Aug 31, 2014 News
Once diagnosed with diabetes you may be placed on a treatment plan by your health care provider. It is important for you to remember that your self-test and HbA1c, whether good or bad, will give your doctor information about how your diabetes treatment plan is working. If your results are not where they need to be, then your doctor knows it’s time to make changes.
The hemoglobin A1c test is also called HbA1c, glycated hemoglobin test and glycohemoglobin. Hemoglobin A1c provides an average of your blood sugar control over a six to 12-week period and is used in conjunction with home blood sugar monitoring to make adjustments in your diabetes medicines.
Hemoglobin is a substance that is found within red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout your body. In patients with uncontrolled diabetes (meaning that your blood sugar is too high), sugar builds up in your blood and combines with your hemoglobin, thus making it “glycated.” Therefore, the average amount of sugar in your blood can be determined by measuring a hemoglobin A1c level.
If your glucose levels have been high over recent weeks, your hemoglobin A1c test will be higher. The amount of hemoglobin A1c will reflect the last several weeks of blood sugar levels, typically encompassing a period of 120 days.
For people without diabetes, the normal range for the hemoglobin A1c test is between 4% and 5.6%. Hemoglobin A1c levels between 5.7% and 6.4% indicate increased risk of diabetes, and levels of 6.5% or higher indicate diabetes. For diabetics the goal is a hemoglobin A1c less than 7%. The higher the hemoglobin A1c, the higher the risks of developing complications related to diabetes.
People with diabetes should have this test every three months to determine whether their blood sugars have reached the target level of control and whether they are doing enough to control their diabetes.
Those who have their diabetes under good control may be able to wait longer between the blood tests, but experts recommend checking at least 2 times a year.
Once a diabetic can keep his/her HbA1C below the target level of 7% then they are on their way to delay the development of complications of diabetes.
For those diabetics who never had an HbA1 done it is time to have one done so that your blood sugar control can be monitored.
Please feel free to send an email to kumarsukhraj @yahoo.com or call 6228032 for further enquiry and discussion on the topic. Patient education plays an important in the diagnosis and management of diabetes and any other illness. Please look forward for a continuation of the discussion on health issues in the next publication.
Larsen ML, Hørder M, Mogensen EF (1990). “Effect of long-term monitoring of glycosylated haemoglobin levels in insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus”. N. Engl. J. Med. 323 (15): 1021–5. doi:10.1056/NEJM199010113231503. PMID 2215560.
Lehman R, Krumholz HM (2009). “Tight control of blood glucose in long standing type 2 diabetes”. Brit Med J 338: b800. doi:10.1136/bmj.b800
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