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 >>
Hemoglobin A1c Test (hba1c, A1c, Hb1c)
Hemoglobin A1c definition and facts Hemoglobin A1c is a protein on the surface of red blood cells that sugar molecules stick to, usually for the life of the red blood cell (about three months). The higher the level of glucose in the blood, the higher the level of hemoglobin A1c is detectable on red blood cells. Hemoglobin A1c levels correlate with average levels of glucose in the blood over an approximately three-month time period. Normal ranges for hemoglobin A1c in people without diabetes is about 4% to 5.9%. People with diabetes with poor glucose control have hemoglobin A1c levels above 7%. Hemoglobin A1c levels are routinely used to determine blood sugar control over time in people with diabetes. Decreasing hemoglobin A1c levels by 1% may decrease the risk of microvascular complications (for example, diabetic eye, nerve, or kidney disease) by 10%. Hemoglobin A1c levels should be checked, according to the American Diabetic Association, every six months in individuals with stable blood sugar control, and every three months if the person is trying to establish stable blood sugar control. Hemoglobin A1c has many other names such as glycohemoglobin, glycated hemoglobin, glycosylated hemoglobin, and HbA1c. To explain what hemoglobin A1c is, think in simple terms. Sugar sticks to things, and when it has been stuck to something for a long time it's harder to the get sugar (glucose) off. In the body, sugar sticks too, particularly to proteins. The red blood cells that circulate in the body live for about three months before they die. When sugar (glucose) sticks to these red blood cells by binding to hemoglobin A1c, it gives us an idea of how much glucose has been around in the blood for the preceding three months. Hemoglobin A1c is a minor component of hemoglobin to which gl Continue reading >>
What Is An A1c Test?
By Zachary T. Bloomgarden, MD, FACE When a person with diabetes sees an endocrinologist [en-doh-cri-NA-lo-jist], they soon learn about a test called hemoglobin A1C, or HbA1c, or, simply, A1c. The A1C, they are told, should be as low as possible (the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists [AACE] recommends a level of 6.5% or less). A person with diabetes may also learn that an A1C of 6.5% is a benchmark for diagnosing diabetes. What is A1C? Is it truly useful? What does it mean as a benchmark of diabetes control? A1C represents the attachment of glucose (sugar) to hemoglobin (the oxygen-carrying protein in our red blood cells). The red blood cells need glucose for their metabolism. When the hemoglobin in the red blood cell meets glucose, glucose slowly (over days and weeks) attaches to an amino acid on the hemoglobin. At this time, a person’s A1C level would show the amount of glucose that the red blood cells have been exposed to over time. Since the average life of a red blood cell is 3 to 4 months, the A1C shows an average blood sugar level, not just at the time the blood test was done, but during the long period leading up to that time. Normally, when a person does not have diabetes, their blood sugar is below 100 mg/dL before meals, and it rarely rises over 120-130 mg/dL after meals. In these circumstances, the A1C is around 5%. This means that 5% of the hemoglobin molecules in that person’s millions of red blood cells have glucose attached. In mild diabetes (with a fasting blood glucose just over 125 mg/dL or the blood sugar 2 hours after an oral glucose tolerance test around 200 mg/dL), the A1C will be over 6%. So, 6% of their hemoglobin molecules have glucose attached. At 7%, 8%, and 10% the blood glucose levels during the day become higher, and so, Continue reading >>
Is Hba1c Of 6.7 Good Without Any Medicine?
Is HbA1C of 6.7 good without any medicine? Is HbA1C of 6.7 good without any medicine? I was diagnosed with diabetes 1 year back. At that time my fasting sugar was 140 and HbA1C was 7.7. After that I improved my lifestyle and diet and from last 3 times my HbA1C is in range of 6.4-6.7. Though occasionaly my after meal (2 hrs.)b.s sugar shoots upto 240-250. Should I start taking medicines or I should wait till my HbA1C nhmbers are below 7? Will there be any long term consequences if my blood sugar remains in same range? Diabetes 1? It sounds like type 2 to me, otherwise you would not even be considering meds. The general consensus is that keeping BG at or below 140 at all times will help you avoid complications. The 140 equals 6.5 so your A1C means that you are above that number half of the time (in theory anyway). Most docs recommend 6 or less on the A1C, so you can do the math. If you want to stay off meds and lower your numbers a bit you may have to get more strict with the carbs. D.D. Family Getting much harder to control I think he means he has been dx 1 yr. It depends on at that level can damage occur the answer is it might. I could never do it even with large diet change and lots of exercise. Each person is very different this is yours and your doctors call. If you are seeing a 250 to me that is not good at all. I think he means he has been dx 1 yr. It depends on at that level can damage occur the answer is it might. I could never do it even with large diet change and lots of exercise. Each person is very different this is yours and your doctors call. If you are seeing a 250 to me that is not good at all. Duh!, I see it now. Anyway, lower carbs should work for most people. And by lower carbs, I mean carbs only from veggies and berries. No grains or starchy vegetabl Continue reading >>
If I Am Diabetic, My A1c Is 6.0-6.7, Is My Current Diet Enough? If My A1c Is In The Target Range, Is Any Further Reduction In My Diet Called For? Do I Have To Cut Out All Desserts And Candy?
It seems you are good. Try to have a HBA1c of <7% if you're otherwise healthy and not on insulin. Cutting deserts, candy etc., calories in general and carbs especially is useful especially if you are overweight, or tend to gain weight, most type 2 diabetic are overweight, and being overweight will up your insulin resistance, so making you need meds sooner or more some of which the sulfonylureas (see Sulfonylureas Increase Mortality by 50 Percent) are correlated with a higher mortality (metformin is the only antidiabetic drug which correlates with a lower mortality see Can people with type 2 diabetes live longer than those without? A comparison of mortality in people initiated with metformin or sulphonylurea monot... - PubMed - NCBI) We now know that in type 2 diabetics on insulin, the addition of metformin lowers one’s risk of dying Association between Insulin Monotherapy versus Insulin plus Metformin and the Risk of All-Cause Mortality and Other Serious Outcomes: A Retrospecti... - PubMed - NCBI Besides not growing fat physical exercise is the only other way one can lower one's insulin resistance which is part of being a type 2 diabetic. The idea that a diabetic isn't allowed to have any sugar is obsolete and based on a wrongly interpreted 1903 experiment in which dogs in whom the pancreas had been surgically removed were fed either a sugar rich or a fat rich diet. Those on a fat rich diet weren't able to digest all this fat, since the pancreas also produces the digestive enzyme lipase needed to digest fat, causing enormous fatty diarrhea (steathorrhea) so losing all the food in the process, thus having lower blood sugar levels, while those fed a high sugar feed didn't suffer this fatty diarrhea, took up the sugars and had very high blood sugar levels because they la Continue reading >>
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How To Lower Your A1c Levels: A Healthful Guide
An A1C blood test measures average blood sugar levels over the past 2 to 3 months. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommend the use of A1C tests to help diagnose cases of prediabetes, type 1, and type 2 diabetes. A1C tests are also used to monitor diabetes treatment plans. What is an A1C test? An A1C test measures how well the body is maintaining blood glucose levels. To do this, an A1C test averages the percentage of sugar-bound hemoglobin in a blood sample. When glucose enters the blood, it binds to a red blood cell protein called hemoglobin. The higher blood glucose levels are, the more hemoglobin is bound. Red blood cells live for around 4 months, so A1C results reflect long-term blood glucose levels. A1C tests are done using blood obtained by a finger prick or blood draw. Physicians will usually repeat A1C tests before diagnosing diabetes. Initial A1C tests help physicians work out an individual's baseline A1C level for later comparison. How often A1C tests are required after diagnosis varies depending on the type of diabetes and management factors. Lowering A1C levels Many studies have shown that lowering A1C levels can help reduce the risk or intensity of diabetes complications. With type 1 diabetes, more controlled blood glucose levels are associated with reduced rates of disease progression. With type 2 diabetes, more controlled A1C levels have also been shown to reduce symptoms affecting the small arteries and nerves in the body. This influences eyesight and pain while decreasing complications. Long-term studies have also shown that early and intensive blood glucose control can reduce cardiovascular complications in people with type 1 or 2 diabetes. Even small changes in A1C levels can have big effects. The ADA recommend that maintaining fair control Continue reading >>
My A1c Test Showed My Number At 6.7, Can I Improve My Number With Diet And Exercise? I Do Not Want To Take Medication
Please visit the new WebMD Message Boards to find answers and get support. My A1C test showed my number at 6.7, can I improve my number with diet and exercise? I do not want to take medication For someone who doesn't have diabetes, a normal A1C level can range from 4.5 to 6 percent. Someone who's had uncontrolled diabetes for a long time might have an A1C level above 8 percent. When the A1C test is used to diagnose diabetes, an A1C level of 6.5 percent or higher on two separate tests indicates you have diabetes. A result between 5.7 and 6.4 percent is considered prediabetes, which indicates a 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. If this dose not show blue, just copy into google to the www. To open and read. PS yes get exercising and look up what to eat to get back on track, try googling the diabetes diet, you should find all the help you need. Important: The opinions expressed in WebMD User-generated content areas like communities, reviews, ratings, blogs, or WebMD Answers are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. User-generated content areas are not reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. Some of these opinions may contain information about treatments or uses of drug products th Continue reading >>
5 Simple Ways To Lower Your A1c This Week
The A1C blood test is a simple test that analyzes your glucose (blood sugar) levels by measuring the amount of glycated hemoglobin in your blood. Hemoglobin is a protein in your red blood cells; when glucose enters the blood, it attaches to the hemoglobin. The result is glycated hemoglobin. The more glucose in your blood, the higher your glycated hemoglobin. The A1C is a valuable indicator of how well your diabetes management plan is working. While your individual A1C goal will depend on factors including your age and your personal medical profile, most people with diabetes aim to keep their A1C below 7 percent. By keeping your A1C number within your target range, you can reduce the risk of diabetes complications. While it is important to develop a long-term diabetes management plan with your physician, there are several steps you can take right away to help reduce your A1C. Small changes add up, so consider trying some of these strategies to lower your A1C this week. 1. Try Short Sessions of High Intensity Exercise According to research presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2015, type 2 diabetes patients who did 10 minutes of exercise three times a day, five days a week at 85 percent of their target heart rate had a twofold improvement in A1C levels compared to patients who exercised for 30 minutes a day at 65 percent of their target heart rate. Be sure to check with your doctor before trying high intensity exercise, and wear a heart rate monitor so you don’t overdo it. 2. Shrink Your Dinner Plate Instead of a large dinner plate for your meals, use a smaller salad plate. This simple swap can trick your eyes and brain into thinking you’re eating more than you really are, and you’ll feel satisfied with less food. It’s especially helpfu Continue reading >>
Print Overview The A1C test is a common blood test used to diagnose type 1 and type 2 diabetes and then to gauge how well you're managing your diabetes. The A1C test goes by many other names, including glycated hemoglobin, glycosylated hemoglobin, hemoglobin A1C and HbA1c. The A1C test result reflects your average blood sugar level for the past two to three months. Specifically, the A1C test measures what percentage of your hemoglobin — a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen — is coated with sugar (glycated). The higher your A1C level, the poorer your blood sugar control and the higher your risk of diabetes complications. Why it's done An international committee of experts from the American Diabetes Association, the European Association for the Study of Diabetes and the International Diabetes Federation, recommend that the A1C test be the primary test used to diagnose prediabetes, type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. After a diabetes diagnosis, the A1C test is used to monitor your diabetes treatment plan. Since the A1C test measures your average blood sugar level for the past two to three months instead of your blood sugar level at a specific point in time, it is a better reflection of how well your diabetes treatment plan is working overall. Your doctor will likely use the A1C test when you're first diagnosed with diabetes. This also helps establish a baseline A1C level. The test may then need to be repeated while you're learning to control your blood sugar. Later, how often you need the A1C test depends on the type of diabetes you have, your treatment plan and how well you're managing your blood sugar. For example, the A1C test may be recommended: Once every year if you have prediabetes, which indicates a high risk of developing diabetes Twice a year if Continue reading >>
Lowering A1c Levels Naturally
Call it what you will: hemoglobin A1C, glycosylated hemoglobin, HbA1c, or just “A1C,” this number plays a huge role in how your diabetes is managed. It’s also used to diagnose diabetes, as well as prediabetes. Your A1C is a blood test that provides information about your average blood sugar levels over the past three months. Your provider and diabetes care team use this number to gauge how things are going and if and how to tweak your diabetes treatment plan. For most people who have diabetes, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends an A1C of less than 7%. The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) advises a tighter goal of 6.5% or lower. Your goal may be completely different, and that’s OK (just make sure you know what it is!). Why lower your A1C? A1C goals aren’t decided upon out of thin air. The targets that the ADA, AACE, or your provider advise for you are based on clinical research, as well as other factors, such as your age, your overall health, and your risk of hypoglycemia. Landmark clinical trials, such as the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) and Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications (EDIC), for example, have correlated lowering A1C with a decrease in diabetes-related complications. So, for every one point that you lower your A1C, you’ll lower your complication risk as follows: • Eye disease by 76% • Nerve damage by 60% • Heart attack or stroke by 57% • Kidney disease by 50% It’s important to realize that your A1C reflects an average of your blood sugar numbers. Your A1C might be 6.7%, but that may be because you’re having a lot of low blood sugars, for example. For this reason, your A1C should be viewed as part of the picture, and not in isolation. Your blood sugar readings Continue reading >>
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 >>
Effect Of Aging On A1c Levels In Individuals Without Diabetes
Go to: Abstract OBJECTIVE—Although glycemic levels are known to rise with normal aging, the nondiabetic A1C range is not age specific. We examined whether A1C was associated with age in nondiabetic subjects and in subjects with normal glucose tolerance (NGT) in two population-based cohorts. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—We performed cross-sectional analyses of A1C across age categories in 2,473 nondiabetic participants of the Framingham Offspring Study (FOS) and in 3,270 nondiabetic participants from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2001–2004. In FOS, we examined A1C by age in a subset with NGT, i.e., after excluding those with impaired fasting glucose (IFG) and/or impaired glucose tolerance (IGT). Multivariate analyses were performed, adjusting for sex, BMI, fasting glucose, and 2-h postload glucose values. RESULTS—In the FOS and NHANES cohorts, A1C levels were positively associated with age in nondiabetic subjects. Linear regression revealed 0.014- and 0.010-unit increases in A1C per year in the nondiabetic FOS and NHANES populations, respectively. The 97.5th percentiles for A1C were 6.0% and 5.6% for nondiabetic individuals aged <40 years in FOS and NHANES, respectively, compared with 6.6% and 6.2% for individuals aged ≥70 years (Ptrend < 0.001). The association of A1C with age was similar when restricted to the subset of FOS subjects with NGT and after adjustments for sex, BMI, fasting glucose, and 2-h postload glucose values. CONCLUSIONS—A1C levels are positively associated with age in nondiabetic populations even after exclusion of subjects with IFG and/or IGT. Further studies are needed to determine whether age-specific diagnostic and treatment criteria would be appropriate. Continue reading >>
Understanding Your A1c
The A1C is a blood test that helps determine if your diabetes management plan is working well. (Both Type 1 and Type 2 take this test.) It’s done every 2-3 months to find out what your average blood sugar has been. (You may also hear this test called glycosylated hemoglobin, glycohemoglobin, hemoglobin A1c, and HbA1c.) A1c is the most common name for it though. How the test works Essentially, the test can tell how much sugar is in the blood stream by looking for proteins (hemoglobins). When glucose (sugar) enters the blood, it binds to the protein in the red blood cells. This binding creates “glycated hemoglobin”. The more sugar in the blood, the more glycated hemoglobin. It’s important to test your blood sugar levels (BGLs) throughout the day; however, an A1C test gives you a bigger picture with a long-term average of those blood sugar levels. What do these numbers mean? The A1c is an average of what your blood sugar levels have been over the 3-month period. In general, the higher your A1C number, the higher your likelihood of diabetes complications. (You don’t want a high A1C; it means there is too much sugar in your blood and your body isn’t absorbing it.) A1C number 4.6 – 6.0 Normal (does not have diabetes) 5.7 – 6.4 Pre-diabetes (warning that someone may develop Type 2 or have the beginning onset of Type 1) 6.7+ Diabetes (someone diagnosed with diabetes) <7.0 – 7.5 Target range (for adults diagnosed with diabetes – children diagnosed with diabetes) This target range varies between individuals, some people naturally run a little higher, some lower. It is important to note that especially in children a higher A1C (of 7.5) is recommended. The A1C number will help you and your doctor determine though if your diabetes management plan is working well. Continue reading >>
Success Story: Don Fillenworth
Name: Don Fillenworth, age 55 Location: Bismarck, N.D. In mid-October 2012, I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and had an A1C of 9.6. This was quite a shock for me, as there is no history of diabetes in my family. Before I was diagnosed, my feet were constantly numb and tingling, and I was losing feeling in the front portion of the bottom of both my feet. I had no clue that this was an indicator of diabetes, as I was not familiar with the disease at the time. My doctor prescribed metformin, which I take twice a day, and referred me to a diabetes educator and nutritionist at our local medical center. My cholesterol and blood pressure levels were also really high, but I was already on medications for both. My wife accompanied me to the diabetes education and nutrition courses. The courses were very educational and informative! We both were amazed at the amount of information we received. The lifestyle changes were pretty aggressive, including major diet changes as well as exercise. Fortunately, my wife is so dedicated and helpful! Though she didn’t have to, Cindy committed to the same diet changes, as well as to starting a walking routine with me. Originally, my goal was to walk about one-and-a-half miles a day. Within a month, though, we were walking five to six miles a day during our lunch and dinner times. In January, I received the results from a follow-up doctor’s visit and blood screening. In three short months, I have lowered my A1C level to 5.9! My blood pressure and cholesterol levels have decreased greatly and are now in normal ranges. I have also dropped more than 20 pounds and my feet no longer tingle. I feel great! Even my doctor was amazed at my dedication and progress. I don’t consider being diagnosed with diabetes as a bad thing at all. It gave me Continue reading >>
Viewer Comments: Hba1c Test - High Levels
Viewer Comments are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on eMedicineHealth. The opinions expressed in the comments section are of the author and the author alone. eMedicineHealth does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment. If you think you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. ANORO is only approved for use in COPD. ANORO is NOT approved for use in asthma. People with asthma who take long-acting beta2-adrenergic agonist (LABA) medicines, such as vilanterol (one of the medicines in ANORO), have an increased risk of death from asthma problems. It is not known if LABA medicines increase the risk of death in people with COPD. Get emergency medical care if your breathing worsens quickly or if use of your rescue inhaler does not relieve your breathing problems. It is not known if ANORO is safe and effective in people with asthma. Do not use ANORO more often than prescribed. Do not take ANORO with other medicines that contain a LABA or an anticholinergic for any reason. Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take and about all of your health conditions. ANORO can cause serious side effects, including: sudden breathing problems immediately after inhaling your medicine. If you experience this, stop using ANORO and call your healthcare provider right away. serious allergic reactions. Call your healthcare provider or get emergency medical care if you get any of the following symptoms: new or worsened eye problems, including acute narrow-angle glaucoma that can cause permanent loss of vision if not treated. Symptoms may include: urinar Continue reading >>