What Is A1c
A A A Topic Overview A1c is a test that shows the average level of blood sugar over the past 2 to 3 months. People with diabetes need to have this test done regularly to see whether their blood sugar levels have been staying within a target range. This test is also used to diagnose diabetes. Blood for an A1c test can be collected at home or at your doctor's office. Home testing may not be an option for everyone. Check with your doctor. Home testing. Home test kits for A1c are available. Using the kit, you can use a lancet (a small needle) to take a blood sample from a finger. Then, put a few drops of blood on a sample card. Place the card in an envelope and send it to a lab for testing. The lab sends the results of the test to you or your doctor. Doctor's office. Some doctors, particularly endocrinologists, have blood-analysis equipment in their offices that can test hemoglobin A1c blood levels from a finger stick. The doctor can then review the results during the appointment. Laboratory testing. The most accurate measurement of A1c level is done in commercial laboratories. These labs may be run by local hospitals or large health clinics, or they may be independently owned. Lab personnel check their equipment often, calibrate their machines on a regular schedule, and are monitored by federal and state regulatory authorities. A doctor's office sends the blood sample to the lab. How long it takes to get results depends on the lab. You can have the test results reported to you or your doctor. A1c test results show your average blood sugar level over time. The result is reported as a percentage. Your goal is to keep your hemoglobin A1c level as close to the normal level as possible. Studies suggest that the lower the A1c level, the lower the incidence of diabetic complicati Continue reading >>
What Is A Good App For Iphones That Will Track Blood Sugar And A1c Test Results?
There are many diabetes apps in the App and Google Play stores – more than 1,000 at last count. Many of them may not be well-designed, practical or clinically relevant. How do you then decide which one you should use? There are several factors to consider: How reliable is the app? There are many free apps that are developed by programmers with very limited knowledge and expertise on diabetes – these can be potentially dangerous to use. Due to limited funding, some of these free apps may stop updating and you can lose all your stored information if there is a bug. A reliable app is one that has been designed with input from doctors, nurses and patients with diabetes, and is being used by many people Does the app have features that are useful for your self-management? For example, you may want to track your medications and should use an app that allows you to set medication reminders. Or if you’re interested in understanding your eating habits, look for an app that has an intuitive food tracking feature and a large food database. Is the app free to use or requires a payment? Paid apps generally offer more features and a better standard of service. Most of them offer a free trial that allows you to experiment to see if it suits your needs. That being said, some free apps are quite comprehensive and can be good enough for your purposes. My Top 3 Diabetes Apps As part of my work and interest, I’ve tested out many different mobile apps for diabetes in order to find the ones that can be most useful for my patients living with diabetes. Here are 3 of my favourites: GlycoLeap (above) is a simpler way to lose weight and lower A1c. It supports you in developing healthier habits to keep your glucose and weight in control. Like mySugr and One Drop, you can track your health Continue reading >>
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Your A1c Results: What Do They Mean?
If you have diabetes, you should have an A1C test at least twice each year to find out your long-term blood glucose control. The A1C test measures your average blood glucose during the previous 2-3 months, but especially during the previous month. For people without diabetes, the normal A1C range is 4-6%. For people with diabetes, the lower the A1C value, the better the diabetes control and the lower the risk of developing complications such as eye, heart, and kidney disease. Your goal should be to have A1C values less than 7%. That may be a hard target to hit, but it is important to try because the lower your A1C, the lower your health risk. The table on this page shows what your A1C results say about your blood glucose control during the past few months. Some people are surprised when they have a high A1C result because when they check their blood glucose with their meter, they have relatively low numbers. But remember that checking your blood glucose gives you only a momentary sample of your blood glucose control. The A1C test measures your blood glucose control at all times during the previous 2-3 months, even times such as after meals or when you are asleep, when you don't usually check your blood glucose. Think of the A1C test as feedback to help you better control your diabetes and improve your diabetes care habits. By giving you important information about your long-term control, the A1C test can help you stay motivated to do your best on diabetes self care. Talk with your doctor and other members of the health care team about your A1C results and how you can use them to better manage diabetes. Within the next few months, the federal government will implement the first major reorganization of the Medicare system for many years: the Medicare Prescription Drug Imp Continue reading >>
What Is The Minimum A1c Result That Indicates Diabetes?
What is HbA1c (Glycosylated Hemoglobin) ? Hemoglobin in blood reacts spontaneously with glucose to form glycated derivatives in a non enzymatic manner. The process occurs slowly, with the extent of glycation determined by the concentration of glucose in the blood. Human hemoglobin A undergoes such glycation to form HbA1c from a reaction between the Beta chain of hemoglobin A0 and glucose. Other compounds result from similar reactions on the alpha and beta chains of hemoglobin and these can be measured as the total glycated hemoglobin. Find Out The Most Reliable Test for Diabetes HbA1c refers to glycated haemoglobin (A1c), which identifies average plasma glucose concentration. HbA1c provides a longer-term trend, similar to an average, of how high your blood sugar levels have been over a period of time. An HbA1c reading can be taken from blood from a finger but is often taken from a blood sample that is taken from your arm. Blood glucose level is the concentration of glucose in your blood at a single point in time, i.e. the very moment of the test. This is measured using a fasting plasma glucose test, which can be carried out using blood taken from a finger or can be taken from a blood sample from the arm. However, fasting glucose tests provide an indication of your current glucose levels only, whereas the HbA1c test serves as an overall marker of what your average levels are over a period of 2-3 months. HbA1c can be expressed as a percentage (DCCT unit) or as a value in mmol/mol (IFCC unit). Note that the HbA1c value, which is measured in mmol/mol, should not be confused with a blood glucose level which is measured in mmol/l (at least in most of Europe). The A1c that's measured in diabetes is used to get a sense of the average level of blood sugar in a person over the la 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 >>
What Is A1c And What Does It Measure?
In the simplest terms, hemoglobin A1C (known asHbA1c or A1C) is measured in people with diabetesto provide an index of average blood glucose for theprevious three to four months. A1C is glucose attached to hemoglobin, a proteinfound in red blood cells that transports oxygen fromthe lungs to other parts of the body. Hemoglobin is composed of four globin (protein)chains; two beta (b) and two alpha (a) chains.Each chain has a heme attached, the site for thebinding of oxygen to hemoglobin. A1C is hemoglobin that has been glycosolated,or modified by the addition of glucose. It issometimes referred to as glycosolated hemoglobinA1c or glycated hemoglobin. The glucose in A1C is irreversibly bound to one orboth beta chains of hemoglobin. Glucose binds tohemoglobin continuously throughout the lifespan ofthe red blood cell. Since the lifespan of a red bloodcell in the circulation is approximately 120 days, A1C isan index of average blood glucose over approximately120 days. However, blood glucose levels in the preceding 30days contribute substantially more to the level of A1Cthan do blood glucose levels 90 to 120 days earlier.This explains why the level of A1C can increase ordecrease relatively quickly with large changes in bloodglucose; it does not take 120 days to detect a clinicallymeaningful change in A1C following a clinicallysignificant change in average blood glucose. The normal level of A1C in people without diabetesis approximately 4% to 6%. After the discovery, in1967, of A1C and the fact that people with diabeteshave higher levels of A1C, additional work was doneto clarify the clinical and biological significance of this modified hemoglobin. A1C Testing at Home Commercial methods for measuring A1C becameavailable in the late 1970s. By 1988 routinemeasurement of A1C for p Continue reading >>
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 >>
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 A1c?
Topic Overview A1c is a test that shows the average level of blood sugar over the past 2 to 3 months. People who have diabetes need to have this test done regularly to see whether their blood sugar levels have been staying within a target range. This test is also used to diagnose diabetes. A1c test results show your average blood sugar level over time. The result is reported as a percentage. Your goal is to keep your hemoglobin A1c level as close to your target level as possible. You and your doctor will work together to set your safe target level. The result of your A1c test can also be used to estimate your average blood sugar level. This is called your estimated average glucose, or eAG. Your eAG and A1c show the same thing in two different ways. They both help you know about your average blood sugar over the past 2 to 3 months. The table below shows A1c with estimated average glucose. footnote 1 A1c and estimated average glucose (eAG) Hemoglobin A1c % Estimated average glucose (mg/dL) 6% 126 7% 154 8% 183 9% 212 10% 240 11% 269 12% 298 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 >>
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 >>
What Is A1c?
Q: The doctor told my mother she has diabetes and her blood glucose is out of control. He said her A1C was 9. What does that mean? A: Glycosylated hemoglobin, often referred to as HbA1c or simply A1C, is the measure of a person's average blood glucose level (all the ups and downs) over the last two to three months. The purpose of the A1C test is to give you a sense of your blood glucose control. It is reported as a percent. The American Diabetes Association recommends that most people get their A1C down to 7 percent or less. Other diabetes organizations, such as the International Diabetes Federation, suggest 6.5 percent. If your mother's A1C level is 9 percent, this means her blood glucose level, on average, is about 210 mg/dl. This result is high and unhealthy. She should take some action to improve her blood glucose control, such as eating more healthfully, being more active, and changing or adding to her blood-glucose-lowering medications. To find out which course of action is right for her, encourage her to discuss this with her diabetes care providers. Thanks for asking. Knowledge is power! Jeannette Jordan, M.S., R.D., CDE, is the American Dietetic Association's national spokesperson for African-American nutrition issues and oversees nutrition education at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. Continue reading >>
What Is A1c? - Topic Overview
A1c is a test that shows the average level of blood sugar over the past 2 to 3 months. People who have diabetes need to have this test done regularly to see whether their blood sugar levels have been staying within a target range. This test is also used to diagnose diabetes. A1c test results show your average blood sugar level over time. The result is reported as a percentage. Your goal is to keep your hemoglobin A1c level as close to your target level as possible. You and your doctor will work together to set your safe target level. The result of your A1c test can also be used to estimate your average blood sugar level. This is called your estimated average glucose, or eAG. Your eAG and A1c show the same thing in two different ways. They both help you know about your average blood sugar over the past 2 to 3 months. The table below shows A1c with estimated average glucose. 1 A1c and estimated average glucose (eAG) Hemoglobin A1c % Estimated average glucose (mg/dL) 6% 126 7% 154 ADVERTISINGinRead invented by Teads 8% 183 9% 212 10% 240 11% 269 12% 298 This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated. 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 >>
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 >>
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