What is HbA1c Blood Test?
If you are worried about developing diabetes, you should learn what is HbA1c blood test. HbA1c is a measurement of average blood sugar levels over the past two to three months. While this test is a reliable indicator of diabetes, it is also unreliable in some people with a haemoglobin variant. This article will explain what is HbA1c blood test, as well as how to read and interpret the results.
HbA1c is an index of average blood sugar levels over the preceding 2 to 3 months
An HbA1c test is a test that can help diagnose diabetes and monitor its progression. It measures average blood sugar levels in the previous two to three months and is usually expressed as a percentage. You can also find the result in mmol/mol, which is the default measurement in the UK. Your healthcare provider will tell you the number of HbA1c in your blood and can use this to determine your diabetes risk.
If your HbA1c level is in the normal range, you are probably prediabetic. Your HbA1c level is in the normal range, which is between four and six per cent. If your HbA1c is higher than this, you are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Fortunately, many lifestyle changes can prevent diabetes before it starts.
It can be used to diagnose diabetes
There are several ways to diagnose diabetes and the HbA1c blood test is one of the most common. If the blood sugar level is very high, you might not need a second test. If you have classic symptoms of high blood sugar, an A1C blood test is enough to make the diagnosis. This test measures the average blood sugar level over the past two to three months. This blood test does not require fasting or drinking.
The HbA1c test is a simple and inexpensive way to diagnose diabetes and monitor the condition. The test measures the amount of sugar in the red blood cells. High HbA1c levels are an indication of diabetes and should be repeated every three to six months or more often if the blood sugar levels are not under control. You should also discuss with your health care provider ways to prevent or control diabetes.
It can be repeated more often
Your doctor may recommend that you get your HbA1c blood test once every three years, or more often if you have prediabetes. This simple blood test will measure the average blood glucose levels during the previous two to three months. Since red blood cells live for only two to three months, the results are only a snapshot in time. Still, you should get this test at least twice a year, and more frequently if you’re pregnant or changing your insulin therapy.
The final concentration of HbA1c is calculated as the ratio of the patient’s average blood glucose levels over the previous three months. Symptomatic patients can have their HbA1c blood test repeated at the same visit. However, it is possible for the results to be falsely high or low if the patient has a certain medical condition. Iron deficiency can cause an increase in the HbA1c level during the last trimester, as the number of red blood cells decreases.
It is unreliable for people with a haemoglobin variant
The accuracy of the HbA1c test depends on the method of measuring haemoglobin A1c. The current method, the turbidimetric inhibition immunoassay, is not reliable in people with a haemoglobin variant, due to cross-reactivity with genetically determined haemoglobin variants and chemically altered Hb species. Consequently, the results of an HbA1c blood test may be falsely elevated or lowered in people who are heterozygous for a haemoglobin variant.
The HbA1c blood test is less accurate in African-Americans with sickle-cell trait. These patients’ red blood cells are short-lived, so glucose can accumulate on them. This results in an inaccurate HbA1C blood test. This condition can cause serious complications. However, despite the limitations of the A1C blood test, it is the only method that can accurately assess the health of people with sickle cell anaemia.
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