Monitor Your Diabetes With HbA1c Test
The HbA1c test is also called Hemoglobin A1c test, Glycosylated Hemoglobin, or simply A1c. This HbA1c test measures the 90-day average blood glucose levels in your blood. The HbA1c test offers a longer-term trend on blood sugar levels over a certain period. This hemoglobin blood sugar test helps you to know whether you have prediabetes or not. If you have diabetes, then this test monitors your condition and glucose level. If your HbA1c levels are higher than the normal value, then this indicates you have diabetes that is responsible for other health issues like heart disease, kidney disease, nerve problems, etc.
|Is Also Known As||HbA1c, Hemoglobin A1c Test, Glycosylated Hemoglobin, A1c|
|HbA1c test includes||Monitors your blood sugar for 3 months or 90 days|
|Preparation||No specific requirements|
|Reporting||Within 24 hrs|
|Test price||The price of this test may vary from city to city and lab to lab|
|Also included in||Health Insurance Plans|
|Related tests||Diabetic Profile, Blood Sugar Fasting, CBC, Lipid Profile|
What is the HbA1c Test?
HbA1c test means glycosylated hemoglobin that measures your average blood sugar for 3 months or 90 days. When sugar invades your bloodstream, it binds with hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a protein in your red blood cells.
Everyone has some sugar attached to their hemoglobin. But people who have elevated blood sugar levels have more. This HbA1c test detects the percentage of your red blood cells that have sugar-attached hemoglobin.
What is the Normal hba1c Value Level?
Glycosylated Hemoglobin’s normal range is below 5.7%. A level of 5.7% to 6.4% indicates prediabetes, and a level of 6.5% or more indicates diabetes. If you belong to the prediabetes category (5.7%-6.4%), then you are more prone to develop type-2 diabetes in the future.
Your HbA1c test result can also be reported as estimated average glucose (eAG), the same numbers (mg/dL) you often use to monitor your blood sugar meter.
|A1C %||eAG mg/dL|
Who Should Go for the Hba1c Test?
- If you are above 45 years and have some health conditions like obesity, heart disease, blood pressure, or have gestational diabetes, then you should go for this test.
- If you have some symptoms of diabetes like frequent urination, increased thirst, blurred vision, fatigue, etc., then you should opt for this test
- If you have prediabetes, then consider a second test after a few days
If your HbA1c values are on higher sides, then you must consult a doctor on how to manage your diabetes and how to return to HbA1c normal range with your diet and lifestyle changes.
During The Test Procedure
You don’t need any preparation for this test. You just need to visit your nearest lab or hospital to perform the test. An expert health care professional will draw a blood sample from your vein (preferably from the upper arm) using a small needle. A small volume of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. You may feel a sharp pain when the needle goes in or out. The entire procedure will be completed within 5 minutes.
What Factors Will Affect the Results of Your Hba1c?
Certain factors may increase or decrease your A1C result. These factors can be,
- Kidney failure, liver disease, or severe anemia
- A less common type of hemoglobin that citizens of African, Mediterranean, or Southeast Asia have
- People who have certain blood disorders (such as sickle cell anemia or thalassemia)
- Some medicines, including opioids and HIV medications
- Blood loss or blood transfusions
- Early or late pregnancy
The HbA1c test rate is between Rs. 350-Rs.600 depending on your location and place.
Set Your Hba1c Test Result Goal
People who have diabetes should maintain their levels at less than 7%. The higher the hemoglobin A1c, the higher your risk of developing diabetes in future. If you have diabetes and your level is beyond your target, your doctor will alter the treatment plan to minimize your level down.
People who have diabetes should go for this test every 3 months to monitor their blood sugar level. But if your diabetes is in good control, you can wait for longer times. The experts recommend checking at least twice every year.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes happens when the levels of blood glucose (sugar) become too high. The pancreas produces insulin hormone that derives glucose from food and converts it into energy. When the body can’t produce adequate insulin or is not able to use the insulin properly, the glucose levels are elevated to abnormal regulation of insulin in the body and leads to diabetes.
How does diabetes affect your body?
Diabetes damages major organs of your body including the heart, blood vessels, nerves, eyes, and kidneys. Unrestrained blood glucose levels may create complications and these complications may cause disability in the body and can also be life-threatening.
What are hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia?
Hyperglycemia is when your glucose level is higher than the normal range in the blood. On the other hand, hypoglycemia refers to when your glucose level falls below the normal range.
Do you need fasting for the HbA1c test?
Since this test gives an average measurement, hence you don’t need to do fasting on the day of the test.
When HbA1c should not be used?
1. All children and young people
2. People who are suspected of having type-1 diabetes
3. Patients with symptoms of diabetes for less than 2 months
What are the signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia?
The signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia are fatigue, shakiness, irregular or fast heartbeat, pale skin, shakiness, sweating, anxiety, hunger, irritability, tingling, or numbness of the lips, tongue, and cheeks.