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A1C Test

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A1C TEST DEFINITION

The A1C test (also known as HbA1c, hemoglobin A1C, glycosylated hemoglobin, and glycated hemoglobin) is a blood test commonly used to see if a patient is suffering from Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. It also measures how well-managed your diabetes is at present.

A1C TEST PURPOSE

It determines whether you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes by measuring what percentage of your hemoglobin is glycated or coated with sugar. A higher A1C level means a lower body' control of your blood sugar. Once you're diagnosed with diabetes, the test can be used to monitor your treatment.

A1C TEST RISKS

Blood drawing risks are slight and include lightheadedness or excessive bleeding. Because veins vary in size from one person to the next and from one side of the body to the other side, so the difficulty of blood drawing will also vary.

A1C TEST PREPARATION REQUIRED

Because the A1C test is a simple blood test, there's no need to fast or anything before the test. You can eat and drink normally before taking it without negatively affecting the accuracy of its outcome. It also doesn't matter whether or not you perform heavy exercise before the test.
A1C Test
Image: A1C Test

A1C TEST PROCEDURE

A needle is inserted on the vein in your arm by a member of your healthcare team in order to take a sample of your blood during the A1C test. This blood sample is then taken to a laboratory for analysis. After the test, you can return to your activities without worry or complications unless indicated otherwise by the doctor.

A1C TEST COMPLICATIONS

Complications linked with drawing your blood are slight but may include infection (a slight risk any time the skin is broken), hematoma (blood accumulation underneath your skin), lightheadedness or fainting, and excessive bleeding.

A1C TEST SIDE EFFECTS

Some people may feel a throbbing sensation from the area where blood was drawn for a short period of time. Other than that, there are few to any side effects from having an A1C test.

A1C TEST RESULTS

The normal A1C range is 4.5 to 6 for people who don't have diabetes. As for people with uncontrolled diabetes or are long-time diabetes sufferers, the A1C level may reach above 9 percent. Diagnosis of diabetes requires a 6.5 or higher result on two separate A1C tests.
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