Diabetes Mellitus, commonly known as diabetes, is undoubtedly a global epidemic. While the causes and symptoms of diabetes can vary to an extent, modern lifestyles have resulted in Diabetes has been gaining more prevalence in both developing and developed countries with time.
A disorder caused when one’s blood sugar or blood glucose is very high, symptoms of diabetes can layer up and lead to severe health problems. Moreover, despite the plethora of symptoms of diabetes, there is no cure for it. Therefore, it becomes an absolute necessity to prevent it with tests like the HbA1c blood test, also known as the A1c hemogloblin test.
A1c Hemoglobin Test: The Gold Standard Test For Diabetes
Hba1c Blood Test, also known as Hemoglobin A1c Test, stands for glycated or glycosylated hemoglobin test. Greatly helpful in seeing through the symptoms of diabetes, the test measures the amount of blood sugar - a.k.a glucose attached to haemoglobin. Hemoglobin, for all of us who skipped biology classes in school, is the key part of red blood cells since it carries oxygen from the lungs to all over the rest of the body.
An HbA1c blood test brings out the average amount of glucose attached to hemoglobin, averaged over the past three months. A three-month average is ideal in an A1c hemogloblin test since that's essentially the lifespan of a red blood cell.
The Importance of HbA1c Blood Test
Among other symptoms of diabetes, one is the blood sugar levels and their frequent fluctuation, and thus a majority of other tests reveal only the most recent blood sugar levels. Conclusively, they may not be effective enough to predict the possibility of diabetes and validate the symptoms of diabetes one is facing.
On the other hand, an HbA1c blood test stands out as it provides a much more comprehensive image of blood sugar levels, and over an extended period of time. Thus, an HbA1c blood test can be considered the superlative and one of the most important tests in diagnosing diabetes and the symptoms of diabetes.
With all this information about the A1c Hemoglobin test at our disposal, let’s know more about how you can get one, comprehend one, and defeat the symptoms of diabetes.
HbA1c Blood Test v/s Finger-Prick Test
HbA1c Blood Test:
1. Shows blood sugar level average for 3 months
2. Recommended for everyone with Diabetes
3. Done every 2 to 3 months
4. Done by a lab professional
5. Primarily useful in the initial diagnosis of Diabetes
1. Shows real-time blood sugar levels
2. Recommended for people under certain medications like Insulin & Sulphonylureas
3. Done a number of times a day
4. Can be done at home with self-test kits
5. Primarily useful for people who already have Diabetes
When should you get an HbA1c Blood Test
Diagnosing symptoms of diabetes can be a task in itself - especially in the earlier stages of the disease. You should get tested if you’ve been experiencing any of these symptoms of diabetes:
1. Surplus thirst
2. Never-ending tiredness
3. Intense hunger
4. Sudden weight loss
5. Tingling and numbness
6. Excess urination
7. Blurriness in vision
HbA1c Blood Test Results
The result of an A1c blood test is presented as a percentage. The test result accurately and numerically portrays the amount of hemoglobin that glucose has bound in one’s blood in the following percentages:
1. Normal/ Healthy: Below 5.7%
2. Pre-diabetes: 5.7–6.4%
3. Diabetes: 6.5% or more
A number of factors & medical conditions can change an HbA1c blood test result and even lead to a higher reading, causing confusion with symptoms of diabetes. Some conditions of these are:
1. Kidney diseases
2. Liver diseases
3. Recent blood losses/ transfusions
4. Inferior iron levels
5. Blood-related conditions
What else you need to know about HbA1c blood
An A1c Hemoglobin test is not meant to be used for gestational diabetes(diabetes that only affects pregnant women) or for diagnosing diabetes in children.
An HbA1c test also has a high chance of producing inaccurate results for people with anemia or other types of blood disorders and thus shouldn’t be used for validating the symptoms of diabetes in such cases.
If either of your family’s side history of diabetes, you should consult a reliable pathology lab on an immediate basis- whether or not you have symptoms of diabetes, and book a health checkup with an HbA1c Blood Test, followed by timely repetitions of the same.
* All the information above is for educational purposes only. For medical advice, always consult a doctor or visit your nearest hospital.