Diabetes today is one among the major chronic ailments that lead to other serious health issues like kidney problems, nerve damage, and heart diseases. An HbA1c test helps to monitor the glucose levels in adults. The Hemoglobin A1c test, also known as glycosylated hemoglobin or HbA1c test in short, is a test that is done to measure the average of blood glucose (sugar) levels over the last two to three months. Hemoglobin, a part of the Red Blood Cells (RBCs), is responsible for carrying oxygen from the lungs to the other parts of the body. The result is the average over the past three months as the life of the RBCs is three months. The test values are significant indicators of pre-diabetic and diabetic conditions.
Who should take the test?
Diabetic people who already are on medicines must take the HbA1c test regularly to monitor their glucose levels. Others, who are at a borderline blood sugar level should also consider getting the HbA1c test regularly. The glycosylated hemoglobin levels tell will specify the need to adjust the dosage of your diabetes medicine or to continue with the same medication.
Also, if you experience any of the following symptoms, do not delay in getting your HbA1c test done:
- Blurred vision
- Increased thirst
- Increased urination
Doctors may also suggest/recommend an HbA1c test for anyone who is at a higher risk of diabetes.
Potential Risk Factors may include:
- Family History of Diabetes
- Being overweight or obese
- History of heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Physical inactivity
What is the HbA1c Test Procedure?
The glycosylated hemoglobin test (HbA1c) procedure is quite simple and will be done just by collecting your blood sample. Firstly, you need to find and visit a pathology lab or you can book the HbA1c test online too. This takes just 5 minutes and there no such risk involved or reported. But keep in mind to visit a renowned pathology only. Even if you book an online test, ensure to choose an eminent online healthcare platform. Since the test measures the average value, you do not need to be on fasting prior to the test.
What is a good HbA1c result?
- The results of the tests are obtained in percentage. The normal range for the HbA1c level is between 4% and 5.6%.
- A result below 5.7% is considered as a good result and non-diabetic.
- The result that is between 5.7% and 6.4% means you are at a high risk of getting diabetes.
- The result which is above 6.5% or higher means you have diabetes.
American Diabetes Association recommends diabetic people to maintain their HbA1c level below 7%. However, the doctor looks for other factors like age, weight and overall health to provide other recommendations.
HbA1c type is not useful in case of gestational diabetes in pregnant ladies or for diagnosing diabetes in children. Also, in case of any kind of blood disorder or anemia, the test result may not be sufficient to diagnose diabetes.
Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) test is aimed to measure the quantity of glucose bound with the hemoglobin in the Red blood cells. Since the RBCs have a life of 3 months, the test gives an average of blood glucose (sugar) levels attached over the past three months. If the glucose level is high, the test value will be high. Depending upon the result values, a person may be non-diabetic, pre-diabetic or diabetic. Doctors advise medication or further investigations based on the individual case, hence there is no medication prescribed in general. For a better information, you can also Consult a Doctor Online.