Do you know why we test HbA1c?
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Do you know why we test HbA1c? See its Mechanism and relationship with RBCs lifespan.
What is HbA1c?
Hemoglobin is a molecule in the red blood cells that carries oxygen. A small percentage of hemoglobin is attached to glucose, it’s called Glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c).
The levels of HbA1c depend upon the amount of sugar in the blood. The higher the blood sugar, the higher will be the HbA1c level. As the red blood cells(RBCs) age for 120 days approx., the HbA1c depicts the average amount of glucose in about three months. Hence an essential hallmark in the detection and diagnosis of diabetes.
To understand HbA1c, think it in simpler terms, Sugar sticks to things and more so to some particular things. While many proteins in the body can be glycated, hemoglobin does so more often. Haemoglobin A1c is the component of hemoglobin that is glycosylated. It is the non-enzymatic addition of glucose to the amino acids of the protein. Glucose levels may fluctuate in the body relevant to the meal plans, but the concentration of glycated hemoglobin remains relatively stable with time. This is due to the life span of red blood cells, which is usually ∼120 days.
What causes high or low HbA1c levels?
HbA1c levels are relevant to your blood sugar, and they may vary as your meal plan and sugar level. Its levels can be altered by, Oral or IV glucose intake, Fasting, Use of insulin, and combinations of these and other factors.
The diabetes treatment goal is to establish a level of HbA1c below 7% to reduce or stop complications of diabetes.
What are the normal levels?
A1C test results are reported as a percentage. The higher the percentage, the higher your blood sugar levels over the past two to three months. The A1C test can also be used for diagnosis, based on the following guidelines:
How HbA1c measures an accurate average of glucose level?
What is the relationship to red blood cells?
When we intake food, it is broken down into glucose, and glucose in the bloodstream naturally attaches to hemoglobin (present in the red blood cells). The amount of glucose attached is directly proportional to the total amount of sugar that is in your system at that time.
Because red blood cells in the human body survive for 115 to 120 days (in reference to research conducted at National Center for Biotechnology Information) before renewal, measuring glycated hemoglobin (or HbA1c) can be used to reflect average blood glucose levels over that duration, providing a useful longer-term gauge of blood glucose control, which is a very helpful hallmark in diagnosing diabetes. If your blood sugar levels have been high in recent weeks, your HbA1c will also be more significant, and vice versa.
If you have diabetes, you should have an A1C test every three months to find out your long-term blood glucose control. The A1C test measures your average blood glucose during the previous 2–3 months, but especially during the previous month.
The target A1c level for people with diabetes is usually less than 7%. Higher levels of HbA1c indicates higher risks of having severe complications of diabetes.
You can bring your bitter stories down by monitoring a combination of diet, exercise, and medication.
It’s time to change your lifestyle, your priority to bring you a new story, in 120 days cycle.
For a comprehensive and individual test/plan/medication, speak to your doctor.