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What is HbA1c, and how do you measure it in blood?

What is a glycated hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C) test?

Glycated haemoglobin test is known as the HbA1c test. This test helps to determine the three-month average blood sugar levels. Every diabetic patient needs to get this test done. This test may also be known by the names glycohemoglobin test, A1c test, or just A1c.

Red blood cells contain a protein called haemoglobin, which helps in carrying oxygen throughout the body. Glycated haemoglobin is the term given to the combination molecule formed when blood sugar (or glucose) and haemoglobin A combine. The lifespan of a red blood cell is 120 days, or 4 months. As a result, measuring this combination molecule provides a reliable estimate of your blood sugar levels over the last two to three months.

Why is it needed for?

Type 2 diabetes: Type 2 diabetes can be detected or diagnosed with an A1C test. When your body doesn't produce enough insulin to transport blood sugar from your bloodstream into your cells or because your cells stop responding to insulin, type 2 diabetes causes your blood glucose to become too high.

Prediabetes: Your blood glucose levels are above average but not high enough to be labelled as prediabetes. Healthy diet and physical activity are two lifestyle modifications that may help reduce or prevent the progression of prediabetes to type 2 diabetes.

If you suffer any of these diabetes symptoms, you may also require an A1C test:

  • Excessive urination 
  • Unintentional weight loss 
  • Feeling extremely hungry
  • Blurred vision
  • Fatigue
  • Slowly healing sores
  • Being sick more frequently than usual

What is the Importance of HbA1c Test?

HbA1c values for people with diabetes prove a valuable indicator of how well their diabetes is controlled. According to scientific data, a lower HbA1c value indicates a lower risk of developing diabetic complications. Raised HbA1c values in individuals with or without diabetes have also been recognized as a take risk factor for heart disease and stroke.

Why is the HbA1c test performed and what does it mean?

The HbA1c test is used for both monitoring and diagnosis. To determine whether or not your diabetes is under control, your doctor advises getting a HbA1c test. People who are borderline diabetics or pre-diabetics are also encouraged to get tested to see how stable their blood sugar levels are. Every diabetes patient has to understand the importance of the HbA1c test.

Result of HbA1c

The A1C test results are shown as a percentage. The test outcome reveals how much haemoglobin glucose has bonded to in your blood.

Non Diabetic: ≤ 5.6

Pre-diabetic: 5.7 – 6.4

Diabetes: ≥ 6.5

Certain substances and medical conditions can slightly alter the HbA1c result and potentially cause a higher value. A High HbA1c result cause many diseases, such as:

  • Kidney failure
  • Heart disease
  • Nerve Disease
  • Blur Vision
  • Foot disease
  • Dental problems
  • Hypertension


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