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Why Should You Go For an HbA1c Test?

Diabetes is a prevalent disease in our country. In fact, India is known as the diabetic capital of the world. So, for the detection of diabetes, a question might arise in your mind—Is there any other test besides a routine sugar test to confirm diabetes? The answer to this well-proven HbA1c test. Let’s find out what is this HbA1c test.

What is the HbA1c test?

Blood contains red blood cells (RBCs). These RBCs contain the hemoglobin molecule that carries oxygen to the other tissues of your body. Hemoglobin molecules have different zones. One of the zones is known as HbA1c. This HbA1c contains glucose, which is also known as glycated hemoglobin.

RBC lifespan is the time gap between the newly generated RBCs and the destroyed RBCs. This lifespan is of 120 days. Therefore, when a blood sample is taken for the HbA1c test, it helps record the glucose value in your RBCs of the past 2-3 months. The amount of hemoglobin depends on the level of glucose in the blood. Therefore, high blood sugar in your body results in a higher amount of HbA1c.

Why do you need an HbA1c test?

You must visit a doctor if you notice any symptoms of diabetes like frequent urge to urinate, unexplained fatigue, increased thirst, and blurred vision. The doctor may then suggest you go for an HbA1c test. Your doctor may also order you for an HbA1c test if you are at a higher risk of developing diabetes. The risk factors include the following:

  • High blood pressure
  • Having obesity or being overweight
  • No physical activity
  • Having a history of any heart disease

What is the use of the HbA1c test?

An HbA1c test is usually done to check whether the sugar level in your blood is under control. It is generally done to people who have developed diabetes or prediabetes.

Prediabetes is a stage before diabetes. Prediabetes is detected when your blood sugar level shows that you are at risk of getting diabetes. But if you already have diabetes, an HbA1c test can help monitor your glucose level and your condition.

What causes high or low HbA1c levels?

People who have diabetes must set a goal to establish a stable blood sugar level to reduce the hemoglobin A1c below 7%. This may help to stop or reduce the complications of diabetes such as kidney disease, diabetic nerves, eyes, etc. Here are some of the causes that can increase or decrease the HbA1c level.

  • Fasting
  • Oral or IV glucose intake
  • Use of insulin

Have queries or concern ?

    Limitations of HbA1c test

    Though HbA1c tests are pretty reliable, there are still some limitations to the accuracy of the test. If you have anemia, you may not have enough hemoglobin for the test, and hence, it can get you an inaccurate result.

    In this case, you must go for a fructosamine test. An uncommon form of hemoglobin can also give an erroneous result. There is also a possibility of getting inaccurate HbA1c results when pregnant.

    The HbA1c result readings can also be affected for temporary illness as it raises the blood glucose level of your body for a short time.

    What does the result of HbA1c mean?

    The American Diabetes Association provides a calculator that shows how the HbA1c levels correlate to the glucose levels. Here are the readings that the HbA1c indicates.

    • someone who is not having diabetes will have about 5% of HbA1c.
    • The normal HbA1c level is 5.6% or below.
    • A person having prediabetes will indicate 5.7 to 6.4% HbA1c.
    • A person with diabetes will have 6.5% or above of their hemoglobin glycated.

    What to do when you have high Hemoglobin A1C?

    HbA1c has been linked to an increased risk of kidney disease, stroke, heart attack, nerve damage, eye damage, slower healing of wounds, and infection. However, if you are in an early stage of type 2 diabetes, you can make small changes in your lifestyle, which may prevent you from diabetes.

    Starting an exercise program or losing a few weights can help prevent diabetes. If you have diabetes or prediabetes for a long time, a higher HbA1c result may indicate that you need to start medication or change the medicines you are already taking. Other lifestyle changes are also essential, and monitor your daily glucose level.

    According to Swedish research, it is revealed that the HbA1c test is vital for people who have developed diabetes and have reduced their HbA1c by less than 1%.

    As a result, they can cut their risk of dying within the next 5 years by 50%. The HbA1c test provides an average of your blood sugar readings for the past 2-3 months. People with diabetes must do this test at least twice a year, and in some cases, it must be done quite frequently.

    Conclusion

    The HbA1c test measures the quantity of hemoglobin in the blood attached with glucose, and it provides an average of your blood sugar readings for the past 3 months.

    Doctors recommend this test to monitor your blood sugar levels and for diagnosis and screening of diabetes. If you have diabetes, take an A1C test at least twice a year and more frequently sometimes.

    For more information on the HbA1c test for diabetes, get in touch with our specialists now!

    About Author

    dr-supriya-puranik

    Dr. Madhav R. Dharme

    Consultant Physician
    Contact: +91 88888 22222

    Email – ask@sahyadrihospitals.com

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