Wednesday, October 24, 2007

What is HBA1c?

To acheive the best control one has to test the blood glucose levels almost daily. For insulin dependent diabetics testing is done 3 or 4 times a day...sometimes more tests per day are needed. However, these blood tests (finger pricks) do not tell the full story. They are like taking a photograph and only provide information for that moment. Our blood glucose varies all the time and is influenced by our diet, activity levels and even our emotions. Three years ago my HBA1c was measure at 15. A year ago it was 11. And my most recent test measured 9.4
The goal is to bring it to 6. I am told that if this can be achieved then the onset of diabetic complications can be delayed even further.
Below are two links with more detailed information on the HBA1c test:

"In the blood stream are the red blood cells, which are made of a molecule, haemoglobin. Glucose sticks to the haemoglobin to make a 'glycosylated haemoglobin' molecule, called haemoglobin A1C or HbA1C. The more glucose in the blood, the more haemoglobin A1C or HbA1C will be present in the blood.

Red cells live for 8 -12 weeks before they are replaced. By measuring the HbA1C it can tell you how high your blood glucose has been on average over the last 8-12 weeks. A normal non-diabetic HbA1C is 3.5-5.5%. In diabetes about 6.5% is good.
The HbA1C test is currently one of the best ways to..."
Read more at this link

"In the normal 120-day life span of the red blood cell, glucose molecules join hemoglobin, forming glycated hemoglobin. In individuals with poorly controlled diabetes, increases in the quantities of these glycated hemoglobins are noted."
Read more...Wikipedia

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