What Is the HbA1c Test and How Does It Work?

The Gold Standard Test For Diabetes: The HbA1C Test

The HbA1C test stands for a glycated or glycosylated hemoglobin test. The test aims to measure the amount of blood sugar (glucose ) attached to your hemoglobin. The test measures your average blood sugar levels in the past 3 months and is essential to take for anyone diagnosed with diabetes. The HbA1c test is also utilized for diabetes diagnosis and to monitor if you are at risk of developing diabetes.  The test is also known as Hemoglobin A1c or just A1c.

You need to visit a pathology center to take the HbA1c test. Hemoglobin is the protein present in the red blood cells that helps transport oxygen across the body. The sugar present in the blood combines with one single type of hemoglobin, and this combination molecule is known as glycated hemoglobin. A red blood cell can live approximately 120 days or four months. Therefore, measuring this combination molecule can estimate your blood sugar levels in the past 2-3 months.

Keep your diabetes in check by taking an HbA1c test today in your nearby blood test lab.

What Does The HbA1c Test Measure?

Whenever sugar enters your bloodstream, it attaches itself to hemoglobin. It is a protein found in your red blood cells. All of us have some sugar attached to our hemoglobin. However, people with higher blood sugar levels have more. The HbA1c test is used to measure the percentage of red blood cells with sugar-coated hemoglobin.

Who Should Take the Test, and when?

  1. You can get an HbA1c test done if you are an adult over the age of 45 or under 45 and overweight and have one or more common risk factors for prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.
  2. You must repeat the test every 3 years if your test results are normal, but you are over 45 or have ever had gestational diabetes.
  3. Individuals with prediabetes must speak with their doctors about improving their health and lowering their risk for type 2 diabetes. You must repeat the HbA1c test as and when your doctor recommends.
  4. If you don’t show any symptoms, you must take the test, but your results display that you have prediabetes or diabetes. You can take the test on a different day to confirm the results.

You can always visit a pathology center near you to determine the HbA1c test price.

How Does The HbA1c Test work?

As mentioned earlier, an HbA1c test measures the hemoglobin protein percentage in your bloodstream saturated with glucose. The saturated hemoglobin proteins are known as glycated hemoglobin. 

Multiple factors like acute stress, exercise, or whether or not you have eaten do not influence your test results. So, the test can conveniently be performed anytime during the day. However, at times the doctor might want you to run a fasting glucose test and HbAc test simultaneously that requires you to fast for almost 8 hours prior.

This test can also be used as a self-monitoring tool for people who wish to be proactive about preventing prediabetes and diabetes.

Your HbA1c test result:

The test results are displayed as a percentage. It shows the amount of hemoglobin that the glucose has bound to your blood.

For diagnostic purposes, the test results may look like this:

  1. Normal/Healthy: Below 5.7%
  2. Pre-diabetes: 5.7 – 6.4 %
  3. Diabetes: 6.5 % or more

Specific factors and some medical conditions might change the test results slightly or higher.

Some conditions that might cause a false HbA1c number include:

  1. Liver diseases
  2. Specific blood-related conditions
  3. Kidney disease
  4. Low iron levels 
  5. Recent blood transfusions or blood loss
  6. Early or late pregnancy

Pathologists at the pathology lab or your doctor are the best guide for analyzing the results.

Where Can I take my HbA1c test?

You can visit a blood test lab or a pathology center to take the test. Ensure to visit a diagnostic center that is reliable and professional and offers an affordable HbA1c test price.

Simira Diagnostic is a diagnostic center with multiple branches and is the perfect diagnostic center to book your HbA1c test. Its experienced pathologists, certified labs, and state-of-the-art diagnostic centers make it a modern and quality blood test lab.

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