DT Health: Understanding blood sugar levels
By Dr Sandhya Rohit Phadke, Senior Consultant Pathology, Fortis Hospital
CHENNAI: Our lack of understanding on diabetes tests prescribed by doctors and its findings often leaves us puzzled! Here is a simple break down to these tests that everyone must be aware of.
HbA1c is your average blood glucose/sugar levels for the last two – three months on an average. HbA1c is glycated hemoglobin, which is made when the glucose in the body is stuck to red blood cells. Red blood cells are active for around 2-3 months, hence, doctors prescribe to take the readings once every three months.
A high HbA1c means that there is too much sugar in your blood. Hence, you are more likely to develop diabetes complications. Knowing your HbA1c level and how to lower it will help to reduce further complications. It is important to get checked periodically every once in three to six months.
An HbA1c test is used to diagnose diabetes and also check if you are prediabetes. If your HbA1c level is 6.5 per cent or more, it indicates that you are diabetic. With periodic exercises and lifestyle alterations, diabetes can be brought under control
A1C Diabetes test
This test usually reflects the average blood sugar level for the last two to three months. It particularly measures what percentage of hemoglobin proteins in blood is coated with sugar. A1C test helps doctors to find out whether the patient is prediabetic or is diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. A normal A1C level is below 5.7 per cent.
An adult over 45 or under 45, who is obese or in the risk for prediabetic or type 2 diabetes should get tested for A1C diabetes.
Setting goals for A1C levels
Kidney failure, liver related issues or even severe anemia are key organs diseases that could be easily affected due to diabetes. High cholesterol may also affect the heart. HbA1c level 7 per cent or less than that is the usual limit one person needs to set for himself for daily monitoring his diabetes level. People with diabetes should have an A1C test every 3 months to make sure their blood sugar is in their target range.
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