About The Hemoglobin A1C Test (hb-A1c)
Sugar that is not used for energy is left in the blood, where it attaches itself to hemoglobin – the part of the red blood cell that carries oxygen – in a process called glycosylation. The more glucose there is in the bloodstream, the more glucose builds up in the cells. This binding of sugar to molecules in cells is one-way diabetes causes physical damage and health problems.
This Glycosylated HB blood test measures the amount of sugar that is attached to the hemoglobin in red blood cells, with results given as a percentage. Because red blood cells live in the bloodstream for about four months, the HbA1c test shows the average blood sugar for the past few months.
Unlike a regular blood sugar test, the HbA1c test is not affected by short-term changes. So even though you may have had high blood sugar on occasion, a good HbA1c result can show that, overall, you are doing a good job of controlling your blood sugar levels.
An elevated result will signify pre-diabetes or even diabetes itself. In its early stages type 2 diabetes can be reversed through lifestyle changes. It is strongly associated with obestity as well as poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle.
Losing weight through a calorie restricted diet has been shown to bring blood sugar back down to normal levels. An HbA1c diabetes check can help you know whether you need to be taking action to improve your risk factors now. You can learn more about diabetes here.
If your test comes back as a warning or boarderline – you have the option for a small fee to have a qualified MD review your results.