What is the HbA1c Blood Test For?

The HbA1c is a type of blood test that shows how well your diabetes is being managed. It’s also known as the hemoglobin A1c test, sometimes called an A1C.

HbA1c is a Blood Test That Shows How Much Glucose is in Your Blood:

Glucose is something that the body uses for energy, and there are two main types of glucose:

  • Blood sugar (plasma glucose) is found in red blood cells and other tissues. It travels through the bloodstream to provide energy to all body parts. You can see blood sugar levels in the HbA1c test.
  • Digestive sugar (also called serum glucose) comes from what we eat, such as bread and cereals; fruits; vegetables; milk products, including cheese and yogurt.
  • Oils such as olive or canola oil.
  • Meat such as beef or pork chops.
  • Fish such as salmon filets baked with lemon juice drizzled over the top and served with brown rice pilaf seasoned with basil leaves sliced into small pieces along with baby carrots cut in half lengthwise and then quartered crosswise.

A High HbA1c Level May Mean You Have Diabetes:

The HbA1c test can also help diagnose pre-diabetes, see how well you manage your diabetes and if your diabetes is under control.

A Test for HbA1c Can Help Diagnose Pre-Diabetes and Diabetes:

Pre-diabetes is when you have higher-than-normal blood sugar levels but are not sufficiently present to be a diabetic. re-diabetes can lead to type 2 diabetes if left untreated. Type 2 diabetes develops when your body doesn’t produce enough insulin or if your cells resist the effects of insulin (insulin resistance). 

When you have type 2 diabetes, either the pancreas doesn’t make sufficient insulin, or your body becomes resistant to its effects—so it can’t use glucose for energy as well as it should. The long-term complications of uncontrolled high blood sugars include stroke and heart disease.

Your Doctor Can Use the Test to See How Well You Are Managing Your Diabetes:

The test measures the percentage of blood glucose attached to red blood cells and indicates how much glucose has been in contact with your blood over the last few months.

The A1c Level That is Considered Too High is Different for Everyone:

The level that is regarded as too high is different for everyone. Your doctor will tell you your target HbA1c level, which may be below 7 percent or something higher. It’s important to know that the higher your HbA1c level, the more likely you are to have complications related to diabetes and heart disease—including kidney disease and nerve damage in the feet and hands.

An HbA1c Measures the Amount of Glucose in Your Blood Over the Past 2–3 Months:

It’s called “hemoglobin A1c” because it measures the amount of sugar (glucose) attached to hemoglobin, which is part of red blood cells. The higher your HbA1c level, the more glucose adheres to the hemoglobin molecules in your blood and stays for a long time.

An HbA1c blood test result tells you about how well diabetes treatment is working for you over time. It can help you and your doctor decides if changes are needed in how much medication you take or other aspects of diabetes management, such as diet and exercise.


The test for HbA1c is a valuable tool for people with diabetes, and it can help your doctor determines if your diabetes is under control and how well you’re managing it. If your HbA1c level is higher than usual, it can also indicate that there may be another health problem in addition to diabetes or pre-diabetes.

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