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 >>
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 >>
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 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 >>
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 >>
Hemoglobin A1c (hba1c) Test For Diabetes
The hemoglobin A1c test tells you your average level of blood sugar over the past 2 to 3 months. It's also called HbA1c, glycated hemoglobin test, and glycohemoglobin. People who have diabetes need this test regularly to see if their levels are staying within range. It can tell if you need to adjust your diabetes medicines. The A1c test is also used to diagnose diabetes. Hemoglobin is a protein found in red blood cells. It gives blood its red color, and it’s job is to carry oxygen throughout your body. The sugar in your blood is called glucose. When glucose builds up in your blood, it binds to the hemoglobin in your red blood cells. The A1c test measures how much glucose is bound. Red blood cells live for about 3 months, so the test shows the average level of glucose in your blood for the past 3 months. If your glucose levels have been high over recent weeks, your hemoglobin A1c test will be higher. For people without diabetes, the normal range for the hemoglobin A1c level is between 4% and 5.6%. Hemoglobin A1c levels between 5.7% and 6.4% mean you have a higher change of getting of diabetes. Levels of 6.5% or higher mean you have diabetes. The target A1c level for people with diabetes is usually less than 7%. The higher the hemoglobin A1c, the higher your risk of having complications related to diabetes. A combination of diet, exercise, and medication can bring your levels down. People with diabetes should have an A1c test every 3 months to make sure their blood sugar is in their target range. If your diabetes is under good control, you may be able to wait longer between the blood tests. But experts recommend checking at least two times a year. People with diseases affecting hemoglobin, such as anemia, may get misleading results with this test. Other things that can 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 >>
Average blood glucose and the A1C test Your A1C test result (also known as HbA1c or glycated hemoglobin) can be a good general gauge of your diabetes control, because it provides an average blood glucose level over the past few months. Unlike daily blood glucose test results, which are reported as mg/dL, A1C is reported as a percentage. This can make it difficult to understand the relationship between the two. For example, if you check blood glucose 100 times in a month, and your average result is 190 mg/dL this would lead to an A1C of approximately 8.2%, which is above the target of 7% or lower recommended by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) for many adults who are not pregnant. For some people, a tighter goal of 6.5% may be appropriate, and for others, a less stringent goal such as 8% may be better.1 Talk to your doctor about the right goal for you. GET YOURS FREE The calculation below is provided to illustrate the relationship between A1C and average blood glucose levels. This calculation is not meant to replace an actual lab A1C result, but to help you better understand the relationship between your test results and your A1C. Use this information to become more familiar with the relationship between average blood glucose levels and A1C—never as a basis for changing your disease management. See how average daily blood sugar may correlate to A1C levels.2 Enter your average blood sugar reading and click Calculate. *Please discuss this additional information with your healthcare provider to gain a better understanding of your overall diabetes management plan. The calculation should not be used to make therapy decisions or changes. What is A1C? Performed by your doctor during your regular visits, your A1C test measures your average blood sugar levels by taking a Continue reading >>
6 Ways To Lower Your A1c Level
Diabetes is a serious, chronic disease that can lead to many complications. When managed properly, diabetes does not have to control your life or ruin your health. Getting tested, especially if you are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, is a proactive measure you can take for yourself and your future. In the early stages of diabetes, there are no symptoms. An early diagnosis helps you get treatment before complications occur. The A1C test is a blood test that checks for type 2 diabetes. It is also used to see how well you are managing your diabetes if you have already been diagnosed. The test provides information about a person’s average levels of blood sugar over a two- to three-month period. The number is reported in the form of a percentage. The higher the percentage, the higher your average blood glucose levels are, and the higher your risk for either diabetes or related complications. A1C is one of the primary tests used for diabetes diagnosis and management. It can test for type 1 and type 2 diabetes, but it can’t test for gestational diabetes. It can also be used to predict the likelihood that someone will get diabetes. The A1C test measures how much glucose, or sugar, is attached to hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells. The more glucose attached, the higher the A1C. This test is groundbreaking, as it 1) doesn’t require fasting, 2) gives a picture of blood sugar levels over a period of days and weeks instead of at just one point in time like fasting sugars, and 3) can be done at any time of day. This makes it easier to administer and easier to make accurate diagnoses. According to the National Institutes of Health, a normal A1C is below 5.7 percent. If your score is between 5.7 and 6.4 percent, the diagnosis is prediabetes. Having prediabetes put 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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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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>