Hemoglobin A1c TestDr. Sreelekha DaruvariLast Updated on 28th October 2021
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What is the HbA1c test?
Hemoglobin A1C is an essential test for diabetes. Hemoglobin in our blood gets attached/coated with sugar from the bloodstream by a process called glycation and forms a substance called Hemoglobin A1C or Glycosylated Hemoglobin. When the blood sugar levels are high, more hemoglobin attaches to it and this tells you how well your blood sugar has been controlled in the past three months. This test helps to determine if you are diabetic or not.
This test indicates the average hemoglobin exposed to glucose over an extended period and provides the clinical importance in monitoring the blood glucose level for the previous 3 months(history). HbA1c is used as an indicator of metabolic control of the diabetes.
What is the HbA1c test used for?
The hemoglobin A1C test, or glycated hemoglobin test or glycosylated hemoglobin, is a simple blood test that measures the average level of glucose in the blood over the last 3 months. It does not reflect daily fluctuations, so it’s a better measure of overall control than other tests. When your average blood sugar levels are consistently high over time, hemoglobin A1C will also be high.
What is included in an HbA1c test?
The hemoglobin A1C test, or glycated hemoglobin test, is a simple blood test that measures the average level of glucose in the blood over the last 3 months. It is not affected by the daily food intake or sugar fluctuations, so it’s a better marker for diabetes. When your average blood sugar levels are consistently high over time, more glucose is attached to hemoglobin, leading to high hemoglobin A1C.
When hemoglobin A1C is high, you need to consider making serious changes to your lifestyle by including exercise and diet.
A hemoglobin A1C is also ordered by your doctor to diagnose diabetes or prediabetes.
What is the HbA1c test procedure?
To measure hemoglobin A1C, a blood sample needs to be obtained. You can order the Hba1c test at the comfort of your home by just downloading the MFine app or just by booking this test on the website at your convenient time. Your Blood Sample is collected and taken to the pathology lab for testing.
The Lab technician uses gloves, single-use needles to draw the blood sample:
- To draw the sample, a technician would locate the vein by wrapping a band.
- Then, a needle is inserted into the vein and a small tube called a catheter is attached. This tube will stay in place until the procedure is finished.
- The phlebotomist inserts a needle into the patient’s vein and draws blood into a vial.
- Post the blood sample collection, the band is removed.
- After the injection, you will need to hold a small piece of cotton over the site until bleeding stops. A small bandage will be applied to keep the cotton in place.
The procedure is very easy and painless for most people. There may be a slight pinch when the needle is inserted, but it doesn’t hurt much. The blood sample is sent to a laboratory for performing the HbA1c test.
How to prepare for the HbA1c test?
Do not fast or change your diet for this test. Tell your doctor about all medications that you are on currently, also keep your doctor informed about the over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications that you are taking. Mention any medication allergies and medical conditions that you may have.
Things to consider after the HbA1c test is completed.
A person with diabetes has hemoglobin A1C of 7% or less. HbA1c Levels less than 7% have a lower risk of complications associated with diabetes such as kidney disease, eye problems and nerve damage. Take the test results and show them to your doctor to understand the values and their significance and medications if required, will be given.
What type of infections can the HbA1c test detect?
HbA1C test is used to diagnose diabetes and monitor the progress of treatment. The A1C test provides an average of blood glucose levels over approximately the last 3 months. It is used to diagnose diabetes, and to monitor Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. A1C forms when hemoglobin in red blood cells (RBCs) interact with sugar in the blood. The more sugar there is in your blood, the greater the amount of A1C. This test is used for checking the average sugar level or control over a period of 2-3 months and is not useful for detecting Infections.
How much does the HbA1c test cost?
The HbA1c costs anywhere between Rs.199 -550/-
|City Name||Starting Price|
|HbA1c test in Bangalore||Rs. 199|
|HbA1c test in Delhi||Rs. 212|
|HbA1c test in Kolkata||Rs. 199|
|HbA1c test in Chennai||Rs. 199|
|HbA1c test in Mumbai||Rs. 199|
|HbA1c test in Noida||Rs. 199|
|HbA1c test in Gurgaon||Rs. 199|
|HbA1c test in Pune||Rs. 199|
How long does it take to get HbA1c test results?
It takes about 24 – 48 hours to get the HbA1c blood test on your MFine app, you can download your reports anytime you need and show it to your doctor for consultation.
Is HbA1c a definitive test?
Yes, HbA1c is a definitive test.
How to read the HbA1c blood test report?
HbA1c results are usually given in percentages. Normal average results may be similar to the below readings:
- Normal: HbA1c below 5.7%
- Prediabetes: HbA1c between 5.7% and 6.4%
- Diabetes: HbA1c of 6.5% or higher
HbA1c blood test at home - Why to book?
- You can check online for the best diagnostic centers and consult with the best doctors in your city.
- MFine mobile app lets you consult with the best doctors over instant chat or video consultations.
- A medical professional from Thyrocare, Healthians or Prima Diagnostics will visit your home and collect the blood sample.
- The reports for the same would be available on the MFine app within 24-48 hours of sample collection.
Where to get the HbA1c test done?
Book HbA1c test online from certified lab partners in your city through the MFine app. Choose your preferred lab partner and get an HbA1c test at home.
Certified Lab Partners of MFine are:
Book HbA1c blood test at home:
For further assistance
Frequently asked questions
What is the average HbA1c level?
- HbA1c levels between 4% - 5.6% is normal.
- HbA1c levels between 5.7% - 6.4% suggest you are pre-diabetic
- HbA1c levels of 6.5% or above mean you have diabetes.
Why do I need an HbA1c test?
It is recommended that adults over the age of 40 get screened for diabetes and prediabetes. If you are diagnosed with diabetes, then you must get started with your diet/lifestyle changes and if needed, medication. If your reports show prediabetic symptoms then, you must take precautions to prevent diabetes and lead a healthy lifestyle. Factors that increase the chance of diabetes are stress, obesity, sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy eating habits.
Are bananas good for diabetes?
A person with diabetes should include fresh, plant food options in the diet, such as fruits and vegetables. Bananas provide plenty of nutrition without adding many calories. However, it is recommended that you consult a doctor or a nutritionist before deciding on your diet.
What causes HbA1c levels to rise?
- Being overweight/obese
- Iron, vitamin B12, or folate deficiency anaemia
- Chronic diseases such as gum disease, pylori infection and kidney diseases
- Sleep disorders
- Certain drugs such as opiates and statins
- High bilirubin levels
Can stress cause high HbA1c levels?
Yes, high stress can increase insulin resistance and cause your sugar levels to rise. You may want to avoid the ‘bad’ stress.
What are the symptoms of high HbA1c levels?
- Blurred vision.
- Trouble with thinking or concentrating.
- Frequent urination.
Does HbA1c measure gestational diabetes?
The HbA1c test is not used for Blood sugar control in gestational diabetes. In the first weeks of pregnancy, HbA1c is used to check sugar levels, but not in the later weeks of pregnancy.
What is the difference between a diabetologist and an endocrinologist?
Diabetologists are doctors who only treat people suffering from early or higher stages of diabetes.
On the other hand, endocrinologists are specialists of the entire endocrine system of our body — pituitary gland, thyroid gland, adrenal gland, pancreas etc.
An Endocrinologist, thus, looks after not only diabetes but also other health conditions related to the endocrine system.
What readings are considered dangerous for blood sugar?
What is the dangerous level of A1c?
If the value of the A1C test is 5.7% – it is normal.
If the value is between 5.7 to 6.4% – it is a prediabetic condition.
Levels between 6 to 6.9% – are a sign of controlled diabetes.
But if the levels are > 7% -dangerous level and uncontrolled diabetes.
What are the symptoms of having low sugar?
- Feeling dizzy and having confusion
- Experiencing shivering
- Anxiety and stress
- Chills and sweating
- Fast heart rates
For HbA1c general information- www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-76105-2
For HbA1c sample reports- www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK304271/
For readings – www.care.diabetesjournals.org/content/36/11/3535