Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that affects how your body turns food into energy. When you have type 2 diabetes, your body does not make or use insulin properly. Insulin is a hormone that helps your body use glucose for energy.
The HbA1c blood test is a blood test that measures your average blood sugar levels over the past 3 months. It is considered to be a more accurate way to diagnose type 2 diabetes than fasting blood sugar or oral glucose tolerance tests.
The HbA1c test measures the amount of glycated hemoglobin in your blood. Hemoglobin is a protein in your red blood cells that carries oxygen. When glucose attaches to hemoglobin, it is called glycated hemoglobin.
The higher your HbA1c level, the higher your average blood sugar levels have been over time. A normal HbA1c level is less than 5.7%. A level of 6.5% or higher indicates diabetes.
The HbA1c blood test is a simple and painless test that can be done at your doctor’s office. You do not need to fast for the test.
The HbA1c test is a more accurate way to diagnose type 2 diabetes than fasting blood sugar or oral glucose tolerance tests because it measures your average blood sugar levels over a longer period of time.
The HbA1c test is also a more reliable way to diagnose type 2 diabetes because it is less affected by short-term changes in blood sugar levels.
If you have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, your doctor will likely recommend that you have an HbA1c test every 3 months to monitor your blood sugar levels.
There are a few things to keep in mind about the HbA1c blood test:
- The test results can be affected by certain medications, such as those used to treat HIV/AIDS.
- The test results can also be affected by certain medical conditions, such as kidney disease.
- If you are pregnant, your doctor may recommend that you have an HbA1c test every 2 months.
If you have any questions about the HbA1c blood test, talk to your doctor.
Here are some additional things to keep in mind about HbA1c blood test:
- The HbA1c test is not a diagnostic test for type 1 diabetes.
- The HbA1c test can also be used to monitor how well you are managing your type 2 diabetes.
- A target HbA1c level will be set for you by your doctor. This level will depend on your individual circumstances.
- If your HbA1c level is too high, your doctor may recommend that you make changes to your diet, exercise, or medication.
By working with your doctor, you can manage your type 2 diabetes and keep your HbA1c level in the target range.