Imagine that your last hemoglobin A1c result was 5.9. Now it's time for a new test, and the results show that your A1c is 6.1. Does this mean your control has gotten a lot worse?
We have to remember that all these lab tests we get are subject to all kinds of errors. First, they're performed by human beings, and all human beings occasionally make mistakes.
When I was first diagnosed, my hemoglobin A1 (the old test that didn't break down into A1c) was 16. This was equivalent to an A1c of about 13. Obviously not good! I was put on metformin and given the standard dietary advice.
I drastically reduced my food intake, especially starches and sugars, went back for another test in several weeks, and then saw my doctor. He said my A1 hadn't changed. I told him that was impossible. "If it had gone from 16 to 14, I'd believe you, but it's impossible that it hasn't changed when I've changed my diet so much ( read more about dietary changes for diabetes here) . My fastings ...
HbA1c is a test that measures the amount of glycated hemoglobin in your blood. Your doctor may order this test if you have diabetes.
Glycated hemoglobin; Glycosylated hemoglobin; Hemoglobin - glycosylated; A1C; GHb; Glycohemoglobin; Diabetic control index
How the test is performed
Blood is drawn from a vein. The vein is usually on the inside of your elbow or the back of your hand. A nurse will clean the site for germs. The nurse then wraps an elastic band around the upper arm. This puts pressure on the area and makes the vein swell with blood.
Next, the needle is gently inserted into your vein. The blood collects into an airtight vial or tube attached to the needle. The elastic band is removed from your arm. Once the blood has been collected, the needle is removed. Then the area is covered to stop any bleeding.
In infants or young children, a sharp tool called a lancet may be used to puncture the skin and make it ble...
How accurate are the hemoglobin A1c tests (which I'll call just A1c) that most of us with diabetes get about 4 times a year? The A1c is supposed to tell us what our average blood glucose (BG) level has been over the previous several months, and it has provided information that was lacking in the early days of diabetes treatment.
However, researchers have now begun to dig deeper into the meaning of the A1c test to try to explain why some people's A1c doesn't seem to agree with their daily BG measurements.
We should have an approximate idea of how well we're controlling just by measuring our BG levels with our home meters. But the meters only tell us what the BG level is at the time we test. Even if we test 8 or 10 times a day, there are times when we're not testing, especially overnight.
And not everyone can afford to test even eight times a day. For instance, Medicare thinks that people on insulin need only 100 strips a month, enough to test about three times a day. For people ...
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