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Hemoglobin A1C (HbA1c) - 000377

Hemoglobin A1C which is commonly known as HbA1c is one type of hemoglobin which has been bound to glucose, and is therefore called glycated hemoglobin. This test helps us assess the level of HbA1c in the blood and thus gives your doctor a pretty good idea about the average level of glucose in your blood over the period of the last 2 to 3 months.

The HbA1c test helps to evaluate the amount of glycated hemoglobin present in your blood. This molecule remains in your blood for a period of two to three months, helping your doctor assess the control you have had over your blood glucose levels during that period.

This test is routinely required as part of the monitoring process in those individuals diagnosed with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Therefore this is mainly a monitoring test to assess the control, although it can rarely be used to diagnose diabetes as well.

There are no special preparations that you have to make before you undergo this test.

During this, a Medical Lab Technician will draw out a small volume of blood, using a needle and syringe which is inserted into a vein in your arm. This blood sample is then sent to the lab for analysis.

Since this test is a simple drawing of blood, you will not feel a lot of discomfort. You might experience a mild pain on inserting the needle, but you will not experience any uneasiness afterwards.

There is very little risk in undergoing an HbA1c test, because it is a simple blood drawing. Very rarely you might continue to have a mild pain or some swelling at the site where the needle was inserted, but these symptoms will resolve on their own within a couple of days.

When you obtain the results of your HbA1c test you will see that they have been given as a percentage. They should be interpreted as follows:
• Normal: HbA1c below 5.7%
• Prediabetes: HbA1c between 5.7% and 6.4%
• Diabetes: HbA1c of 6.5% or higher

If you have already been diagnosed with diabetes and this test is being done in order to assess the blood sugar control you have had across the past 2 to 3 months then an HbA1c value less than 7% is considered to be good control.

The results of the HbA1c test may be affected in the presence of certain medical conditions, like anemia or other conditions which affect the red blood cells. You have to discuss them with your doctor if you do have any such pre-existing condition.