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Know about the Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) Test for Diabetes

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Hemoglobin – Oxygen is carried to the tissues and carbon dioxide to the lungs. Haemoglobin (Hb) is part of all RBCs. Diabetes is a condition that affects how food is converted into energy inside the body. Diabetes is chronic and there is no short-term solution for the same. There are typically two types of diabetes: type – 1 and type – 2 diabetes.

The Glycosylated haemoglobin test is used to detect or diagnose both type – 1 and type – 2 diabetes. Individuals suffering from type – 1 diabetes are incapable of producing insulin and require an external intake of insulin. while people diagnosed with type – 2 diabetes, are not capable of responding to insulin and their bodies do not create enough insulin.

Glycosylated hemoglobin is a form of hemoglobin and it is chemically linked to sugar. The Glycosylated haemoglobin test is a measure of the average levels of blood sugar in the body. This blood sugar is medically referred to as blood glucose.

What are the risk factors for diabetes?

Type – 1:

  • It is in the family. If anyone in the immediate family, has it then you might be susceptible too
  • It typically shows up during childhood, teens or in young adults

Type – 2:

  • If you are overweight
  • Above the age of 45
  • Not physically active
  • Or if you have prediabetes


  • Follows the same factors as mentioned under type – 2

What are the symptoms of diabetes?

Here are some of the most common symptoms seen in people:

  • Extreme thirst
  • Extreme hunger
  • Have blurred vision
  • Urinating a lot at night
  • Feeling very fatigued
  • Have dry skin
  • Losing weight without doing anything
  • Feeling numb or tingling of the fingers

What are the different names for Glycosylated hemoglobin?

There are various names for Glycosylated hemoglobin:

  • HbA1C
  • A1C
  • Hemoglobin A1C

Why is Glycosylated hemoglobin required?

The Glycosylated haemoglobin test typically reflects the average blood sugar levels over the past two to three months. The test is done due to the following reasons:

  • Diagnosing prediabetes:

Detecting prediabetes is very important as it is an indicator that you are highly susceptible to developing diabetes and other cardiovascular diseases.

  • Diagnosing type 1 and type 2 diabetes

It is a measure to determine whether a person has a type – 1 or type – 2 diabetes. Typically doctors compare the results of two A1C tests or an A1C test and another blood sugar test.

  • Monitor your diabetes treatment plan

Based on the results obtained from the A1C test, doctors can prescribe a treatment plan based on your lifestyle and inputs.

Who needs Glycosylated hemoglobin?

People above the age of 45 who have any or all the risk factors mentioned earlier in this blog. More importantly, if a person above the age of 45 has a history of heart conditions or disease, it is highly recommended that they get the test done. If the initial A1C test states that your results are normal, then you need to repeat the test after every 3 years. If the result of the initial test indicates prediabetes, doctors would suggest getting the test done every 2 years.

What are the requirements for the test?

There are no special requirements. The patient just needs to go to the lab or a hospital and request for the test to be done. The medical worker will go on to draw some blood from your finger or your arm and then the analysis of Glycosylated hemoglobin is done.

What does Glycosylated hemoglobin indicate?

If the A1C level is below 5.7% then it is normal. If the level is between 5.7% to 6.4% then it indicates prediabetes If the level is 6.5% or more then it indicates diabetes. If a person has a report where the levels are within the 5.7% to 6.4% range which indicates prediabetes, then they are highly susceptible to developing type – 2 diabetes.


Glycosylated hemoglobin is an important indicator and a tool to manage diabetes. One must keep checking their blood sugar levels at frequent intervals. This can happen by using the blood sugar testing kits that are commercially available. The readings of blood sugar keep fluctuating up and down throughout the day and night.

It is important that one stays mindful of their readings and follows a strict treatment plan to ensure that the blood sugar levels meet the required values. Continuing to keep a track of your values post the A1C test will help you consult a doctor and share the results with them. They can provide a plan based on your input and lifestyle and keep diabetes under control.

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