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In recent years, a new term has emerged in the diabetes community: estimated average glucose (eAG). Understanding what eAG is can help you start a conversation with your healthcare provider about whether an estimated average glucose calculator could be a valuable addition to your diabetes management plan.
What Is an Estimated Average Glucose Calculator?
eAG is calculated using a mathematical formula that converts your A1c level to the format used by your blood glucose monitor when displaying blood sugar results: mg/dL or mmol/L. An eAG calculator is an online tool into which you can plug your A1c result to calculate your eAG. Here is the formula:
28.7 × A1c − 46.7 = eAG
The following chart shows the eAG readings that correspond to certain A1c levels:
The Value of eAG
eAG was created to help patients better understand their A1c results.
The A1c test measures your average blood sugar over the past two to three months. The result is reported as a percentage and gives you important information about how well your diabetes management plan is working. But A1c results can be confusing if you’re used to seeing your blood sugar reported in mg/dL or mmol/L. By converting your A1c to the format used by your blood glucose monitor, an estimated average glucose calculator provides clarity and helps you see how well your diabetes is being managed.
It’s important to note that eAG does not replace daily blood glucose monitoring, and it isn’t the same as averaging your blood glucose monitor readings. While your blood glucose monitor can show sudden, short-term changes, A1c and eAG offer a longer-term view.
The Drawbacks of Online eAG Calculators
The American Diabetes Association and many other healthcare organizations support the use of eAG to aid in the development and assessment of diabetes treatment plans. However, a number of conditions can affect the accuracy of A1c levels and, hence, eAG results. They include the following:
- Severe anemia (low number of red blood cells)
- Liver disease
- Kidney failure
- Certain medications, including opioids
- A less common hemoglobin variant (which disproportionately affects people of African, Mediterranean, and Southeast Asian descent and people who have certain blood disorders)
If you plug an inaccurate A1c result into an online average glucose calculator, the eAG result will also be inaccurate.
Another drawback to using an online eAG calculator is the lack of diversity in studies of the formula. Minorities, pregnant women, people with unstable glucose levels, and children were often underrepresented in or excluded from existing studies. This lack of diversity creates uncertainty about how eAG varies among groups.
Should You Use an eAG Calculator?
Talk to your healthcare provider before using an online estimated average glucose calculator. They can identify any special circumstances that may affect your A1c or eAG results and will determine whether eAG would be useful for managing your diabetes.
If your healthcare provider believes an online calculator is a good idea, they can refer you to a reliable resource. If an online eAG calculator isn’t right for you, they can answer any questions you have about your A1c results to give you the clarity you need. With their guidance, you can ensure that you have the tools to take control of your diabetes and support better health.