We all know and measure blood sugars to check diabetes. This is most commonly done at home with glucometers and in Labs.
But this Blood sugar is not a CONSTANT VALUE. It fluctuates every now and then….
Had a meal ? Your sugar level will be popped up – SO we have 3 levels – Fasting, Random and Postprandial (After food) Blood levels.
But still this readings are not reliable. What is more accurate ?
– HbA1C !
What is the time frame of Sugar HbA1C measures ?
It measures AVERAGE Blood Sugar Levels of 90-120 days.
How does the test work ?
When you eat – Sugars from food is converted in Glucose. This Glucose binds to Hemoglobin in blood stream.
Hemoglobin is present in Red Blood Cells (RBCs) and RBC lives for 90 days – so you have an average reading of 90-120 days.
Depending on how much percentage of glucose is bound to Hemoglobin – Your blood AVERAGE sugar levels may be predicted.
It is expressed as percentage (%)
What Readings are normal ?
Should Regular Glucometers readings be skipped and HbA1C be the only test for Diabetes ?
No. HbA1C gives average. It cant catch fluctuations in your blood sugar which can be only recorded with glucometers.
What is the frequency of doing HbA1C test – unlike Blood sugars using glucometer which you do almost daily ?
For Diabetics on active treatment, It is advised ONCE EVERY 3 MONTHS
For Ones with controlled sugar, Twice a Year.
Can HbA1C test be done at home ?
No. You have to visit a Pathology Lab