Understanding Your Hba1c
You’ve heard about a diabetes test called a hemoglobin A1C. It’s sometimes shortened to HgbA1c or HbA1c or just A1C. Hopefully, you know what yours is. But do you know what it means and what to do with the information? Hemoglobin is what makes red blood cells red. It consists of several proteins wrapped around an iron-based molecule called heme. Heme attaches to oxygen and carries it to the cells. That’s why iron is important in our diets. We need iron to make heme to carry oxygen, so our cells can breathe. Glucose (sugar) molecules are also floating along in our blood. Glucose attaches itself to all kinds of proteins, including the hemoglobin in red blood cells (RBCs). When glucose levels are high, many more of them will attach. Hemoglobin coated with glucose is called “glycated” or “glycosylated” hemoglobin. Glycation (“sugar-coating”) may not harm an RBC, but it does tell us if the cell has encountered much glucose during its lifetime. The more glucose has been in the blood, the more RBCs will be glycated. This is what an HbA1c test measures. A1C isn’t measuring what your blood glucose level is at the moment. It measures how high glucose has been over the last two months or so. RBCs only live about 100–120 days in the bloodstream. Once they become glycated, they stay glycated for life, so the number of glycated RBCs (HbA1c) gives a good picture of how much glucose has been in the blood recently. The A1C test has several advantages over other tests such as a fasting blood sugar (FBS). You don’t have to fast for an A1C. It can be taken at any time of day. It doesn’t matter what you ate the day before or on the day of the test, because it’s not measuring your current sugar. Normally, between 4.2% and 5.6% of RBCs will be glycated. The America Continue reading >>
Why Hemoglobin A1c Is Not A Reliable Marker
i was recently tested for Hemoglobin A1c because i presented to an endocrinologist with extremely low blood glucose on lab test and some scary symptoms, not the ordinary hypoglycemia symptoms. My A1c was 4.7 which registered as low (L) on the lab print out–it was only slightly low. Does a low score on this suggest a possibility of short-lived RBCs? Does it have any relationship with extremely low blood glucose? my result at the lab, fasting, was 32mg/dL. Not long after that i got a home glucometer and i get the same kind of results on that as the lab got, in the 20s and 30s first thing in the morning, every day. did not know i had hypoglycemia until i had that lab test, though i had had one episode where i woke up with ataxia, i fell while walking to the bathroom first thing in the morning, i got up and immediately fell again. I soon found that i had very impaired coordination. i did not know why and i was very worried. Eventually i wanted to have breakfast but had great difficulty holding the measuring cup under the faucet, to get some water to heat, to make instant oatmeal, i lacked the coordination to get the water into the cup. I persisted and did make the instant oatmeal (pour hot water onto flakes and it’s done), and i got my lap top and was eating the oatmeal and i suddenly was aware that the symptoms were going away. Previously i had been unable to type. While eating the small amount of oatmeal, i realized i could type. That was about a month before the lab test. Since it only happened that once, i put it out of my mind. About 5 days after the lab test, i had the second episode, worse than the first, i woke falling out of bed to the floor, couldn’t use my arm to break the fall, i didn’t have the coordination. i sat on the floor, i could not get up and wa Continue reading >>
5 Ways To Lower Your A1c
For some, home blood sugar testing can be an important and useful tool for managing your blood sugar on a day-to-day basis. Still, it only provides a snapshot of what’s happening in the moment, not long-term information, says Gregory Dodell, MD, assistant clinical professor of medicine, endocrinology, diabetes, and bone disease at Mount Sinai Health System in New York City. For this reason, your doctor may occasionally administer a blood test that measures your average blood sugar level over the past two to three months. Called the A1C test, or the hemoglobin A1C test, this provides a more accurate picture of how well your type 2 diabetes management plan is working. Taking the A1C Test If your diabetes is well controlled and your blood sugar levels have remained stable, the American Diabetes Association recommends that you have the A1C test two times each year. This simple blood draw can be done in your doctor's office. Some doctors can use a point-of-care A1C test, where a finger stick can be done in the office, with results available in about 10 minutes. The A1C test results provide insight into how your treatment plan is working, and how it might be modified to better control the condition. Your doctor may want to run the test as often as every three months if your A1C is not within your target range. What the A1C Results Mean The A1C test measures the glucose (blood sugar) in your blood by assessing the amount of what’s called glycated hemoglobin. “Hemoglobin is a protein within red blood cells. As glucose enters the bloodstream, it binds to hemoglobin, or glycates. The more glucose that enters the bloodstream, the higher the amount of glycated hemoglobin,” Dr. Dodell says. An A1C level below 5.7 percent is considered normal. An A1C between 5.7 and 6.4 perce Continue reading >>
A1c And Pregnancy
Because women in America are not routinely tested for diabetes before they conceive and between each pregnancy, the incidence of preconception diabetes is unknown but it can be estimated by considering risk factors. The 2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey reported that 12 percent of women age 18 to 44 have high blood sugar and 26.5 percent are obese. Having A1C blood testing for diabetes annually means a woman never has to guess. Video of the Day Type 2 Diabetes If you're considering having a baby, the time to find out you have diabetes is before you stop using contraception and try to conceive, according to the American Diabetes Association. This is also the time to correct the amount of glucose floating around in the blood, unable to get into the body's cells where it can be used for energy. Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, is required to move glucose out of the blood and into cells; but when the cells become overwhelmed by the amount of sugar in the diet, or they become resistant against the action of insulin, the glucose stays outside the cells. As a result, you feel chronically tired, and the pancreas works too hard trying to make more insulin. The test used to determine the percentage of glucose unable to get into cells is called a glycosylated hemoglobin, or hemoglobin A1C, percentage. An A1C up to 5 percent is normal. A level between 5.1 and 7 percent is called a prediabetic state and is a precursor to diabetes because it indicates insulin resistance. At 7 percent, diabetes is diagnosed, according to the National Institutes of Health. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, or NICE, Guidelines call for women to reach and achieve an A1C of less than 6.1 percent before becoming pregnant to optimize their own health Continue reading >>
Ultimate Guide To The A1c Test: Everything You Need To Know
The A1C is a blood test that gives us an estimated average of what your blood sugar has been over the past 2-3 months. The A1c goes by several different names, such aswa Hemoglobin A1C, HbA1C, Hb1C, A1C, glycated hemoglobin, glycohemoglobin and estimated glucose average. What is Hemoglobin? Hemoglobin is a protein in your blood cells that carries oxygen. When sugar is in the blood, and it hangs around for a while, it starts to attach to the red blood cells. The A1C test is a measurement of how many red blood cells have sugar attached. So, if your A1C result is 7%, that means that 7% of your red blood cells have sugar attached to them. What are the Symptoms of a High A1C Test Level? Sometimes there are NO symptoms! That is probably one of the scariest things about diabetes, your sugar can be high for a while and you may not even know it. When your blood sugar goes high and stays high for longer periods of time you may notice the following: tired, low energy, particularly after meals feel very thirsty you may be peeing more than normal, waking a lot in the middle of the night to go dry, itchy skin unexplained weight loss crave sugar, hungrier than normal blurred vision, may feel like you need new glasses tingling in feet or hands cuts or sores take a long time to heal or don’t heal well at all frequent infections (urinary tract, yeast infections, etc.) When your blood sugar is high, this means the energy that you are giving your body isn’t getting into the cells. Think about a car that has a gas leak. You put gas in, but if the gas can’t get to the engine, the car will not go. When you eat, some of the food is broken down into sugar and goes into your bloodstream. If your body can’t get the sugar to the cells, then your body can’t “go.” Some of the sugar tha Continue reading >>
Diagnosed As Prediabetic Because My Hemoglobin A1c Is 6.1?
Diagnosed as prediabetic because my hemoglobin A1C is 6.1? Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please,join our community todayto contribute and support the site. This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies. Diagnosed as prediabetic because my hemoglobin A1C is 6.1? I feel a little guilty being on here because I am not diabetic...but I went to the Dr. a couple of days ago and while going over my old charts she said...and you are prediabetic. I said what do you mean? I had actually went to her to be tested because my mom thought I had "symptoms". The Dr. said well you are not diabetic, and I do not want to alert the insurance...your sugar is fine, your just prediabetic. So we did all the routine yearly check up blood work. Today the nurse called me back, gave me my results...and said my hemoglobin A1C is 6.1 and again....I have pre-diabetes. she said my blood sugar is fine, but I need to cut back on my carbs. I am just wondering what exactly this means, and if that is all I need to do. I am 40, 5.8, 165 pounds. Thanks for reading my post! Hi Everyone!my hemoglobin A1C is 6.1 and again....I have pre-diabetes 1. Most doctor and ADA consider a normal person has a1c of 4 to 6. Then 6.1 to 6.5 as pre-diabetes and anything above as diabetes. 2. The number is just a guidance for the doctor. It is not a perfect scale. 3. Since your a1c is 6.1 twice. You already have the condition "diabetes". No sugar coated. You are just at an early stage. Pre-Diabetes is just a label. This label does not even exist years ago. So do not let it fool you. By that I mean if you do not start watching what you eat, increase your exercise regimen, your condition will continue to progress. Catching it at this early stage can stop the progression or at the very least slow Continue reading >>
What Is The A1c Test? How Does A1c Relate To Blood Glucose?
Anyone with diabetes will be familiar with finger-prick testing for monitoring blood glucose to see how well they are managing their disease. This kind of regular testing is essential for most people with diabetes, but what role does an occasional hemoglobin A1C blood test play in controlling blood sugars, and how does it work? Contents of this article: What is the A1C test? The abbreviation A1C is used in the US (sometimes with a lower-case 'c' - A1c) and is short for glycated hemoglobin (sometimes called 'glycosylated' hemoglobin or glycohemoglobin). The other abbreviations in use are: HbA1c (widely used internationally) HbA1c Hb1c HgbA1C. The A1C test is a blood test used to measure the average level of glucose in the blood over the last two to three months. This test is used to check how well blood sugar levels are being controlled in a person with diabetes and can also be used in the diagnosis of diabetes.1 Hemoglobin is the protein in red blood cells which is responsible for transporting oxygen around the body. When blood glucose levels are elevated, some of the glucose binds to hemoglobin and, as red blood cells typically have a lifespan of 120 days, A1C (glycated hemoglobin) is a useful test because it offers an indication of longer term blood glucose levels.2 The particular type of hemoglobin that glucose attaches to is hemoglobin A, and the combined result is call glycated hemoglobin. As blood glucose levels rise, more glycated hemoglobin forms, and it persists for the lifespan of red blood cells, about four months.2 Therefore, the A1C level directly correlates to the average blood glucose level over the previous 8-12 weeks; A1C is a reliable test that has been refined and standardized using clinical trial data.3 There are two key things to know about the appl Continue reading >>
- Home blood glucose test: How to test for diabetes at home
- Diabetes and the A1C Test: What Does It Tell You?
- Postprandial Blood Glucose Is a Stronger Predictor of Cardiovascular Events Than Fasting Blood Glucose in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, Particularly in Women: Lessons from the San Luigi Gonzaga Diabetes Study
David’s Guide To Getting Our A1c Under 6.0
The A1C test is our best scorecard to show how well we are controlling our diabetes. It measures how much glucose has been sticking to our red blood cells for the previous two or three months. Since our bodies replace each red blood cell with a new one every four months, this test tells us the average of how high our glucose levels have been during the life of the cells. The experts recommend that we should get our A1C level tested at least twice a year. People who take insulin need to get it about four times a year. If the test shows that our blood glucose level is high, it means that we have a greater risk of having diabetes problems. Think of the A1C as an early warning system for the insidious complications that we can get down the road when we don’t control our condition. But what do we mean by a “high” A1C level? Here the experts disagree. The American Diabetes Association says that we need to keep our A1C results below 7.0 percent. The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists sets the target at 6.5 percent. The International Diabetes Federation, or IDF, also recommends that most people with diabetes keep their levels below 6.5 percent. The more our A1C level is higher than normal, the greater the likelihood that we will suffer from one or more of the complications of diabetes. And here too the experts disagree with how they define “normal.” People who don’t have diabetes have A1C levels below 6.0 percent. That’s the gist of what I wrote here recently in “The Normal A1C Level.” The IDF agrees. But more aggressive endocrinologists say that a truly normal A1C ranges from 4.2 percent to 4.6 percent. That’s what Dr. Richard K. Bernstein wrote in Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution. No matter what our level is, we can be sure that lower is Continue reading >>
Patient Comments: Hemoglobin A1c Test - High Results
I have been doing a lot of research on CIN1. I was 26 when my doctor told me I have cervical dysplasia (CIN1), January of 20017. I didn't think anything of it. But then she told me I have HPV high risk E6/E7 mRNA. One day I was looking through my medical records online and discovered I had CIN1 3 years ago July of 2014 and my doctor never told me. Now I am stressing over it because my periods are irregular and when I do have them they are strange. Also the year of 2014 I told my doctor I was having clots the size of 2 half dollars put together and she didn't say anything either. I get pelvic pain sometimes. She did a biopsy and I was positive for CIN1 and high risk HPV and ascus. I don't know what I should do, maybe I should get a new doctor. In May 2015 I was really tired, lethargic and bloated all the time. I was so constipated and miserable. I had been gluten free for 4 years by self-diagnosis. Finally, I went to a gastroenterologist. My blood work came back positive for Helicobacter pylori. The doctor said that H. pylori causes similar symptoms as gluten allergies. I had an endoscopy and colonoscopy which showed all of the internal inflammation and prior damage from the bacteria. It seemed to be dormant so there was no need for eradication, however the prescription acid reflux pills made me sick so I stopped that. Now I take probiotics and manuka honey and feel great. Try to avoid the prescription drugs. I have to go back for a check up to see if the bacteria is gone. I just had a laparoscopy 2 days ago and other than feeling full and bloated from the gas and a soreness around the incisions, I feel pretty good. The day of the surgery when I came home, I was very sleepy and slept for almost 2 days with getting up, except here and there to use the bathroom and eat. My Continue reading >>
What Do Your A1c Test Results Really Mean?
The hemoglobin A1c test, as we all know, is supposed to give a sense of your average blood glucose levels over the past three months. But here’s a question for you: have you ever tried to figure out what those average blood glucose levels actually are? Say you have an A1c of 6.5% — what, in mg/dl, does that translate to? Try searching Google — it’s hard to find an answer. To quote from a post I wrote a few years ago (see entry from 4:45), that’s partially because: “Not only is there no one standardized definition as to the correlation between A1c and mean glucose levels (JDRF says 1% = 24.4 mg/dl, ADA says 28.7), but different people have different correlations. For example, if you are a ‘high glycolator’ (more glucose sticks to your hemoglobin than the average) you can have a relatively high A1c but a low mean glucose. The speaker gave the example of a patient who had a 8.2% A1c, but a mean glucose of 159 mg/dl (he was speaking using the generally accepted idea that 7% roughly equals a mean of 154 mg/dl). Treat him more aggressively, and you’ll end up with hypos. And if you’re a ‘hypoglycolator,’ it’s the opposite.” Well, just this week, a new paper was published in the American Diabetes Association’s Diabetes Care journal that provides a more solid answer to this question than I’ve seen — even though, as I must warn you, personal variability (as described above) means there’s still no precise answer. In the study, researchers wanted to find out what your average blood sugar would have to be in three situations — fasting, after meals and before bed — in order to achieve a particular A1c. Here are their results: A1c test results of 5.5-6.49% were associated with an average fasting blood glucose level of 122 mg/dl. A1c test results Continue reading >>
Is My Husband's A1c Too Low?
My husband has type 2 diabetes, and for years his endocrinologist urged him to keep his A1C under 7 percent. A few months ago we went on a low-carb diet, and my husband lost over 30 pounds. The doctor took him off a sulfonylurea, cut his metformin dose in half, and removed two blood pressure meds.When my husbands A1C test came back at 6.1 percent, I thought his doctor would be thrilled. But he said 6.1 was too low. Why? Faith Goldman, Ladera Ranch, California Although I dont know all the details, I wouldnt necessarily say that your husbands A1C is too low. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends that many adults with diabetes strive to keep A1C less than 7percent, but the goal can differ from person to person. Even tighter goals, such as less than 6.5percent, might be reasonable for people with relatively recently diagnosed diabetes and many years to live. A bit looser goal (such as less than 8percent) may be fine for those with advanced diabetes complications , other chronic illnesses, or shorter life expectancies. In all cases, hypoglycemia (low blood glucose, under 70mg/dl) should be avoided as much as possible. The ADA recommendations do not specify a low end of the target range for A1C, because it matters how people get to lower A1Cs. People without prediabetes or diabetes have A1Cs in the mid-5percent range or below. Many people with type2 diabetes can lower their A1C with healthy changes in their diet and exercise, or with bariatric surgery. It would be hard to say that these A1Cs are too low. When is someones A1C too low? It can be if its low due to frequent episodes of hypoglycemia, or if its lower than it needs to be to provide benefit but causing a lot of treatment burden (the expense of multiple medications, for example). It doesnt sound as if th Continue reading >>
A1c Level And Future Risk Of Diabetes: A Systematic Review
Go to: RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Data sources We developed a systematic review protocol using the Cochrane Collaboration's methods (9). We formulated search strategies using an iterative process that involved medical subject headings and key search terms including hemoglobin A, glycated, predictive value of tests, prospective studies, and related terms (available from the authors on request). We searched the following databases between database establishment and August 2009: MEDLINE, Embase, the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), Web of Science (WOS), and The Cochrane Library. Systematic searches were performed for relevant reviews of A1C as a predictor of incident diabetes. Reference lists of all the included studies and relevant reviews were examined for additional citations. We attempted to contact authors of original studies if their data were unclear or missing. Study selection and data abstraction We searched for published, English language, prospective cohort studies that used A1C to predict the progression to diabetes among those aged ≥18 years. We included studies with any design that measured A1C—whether using a cutoff point or categories—and incident diabetes. Titles and abstracts were screened for studies that potentially met inclusion criteria, and relevant full text articles were retrieved. X.Z. and W.T. reviewed each article for inclusion and abstracted, reviewed, and verified the data using a standardized abstraction template. If A1C measurement was standardized by the National Glycohemoglobin Standardization Program (NGSP) and both standardized and unstandardized A1C values were reported, standardized values were used in the analyses. A sensitivity analysis, however, was conducted using both standardized and unsta Continue reading >>
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What Is A Good Score On The A1c Diabetes Test?
Normal A1C level can range from 4.5 to 6 percent. Someone who's had uncontrolled diabetes for a long time can have an A1C level above 9 percent. A1C test is used to diagnose diabetes, an A1C level of 6.5 percent or higher on two separate dates indicates diabetes. A result between 5.7 and 6.4 percent is considered prediabetes, which is high risk of developing diabetes. For most people who have previously diagnosed diabetes, an A1C level of 7 percent or less is a common treatment target. Higher targets may be chosen in some individuals. If your A1C level is above your target, your doctor may recommend a change in your diabetes treatment plan. Remember, the higher your A1C level, the higher your risk of diabetes complications. A good score on the A1C test depends on whether you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes. For those who do not have diabetes, a score of less than 5.7% is considered normal, while 5.7% to 6.4% indicates prediabetes and 6.5% or higher means you have diabetes. If you already have diabetes, a score of 7% or lower is desired. You and your doctor can decide what score is best for you. The A1C diabetes test is a way to get an average of how well your blood sugar has been controlled for the past three months. The standard A1C goal for most people with diabetes is less than 7%. However, the goal may be individualized or may be different for some people, especially older adults, people with heart disease or those who are prone to frequent low blood glucose. It's a good idea to find out what your A1C goal should be from your healthcare provider and then use that as a benchmark for your A1C results. No one quite agrees on where your A1C score should be, but we all agree on where it shouldn’t be. The scale does not look anything like the BGL numbers you are used Continue reading >>
What Does The A1c Test Mean?
Question: I was recently told by my doctor I have pre-diabetes and that I need to lose weight, eat right, and get my sugar levels down. On a 12 hour fast, my glucose level was 73 yet my A1C was 6.1%. If my glucose is low, why is my A1c still high? What can I do? Answer: The A1C test is an average of blood sugar control over the past 90 days. It is measured in a percentage which correlates with an estimated average glucose level. For example, a person with an A1C of 6.0% has had an estimated average glucose of 126 mg/dL over the past 90 days. Some people may have a lower blood sugar when they wake up, but may experience spikes in their blood sugars throughout the day due to food intake, stress, meds, etc, resulting in an elevated average. The fact that your fasting blood glucose is low is a good sign. Usually post-prandial, or after-meal, numbers are the first numbers to rise when diabetes is starting to develop. This is likely where you are at and this is a perfect time to make lifestyle changes to prevent the further progression of diabetes. Research has shown that weight loss, exercise, and healthy eating habits can decrease the risk of diabetes progression up to 58%. Continue reading >>
Print The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends that blood glucose screening for adults begin at age 45, or sooner if you are overweight and have additional risk factors for prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. There are several blood tests for prediabetes. Glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test This test indicates your average blood sugar level for the past two to three months. Specifically, the test measures the percentage of blood sugar attached to the oxygen-carrying protein in red blood cells (hemoglobin). The higher your blood sugar levels, the more hemoglobin you'll have with sugar attached. In general: An A1C level below 5.7 percent is considered normal An A1C level between 5.7 and 6.4 percent is considered prediabetes An A1C level of 6.5 percent or higher on two separate tests indicates type 2 diabetes Certain conditions can make the A1C test inaccurate — such as if you are pregnant or have an uncommon form of hemoglobin (hemoglobin variant). Fasting blood sugar test A blood sample is taken after you fast for at least eight hours or overnight. In general: A fasting blood sugar level below 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) — 5.6 millimoles per liter (mmol/L) — is considered normal. A fasting blood sugar level from 100 to 125 mg/dL (5.6 to 7.0 mmol/L) is considered prediabetes. This result is sometimes called impaired fasting glucose. A fasting blood sugar level of 126 mg/dL (7.0 mmol/L) or higher indicates type 2 diabetes. Oral glucose tolerance test This test is usually used to diagnose diabetes only during pregnancy. A blood sample is taken after you fast for at least eight hours or overnight. Then you'll drink a sugary solution, and your blood sugar level will be measured again after two hours. In general: A blood sugar level less than 140 mg/dL (7.8 mmo Continue reading >>