Improving You Knowledge Of Diabetes And The A1C Test

The diabetes a1c test is also known as the HbA1C, glycated Hemoglobin or glycosylated haemoglobin test. Conventional glucose monitoring measures blood sugar at the moment it is taken. The diabetes a1c test on the other hand indicates the average glucose level over a period of the past few months.

Somebody who does not have diabetes will have an A1C level of 5%, and while there is debate over what the A1C target should be, it is recommended that it be less than or equal to 7% in sufferers.

The diabetes a1c test will show this level in order to try to reduce it.  Even a 1% drop in the A1C level can significantly reduce the risk of damage to eyes, organs and nerves by 40%.

How Does The A1C Test Work?

A protein called Hemoglobin A is found inside red blood cells and it is this that carries oxygen to the body. When glucose is present in the bloodstream it can stick, or glycate to this protein.  The more glucose found the more it there is to stick and this results in a higher percentage of haemoglobin proteins becoming glycated.  Once glucose sticks to the protein, it remains there for the lifetime of the Hemoglobin A protein, up to 120 days, therefore the glucose attached to the Hemoglobin A protein reflects the level of blood sugar over the past two to three months.The diabetes a1c test show this results.

It is necessary to conduct the diabetes a1c test every three months, but if blood sugars are fairly stable or near normal, then it is only necessary to test twice a year. Frequent diabetes a1c tests are recommended for those who have recently changed their treatment plan in an attempt to monitor and manage diabetes.

The diabetes test kit can be used by you and also by a health care professional.One has to do a simple prick to the fingertip.  This sample can either be analysed on site or can be sent away to a laboratory.

The diabetes a1c test is a good test if you want to measure overall glucose levels but it should not replace regular self testing of blood glucose as the results can be misleading when the survival of red blood cells is prolonged or reduced. Someone with anaemia can also lead to false high A1C results.It is not necessary to have fasting before the diabetes a1c test.

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This post was written by admin on December 10, 2010

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