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Can You Eat Before A1c Test?

The A1c Test & Diabetes

The A1c Test & Diabetes

What is the A1C test? The A1C test is a blood test that provides information about a person’s average levels of blood glucose, also called blood sugar, over the past 3 months. The A1C test is sometimes called the hemoglobin A1c, HbA1c, or glycohemoglobin test. The A1C test is the primary test used for diabetes management and diabetes research. How does the A1C test work? The A1C test is based on the attachment of glucose to hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen. In the body, red blood cells are constantly forming and dying, but typically they live for about 3 months. Thus, the A1C test reflects the average of a person’s blood glucose levels over the past 3 months. The A1C test result is reported as a percentage. The higher the percentage, the higher a person’s blood glucose levels have been. A normal A1C level is below 5.7 percent. Can the A1C test be used to diagnose type 2 diabetes and prediabetes? Yes. In 2009, an international expert committee recommended the A1C test as one of the tests available to help diagnose type 2 diabetes and prediabetes.1 Previously, only the traditional blood glucose tests were used to diagnose diabetes and prediabetes. Because the A1C test does not require fasting and blood can be drawn for the test at any time of day, experts are hoping its convenience will allow more people to get tested—thus, decreasing the number of people with undiagnosed diabetes. However, some medical organizations continue to recommend using blood glucose tests for diagnosis. Why should a person be tested for diabetes? Testing is especially important because early in the disease diabetes has no symptoms. Although no test is perfect, the A1C and blood glucose tests are the best tools available to diagnose diabetes—a serious and li Continue reading >>

Fasting Before Hba1c Test

Fasting Before Hba1c Test

Diabetes Forum The Global Diabetes Community Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community Hi, I am going for a HbA1c test Monday afternoon, so I cannot eat beforehand. I read that I can drink water, if so, how much? Previous fasting I limited myself to very small sips in the night (suffer from very dry mouth at night) and water to take.my morning medication. Is there a limit to my water intake or can I actually drink litres if I so wished before the test? You shouldn't need to fast before an HbA1c test as it's an indication of your average glucose levels over the past 3 months and so any last minute fasting won't have any impact on the results... But maybe you're having another (fasting) test as well if you've been told to do so? However if this is the case, you should be OK anyway as there's nothing really in the water that could affect your glucose levels. As far as I'm aware the only time you may have to restrict water intake to small sips is before a general anaesthetic. Continue reading >>

Everything You Need To Know About Fasting Before A Blood Test

Everything You Need To Know About Fasting Before A Blood Test

How do you prepare for a blood test? Some blood tests will require you to fast beforehand. In these cases, your doctor will instruct you not to eat or drink anything, except water, in the hours leading up to the test. Fasting before certain blood tests is important to help make sure that your test results are accurate. The vitamins, minerals, fats, carbohydrates, and proteins that make up all food and beverages can impact blood-level readings, clouding the results of your test. Not all blood tests will require you to fast beforehand. Blood tests that you will likely need to fast for include: renal function panel lipoprotein panel If your doctor has prescribed a new blood test for you, or doesn’t mention whether or not you should fast or for how long, ask them if fasting is required. Some tests, such as a fecal occult blood test, don’t require fasting but do limit certain foods. Red meats, broccoli, and even some medications may cause a false positive test. Always follow your doctor’s advice when preparing for a test. The amount of time you need to fast for will vary depending on the test. For most tests, you will be told not to consume anything but water for eight hours leading up to the test. For a few tests, a 12-hour fast may be needed. Schedule your test as early in the day as possible. The hours you spend sleeping are considered part of the fasting period, as long as you don’t break your fast with coffee or food once you’re awake. Even if you drink it black, coffee can interfere with blood test results. That’s because it contains caffeine and soluble plant matter, which might skew your test results. Coffee is also a diuretic, which means that it will increase how much you pee. This can have a dehydrating effect. The less hydrated you are, the harder it Continue reading >>

Foods To Avoid Before Having A Blood Test

Foods To Avoid Before Having A Blood Test

Blood tests are commonly used to detect potential disease risk factors. Foods to Avoid Before Having a Blood Test Originally from Maryland, Staci Gulbin started writing professionally in 2010. Her work has been published on a Baltimore news website as well as other online entities. Gulbin holds graduate degrees in biology and nutrition from New York University and Columbia University, and is a registered dietitian and certified personal trainer. Blood tests are commonly used to measure various components in the blood that can detect disease or disease risk. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, blood tests can be used to measure blood components such as hemoglobin, lipids, glucose or certain enzymes in the blood. Certain foods can affect the results of certain blood tests if eaten prior to testing, therefore, various fasting preparations and lists of food to avoid are given to patients depending on the blood test they are receiving. A fecal occult blood test is used to measure blood in the stool for detection of colon and intestinal problems. According to Harvard Health Publications, certain foods should be avoided several days prior to a fecal occult blood test. These include red meat, which can turn your test positive; foods such as radishes, turnips, cabbage and cauliflower that contain a chemical that can turn the test positive; and citrus fruits or vitamin C supplements that can turn your test falsely negative. Prior to a lipid blood test, a 12-hour fast is recommended, states the Cleveland Clinic. According to HealthCentral.com, this is due to the fact that triglycerides are unusually high after meals. Since LDL, or "bad cholesterol," is calculated using fasting triglyceride levels, eating prior to a lipid blood test could affect LDL cholest Continue reading >>

Ultimate Guide To The A1c Test: Everything You Need To Know

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 >>

How Food Intake Can Alter Glucose Test Results

How Food Intake Can Alter Glucose Test Results

Your body maintains a reservoir of glucose—the sugar that is the body's preferred source of energy—in the blood at all times. Your doctor may test your level of blood glucose at a certain time, particularly when fasting, as part of a diagnostic test. If your blood sugar is too high or too low, it can be an indication of a disease or other medical condition. Nutrients in food can temporarily elevate your blood sugar, so our doctor will likely ask you to fast before a blood glucose test. All carbohydrates are built from long chains of sugars. Enzymes in your small intestines break many forms of carbohydrates into component sugars; this is necessary for them to be absorbed into your body. These sugars circulate in the blood until they are used for energy by your body's cells. Any food that contains carbohydrates will elevate blood sugar. Fasting Blood Glucose Test The most common blood sugar test ordered by doctors is a measurement of fasting blood glucose. This tells your doctor whether your baseline blood sugar levels are low, normal or elevated as a result of balance or imbalance in your body, rather than the effects of foods. This blood test requires a 12-hour fast. It is normally taken in the morning, and you will be asked to abstain from eating after 8 or 9 p.m. the night before. HbA1C Test HbA1C is a form of hemoglobin, the molecule in your blood that carries oxygen. HbA1C differs from normal hemoglobin in that it has been bound to a sugar molecule. The risk of this is elevated when your blood sugar levels are elevated. The level of HbA1C estimates your average blood sugar levels over the past 90 days. The test can be performed regardless of recent food intake. A high HbA1C level is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Glucose Tolerance Continue reading >>

A1c Test

A1c Test

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 >>

How To Lower Your A1c Levels: A Healthful Guide

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 >>

Should You Eat Before A Blood Test?

Should You Eat Before A Blood Test?

Annual blood testing is the most effective way of detecting imbalances in time to take corrective actions. Countless lives have been spared since people started checking their blood before serious illness develops. Until recently, the consensus was that people had to fast for 8 to 12 hours prior to having their blood drawn. Before describing studies indicating that fasting may not be required, let’s look at this issue from a practical standpoint. Most people eat throughout the day and are never in a fasting state. The only exception is the 8-12 hour period prior to a blood test. Results obtained when blood is drawn during this fasting period may not reflect what’s in your blood under normal conditions. This can lead to a false sense of security. For instance, glucose and triglyceride levels increase after you eat. As it relates to disease risk, how quickly they come down after you finish a meal is important. Some data suggest that after-meal blood levels of glucose and triglycerides are more accurate predictors of disease risk.1-4 Fasting and non-fasting blood sugar levels impact health and longevity. As you’ll learn in this article, many aging individuals suffer sugar-inflicted damage despite fasting glucose being “normal.” Triglycerides rise in the blood after a meal and can remain dangerously high for many hours. If one fasts 8-12 hours before a blood draw, triglycerides may appear artificially low compared to where they may be during typical non-fasting periods. This again can create a false sense of security regarding your cardiovascular risk. Some people neglect having their blood tested because they cannot fast for an 8-12 hour period. The encouraging news is that for many individuals, a more realistic reading may be obtained when blood is drawn 2-6 hou Continue reading >>

5 Simple Ways To Lower Your A1c This Week

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 >>

A1c Blood Test Ok For Diabetes Diagnosis

A1c Blood Test Ok For Diabetes Diagnosis

Dec. 29, 2009 -- The American Diabetes Association (ADA) is recommending that a simple blood test currently used to assess whether diabetes is under control also be used to diagnose the disease. The blood test -- known as the A1C test -- has several important advantages over traditional blood glucose testing. Patients do not need to fast before the test is given, and it is far less likely to identify clinically irrelevant fluctuations in blood sugar because it measures average blood glucose levels over several months. The new guidelines do not call for replacing traditional screening with the A1C test. It is believed that around 6 million Americans have diabetes but don't know it, and another 57 million have prediabetes. The A1C test may help identify a large number of people in both of these groups, former ADA president for medicine and science John Buse, MD, PhD, tells WebMD. Buse, who is chief of endocrinology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, helped draft the new ADA diabetes care guidelines, which were made public today. "We now know that early diagnosis and treatment can have a huge impact on outcomes by preventing the complications commonly seen when diabetes is not well controlled," he says. "Our hope is that people with early or prediabetes who might otherwise not be tested would have the A1C test." The A1C test has been used since the late 1970s as a measure of how well diabetes is managed, but the ADA had not previously recommended it for diagnosing the disease. In part, this is because earlier versions of the test were not as accurate as current versions. The test measures the percentage of glycated hemoglobin, or A1C, in the blood and provides an assessment of blood sugar levels over the previous two to three months. Hemoglobin is a protein Continue reading >>

Diabetes: Your A1c Test

Diabetes: Your A1c Test

www.CardioSmart.org The hemoglobin A1c test is a simple blood test that checks howmuch sugar, or glucose, is stuck to your red blood cells. This test also is called the glycohemoglobin test or the A1c test. Most doctors think the A1c test is the best way to monitor your diabetes over the long term. What does your A1c result mean? Your test results tell you how well you have controlled your diabetes over the last 3 months. With this information, your doctor can adjust your medicine and diabetes treatment, if necessary. This test also gives you an idea of how likely you are to develop problems such as kidney failure, vision trouble, or numbness in your leg or foot. Keeping your A1c level in your target range can lower your chance for problems. The test result is usually given as a percentage. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends that most non-pregnant adults with diabetes have an A1c level less than 7%. If your A1c level is higher than your target A1c level, the ADA recommends that your doctor look at making changes in your diabetes treatment. To lower your A1c level, your blood sugar needs to be lower. In some people with diabetes, having blood sugar that is too low may cause problems. Your doctor can help you decide the best and safest A1c level. How often should you have your A1c tested? If you have diabetes, your doctor may order a test every 3 to 6months, depending on your type of diabetes and how well you control it. Generally, A1c is checked 2 to 4 times a year. Talk with your doctor about how often you should expect to have this test. If your levels have been good for several tests, you may not need the test as often. Do you need to fast before your A1c test? You do not need to fast before this test. You can have this test at any time during the day, Continue reading >>

How To Keep Your A1c Levels Low Before A Life Insurance Exam

How To Keep Your A1c Levels Low Before A Life Insurance Exam

Anyone living with an adverse health condition knows that it can be more difficult to qualify for a life insurance policy compared to someone in good health. Since any condition that affects life expectancy is typically considered as an increased risk to the insurance provider, applicants with various health issues are oftentimes either denied coverage or rated substandard and required to pay a higher premium to compensate the insurance company for the increased risk. If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you may or may not know that your blood glucose levels will affect your premium payments for your life insurance policy. In fact, of all the criteria and factors that go into pricing life insurance policies for individuals with diabetes, your glucose level is considered to be the most important since it indicates how well you’re controlling your condition. If you’ve already applied for a life insurance policy and you were told that a medical exam is necessary, there are several ways to lower glucose levels quickly and naturally to increase your chance of receiving a lower premium rate. What is the Importance of Lower Hemoglobin A1C Levels? The amount of sugar, or glucose, in your body changes over the course of the day. These changes will depend on whether you have exercised as well as when, what, and how much you have eaten. Typically, a “normal” fasting blood sugar level falls between 70 and 99 mg/dL. However, ideally, a diabetic should have an average fasting blood sugar level of less than 130 or 140 mg/dL, but the very best readings for type 1 and type 2 diabetics falls in the range of 100 to 120 mg/dL. The life insurance company with whom you apply will likely perform an A1C test to determine your average blood sugar levels over a period of time, usually Continue reading >>

All About The Hemoglobin A1c Test

All About The Hemoglobin A1c Test

People with diabetes used to depend only on urine tests or daily finger sticks to measure their blood sugars. These tests are accurate, but only in the moment. As an overall measurement of blood sugar control, they’re very limited. This is because blood sugar can vary wildly depending on the time of day, activity levels, and even hormone changes. Some people may have high blood sugars at 3 a.m. and be totally unaware of it. Once A1C tests became available in the 1980s, they became an important tool in controlling diabetes. A1C tests measure average blood glucose over the past two to three months. So even if you have a high fasting blood sugar, your overall blood sugars may be normal, or vice versa. A normal fasting blood sugar may not eliminate the possibility of type 2 diabetes. This is why A1C tests are now being used for diagnosis and screening of prediabetes. Because it doesn’t require fasting, the test can be given as part of an overall blood screening. The A1C test is also known as the hemoglobin A1C test or HbA1C test. Other alternate names include the glycosylated hemoglobin test, glycohemoglobin test, and glycated hemoglobin test. A1C measures the amount of hemoglobin in the blood that has glucose attached to it. Hemoglobin is a protein found inside red blood cells that carries oxygen to the body. Hemoglobin cells are constantly dying and regenerating, but they have a lifespan of approximately three months. Glucose attaches, or glycates, to hemoglobin, so the record of how much glucose is attached to your hemoglobin also lasts for about three months. If there’s too much glucose attached to the hemoglobin cells, you’ll have a high A1C. If the amount of glucose is normal, your A1C will be normal. The test is effective because of the lifespan of the hemogl Continue reading >>

How To Prepare For A Glucose Screening Test

How To Prepare For A Glucose Screening Test

Expert Reviewed Four Methods:Preparing for the A1C TestPreparing for the Fasting Plasma Glucose TestPreparing for the Oral Glucose TestPreparing for the Gestational Glucose TestCommunity Q&A A glucose screening test measures your blood sugar level and/or your body’s response to sugar and is used for diagnosing diabetes. There are three types of diabetes recognized (Type 1, Type 2 and gestational) and although they are all slightly different, a common feature for all three conditions is higher than normal blood sugar level. Blood glucose can be screened in a few different ways. If your doctor suggests that you take a glucose screening test, the way you prepare depends on the type of test that is being done.[1] Continue reading >>

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