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Isn’t there more to diabetes control than an A1C?

For sure!! Having good diabetes control means:

  • Avoiding severe lows (i.e. requiring the help of another person to treat) or severe high glucose levels
  • Having quality in your life. “Quality” is unique to each person. Quality of your life with diabetes may mean weight loss or maintenance of healthy weight, having a healthy pregnancy, having flexibility in food intake and timing of meals without sacrificing blood glucose goals, or exercising without highs or lows.
  • Not being on a rollercoaster! Smoother glucose levels mean fewer swings up and down.



    • 4-6 mmol/L is a normal range for before meal glucose. 
    • By 2 hours after a meal, glucose levels should be back down to more than 5 and less than 8 -10 mmol/L for most people. The level should be under 8.0, if possible to achieve without hypoglycemia. After meal targets are more difficult to set precisely because the content of meals varies widely. 
    • If before and after meal targets are reached most of the time, the A1C level will be close to normal; equal to or less than 7 per cent. For more on A1C, click here.

It’s important that you and your team are working for the same goals! What are your priorities?

Your health care team’s role is to help you achieve all of your goals. This means being healthy enough to accomplish it all – and helping you learn to do the work of your pancreas (what it would do if it could).

Remember that before you developed diabetes, your pancreas would detect your blood glucose levels and release just the right amount of insulin. The pancreas would release a small amount between meals and a larger amount at meals. Doing this job takes a lot of work! We believe it is worth the effort - we hope you do too! We are committed to helping you find increasingly better ways to do the job.


CDA Recommendations (2003 Guidelines)

Type 1 or 2 diabetes – Targets A1C % goal Before meal goal (mmol/L) 2-hr after meal goal (mmol/L)
Most patients < 7.0 4.0 – 7.0 5.0 – 10.0
Normal range – if safely achieved < 6.0 4.0 – 6.0 5.0 – 8.0
During pregnancy < 6.0 3.8 – 5.2 5.0 – 6.6