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Home > Blog > HbA1c Test for Diabetes: Importance, Levels, Tests & Results

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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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

The HbA1c test, also known as the glycated hemoglobin test, is a blood test that measures your average blood sugar levels over the past three months. Unlike other tests that only measure your current glucose level, the HbA1c test provides an overall picture of how well you have been managing your diabetes.

 

In some cases, your healthcare provider may recommend getting an HbA1c test every three months until your blood sugar levels stabilize. This can help ensure that any changes in your treatment plan are effective and help prevent complications from high blood sugar.

 

Before taking the HBA1C test, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. Unlike other diabetes tests, this one does not require any fasting or special diet preparations. However, certain medications that reduce blood sugar levels may affect your HBA1C results.

 

One of the advantages of HbA1c testing is that it does not require any fasting or timing restrictions. This means that you can get tested at any time and do not need to plan your day around the test.

 

The HbA1c test measures the average blood glucose level over the past two to three months. It is not affected by recent food intake, unlike other diabetes tests that require fasting before testing. However, it's important to note that certain conditions can affect the accuracy of the HbA1c results.

 

The normal range for HbA1c levels is between 4% to 5.6%, while levels above this range may indicate prediabetes or diabetes. The maximum recommended level for HbA1c is less than 7%, which means that if your test result shows a higher value, then it's time to take action and adjust your treatment plan.

 

The answer to this question depends on several factors, including the individual's health status and treatment plan. In general, HbA1c results remain valid for up to three months.

 

The test is important because it can detect prediabetes, which means that someone has higher than normal blood sugar levels but not yet high enough to be classified as diabetes. Early detection of prediabetes gives people an opportunity to make lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise that may delay or prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.

 

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