HbA1c is the average period of blood sugar levels in your blood over a period of 2-3 months .You must have ‘ heard about mean median and mode. These are measures of central tendency. If there are 25 people travelling through a bus and we want to find their average height, then what we do is that we add up their heights and divide by 25 ,this gives us an idea of their average height.
Similarly HbA1c is the average level of blood sugar over a period of 2-3 months.
It is necessary in those individuals who have fluctuating levels of blood sugar, those who are at the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Normal level of HbA1c in a diabetic individual is about 48mmol/molecular and ideally it should be below 42 mmol/mol .
Explanation -In a diabetic individual the level of blood sugar is high as the body cells are not able to utilize the glucose in blood due to inability of glucose to get transported into the body cells. Haemoglobin is a molecule in the RBCs((Red blood corpuscles) that is necessary for transport of oxygen. The excess of glucose combines with haemoglobin to form glycated Haemoglobin.
So more the levels of glycated haemoglobin more is the hb 1 ac levels.
Normal levels of Hb1 AC are below 5.7 percent. In pre-diabetes it is between 5.7 percent to 6.4 percent. In diabetes it is more than 6.5 percent.
Factors affecting the levels of Hb1ac.
1 -Anaemia -In anaemia the Haemoglobin percentage is very low so glycosylated Hb is also low and so leads to false low levels.
2- In liver and kidney disease false values are obtained .
3-When Vitamin C and Vitamin E are given then the values of He 1 AC obtained are misleading
4- When the cholesterol level is high in untreated cases the values of GB 1 AC are not correct.
In all these situations whenever you consult your qualified and experienced MD Medicine doctor, you have to let him know all these details, as it is quite possible that being busy in heavy OPD, he may not get time to ask you all these things. So awareness is quite important. If we know certain things we are definitely benefitted.
How frequently this test of Hb 1 ac should be done. -An individual with diabetes should do this test at least once in 3 months period. If satisfactory blood sugar levels are maintained then this test can be done less frequently .A minimum two times per year should be done in diabetic individuals