Home A1c Meters

Do any members have recommendations?

I used Accuchek for years - most recently the Accuchek Guide. I recently switched to one called Dario - it’s much more compact than carrying a meter, lancing device and bottle of strips. The Freestyle Libre CGM provides a nice alternative to finger sticks - my accuracy has been comparable to my Accuchek and my Dexcom CGM.
Your options may be limited by your insurance plan.

I don’t think we are talking about the same type meter. I have had bg meters of all kinds since 1981. I have had over at least 35K fingersticks before using a CGM bc of needing to test 5 - 7 times per day.

I’m sure you know all about glycohemoglobin & the A1c test. I’m looking for an A1c home meter that gives that # so I can self monitor between appts with my Dr. I know the test kits that are used with home A1c meters are expensive. Hopefully the cost will come down as technology advances.

Apologies - I didn’t read your inquiry closely. I think I’ve seen home A1C meters at the pharmacy but have never used one myself.

Sounds like good option. I’m still doing tele/video appts so that appeals to me. I buy everything I need or want online & have it shipped. I’m still trying to be extra cautious. Thank you.

Keep in mind, Bob @rfk2, your endo can still order lab tests for you even if you are doing telecom consultations.

I’ve only experienced the finger-stick A1c a couple of times, all of these finger-sticks performed by professionals, and in all cases, the finger-stick was significantly lower than the lab test performed within one week. One case I remember vividly, was a finger-stick reading of 5.2%, and the lab result from blood drawn from a vein three days previously was 6.0%.

As the HbA1c reflects AVERAGE BGL for the prior 80-120 days [assuming the victim has normal hemoglobin production] the differences between these two results makes me wonder why.

I have read about accuracy ranging from .5 to 1 point difference between meter & A1c performed by lab. I would only use a meter between lab tests. Is it absolutely necessary? No, but I’ve gotten a bit hyper about knowing how I am doing. I would have to personally pay for it. I don’t believe that I will ever be satisfied nor feel a sense of overkill with control.

Hi @Hen51. Why not? I read your post and my first thought was the CGM will also know your A1c and it’s probably as accurate as the home test kits, the other reaction was that I wanted to say that I like to know what’s going on too. I not only reserve the right to know my A1c when I want to but I also want my results before, or at least, at the same time they are sent to my doctor. The internet made that much easier.

Hi Dennis. You seem very knowledgeable & your reply to my post on A1c meters (now 3 wks old) made sense to me. I havent purchased one. About 2 weeks ago I ventured out to Penn State Hershey Health Campus here in Lancaster, PA to have blood drawn for tests for my recent endocrinology tele conference appointment with PA at Hershey PSU Med Ctr.

This is purely anecdotal but want to note that my A1c from blood draw was within .1% of last one performed by meter at Hershey PSU Med Ctr months ago. Unfortunately Hershey was experiencing computer problems at the time of my appt & the staff there could not download my t:slim X2/Dexcom G6 data for my PA to review. However in the past the data has supported my A1c results tested there by meter.

Have you seen any studies on reliability of various brands of A1c meters?

I like to “predict” my A1C results before my results come back. With one very surprising exception several months back (I was much higher than expected) I’ve always been with a couple of tenths of a point. To each their own but since I have my Dexcom I don’t see a reason to do a home A1C test. I can see trends and make any necessary changes to bring my numbers in line as necessary. But that’s just me.

Henry, I haven’t read any studies comparing A1c meters. Keep in mind, that when comparing results, that each ^testing " should cover the same 90 days. A1c works by measuring the thickness of a substance attached to red blood cells from which an AVERAGE 90 day glucose is calculated , which a knowledgeable user converts to mg,dl. For example, an HbA1c of 6% means that the person’s glucose averages 120 mg/dl for the previous 90 day period.

Keep in mind, that the above applies to people with average blood turnover rates. Some people loose old blood quicker than “normal” and manufacture new blood so the glycol thickness is smaller thus providing a lower A1c than expected.

I was curious a while back about what BG readings those A1C numbers represent. There is a bit of variation - a confess I nitpicked a few specific charts off the internet to show there is a difference depending on which scale you use. The key may be to know what BG average your number represents (is my 6.0 135, or 110?) and take it from there should you find it necessary.
I would hope the lab uses the same guide each time, for the sake of consistency.

Thanks. The home A1c meters have become a non-issue for me. I am going to try & print those charts so I can do the comparisons with all the charts in front of me. I am curious about the differences.

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Keep in mind, Henry @Hen51, that you can shop-around and find a “FEEL-GOOD” chart that will tell you anything that you want.

From your years of experience you know where your BG should be, and you know what and how you should manage your diabetes to get you as close as possible to that point.

Do you use a real-time glucose monitor, a CGM? If so, study your uploaded data; look closely at your 90-day reports, and note your AVERAGE BG on the day you have your blood-draw for an HbA1c.

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I use the,Dexcom G6. Thanks for the tip.

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@Hen51. Welcome to typeONEnation. Henry L, I am not sure why this post is just showing up on my feed. However, there is an at home A1c made by PTS Diagnostics. Do a web search for them. They are sold by the PTS distribution network. I use them for my telemedicine visits. I do the test, use my phone to take a picture of the result and share it with my prescriber. The Dexcom g6 has a calculated value which approximates an A1c and has been exact for me. Check out PTS and tell us what you find.

Good to know about the accuracy of this home A1C option. I knew some people are staying home as much as possible, and may wait to go to the lab when things are more in control - whenever that may be. I just wanted to share, I was pleased with how my lab (Labcorp) had set things up. I’ve scheduled my visits online for ages. Now you can check in from your car (I believe they give you a link to use) and you can wait until they call you to the lab. There were two patients waiting in their spacious waiting room when I walked in, and they took me in less than 5 minutes. If you’re wary about getting necessary blood work done, check with your lab to see what precautions they are taking and decide from there if you’re comfortable going.

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Dorie @wadawabbit, why search and try to find on line, the information you have had at your fingertips for at least the last two years. About two years ago, the DexCom Clarity Overview report has clearly displayed a GMI value - an estimate of rolling 90-day HbA1c. I emphasize HbA1c as opposed to HgA1c.

Glucose Management Indicator (GMI)

Glucose Management Indicator (GMI) approximates the laboratory A1C level expected based on average glucose measured using continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) values. Average glucose is derived from at least 12 days of CGM data. The GMI may be similar to, higher than, or lower than the laboratory A1C. Differences between GMI and laboratory A1C may reflect differences among an individual’s red blood cell lifespan, how glucose binds to hemoglobin, or due to a recent fluctuation in glucose control.

Clinical Reference:

Bergenstal, RM, et al. Glucose Management Indicator (GMI): A New Term for Estimating A1C From Continuous Glucose Monitoring. Diabetes Care. 2018 Nov;41(11):2275-2280.

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I was just using it as an example of what a CGM shows you (sort of).

Welcome to the forum @runner2023 ! Thanks for the links to A1c meters. Some of us here (cough cough) will now the resemblance to the early BG meters. They say everything is cyclical!