancet to draw blood on one of your fingers.
- Using one of the sample collectors draw in sufficient amount of blood. (See the pictures.)
- Place the collector into the shaker and shake for the set amount of time (5-30 secs) and then set aside.
- Match the cartridge to your monitor lot numbers. They must match!
- Insert the cartridge into the monitor.
- When alerted, take the top off the shaker and place the sample head into the cartridge until the monitor shows “Testing” or “Run” or the variation word. Do not over expose the sample.
- Wait 5 minutes to get your results.
Now you have your A1C! Be empowered, know your numbers.
Stay tuned on WHAT to do with your information in the next blog post!
My Sweet Regards,