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November is Diabetes Awareness Month

What is the A1C test?

The A1C (“A-one-C”) is a blood test that can be use to check your average blood sugar control over the past 2 to 3 months. This average is different from your day to day blood sugar. There are 3 reasons to check your A1C:

  • to diagnose prediabetes
  • to diagnose diabetes
  • to check how well you are controlling your blood sugar

Sugar absorbed from your digestive system circulates in the bloodstream. The sugar attaches to the hemoglobin protein in red blood cells, forming hemoglobin A1C. The A1C stays in the blood for the life of the red blood cell, which is 90 to 120 days.

This means that the amount of A1C in your blood reflects how high your blood sugar has been over the past 3 months. Another name for this test is hemoglobin A1C test. It is different from a regular blood sugar or blood glucose test.

Why is this test done?

A1C is an excellent way to check how well you are controlling your blood sugar over a 3-month period. A1C measurements are important because:

  • They can show that your daily home blood sugar results are accurate.
  • They help predict your risk of diabetic complications. The higher the A1C percentage, the greater your risk of serious problems from diabetes, like eye, kidney, blood vessel, or nerve damage.

If your A1C is high, your diabetes plan may need to be changed.

How do I prepare for this test?

No preparation is necessary. One of the advantages of this test is that you do not have to fast before you take it.

What does the test result mean?

The A1C percentage rises as your average blood sugar level rises.

  • The normal range for a person without diabetes is 4 to 5.6%.
  • The range for prediabetes is 5.7 to 6.4%.
  • Diabetes is diagnosed if your A1C is 6.5% or higher.
  • The blood sugar goal for most adults with diabetes is an A1C below 7%.

Discuss what your A1C level should be with your healthcare provider.

The following chart shows examples of how the A1C is related to your average blood sugar (glucose) level:

Remember that, even though you have this test every few months, you need to keep testing your blood sugar at home as often as your provider recommends. The blood sugar test results help you and your healthcare provider know if you are on the best medicine dose and schedule for the daily ups and downs of your blood sugar.

Previously the hemoglobin A1C was reported only as the percentage. Now it is also available from most labs as the eAG, or estimated average glucose. If you know your A1C, you can use the chart above to know what your average blood glucose has been. Many healthcare providers will soon be reporting your results to you as both your A1C percentage and your average blood sugar.

What if my test result is not normal?

If you have not yet been diagnosed with diabetes and your test is not normal, you need to talk with your healthcare provider about whether you have diabetes.

If you have been diagnosed with diabetes and your test is not normal, your healthcare provider will talk to you about how to lower your blood sugar with medicine if you have type 1 diabetes, or with diet, exercise, and/or medicine if you have type 2 diabetes. Keeping your blood sugar levels and A1C levels in or near normal ranges will help you avoid the complications of diabetes, such as eye disease, kidney disease, or nerve damage.

If your test results are not normal, ask your healthcare provider:

  • if you need additional tests
  • what you can do to work toward a normal value
  • when you need to be tested again.

The A1C test should be done every 3 months unless you are in good control. If you do have good control of your blood sugar, your provider may recommend having the test every 6 months.

re-posted from merckmedicus.com

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Burick Center Staff MemberTracy Koval

Office Manager

Tracy joined the Burick Center for Health & Wellness in June of 2016 to help patients by managing various aspects of the office. Tracy brings more than three decades of medical office experience as the former office manager of a multi-specialty group and also works on a part-time basis as a Patient Service Rep at a local urgent care center.

Tracy’s favorite part of working in a medical practice is the opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life by helping them navigate through the maze of health care. She loves being part of the dynamic team at the Burick Center.

Tracy likes to spend time with her family. She has two sons, Mason, who is living and working in Philadelphia as a Sr. Analyst for a marketing firm, and Spencer, who works at Hershey Entertainment & Resorts.

Burick Center Staff MemberTom Baker

Strategy Officer

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Burick Center Staff MemberRena Geesaman

Patient Coordinator

Rena Geesaman is a Registered Medical Assistant who enjoys providing attentive and caring client service. She is very happy to be part of the Burick Center team where patient care is our number one focus.

Her goal is to do everything within her power to ensure every interaction leaves you feeling well cared for and perhaps even delighted.

Rena volunteers by serving as board treasurer for Carlisle Christian Academy. She also helps facilitate a program at River of God Church for single, pregnant girls which provides practical, emotional and spiritual support.

Outside of the office Rena enjoys hiking, traveling, tending to her flower beds, hosting meals on their back deck, enjoying time with dear friends, loving on her little dogs, and best of all spending time with family. Being fairly new grandparents, she and her husband Don are always happy to share pictures of their little grandson, Lucas. Feel free to ask! She considers herself amazingly blessed!

Burick Center Staff MemberDr. Peter Lu


Dr. Peter Lu trained and worked in New York City for 15 years and recently moved to central PA. He studied pre-med at Brooklyn College and attended medical school at SUNY Downstate in Brooklyn. Thereafter he worked in the inner city hospitals of New York City, and lastly had the honor of caring for people with his sister in Stamford, Connecticut.

Dr. Lu greatly appreciates open lines of communication as it pertains to questions you may have about your ailment and how acupuncture could help in the healing process. His intention to address your needs to the best of his ability.

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Burick Center Staff MemberLee Morand

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Lee has had the sincere pleasure of working in the Greater Harrisburg area for over 20 years. She relocated to Harrisburg in 1990 after completing her undergraduate degree in Nutrition Pre-Med at Cornell University. Lee received her first Master’s Degree from Shippensburg University. Her second Master’s Degree, as well as Doctorate, were both from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

She uses a Cognitive-Behavioral approach to guide her work with clients across the lifespan. She strongly believes research has shown that changing your thoughts does change your life. Her primary focus with clients is to reduce symptoms by assisting clients to achieve skills they can utilize in their professional, academic, and personal lives.

Burick Center Staff MemberHeather Motter

LMT, Massage Therapist and Back Desk Coordinator

Heather Motter joined the Burick Center team in 2018. A graduate of YTI Career Institute, Heather prides herself on using her highly developed skills to maintain the balance between mind and body. As a licensed massage therapist, she specializes in Medical Massage, Lymphatic Drainage, Trigger Point Therapy, and Oncology Massage.

Heather has a vast amount of experience working with a variety of patients. From a simple relaxation massage to a patient dealing with chronic pain, Heather is able to facilitate treatments uniquely designed for each patient’s individual needs.

Heather insists that massage is not just a relaxation luxury. Instead, her philosophy is that massage helps lead to a healthier, happier lifestyle. She encourages everyone to take the time to meet with her to develop a care plan to enhance their overall wellness.

Heather is a resident of Carlisle, where she resides with her fiancé, two sons, and four dogs. When she’s not at work, she can be found outside working on her back yard oasis, or volunteering at Speranza Animal Rescue.

Burick Center Staff MemberFelicia Miller


Felicia Miller is a Registered Dietitian and Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist who provides nutritional counseling and education to patients of the Burick Center for Health & Wellness.

She takes the science of nutrition with her extensive knowledge of food and coaching skills to create an easy-to-follow actionable plan for her clients to follow.

Recognizing that there are multiple components to creating a successful wellness plan, she looks at the whole person – their concerns, lifestyle, personality, family, and career. Listening to her patients allows for Felicia to find the root cause of their issue and not simply the symptoms.

“Being healthy goes beyond diet, food is just one of the pillars of a happy, healthy person.” Felicia goes beyond the traditional diet education- she coaches and supports her patients as they learn how to make changes in their day-to-day life.

“I’m passionate about whole foods and healthy living I strive to inspire you to make positive food and lifestyle changes – at any age.”

Burick Center Staff MemberAshley Weibley

Registered Nurse

Ashley is a nurse at Burick Center for Health & Wellness. Her nursing philosophy is one of holistic care. She is a patient advocate committed to clear communication, education and applying critical thinking and decision-making skills to help patients achieve better outcomes. She enjoys providing the highest quality nursing care in a respectful, healing environment. She has a personal commitment to life-long learning through formal education and hands-on experience. She appreciates that compassion along with innovative care is what the Burick Center for Health & Wellness is all about.

Ashley has an Associate’s Degree from Harrisburg Area Community College and a Bachelors Degree from Penn State University.

She is married and has twin boys, She enjoys spending time with her friends, family and pets. She has owned and shown Quarter Horses all of her life and continues to compete in her spare time.