The HbA1c test is one of the tests which is used to diagnose diabetes when a routine health check or suspects diabetes. It is also one of the very important test indicators for patients with diabetes because it reflects whether their blood glucose status in the past 3 months has been well controlled or not.
On that basis, it helps patients as well as treating doctors plan timely to prevent complications of the disease.
However, many patients do not properly understand the importance of this indicator, so checking HbA1c is rarely used. So what is the HbA1c levels, what does it mean in the diagnosis and treatment of diabetes?
1. What is HbAc1 levels?
Hemoglobin (Hb) is one of the components of red blood cells, which transport oxygen in the blood. Normally, there is always a binding between blood sugar and Hb of red blood cells. The glucose attaches to hemoglobin, it stays there forever until end of life of red blood cell (about 120 days).
When blood glucose levels are high, glucose molecules attach to the hemoglobin in red blood cells. The longer hyperglycemia occurs in blood, the more glucose binds to hemoglobin in the red blood cells and the higher the glycated hemoglobin.
The combination of glucose and hemoglobin is called A1c (Hemoglobin A1c is abbreviated HbA1c). HbA1c is a minor fraction of adult hemoglobin. The formation of HbA1c occurs slowly 0.05% during the day and persists throughout the life of a 120-day red blood cell, changing as early as 4 weeks.
A1c normally accounts for 4-6% of the total hemoglobin. The level is high when increasing above normal by 1%, corresponding to the value of your blood sugar up to 30mg / dl or 1.7mmol / l.
When HbA1c> 6.5% indicates that you are having poor blood sugar control. When HbA1c <6.5% indicates that you have good blood sugar control.
It is tested by taking a small sample of your blood, the blood sample will be measured in the laboratory indicators, the result is calculated as a percentage of hemoglobin of the blood.
2. Why need to control the HbA1c indicator?
HbA1c indicator reflects the patient’s glucose control status continuously for 3 months which to help patients and treating doctors have a plan for further treatment.
For diabetics, an HbA1c <6.5% means your blood sugar is good control, which can slow and prevent the development of eye, kidney, heart and cardiovascular complications. The neuropathy is caused by diabetes. It can be used to diagnose diabetes and pre-diabetes (American Diabetes Association).
3. How to monitor HbA1c indicator?
All type 1 and type 2 diabetics are best tested for this index every 3 months. In case of no conditions, the minimum 6 months / time.
Based on these results, it is possible to develop a follow-up treatment plan for patients and prevention of complications such as vascular and neurological complications. The target of HbA1c indicator is <6.5%. Some cases are acceptable at 6.5 to 7%. If HbA1C> 7% alarms of your glucose control is very bad.
4. How to keep HbA1c below 6.5%?
Controlling blood glucose stable levels 24 hours a day is the main activities in reducing the target HbA1c. Wanting to control your blood sugar stable in the long term, Which requires you to adhere strictly as adherence to your diet, exercise regimen, medication regimen, and blood sugar monitoring at home.
5. What is the difference between monitoring of fasting blood glucose and HbA1c?
Fasting blood glucose monitoring only shows the blood glucose value at the time of testing.
The HbA1c test reflects a bigger and more comprehensive picture of your average blood sugar percentage over the past 3 months. The use of HbA1c for diabetes diagnosis is extremely important.
It does not require the patient to fast, can do any time when the patient comes to the examination. Can be made to diagnose in an emergency need to distinguish hyperglycemia due to diabetes or other causes.
But Some people may get false results if they have kidney failure, liver disease, or severe anemia. People of African, Mediterranean, or Southeast Asian descent may have a less common type of hemoglobin that can interfere with some A1C tests. A1C can also be affected if red cell survival is decreased.