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What is HBA1C Blood Test?

HBA1C—Haemoglobin A1C test—is conducted to understand the sugar levels in the blood over the past 2 to 3 months. People having diabetes should take this test regularly to monitor their diabetes and aid in their treatment decisions. The test is performed in pathology labs equipped with certified and advanced medical technology.

What happens during an HBA1C test?

The sugar that your blood contains is called glucose. When the levels of this sugar increases, it binds to the haemoglobin in your red blood cells. The HBA1C test measures the amount of glucose that is bound. Since the average life-cycle of the Red Blood Cells is 3 months, the test shows the average level of glucose in your blood for the past 3 months.

When should I take the test?

HBA1C test can be recommended by a doctor or as a part of your regular diabetes monitoring i.e., in every three months. If you are undergoing any symptoms of diabetes such as increased thirst, extreme fatigue, sores that won’t heal, and frequent urination, your doctor may recommend the test. It is also done to monitor diabetes in the long term, good control helps to prevent diabetic complications. Apart from these, obesity, high blood pressure, sedentary lifestyle, can be the factors that may trigger diabetes and you should take HBA1C test to be sure.

What is the right HBA1C level?

4% and 5.6% is the ideal range of haemoglobin A1c level for people without diabetes. HBA1C between 5.7% to 6.4% indicates higher chances of getting diabetes. Levels above 6.5% indicate you have diabetes. A person having diabetes should try to maintain their HBA1C levels less than 7%. The higher the level of HBA1C, the higher the risk of complications. A proper schedule of exercise, right eating, and medication can help patients bring down the levels.

Are there any precautions I should know about?

The blood test is taken in the morning before you eat anything. It is recommended to not eat and drink anything except water for 8-10 hours before the fasting blood glucose test is taken. However, one must consult a doctor, in case they are under specific medication.

How frequently should I take this test?

Once in every three months for Diabetic and pre-diabetic cases whereas once in a year for non-diabetic cases is fine.

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