The haemoglobin A1c is the average level of blood sugar over the past 3 months. It is the blood tests which gives the complete picture of Diabetic situation in a person.
HbA1c is haemoglobin A1c or glycosylated haemoglobin. Haemoglobin is a protein found in red blood cells. It gives blood its red colour, and its job is to carry oxygen throughout your body.
The sugar in your blood is called glucose. When glucose builds up in your blood, it binds to the haemoglobin in your red blood cells. The A1c test measures how much glucose is bound to the haemoglobin.
Red blood cells live for about 3 months, so the test shows the average level of glucose in your blood for the past 3 months.. Hence HbA1c test the average glucose level of the last 3 months.
What is the Range of HbA1c
Hba1c level is measured mainly in percentage
Non diabetic: HbA1c for non-diabetic is below 5.6%
Pre- Diabetes : HbA1c for Pre-Diabetes is between 5.6% and 6.4%.
Diabetes: HbA1c for Diabetic is above 6.5%
Relation between HbA1c and average glucose levels
HbA1c is the average glucose level of last 3 months in the body. Below table shows the average glucose levels corresponding to the HbA1c level in the body.
Estimated average blood sugar (glucose) level
126 mg/dL (7 mmol/L)
154 mg/dL (8.6 mmol/L)
183 mg/dL (10.2 mmol/L)
212 mg/dL (11.8 mmol/L)
240 mg/dL (13.4 mmol/L)
269 mg/dL (14.9 mmol/L)
298 mg/dL (16.5 mmol/L)
Consumption of Supplements like Vitamin C or E, iron, vitamin B12, and folate
· Recent Erythropoietin therapy
· Consumption of Aspirin
· Consumption of Antiviral and antimicrobial medicines.
The health providers typically understand your condition and accordingly prescribe the HbA1c test.
When should we get HbA1c tests done:
HbA1c is a 3 months average of your blood glucose levels. So, usually it should be done every 3 months to track the progress. Also, if you are on a regime or program expect faster changes in blood sugar levels, we can get the HbA1c tests done in less than 3 months too.
Why HbA1c is better than other tests for Diabetes
HbA1c is a 3-month average of the blood glucose and gives a better picture of the sugar levels in past 3 months. Many people just do the fasting and PPBS blood sugar tests. Fasting Sugar and PPBS depends on what have been consumed a day before or before the meal and do not show the complete picture.