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HbA1c Test for Diabetes: Importance, Levels, Tests & Results

HbA1c Test for Diabetes: Importance, Levels, Tests & Results

Max Lab

Nov 09, 2022

https://www.maxlab.co.in/blogs/how-to-increase-your-red-blood-cell-count-quicklyThe hemoglobin A1c test is used to measure the average blood sugar level of a person over a period of 2 to 3 months. In medical terms, this test is also called the "glycated hemoglobin test" and "glycohemoglobin." Usually, this test is prescribed by the doctor for the diagnosis of diabetes or pre-diabetes. Other than this, the test is also prescribed to diabetes and pre-diabetes patients to check the progress of treatment by checking their blood sugar levels. It allows the doctor to make changes in the medication dosage if required. If the HbA1c level is not in the normal range, the patient is required to be on medication and make necessary lifestyle changes.

Importance of the HbA1c test

Hemoglobin is a type of protein found in red blood cells. Their main function is to carry oxygen throughout the entire body, and they also give the blood its red colour. The HbA1c level is an important indicator of the glycemic control of the body. It analyzes the glycemic history of the patient, which is considered a reliable report of hyperglycemia, as well as helps in long-term diabetes management. Elevated HbA1c levels in the blood not only indicate a tendency towards diabetes but also show the risk of developing heart disease.

The HbA1c test is now considered the standard of care for the diagnosis and testing of type 2 diabetes. A person with glucose intolerance has these common symptoms:

How Does the HbA1c Test Work?

Glucose is the sugar present in the blood. When the glucose level rises in the blood, it starts to bind with hemoglobin in the red blood cells. The HbA1c test checks the average amount of glucose bound to hemoglobin in the past couple of months. Red blood cells have an average life of three months. So, this test produces reports for the past three months. If the person’s sugar level is high, the HbA1c test results will not be below the normal level. This test is usually performed on the recommendation of a doctor. The best time to get an HbA1c test done is every 3 to 6 months to check the average blood sugar level in the body if someone is in a high-risk category to develop diabetes or is a diabetic patient. The person does not need to fast before this test to check their blood sugar level. Besides this, a couple of tests may be prescribed by the doctor to check blood glucose levels, such as the RBS test, the glucose tolerance test, and the PPBS test. A glucose tolerance test is prescribed by the doctor to check whether the blood glucose level in the body is within the normal range. The PPBS test measures blood glucose level after 2 hours of eating a meal. The RBS test measures the blood sugar level of a non-fasting person.

What's a Normal Hemoglobin A1c Test?

The normal range for hemoglobin A1c is between 4% and 5.6% for a healthy person. For a person living with prediabetes, the HbA1c level is between 5.7% and 6.4%. An HbA1c level higher than 6.5% is normal for a diabetic person.

A diabetic person should aim for an A1c level lower than 7%. Diabetes complications increase if the HbA1c level is higher than 7%. Untreated diabetes may also show a high HbA1c level (as high as 8%). If the person’s HbA1c level is in the target range, then the doctor may change the treatment plan. Following a balanced diet, exercising, and taking medication help a lot in keeping diabetes in check.

How to Get an HbA1c Test Done

One can get this test done at Max Lab by booking the lab test online. Our phlebotomist will visit their home for blood sample collection. The test duration for this test is 5-7 minutes. The blood sample is taken directly from the vein and used for the test. The test results from Max Lab are highly reliable and accurate and give clear indicators of a person’s blood sugar level. This report should be taken to the doctor for analysis and treatment.

It is important to note that the HbA1c test report may show a higher value even if they do not have diabetes. Some of the common health conditions that result in an elevated average blood sugar level in the body include kidney disease, anemia, and hypothyroidism.


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