Haemoglobin is a protein in the red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body. A little percentage of haemoglobin has sugar attached to it which is known as haemoglobin A1c. The level of HbA1c is based on the level of glucose or sugar in the blood. Those who have diabetes should get this test done regularly to check if their sugar levels are within the normal range. Also, it can help them to alter their diabetes medicines and treatment.
Why is the HbA1c test ordered?
This test is prescribed to those who have the following signs and symptoms:
- Blurred vision
- Extreme hunger and thirst
- Frequent urination
- Cuts and wound that take a long time to heal
This test is also done to monitor sugar levels in diabetic patients. In addition, an HbA1c test is ordered for those who may not be feeling any signs and symptoms, but they are at increased risks of diabetes. The risk factors include:
- Low physical activity
- Poor diet
- History of metabolic syndrome
- High blood pressure
The test is done via a regular blood draw that is collected through a needle insertion in a vein in the arm. A healthcare professional or a lab technician will collect the blood sample for the test in a small tube, which is then sent for the lab analysis.
Side Effects or Risks
HbA1c test is a risk-free procedure; however, one may feel some pain and bruise in the area of the blood test. It should be mild and often lasts for a few hours or days. In case the pain and bleeding last longer or get worse, people should immediately call their doctor.
What do the results mean?
The test results may be available on the same day or may take 2 or 3 days. The results for the HbA1c test are provided in percentages. Typical results are mentioned below:
- Prediabetes: HbA1c between 5.7% and 6.4
- Diabetes: HbA1c of 6.5% or higher
- Normal: HbA1c below 5.7%
Those who are anaemic or have other types of blood problems such as disorders of haemoglobin may find wrong or inaccurate results. For people with blood disorders, the doctors may order some other tests to find accurate results.
There are no special preparations needed for an HbA1c test.
How to lower haemoglobin A1C levels?
One can work on reducing their haemoglobin A1c levels in the following ways:
- Eat a balanced diet
- Work out and do other physical activities
- Keep their weight in a balanced range
- Manage their blood pressure
- Have medications if needed
- Manage stress
It is important for everyone to keep their Hba1c level regulated and get this test done if they notice any symptoms or are at risk. Hba1c test is done as a part of a full body checkup in Bangalore, Delhi, Gurgaon, Chennai, and other cities. People should visit the most reputed pathology lab to find the most accurate results.