What Does HgA1c Mean?

HgA1c TestThe goal of diabetes treatment is to make sure that the glucose levels in the blood remain within normal range. Therefore, checking one’s blood glucose levels before and after meals is important in the management of diabetes. However, even frequent home testing of blood glucose levels may not be entirely accurate since this these levels fluctuate widely. Therefore, it is important to measure the overall effectiveness of blood glucose control over a certain period of time, and that can be done through the HgA1c test.

What HgA1c Means?

HgA1c or HbA1c stands for hemoglobin A1c, also known as glycosylated hemoglobin. This is formed by the combination of hemoglobin and glucose. The more glucose in the blood, the more HgA1c also present in the blood. Therefore, the HgA1c test is used for diagnosing diabetes, specifically prediabetes, type 1, and type 2 diabetes. In addition, it is one of the best ways to check whether or not your diabetes is under control. It can show your average blood sugar levels for the past two to three months. Hence, the higher the results of your HgA1c test, the poorer you are managing your diabetes and the higher your risk of developing diabetes complications.

For those with type 1 diabetes, the HgA1c test should be done three to four times a year. For those with type 2 diabetes, you need to get an HgA1c test four times a year if you are already taking insulin injections or if you are constantly having trouble maintaining your blood glucose levels. If you are still on oral hypoglycemics and you are able to control your blood glucose levels, then an HgA1c test twice a year will do.

What Happens in the HgA1c Test?

There is no special preparation needed for the HgA1c test. Fasting is not required, since it measures your blood sugar levels for the past few months. During the test, a blood sample will be extracted, either by pricking your finger with a lancet or collecting blood from a vein in your arm. There are also no restrictions on the activities that you can do right after the test.

Results of HgA1c Test.

The resulting HgA1c levels are read through percentages. For diagnosing diabetes, an HgA1c test result of 6.5% or higher indicates diabetes. Those who have HgA1c results of 5.7 to 6.4% are already in the prediabetes stage, which means they are already at high risk for developing diabetes. The normal result for people without diabetes would be 4.5 to 6%.

For those who have previously diagnosed diabetes and are just monitoring the effectiveness of their treatment regimen, a result of less than 7% is the usual target, although this varies in some individuals. Getting a result of 8% and above usually indicates uncontrolled diabetes for a long time. If you get this value, your doctor will probably re-evaluate your treatment regimen and propose some changes in your treatment plan.

Knowing what HgA1c means is important if you want to understand the treatment for your diabetes. Always consult your doctor to learn more about how you can better manage your condition based on the results of your HgA1c tests.

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About Mathea

Mathea Ford, RD/LD, is the owner of Healthy Diet Menus For You, LLC. She has over 22 books on Amazon, check out her work at http://www.renaldiethq.com/go/author

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