The A1C test helps calculate the average blood sugar levels of your body for the past 90 days. This particular test can help your medical practitioner identify prediabetes, and diabetes, and keep an eye on the effectiveness of the treatments. This test is otherwise called the haemoglobin A1C, glycated haemoglobin, HbA1C test, or glycohemoglobin test, and it helps evaluate the amount of sugar linked to haemoglobin in your blood.
Haemoglobin, a protein that is present in RBCs [red blood cells] and sugar will naturally attach to it. But, as individuals with elevated blood sugar levels tend to have more sugar-coated haemoglobin, this test is helpful in checking and monitoring their diabetes status.
As advanced A1C levels are frequently linked with diabetes complications, it is vital to reach and sustain target A1C results. The personal A1C goal of a person will depend on several factors, including their age and other medical conditions that they might have. Though it is a significant tool for dealing with diabetes, testing A1C levels doesn’t substitute other strategies, like normal blood sugar testing that you do at home.
You can work toward bringing down and maintaining your A1C level by following your treatment plan, getting physical exercise regularly, and taking small steps towards losing weight if your doctor has recommended you to do so. Here are some possible complications of A1C levels and the best strategies to help bring them down.
Hba1c test result shows how well your body is upholding blood glucose levels by presenting the average sugar-bound haemoglobin percentage in your blood sample. A higher A1C level indicates an elevated risk of diabetes and various other complications.
When your doctor discusses A1C levels with you, he/she might mention estimated average glucose, [eAG]. It corresponds to your A1C, however it shows as mg/dl [milligrams per deciliter], as with your blood sugar. Both A1C and eAG signify the average 3-month blood glucose levels of an individual. But, A1C level suggestions can differ amongst various people owing to several factors. What might be high for one particular individual might be inside the range for another individual.
For instance, people who have advanced diabetes conditions will possess elevated A1C targets compared to the ones without diabetes. Several underlying conditions that include blood disorders can have an effect as well, as can potentially variable factors, like medications, stress, and serious lifestyle changes. If you are someone with an A1C level that indicates prediabetes, you should probably consider making some lifestyle changes, like staying active and following a well-balanced diet, to help reverse or manage the condition prior to it progressing to type 2 diabetes.
If you have higher A1C levels, it is suggested that you get in touch with your doctor as soon as possible. He/she will run some diagnostic tests to verify your diabetes status. The A1C objective for the majority of people with diabetes is around 7% or less. But, this can vary from person to person, and your diabetes care team might consider several other factors to help you set your own personal goals. If you have diabetes and your A1C test result is much higher than your set target, your doctor can help advise medication and lifestyle changes to reduce your A1C level.
How does this test work?
The A1C test calculates the average blood sugar level for the past 90 days. The test is capable of measuring this by finding the glycosylated haemoglobin percentage in your blood. If your blood has more glucose, there’s a chance that it will get attached to haemoglobin in higher quantities. Thus, if you possess an elevated percentage of glycosylated haemoglobin, it shows that you have had elevated blood sugar for quite some time now.
Hence, if you’re diagnosed with diabetes, it’s best to undergo the A1C test to determine and monitor your blood sugar level within a certain amount of time. Thankfully, with modern technology, this type of blood test can be done from the comfort of your home. The A1c home tester kit can save you time and money because you don’t need to go to the doctor, pay an expensive laboratory fee, and wait for the results for a long time.
High A1C complications
Higher A1C levels can be concerning since they might signify that you are at a higher danger of diabetes complications. For people without a diabetes diagnosis, it implies that, without interventions, they might develop diabetes. For people who have diabetes, it might imply that their present treatment plan is not helpful and they ought to get in touch with a doctor. Potential complications include the following;
- Eye disease
- Kidney disease
- Metabolic syndrome
- Stroke and cardiovascular disease
Setting A1C targets
As numerous factors tend to affect a fitting A1C range, there is actually no standardized approach as far as setting A1C goals is concerned. A healthcare team for diabetes can offer you a target level that represents various factors that include the present A1C value and the date of the subsequent test.
If the result is within a healthy limit, the objective here is to maintain it. But, if you enter the advanced levels, your doctor may recommend making changes to your treatment plans and goals. He/she can help determine a practical target and the perfect strategy to accomplish that goal.
How to lower A1C
If your A1C level is way above your target, your doctor can offer recommendations to help bring it down and lessen the risk of possible complications. You should discuss any severe lifestyle changes with your doctor before going through them. Here are some general recommendations to help reduce A1C levels.
Reviewing medication: This might involve changing to another medication or amplifying the current dosage. It is significant to ensure that you follow your treatment plan correctly.
Never miss your medication: Although you can lower your A1C level with diet and exercise, you should also take the medications prescribed by your doctor. These may include miglitol, metformin, or insulin. If you don’t want your blood sugar level to shoot up, follow the medication plan that your doctor recommends.
Physical exercise: Regular physical activity is good for your overall health. Since your body needs glucose to exercise, physical activities can be a helpful way to reduce blood sugar levels.
Healthy diet: A nutritious and balanced diet can aid in managing your blood sugar levels. Also, it can help you achieve your weight loss goal. For example, you shouldn’t overdo your carbohydrate intake as it can cause your A1C to increase and result in more severe complications.
Stop smoking: Smoking in general has so many potential health risks. Quitting smoking might help enhance blood flow.
Be consistent: Lowering your A1C level isn’t an overnight task. You must be in tune with your actions to maintain low blood sugar. For example, you should stay consistent with your diet and exercise program to ensure a more favorable health outcome.
When you have diabetes, checking your blood sugar level is important to prevent potential health complications. Hence, if you want to protect your health, keep the information mentioned above in mind. This way, you’ll know what HbA1C level to watch out for and the strategies to lower them.