There are a range of tests your doctor may perform on you—especially if you suffer from diabetes.
One of those is known as an A1c test. What is A1c? Well, in short, it is a hemoglobin test that will give your doctors data on how diabetes is impacting you and your body. In fact, many health professionals say that the A!c test results is one of the most important data measurements a doctor can take to help you manage your diabetes. That is why it is suggested that an A1c test is performed every 3-6 months with your doctor.
But why do you need to get these tests done if you are using a glucose meter already? And how does the test even work? Well, we are here to tell you everything you need to know about A1c.
What does an A1c test show?
An A1c test is not like your blood sugar test that a glucose meter performs. While these self-tests are great for being able to give you real-time data on your current status, it is only an accurate snap shot of the present situation. The A1c data is, on the other hand, able to give a synopsis on how well the blood sugar levels have been consistently over a one to two month period. That is why you should be getting these tests done as well, as it can tell you if any lifestyle changes to your self-care need to be done to further improve your blood sugar levels.
How can an A1c test help your diabetes?
As mentioned above, the data that an A1c test shows is able to give a more holistic snapshot of how your health is in a longer-term range. In general, those without diabetes normally come in at 4-6% on their A1c test, where those with diabetes will be higher. The A1c results are able to show where you are at in your journey and create goals for levels to work towards in the future. But it is also important to note that the A1c results are not the entire picture—as each person’s number will also vary on if there are any additional health issues such as kidney diseases, liver diseases and blood transfusions. So don’t go comparing your numbers to someone else’s—as they won’t be equally balanced!
What happens during an A1c test?
Much like other types of tests, the A1c test is pretty straight forward. Your doctor will administer the test in their office and send it off to their laboratory to be analyzed. Sometimes this laboratory is in the same building and other times it is sent off-site. The good news is that there is nothing special that needs to be done before the test—things like fasting is not required to get an accurate reading of an A1c test. There are two different reasons why a doctor would want to perform an A1c test—first, to diagnose diabetes and, second, monitor the diabetes.
Can A1c prevent anything?
An A1c test is highly beneficial. Not only can it indicate if a person is at risk for developing diabetes, but can prevent serious symptoms of the disease from occurring. This includes loss of vision, having a heart attack or stroke or developing a kidney disease. That is why it is always a good idea to stay up to date with these tests as they can quite literally end up being a life saver!
Getting an A1c test is very straightforward and a pain-free test to help monitor your health. Doctors are able to administer this themselves and can use all the data to get you on track towards living a healthier and longer life!