Do you often feel tired? Is there an unexplained loss of weight? Do you feel the urge to eat, drink water or urinate often? If so, there may be chances that you are likely to be affected by diabetes. A test called the Hemoglobin A1C test will provide the patient with all the information about blood glucose levels. This test is majorly known for diabetes management and diabetes research. Read below to find out what does A1C stand for in diabetes and how to maintain your a1c levels.
Why Should You Test For Diabetes?
The A1C tests and the blood glucose tests are some of the best options that are available to treat diabetes. It is important because it helps in diagnosing the disease at the earliest possible time. This makes the patient aware of his or her condition.
With the patient taking conscious efforts and the doctors advising on the type of treatment that is to be taken, it minimizes a whole lot of risks. Otherwise, the patient has to endure a lot of complications that can be brought about by the disease. This helps in preventing the onset of the Type 2 diabetes.
Difference Between Blood Glucose Test & HB-A1C Test
Both of these tests are used majorly to diagnose diabetes. But the difference is that the HB-A1C blood sample can be taken during any time of the day. Unlike the fasting sugars that have to be maintained for the Blood Glucose test, the advantage is that the HBA1C identifies the average level of glucose in the body.
It also helps in identifying how the body is coping with the maintenance of the glucose levels for a period of 2-3 months. This gives an idea of the overall functioning, assisting the doctors to provide better treatment.
How Does It Work?
The A1c test should be carried out at least twice a year. This helps to determine the levels of blood sugar for a period of 2-3 months. Since the hemoglobin in the body keeps dying and regenerating, the glucose attached to the cells also have a lifespan of about 2-3 months. If there is a lot of glucose attached, the level of the A1c will be high. Whereas if the glucose attached is of correct proportion, the A1c will be normal.
The A1c levels are reported in the form of a percentage. An average person can find his A1c levels of about 4-6%. For a person with diabetes, his A1c levels should be low. The lower, the better as this will avoid complications such as damage to the heart, kidney, eyes and so on. It is ideal to keep the A1c levels within 7%, for a healthier life.
Here Is A Table, That Will Help You Understand The Levels Better:
|Diabetes||6.5 % or above|
Why Is The A1C Test Important?
This test is of priority because it is not based on the day-to-day blood sugar. The report of the average glucose in your body assists the doctors with the prescribing of drugs, dietary changes or exercises if required. It not only gives you the report of the blood sugar of only a particular time but an all time, average report.
It determines how well the body is in control of the glucose components and how well it is being taken care of. This A1c test also helps to determine, Type 2 diabetes.
In the past, the A1c tests were not recommended as it gave out varied results. It was not suitable for obtaining the results for Type 2 diabetes and Prediabetes (also known as borderline diabetes).
Fortunately, in the recent past the NGSC (National Glycohemoglobin Standardization Council) has helped in developing the standards for the A1C tests. The NGSC has also certified that the A1C manufacturers are giving out standardized A1C test results. This standardization majorly helps in avoiding diabetic complications.
How To Maintain Your A1C Levels?
You can easily lower your A1C levels. Here are a few things to make a note of:
1. Customize Your Exercise
Exercising can help in maintaining your A1c levels. An average of about 30 minutes of exercise, 5 days a week can help a great deal. You can customize your exercise like playing a sport you like, walking your dog, riding bikes etc.
2. Eat On Schedule
You can devise a schedule for eating at the right time. The right diet will assist you in avoiding a lot of time gap in between meals, or by eating too much. Your doctor can help you with the right schedule.
3. A Balanced Diet
The type of food that you are eating plays a major role in your blood sugar. The serving size is yet another major factor. Hence it is vital to understand the types of food that contain less carbohydrates and fats that are good for your health. A dietitian may assist you with the right food and correct proportions.
4. Know Your A1C Levels
It is always important to talk to your doctor to understand what the A1C levels are in your body. This will help you remain cautious and work towards keeping your levels below 7% to lead a healthy life.
5. Regular Check-ups
Frequent check-ups at the clinic will make you aware of the condition of your body. It also helps your doctor in prescribing the best kind of treatment for your particular condition. Having a journal of your sugar levels is proven to be very useful.
Keep your A1C levels in check and lead a healthier and a stress-free life.