Dexcom Tells Me More Than My A1C

Last week, as I was driving to my appointment with my endocrinologist, fighting horrible traffic to get there I started to question, really, why was this appointment even necessary. My last appointment was only 3 months ago.

My main reasons for these appointments have always been:

  1. to find out my A1C and
  2. to get prescription refills.

That’s pretty much it. But now, I have a Dexcom, and I look at the Clarity app often enough that I know what my “predicted” A1C is.  Besides that, I think my trend graph is way more important than that A1c number anyway.  An A1C could spit out an impressive number, even if someone didn’t have very tight control on their blood sugars.  As long as the average works out to be something within a good range, the A1C might deceivingly seem “good”even if your control isn’t.

One thing I love about my endocrinologists office is that you get an immediate result of your A1c test.  Last week, mine came back as .5% higher than what the Dexcom Clarity app predicted.  When I told my doctor, he said “we pay more attention to Dexcom results than the lab work.”  I didn’t ask why or for any further explanation, but it’s how I’ve felt about it all along and I’m happy with how things have been going so, I’m just sticking with what my Dexcom is telling me.

The Dexcom Clarity App on my iPhone.

It seems like an A1C result isn’t as important as it used to be now that we have more advanced technology.  I can see graphs of what my blood sugar is doing every 5 minutes of the day with my Dexcom CGM.  I can get a predicted A1c for a 7 day, 14 day, 30 day, or 90 day period with the Dexcom Clarity app.  Even better, if I access Clarity from my computer, I can see all sorts of trend graphs to see where where and when my “problem” blood sugars are. I pay a lot more attention to whether or not my blood sugars are staying within my target range than anything else.  The actual A1C or average of those readings is far less important to me than simply staying in my ideal range as often as possible.

I’ve tightened that range little by little.  I think when I first had a Dexcom, I had an alarm set for a high of 180- maybe even 200.  Now I keep my low alarm set for 65 (that hasn’t changed), and my high at 150.  These days, it’s a rarity for me to have a blood sugar that ever gets (or at least stays for long) above 170.  Of course, it still happens from time to time, but thanks to having the alarm set for 150, I can be proactive and avoid those highs I use to battle. Treating a slightly elevated blood sugar is a lot more manageable than treating one that gets way up there.

My endo told me to make my next appointment in 4 to 6 months.  Of course, I chose 6 months.  Unless something new comes up, there’s no reason for me to go any sooner than that. I get more meaningful information about my blood sugars from my Dexcom than an A1c result is ever going to tell me.


Author: kerriari

I'm a dog-lovin', music-makin', jewelry-creatin', lover of life... and I just happen to have Type 1 diabetes. I think of it diabetes as my sometimes challenging friend, who sometimes frustrates me, but overall~ I know she's a weird kind of blessing.

2 thoughts on “Dexcom Tells Me More Than My A1C”

  1. This is exactly my experience when I had an A1c test done in September. It came back .7 higher than the prediction of both Dexcom and Diasend (their predictions were the same).

    When I asked my P.A. at the endo’s office, he said that they paid far more attention to CGM’s. In fact, they had just had a staff meeting to discuss this because many of their patients with CGM’s were complaining about the A1c’s being higher than the predictions of their CGM’s (and that might have included the Enlite users as well, I don’t know).

    My targets are a little higher than the author’s, I’m very reactive to insulin right now and need a little cushion to protect me from significant lows. But like most others, I suspect, I started with the high alert at the default 200 and have gradually lowered it as I adjusted. I expect that I will lower it a little more.

    I find that correcting at the high alert warning can often keep me from going absurdly high. Sometimes I top out at about 190-200, other times it is 220 to 230 (instead of the previous 270-300). Without the Dexcom G5’s graph with the direction and rate of change, I would find this much more difficult.

    But in just under 2 years, that could all change when I am forced to go on Medicare. Unless Medicare has begun paying for CGM usage, I will have to give up this vital tool because of cost. In the meantime, I’m getting all of the benefits from it that I can.

    1. I sure do hope Medicare will begin covering CGM! It doesn’t make any sense at all that they don’t, does it? Anyway, I’m sure it’s just a matter of time– and I hope it all works out before you switch to that, Carl.
      Thank you so much for your comment, and for reading my blog today.
      Like I said, I lowered that high alert number gradually- As it sounds like you are. I’m also very reactive to insulin. Anyway, best of luck to you with everything. It sounds like you’re really on top of things.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *