Hemoglobin is the substance inside red blood cells that carries oxygen to the cells of the body. Glucose molecules in the blood normally attached to the hemoglobin molecules (hemoglobin thus become glycosylated) also referred as hemoglobin A1C or HbA1c. Hemoglobin becomes glycosylated as a person’s blood sugar increases. The glucose remains attached to the hemoglobin for the life of the red blood cell which is about 2 to 3 months.
What is HbA1c test?Hemoglobin A1c or HbA1c test is a blood test that measures the amount of glycosylated hemoglobin in the blood which shows the person’s average blood glucose level for the past 2 to 3 months before the test. This test helps in diagnosis of diabetes and its management.
HbA1c/Fasting Blood Sugar(FBS)Doctors use fasting blood sugar levels for managing diabetes. Eating raises blood sugar levels and sugar sticks to the surface of cells which cannot be removed. Further, this sugar is converted into poison called sorbitol that damages the cell and causes heart attacks, kidney damage, blindness and nerve damage. Fasting blood sugar doesn’t indicate cell damage but hemoglobin A1C measures how much sugar sticks to cells.
HBA1C levelsNote that the HbA1c value, which is measured in mmol/mol, should not be confused with a blood glucose level which is measured in mmol/l.
- Normal – Below 42mmol/mol – Below 5.7%
- Pre Diabetes – 42 to 47mmol/mol – 5.7% to 6.4%
- Diabetes – 48mmol/mol or over – 6.5% greater