Who needs to test for Glycated hemoglobin (A1C) ?
Symptoms of other types of diabetes and prediabetes come on more gradually or may not be evident, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) has recommended screening guidelines and checking blood sugar levels and Hemoglobin A1C. The ADA recommends that the following people be screened for diabetes:
- Anyone with a body mass index higher than 25, regardless of age,who has additional risk factors, such as high blood pressure, a sedentary lifestyle, a history of polycystic ovary syndrome, having delivered a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds, a history of diabetes in pregnancy, high cholesterol levels, a history of heart disease, and having a close relative with diabetes.
- Anyone older than age 45is advised to receive an initial blood sugar screening, and then, if the results are normal, to be screened every three years thereafter.
What is Glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test?
- Glycated hemoglobin (A1C) testindicates your average blood sugar level for the past two to three months.
- An A1C level of 6.5 percent or higher on two separate tests indicates that you have diabetes. An A1C between 5.7 and 6.4 percent indicates prediabetes. Below 5.7 is considered normal.
How does A1C correspond to blood glucose levels ?
Here’s how the A1C level corresponds to the average blood sugar level, in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) and millimoles per liter (mmol/L):
||Estimated average blood sugar level
||97 mg/dL (5.4 mmol/L)
||126 mg/dL (7 mmol/L)
||154 mg/dL (8.5 mmol/L)
||183 mg/dL (10.2 mmol/L)
||212 mg/dL (11.8 mmol/L)
||240 mg/dL (13.3 mmol/L)
||269 mg/dL (14.9 mmol/L)
||298 mg/dL (16.5 mmol/L)
||326 mg/dL (18.1 mmol/L)
||355 mg/dL (19.7 mmol/L)
What are some other tests to screen for Diabetes?
If the A1C test results aren’t consistent, the test isn’t available, or if you have certain conditions that can make the A1C test inaccurate your doctor may use the following tests to diagnose diabetes:
- Random blood sugar test.A random blood sugar level of 200 milligrams per deciliter or higher suggests diabetes.
- Fasting blood sugar test.A blood sample will be taken after an overnight fast.
- A fasting blood sugar level less than 100 mg/dL is normal.
- A fasting blood sugar level from 100 to 125 mg/dL is considered prediabetes.
- If it’s 126 mg/dL or higher on two separate tests, you have diabetes.
- Oral glucose tolerance test.For this test, you fast overnight, and the fasting blood sugar level is measured. Then you drink a sugary liquid, and blood sugar levels are tested periodically for the next two hours.
- A blood sugar level less than 140 mg/dL is normal.
- A reading of more than 200 mg/dL after two hours indicates diabetes.
- A reading between 140 and 199 mg/dL indicates prediabetes.
If type 1 diabetes is suspected, your doctor will also likely run a test to see if you have the destructive immune system cells associated with type 1 diabetes called autoantibodies.
Depending on what type of diabetes you have, blood sugar monitoring, insulin and oral medications may play a role in your treatment. Eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight and participating in regular activity also are important factors in managing diabetes.
How to manage an elevated Hemoglobin A1C number?
- Healthy eating.Contrary to popular perception, there’s no specific diabetes diet. You’ll need to center your diet on more fruits, vegetables and whole grains and cut down on animal products, refined carbohydrates and sweets.
We can help you create a meal plan that fits your health goals, food preferences and lifestyle. This will likely include carbohydrate counting, especially if you have type 1 diabetes.
- Physical activity.Everyone needs regular aerobic exercise, and people who have diabetes are no exception. Exercise lowers your blood sugar level by moving sugar into your cells, where it’s used for energy. Exercise also increases your sensitivity to insulin, which means your body needs less insulin to transport sugar to your cells. Get your doctor’s OK to exercise. Then choose activities you enjoy, such as walking, swimming or biking. What’s most important is making physical activity part of your daily routine.
Aim for at least 30 minutes or more of aerobic exercise most days of the week. If you haven’t been active for a while, start slowly and build up gradually.