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Why Test Hemoglobin A1C?

By Samuel Kolodney 2 years ago 2212 Views No comments

Hemoglobin A1c is the area of the red blood cell that is used to determine the average amount of sugar in your blood. High blood sugar damages the cells and organs in the entire body. Like rust on a car that corrodes the metal, glucose attaches to the cells as like a sugar coating and keeps them from functioning properly.

A high A1C level is a warning that your cells are being overwhelmed by the sugar in your blood stream. It tells you your level of risk to contract diabetes, which if left uncontrolled is also associated with a host of other diseases including heart disease, cancer, and many other complications and co-morbidities of diabetes.

Testing Hemoglobin A1C is an easy way to quickly understand your blood sugar. This is because it uses red blood cells in your blood sample to get an average blood sugar based on the 90-day life cycle of these cells. This means you don’t have to take the A1C Test at a specific time and you don’t have to worry about if you just ate or haven’t eaten in a few hours in order to get an accurate reading.

Once you know the percentage of glucose attached to your red blood cells by taking an A1C test you can figure out how high your average blood sugars have been over the past three months.

An A1C level between 4% and 5.5% is within the normal range for a healthy person.

A person who is overweight and doesn’t exercise regularly is likely to have an A1c of 5.7 to 6.4%. This A1C Level is common for someone with prediabetes. It means that you need to take better care of yourself with better diet and exercise lifestyle choices.

A person with an A1c level of 6.5% or more is considered to have diabetes. At this blood sugar level your blood sugars are likely causing serious damage to your body.

The early stages of blood sugar damage are imperceptible because the damage is cumulative. The longer you live with high blood sugar the more damage occurs until you start to get symptomatic. Initial symptoms often include tingling or burning sensation in your feet or hands called diabetic neuropathy. It is important to remember most of your internal organs do not have pain receptors like those found in the hands and feet. So by the time you are feeling pain in these areas, damage is also likely occurring in your heart and kidneys.

The sooner you learn if your blood sugar is too high range, the easier it usually is to be able to control your blood sugar exclusively with lifestyle changes like improved diet and exercise.

Check out a convenient home test that gives you test results within 5 minutes, without having to go to a lab or mail in your blood sample. You just take the test and get your results. Check yourself today!

A1CNow Self Check

Complications Correlated with High A1C Levels

By Samuel Kolodney 3 years ago 4958 Views No comments

The Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) was a study that provided a definitive link between A1c levels and the risk of developing comorbidities commonly associated with diabetes. The results of the study depicted in the graph below chart the correlations of A1C levels for patients with type 1 diabetes. The graph displays the relative increased risk for retinopathy, nephropathy, and microalbuminuria, as A1C levels rise. It also displays an accelerated risk of retinopathy and nephropathy as A1c levels approach 12%. The study concluded that improved glycemic control can delay the onset of diabetic retinopathy, nephropathy and neuropathy and slow the progression of these disease states in patients with type 1 diabetes. [1]

Patients with type 1 diabetes (n=1,441)
Adapted from DCCT. Diabetes 1995;44:968-43.

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