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A1C Test Essentials

By Samuel Kolodney 2 years ago 1519 Views No comments

The A1C test measures the glycation of HbA1c area of the hemoglobin in your red blood cells. As your red blood cells deliver oxygen to your body they travel with all of the other nutrients in the blood stream including glucose. Higher levels of glucose in the blood cause more rapid glycation of the hemoglobin. This is similar to the rusting process where oxygen binds to iron, in oxygen rich environments rusting occurs faster but in the case of A1C, instead of oxygen it is glucose that binds with the iron in your hemoglobin.

An A1C blood test indicates your average daily glucose levels over the past three months. This test looks at the portion of hemoglobin in your red blood cells called the HbA1c, which picks up sugar in a process known as glycation. The A1C test tells you the percentage of sugar your red blood cells accumulated during their 90 day life span.

The expected amount of HbA1c glycation for a healthy person is between 4% to 5.5%. An A1C level of 6.5% or more, is an indication you have diabetes. People with an A1C level of 5.6 to 6.4% are at risk for diabetes and have a condition known as prediabetes, which if caught early, can usually be managed with changes in diet and exercise.

Since you have an entirely new batch of red blood cells every 90 days, people who have increased risk factors for diabetes like lack of exercise, being overweight or having other family members with diabetes should get their A1C levels tested every 90 days.

There are many benefits to lowering your A1C level as close to the normal range as possible. The fact is that hemoglobin is very sensitive to increases in blood sugar. Like a canary in a coal mine, it is the first signal that other organs and tissues are being affected by high levels of sugar in your blood. The longer your other organs are exposed to high blood sugars the more likely it is to develop problems like neuropathy, heart disease, kidney problems and blindness.

The body is amazing. The best part is that lowering your A1C percentage by just one point can result in a 35% reduction of the likelihood of developing complications of diabetes.

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