HbA1c, or hemoglobin A1c, measures the amount of hemoglobin (a substance in your red blood cells) that has glucose (blood sugar) attached to it. The test is typically ordered for patients with diabetes.
While people with diabetes can use monitors to check their blood sugar on a day-to-day basis, an HbA1c test can determine how well controlled blood sugar has been over a number of months.
Typically, four to six percent is considered a normal HbA1c reading.
People with diabetes may have a slightly higher reading. Often, diabetes patients are told to aim for seven percent HbA1c or lower.
Often, the HbA1c test is ordered two to four times a year for people with diabetes. Your doctor may order the test more or less frequently depending on how well controlled your blood sugar is.
Estimated average glucose (eAG), is frequently given to diabetes patients in conjunction with the HbA1c. The eAG helps to clarify HbA1c test results by translating them into an average blood sugar reading similar to the results given on blood sugar monitors.
- Photo Credit Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Andrew Mason
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