Hemoglobin A1c is a kind of laboratory test that is used to have information about patient’s average blood glucose level for past 3 months.
Hemoglobin is a protein formed substance in our blood that carries oxygen from lungs to cells and takes the waste carbon dioxide back from cells to lungs again. Hemoglobin amount is formed in a healthy adult like this ; % 95 Hemoglobin A ( HbA) , the rest percentage Hemoglobin A2 (Hba2) and a little amount of Hemoglobin F (HbF).
Hemoglobin A subtypes are; HbA1a, HbA1b and the big part is formed as HbA1c ( %80). Hemoglobin main function is oxygen carriage to cells but Hemoglobin is affected from high blood glucose levels. Sugar starts to combine with hemoglobin so glucose combining to hemoglobin will be as high as glucose level in blood and HbA1c level will be increased.
HbA1c (also called glycated hemoglobin or glycohemoglobin) is used to monitor diabetes treatment.
Normal Range of HbA1c
Hemoglobin A1c’s normal values are between %4 -%6 and this is the glucose combining rate to hemoglobin for people without diabetes.
HbA1c detects last 3 months average blood glucose level:
If you are under risk of diabetes your doctor may request fasting blood sugar test to see the glucose level for current day, at the same time HbA1c test shows average glucose level for last 3 months; because red blood cells lifetime is 3 months and hemoglobin is a component that exists in red blood cells.
HbA1c Test and Diabetes Treatment
Diabetes treatment performance and success is monitored by HbA1c test, if the diabetic patient uses medications regulary and be careful about his/her diet, HbA1c level will not be increased and will be found under %7 , actually this is the target value for diabetic patients. If person doesn’t use medicines regular or follow diet carefully this will be determined easily and Hemoglobin A1c level will be increased.
Patient Preparation for HbA1c
Fasting or another preparation is not needed for HbA1c test because the recently eaten food or drinks don’t affect Hemoglobin A1c results because the test measures the last 3 months average glucose level. Diabetic people must have HbA1c test regular for 3-6 months period.
HbA1c Test for healthy people
Hemoglobin A1c test can be used for diabetes diagnosis so healthy people would have HbA1c test once a year.