What is HbA1C test for Diabetes ?

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.

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Hemoglobin is present in Red Blood Cells (RBCs) and RBC lives for 90 days – so you have an average reading of 90-120 days.

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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 ?

a1c

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

 

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