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The Hemoglobin A1C test: Indications, Procedure, and Target Levels

The Hemoglobin A1C test: Indications, Procedure, and Target Levels

Posted By Rupa Jaiswal Posted on Sep 03, 2022

Do you think that you have diabetes or you are pre-diabetic? Then you should go for a blood sugar test. There are two ways in which people prefer to check their blood sugar levels. One way is to go for FGT (fasting glucose test) and the other way is the HbA1c test (hemoglobin A1c test). 

The Hemoglobin A1C test: Indications, Procedure, and Target Levels

FGT test is a simple blood test that measures the concentration of glucose in the blood at that point in time whereas the HbA1c test is also a blood test that gives the count of average glucose levels for three months. 

Here I will explain only about HbA1c test and the following points in detail

  • Hemoglobin A1C Test – Overview
  • What are the indications for undergoing a Hemoglobin A1C Test
  • Hemoglobin A1C Test Procedure & Target Levels
  • All you need to know about the HbA1C test procedure and its price
  • How HealthcareOnTime can help?

Hemoglobin A1C Test – Overview

The HbA1c test is a gold standard blood test that is used to estimate the concentration of glucose in the blood over a two to three months period. 

In the medical world, the HbA1c test is also known as 

  • the hemoglobin A1C test
  • the glycated hemoglobin test
  • the glycohemoglobin test

As a dominant indicator, HbA1c is used as a tool by healthcare professionals to trace the glycemic history of the patient for the previous two to three months. 

This helps to know whether your blood glucose level is normal or not. This tells the doctors whether you are diabetic or pre-diabetic or if you are diabetic then what is the situation of your blood glucose levels. 

Also, it helps the doctors to know whether your diabetes is managed and what is the effectiveness of the treatments and medicines. 

Note: HbA1c test will not tell you which type of diabetes you have acquired that means whether you have type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes. Additionally, there are certain cases where this test is ineffective as the HbA1c test provides skewed results:

  • Sickle cell anemia
  • thalassemia
  • HIV
  • The second and third trimesters of pregnancy, and also the postpartum period
  • kidney diseases
  • Anemia
  • Hemolysis
  • Iron deficiency
  • The recent loss of a lot of blood and/or having a blood transfusion
  • Undergoing erythropoietin therapy

Ah! You don’t have to worry. In these situations, your healthcare providers will recommend alternative tests to diagnose whether you are diabetic or pre-diabetic.

But you must be wondering why the HbA1c test tells us the glycemic history for the past two to three months. 

Well, this is because glucose forms a bond will hemoglobin that creates hemoglobin A1c. When there are high blood sugar levels in the body then our body starts to produce more hemoglobin A1c.

This hemoglobin is present in RBCs and the lifespan of RBCs is 4 months. Therefore, when we perform an HbA1c test gives us the blood sugar count for the past two to three months. 

What are the indications for undergoing a Hemoglobin A1C Test?

Generally, it is recommended by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) that people whose age is 45 years old or above should perform an HbA1c test every 3 years.

Also, people who are obese or overweight must undergo an HbA1c test. 

There are certain risk factors associated with people aged 45 and above and also those who are obese and overweight which points toward an HbA1c test:

  • A parent or sibling with diabetes
  • Being physically inactive
  • High blood pressure
  • High triglycerides
  • Low HDL cholesterol
  • A history of cardiovascular disease
  • High-risk ethnicity groups (Like Native American, African American, Latino, Asian American, Pacific Islander)
  • Conditions that cause insulin resistance, including acanthosis nigricans, severe obesity, or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

Moreover, a screening test should also be performed for individuals who:

  • Had gestational diabetes (should test every three years)
  • Have prediabetes (should test every year)
  • Are HIV-positive

Hence, one should be alert to these below symptoms as these are the warning signs for the HbA1c test:

  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Losing weight without exercise 
  • Increased hunger
  • Blurred vision
  • Numb or tingling hands or feet
  • Fatigue
  • Dry skin
  • Sores that heal slowly
  • Having more infections than usual

Hemoglobin A1C Test Procedure & Target Levels

The HbA1c test is a simple blood test that does not require special preparation. 

But, one must know the target levels of the HbA1c test. Target levels mean what is the percentage of glycated hemoglobin present in our body.

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the target levels are:

  • Normal person: Less than or equal to 5.6
  • Pre-diabetic person: Between 5.7 and 6.4
  • Diabetic person: 6.5% and above

All you need to know about the HbA1C test procedure and its price

Though the HbA1c test is very simple if you follow the below procedure then it will help you in the smooth blood test.

Before the test

Once it is confirmed that you have to undergo an HbA1c test, then you must select the diagnostic lab for testing purposes. While researching the diagnostic labs; you must see that the diagnostic lab is suitable and appropriate for you in terms of money and distance. 

I think I can help you in this matter as I know a lab that has a well-built infrastructure, qualified healthcare professionals, and affordable testing plans. The best thing about this lab is, that it is spread across India. 

You must be curious to know about this lab. Well, I am talking about HealthcareOnTime. I just found out that the HbA1c test cost at HealthcareOnTime is only Rs. 300. To know more about this offer, check here.

During the test

During your test day take all your necessary documents with you like doctor’s prescription, medical insurance claim papers, etc.

Then, you will get a form to fill out and submit at reception. This is done primarily to take your consent for the test or to authorize billing your insurance.

After this, a phlebotomist will wrap a thread around your arm and clean the area (from the blood that will be taken) with alcohol. Now, the phlebotomist will draw blood from your vein in a tube.

The phlebotomist will ask you to rest for a while and keep you in observation to check for dizziness, bruises, excessive bleeding, and fainting. 

After the test

If there is no problem with the patient after drawing the blood, the phlebotomist will ask you to leave and wait for the test results.

After you get the blood test report, you should immediately visit your concerned doctor for further diagnosis and treatment plans and procedures.

How HealthcareOnTime can help?

As I have mentioned already how affordable HealthcareOnTime is.

But you must be wondering why I suggested HealthcareOnTime. Well, a few days back my mother wanted to go for an HbA1c test. 

So, I was researching online and offline modes to know which diagnostic labs provide the best test facilities in terms of service quality, affordable HbA1c test price, etc. Then, I found that HealthcareOnTime provides the best HbA1c test price near me.

I further researched them and found that at HealthcareOnTime the HbA1c price is only Rs. 300. 

HealthcareOnTime is the only leading diagnostic lab that is NABL and ISO certified. Moreover, the test is carried out in CAP-accredited labs that guarantee accurate and genuine test results. 

HealthcareOnTime has partnered with Thyrocare to provide quality medical facilities at your doorstep. Also, they offer various testing options, including 24/7 online and phone booking, and we provide reliable and accurate results. Their services are affordable and accessible, making them the perfect choice for anyone needing test services.

To avail of HbA1c test services or any other test services you can call them anytime. Also, you can visit their Facebook page for queries.

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