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A1C or HbA1c Test

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The A1C or HbA1c home test is testing for high blood sugar or glucose levels over time and the continuing levels of blood sugar, often in diagnosed diabetics or those with diabetes symptoms. It is commonly used to guide someone with diagnosed diabetes as to how their diabetes is acting and what they need to be doing with their treatment.  A1C, HbA1c or Hb1c is a form of hemoglobin which is otherwise known as glycated hemoglobin. The testing of hba1c (A1C) is very useful, amongst other things, to test, measure and identify the average level of plasma glucose (sugar) concentration in the blood in the body over longer periods of time of around 6-8 weeks. Essentially, it’s a diabetes test kit for diabetics to monitor their ongoing health. It is also a useful way to view historical blood sugar levels in anyone whether they have diabetes, pre diabetes, or are yet to be diagnosed. The full list of diabetes tests are here.

The A1C or HbA1c diabetes test shows an average of what your blood sugar levels have been. This test is very important for Diabetics, Types 1 and Types 2, as it will see if their blood sugar levels are jumping to a dangerous level or if they are staying at a healthy range. Because dangerous levels of blood sugar can cause problems in diabetics such as damage to organs like the kidneys, eyes, nervous system and heart, this test is very important. HbA1c measures the amount of hemoglobin in the blood that has the glucose attached to it. It is also an important diabetes test for the same reason.

In the case of Type 2 Diabetes, if it hasn’t developed yet and you have pre-diabetes the A1C tests will tell you if you are moving further towards developing the disease. This can help you try to prevent the disease with a change in your eating habits and starting to exercise. If you have already developed Type 2 Diabetes then an A1C or HbA1c home test kit can aid you in taking the right amount of medication and what treatment you need. If you have the autoimmune disease, Type 1 Diabetes, the A1C or HbA1c test can be a marker for what the best amount of insulin you will need to take to keep your blood sugar levels balanced.

There are certain other things that can affect a hemoglobin test result

For people without diabetes symptoms, the normal range for the hemoglobin A1C or HbA1c test is between 4% and 5.6%. Hemoglobin A1c levels between 5.7% and 6.4% indicate increased risk of diabetes, and levels of 6.5% or higher indicate diabetes. The higher the hemoglobin A1c, the higher the risks of developing diabetes. The American Diabetes Association currently recommends an A1c reading of less than 7.0%, while other groups such as the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists recommend a goal of less than 6.5%.

There are certain other things that can affect a hemoglobin test result. If you have anemia, high cholesterol levels, kidney or liver disease, this can alter an accurate hemoglobin result as can taking any supplements such as vitamin C and E. Everything affects your blood sugar including stress and emotions. Home glucose testing and A1C or HbA1c monitoring is extremely important in monitoring and controlling blood sugar in diabetics as it will control what they eat, medication taken, how they sleep and what physical activity they do.

The HbA1c Test Compared to a Blood Glucose Level

The HbA1c test result gives an indication over a period to time to ascertain how high your blood sugar levels have been. An HbA1c reading, like a blood glucose level is also taken from a blood sample. However, the latter level is merely the concentration of glucose in your blood at the exact moment of the test, not spanning over 2-3 months.

Please note that HbA1c is expressed as a percentage (DCCT unit) or as a value in mmol/mol (IFCC unit) and should not be confused with a blood glucose level which is measured in mmol/l.

A Home Test for Diabetics to Monitor Blood Sugar

HbA1c testing is normally analysed to define how effectively an individual’s type 1 or type 2 diabetes treatment plan is working. A home treatment plan for diabetes includes medication, exercise and dietary improvements. The blood test for HbA1c should be habitually performed more than once a year by those with diagnosed type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus because the HbA1c levels are diagnostic of how well diabetes (blood glucose levels) have been controlled in the body in the 6 to 8 week period preceding the test. It’s an average indication and does not record distinct daily ups and downs of blood sugar.

A1C or HbA1c Test