The Link Between Metformin & Your A1c Levels

The use of Metformin can be a safe and effective way to reduce the A1c levels in your body.

Here is a quick and easy breakdown overview of what we will be exploring in this post:

  • What exactly is A1c?
  • How can you measure your A1c levels? 
  • What is the link between Metformin and A1c levels?

If you’re reading this post, there is a high chance that Metformin is no stranger to you. Whether you’re just starting a new prescription or have been taking Metformin for a while, you might be curious about how to determine if it’s “working.” While there are many different kinds of methods to measure the effects of Metformin on your health (stay tuned for more info on this!), this can often quickly and simply be determined by a decrease in your A1c levels. 

What is A1C?

Glycated Haemoglobin (HbA1c or just A1c for short) comes into being when the glucose in our blood binds to hemoglobin molecules. Hemoglobin is widely present in red blood cells and helps carry and deliver oxygen to all the other cells in the body. The more sugar in the blood, the higher the percentage of hemoglobin that will have sugar attached to it. High blood sugar levels will also mean that there is a high percentage of hemoglobin molecules being attached to sugar molecules as well. 

The binding of sugar with hemoglobin can be a dangerous thing for the body. However, the most damaging aspect of this all is when sugar molecules bind to other enzymes and proteins, leading to the formation of Advanced Glycation End products (AGEs, for short, which is a fitting name). 

The AGEs are responsible for wreaking all sorts of havoc on the body. High blood sugar levels allow even more AGEs to form, therefore creating an endless cycle of damage, which leads to an acceleration of the aging process. This inevitably leads to all the health problems diabetic people run into (e.g. renal disease, damage to small nerves and blood vessels, even blindness).

How can I measure my A1c?

Your A1c levels can simply be measured by a quick and easy blood test at the doctor’s office.

In the medical realm, A1c levels often represent a three-month blood sugar average (health professionals agree on this timeframe because Hemoglobin has an average turnover time of three months). When it comes to A1c levels, there is no one-size-fits-all target as it is different for everybody due to age and health factors. 

However, many health experts agree that normal A1c levels often fall between the range of 4.5% and 5.5%; suboptimal levels are often between 5.5 and 6%; levels between 6 and 6.4% are often considered pre-diabetes; levels above 6.4% can confirm a diagnosis of diabetes. 

Sometimes, these results are reported as A1c or eAG. Generally, eAG is very similar to what your blood sugar levels may look like on a monitor. In that case, eAG levels can simply be converted to A1c through the use of a simple and free online tool. 

Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGM) can also be used to measure blood glucose levels. CGM technology monitors blood glucose levels with a small, discreet sensor (worn on the back of the upper arm). This sensor can automatically monitor and record blood glucose concentrations day and night, for up to 14 days. 

These devices have become very popular among health-conscious individuals who want a quick, accurate and easy way to measure their glucose levels as it provides valuable insights into how diet, physical activity, and other everyday things influence blood glucose levels. This information can even help your doctor in prescribing the appropriate dose of Metformin for you. 

What’s the link between Metformin and A1c levels?

A1c levels play a vital role in the navigation, tracking, and management of diabetes and pre-diabetes. The measurement of A1c levels via blood testing is also a viable method for measuring the effectiveness of longevity treatments (such as Metformin) on your overall health.

The efficacy of any diabetic treatment is determined by how successful it is in reducing A1c. Based on this benchmark, Metformin has emerged as one of the most potent and effective A1c level reducers and can efficiently lower A1c by up to 1.5%. Bearing in mind that A1c level ranges are very narrow, this is a very impressive amount. This difference of 1% can make all the difference in the world as that is the bridge between suboptimal levels and those diagnosed with diabetes. 

The CDC’s clinical study, spanning 15 years, suggested that apart from dietary and lifestyle changes, Metformin emerged as the most effective treatment in preventing prediabetes from progressing further and transitioning into diabetes. 

It should be kept in mind that even non-diabetic people can reap the benefits of Metformin to keep their A1c levels in top shape. People with already healthy A1c levels may not see a dramatic change, or may not experience anything at all. However, this doesn’t mean that Metformin isn’t doing its job. Rather, it can safely be assumed that Metformin is working to maintain your optimum A1c levels.



Helen is a multi-published, award-winning author of over 30 books, including the delightful Ivy & Bean series. She has written novels for young adults, including YA romantic comedies, and has written BBC drama.

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