Hemoglobin A1c

Monday, November 05, 2012

Hemoglobin A1c is a lab test that shows the average level of blood sugar over the previous three months. It shows how well you are controlling your diabetes. Dr. Edward Hill explains more about this blood test in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Hemoglobin A1c is a blood test that measures the amount of glycosylated hemoglobin in your blood, or the percentage of hemoglobin molecules in your blood that are chemically attached to glucose.

If you have higher average blood glucose levels over the past three months, the percentage of hemoglobin molecules bound with glucose increases. This test gives your physician a measure of how well your glucoses have been controlled over the past three months. If the number is too high, your physician will adjust your medications, diet and physical activity.

The test measures how well your diabetes is being managed. A normal Hemoglobin A1c is 5 percent or less. If the HbA1c value is above 7 percent, it means your diabetes is poorly controlled. High values mean you are at greater risk of diabetic complications such as stroke, heart attack, kidney failure, blindness or leg amputation.

This blood test should be performed at least twice per year. It can be done even if you have not been fasting.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.