Understanding Hgba1c And Hemoglobin A1C Test                  

The hemoglobin alc test  (hgb a1c) also known as glycated hemoglobin test or glycosylated haemoglobin test is a very reliable test used by your doctor to track you blood sugar control over a period of time ranging from two to three months. Such a test doesn't measure the concentration of  sugar in you blood.Instead it measures how much glucose has become permanently bonded to the hemoglobin in your red blood cells.
Hemoglobin A1c (HgbA1c) has been accepted since the mid-1970 as an index of glycemic control and is the best marker for diabetic microvascular complications.

As  A1C values are directly proportional to the concentration of  glucose in the blood over a period of time,they are not subject  to the wide fluctuations of the day-to-day fasting blood glucose tests. That is the more glucose that is in the blood ,the more glucose will be found sticking to the hemoglobin.

Understanding A1C Better

The alc test  is measured in terms of percentage. For instance,  a normal alc value is one between 4.0 and 5.5 % correlates to the blood glucose monitor normal range of 80mg/dl to 120 mg/dl. The American Diabetes Association recommends people with diabetes keep their alc levels below 7%(lower for some) which is glucose reading of approximately 150 mg/dl on average over a period of 2-3 month period.

A normal level of hemoglobin a1c is generally between a1c 4 percent and a1c 5.7 percent. According to the American Diabetes Association,from 5.7 percent to 6.4 percent is considered prediabetes,  and a hgb a1c level of 6.5 percent or higher means that you have diabetes.

The most commonly used formula used by doctors to compute the average blood  sugar that they believe matches an hemoblobin  alc test result is as follows:

Average Blood Glucose: = (A1c * 35.6 )- 77.3

Being given that red blood cells usually live around three months,most doctors believe that alc reflects three months worth of blood sugar control.

You can perform a hemoglobin alc test at your doctor's office through a blood sample that is drawn and sent to the laboratory.After a few days to a week,the result will be known. The frequency that the American Diabetes Association recommends is  twice a year all depending on tour treatment goal.

How can you perform a Hemoglobin alc test at home?

You may also perform a hemoglobin a1c test at home with an over the counter test approvedby the FDA ( Food and  Drug Administration). The process is to draw a large drop of blood from your finger,mix it with a special solution ,place it into the a1c monitor and receive results in several minutes.But before using a home test, inform your doctor first.

The Frequency of  A1C Test Results

  • Get a test performed when you are initially diagnosed with diabetes
  • If you have type 2 diabetes and is not on insulin ,then an a1c can be performed  every six months
  • If you have type 2 diabetes and uses insulin, or if you have type 1 diabetes,test must be performed every three months.
  • If you happen to change treatment,then a hemoglobin alc test can be performed.

What To Do When Your  Blood Glucose Test  Does Not Match  Your A1C?
  • Check your blood glucose meter if it needs to be replaced
  • Are you following the manufactures guidelines ?

In case your A1C result is higher than your target,you must contact your doctor at once to seek advice about how to improve results in the future.Or you can take the following test so as not to wait until the next visit:

  1. Are you following your nutrition plan as laid out in your own diabetes chart?
  2. Do you have consistency in your activity?
  3. Are you following the prescribed medication?
  4. Are factors like stress and other health problems contributing to your elevated hemoglobin a1c?
Tips To lower A1C

  1. Take your medications at the proper dose and on time
  2. Perform a physical activity for 30 mins five days a week
  3. Include in your diet foods that are high in fiber and low in saturated fat.
  4. You can take Diabetes-eze together with fish oil supplement
Limitations of A1C

The  hemoglobin A1C test may not work for those who may have levels of iron (anemia), chronic or heavy bleeding, or if the blood has an uncommon type of hemoglobin. In these instances there may be other A1C tests that can be used or other blood glucose tests available to check for diabetes.

Does A1C accurately predicts heart attack risks?

According to a study performed a few years ago by Epic-Norfolk it has been found that persons with hemoglobin a1c concentrations less than 5% had the lowest rates of cardiovascular disease and mortality.Moreover,the researchers came to the conclusion that risks of heart attacks were independant of age,systolic blood pressure,serum cholesterol concentration,cigarette smoking,instead blood sugar and blood sugar alone predicted whether or not a person was likely to have a heart attack.

Researchers report that a 1% decrease in hemoglobin A1c levels (a marker of long-term glucose control) is associated with a 15 to 20 percent reduction in risk for cardiovascular complications and a 37 percent reduction in microvascular complications (like eye, kidney and nerve disease)
Do not forget that A1C test  is not a replacement therapy for daily blood glucose testing.Your daily normal tests
should be reviewed alongside an alc test to help you understand your daily and overall control.

The hemoglobin A1c test has been a method of monitoring for patients with diabetes since it was first introduced in 1976 (though studies of separating hemoglobin A1c date back to as far as 1958).  It is clearly an indicator that can reveal a patient’s progress with great accuracy, which means that it will continue to be a defining test for the medical field in the aspects of diabetes.  Though there are many problems that are related to diabetes, the progress of many other complications, if left untreated, may compound these problems even worse.  The use of a home monitoring kit to measure blood glucose can enhance the results of the A1c test and create more positive results when the test is given.  With diabetes, the more control of the issues that cause the disease, the better it can be combated.

                                                Does Dehydration Increase  Hemoglobin Alc?

Dehydration  can increase your hemoglobin level dangerously to such an extent that it can lead to diabetic coma and death. A high blood glucose level in diabetic individuals may cause sugar to spill into their urine followed by water.This can cause significant dehydration one of the early symptoms of diabetes


                                              Eating a Mixture Of Nuts Helps Reduce Hgba1c

Nuts have high levels of nutrients like fiber,antioxidants and heart-healthy fats and is linked with protection ranging from Alzheimer and heart attack. According to a study recently undertaken by St. Michael's University and the University of Toronto on people with Type 2 diabetes indicates that by replacing some carbohydrate foods with nuts mixture comprising raw almonds, pistachios, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, peanuts, cashews, and macadamias each day decreases hgba1c by 0.21% and also reduces bad cholesterol (LDL) levels.

                                    The Level of A1C that can be fatal to diabetic Individuals

According to a recent study by Dr  Gregory Rutecki from the University of Alabama ,it has been found that:

Intensive level A1cs, that is, an average of 6.4%, were at a 52% greater risk of dying! Conversely, people who were "uncontrolled," that is, a median A1c of 10.5%, had a 79% higher risk for death from all causes! Essentially, a "U-shaped curve" was demonstrated that diabetics can die both from a high and low A1c. The lowest increased risk regarding death rate resided from the group of those that have a median A1c of 7.5%, a target above that which is currently recommended. The experts recommended a general change in the accepted target A1C for those having diabetes type 2 mellitus. Additionally they observed how the difference in regimens between the two groups (oral-based versus insulin-based therapies) meant that it must be the A1c by itself and not the regimen that accounts for the observed outcome.

  Hemoglobin A1C seems to differ by race

Dr. David Ziemer who is an associate professor in the division of endocrinology and metabolism at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. states that blacks had higher A1C levels than whites, despite having normal blood glucose readings. In the first study, people from black origin without diabetes had an average A1C that was increased by .13 and the difference between blacks and whites was .21 percent. Experts noted that even that seemingly small difference, however, could alter the proper diagnosis of prediabetes or diabetes.

In individuals with prediabetes, A1C levels in blacks were .26 and .30 per cent higher, respectively. And, for all those with diabetes, the average A1C level for blacks was .47 percent above that of whites .A recent study performed on 3000 Germans came to the conclusion that those germans who have gum diseases are more likely to have an increasing A1C  than those without such a disease. The link between gum disease and  worsening  A1C levels was very strong  in those people with high levels of highly sensitive C reactive protein, a marker for inflammation caused bt chronic infections and for heart disease.   

Source: www.diabetes.org

                    Hemoglobin A1c Conversion Chart

A1C (%)
4 4.4 5 5.5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Blood Glucose
 65  80  100  120  135  170  205  240  275  310

The hemoglobin A1C conversion chart above indicates if your treatment strategy is working,thus making the A1C test one of the most effective tools in diabetes care. if your hrmoglobin A1C is higher than desired,you and your health care team can adjust your strategy to help you better control your diabetes and prevent the onset of complications. if you lower your A1C percentage,you will dramatically improve your chances of controlling the disease and preventing complications




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