Hemoglobin is a protein in red blood cells. Hemoglobin carries oxygen from the lungs to all body cells.
Like other proteins, hemoglobin can be mixed with sugars, such as glucose. When this happens, A1C or glycohemoglobin (or sometimes HbA1c) becomes glycated hemoglobin.
High levels of glucose in the blood combine with hemoglobin. Once combined, hemoglobin and glucose remain there for red blood cell life – about 4 months. The A1C test measures the amount of glucohomoglobin in your red blood cells.
The A1C test is usually done in a laboratory. Your blood sample will be taken. The blood can be taken at any time of the day. The last meal you ate was fine. It does not matter what blood glucose level is during the test.
WHAT IS NORMAL A1C LEVELS ?
Below 5.7% is normal
Prediabetes – 5.7 to 6.4%
More then 6.4% is chance of type 2 diabetes
WHAT AN A1C TEST CAN DO
- Now tell you about the average blood glucose level for the last 2 to 3 months. Then you can see how your blood glucose control is. A1C <7% is good for most people, and A1C >9% is considered very poorly controlled.
Some reports now give the A1C value expressed as a percentage of the average blood glucose value in mg / dl. This is called your approximate average glucose (eAG). (See Calculating your eAG below)
- Allows you to compare A1C test results with your own blood glucose tests or with your doctor’s tests. If the tests do not agree, you may need to change the way or time you test your glucose levels at home.
- Help you judge if your diabetes care plan is working. If your blood glucose levels in the last 2-3 months indicate that your blood glucose level is high, something may need to be changed.
- Show you how changes in your plan have affected your diabetes. Perhaps they began to exercise more. The A1C test can confirm the positive effects of exercise on your blood glucose control.
WHEN TO DO THE A1C TEST
The A1C test is usually used to diagnose diabetes at this time. If your A1C is more than 6% or equal during the test, you will be tested for diabetes. Then do the test at least 2-4 times a year.
WHY BLOOD GLUCOSE SELF-EXAMINATION SHOULD CONTINUE
The A1C test to measure your blood glucose level cannot replace your daily checks (blood glucose, self-checks page 19). Self-checks can help you decide how to treat diabetes at that time. Your A1C test results will show you what you can do to keep your blood glucose level within range.
CALCULATING YOUR eAG
A1C (%) —– eAg(mg/dl)
5 —– 97
5.5 —– 111
6 —– 126
6.5 —– 140
7 —– 154
7.5 —– 169
8 —– 183
8.5 —– 197
9 —– 212
9.5 —– 226
10 —– 240
10.5 —– 255
11 —– 269
11.5 —– 283
12 —– 298