Compare - Diabetes Test (LGC)

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The following is a list of what is included in the item above. Click the test(s) below to view what biomarkers are measured along with an explanation of what the biomarker is measuring.

Also known as: A1c, Glycated Hemoglobin, Glycohemoglobin, Glycosylated Hemoglobin, HA1c, HbA1c, Hemoglobin A1c, Hemoglobin A1c HgbA1C, Hgb A1c

Hemoglobin A1c

The A1c test evaluates the average amount of glucose in the blood over the last 2 to 3 months. It does this by measuring the concentration of glycated (also often called glycosylated) hemoglobin A1c. Hemoglobin is an oxygen-transporting protein found inside red blood cells (RBCs). There are several types of normal hemoglobin, but the predominant form – about 95-98% – is hemoglobin A. As glucose circulates in the blood, some of it spontaneously binds to hemoglobin A. The hemoglobin molecules with attached glucose are called glycated hemoglobin. The higher the concentration of glucose in the blood, the more glycated hemoglobin is formed. Once the glucose binds to the hemoglobin, it remains there for the life of the red blood cell – normally about 120 days. The predominant form of glycated hemoglobin is referred to as HbA1c or A1c. A1c is produced on a daily basis and slowly cleared from the blood as older RBCs die and younger RBCs (with non-glycated hemoglobin) take their place. This test is used to monitor treatment in someone who has been diagnosed with diabetes. It helps to evaluate how well their glucose levels have been controlled by treatment over time. This test may be used to screen for and diagnose diabetes or risk of developing diabetes. In 2010, clinical practice guidelines from the American Diabetes Association (ADA) stated that A1c may be added to fasting plasma glucose (FPG) and oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) as an option for diabetes screening and diagnosis. For monitoring purposes, an A1c of less than 7% indicates good glucose control and a lower risk of diabetic complications for the majority of diabetics. However, in 2012, the ADA and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) issued a position statement recommending that the management of glucose control in type 2 diabetes be more "patient-centered." Data from recent studies have shown that low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can cause complications and that people with risk of severe hypoglycemia, underlying health conditions, complications, and a limited life expectancy do not necessarily benefit from having a stringent goal of less than 7% for their A1c. The statement recommends that people work closely with their doctor to select a goal that reflects each person's individual health status and that balances risks and benefits.
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The Compare - Diabetes Test (LGC) test contains 1 test with 1 biomarker.

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Diabetes Lab Test (Hemoglobin A1c)

The Diabetes lab test, specifically measuring Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), is a crucial diagnostic assessment that evaluates a person's long-term glycemic control, providing valuable information about their diabetes management and overall health.

Also Known As: A1c Test, HbA1c Test, Glycohemoglobin Test, Glycated Hemoglobin Test, Glycosylated Hemoglobin Test, HbA1c Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Whole Blood

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When and Why the Diabetes Lab Test (Hemoglobin A1c) May Be Ordered

Timing of the Test: The Diabetes lab test, measuring Hemoglobin A1c, can be ordered at any time and does not require fasting. It reflects blood glucose levels over the past two to three months, making it a reliable tool for assessing chronic glycemic control.

Reasons for Ordering the Test:

  1. Diabetes Diagnosis: One of the primary reasons for ordering the Diabetes lab test (HbA1c) is to diagnose diabetes or prediabetes. It helps healthcare providers determine whether a person's average blood sugar levels are within target ranges.

  2. Diabetes Management: For individuals already diagnosed with diabetes, this test is a fundamental tool for monitoring the effectiveness of treatment plans, including medications, lifestyle changes, and dietary modifications. Frequent HbA1c measurements help adjust treatment strategies as needed.

  3. Glycemic Control Assessment: The Diabetes lab test (HbA1c) assesses long-term glycemic control, providing insights into average blood sugar levels over the preceding two to three months. This helps healthcare providers gauge how well a patient is managing their diabetes.

What the Diabetes Lab Test (Hemoglobin A1c) Checks For

The Diabetes lab test (Hemoglobin A1c) measures the percentage of hemoglobin molecules that have glucose attached to them (glycated hemoglobin). Hemoglobin is a protein in red blood cells responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body. The test indicates the average blood sugar levels over the past two to three months because red blood cells have a lifespan of approximately that duration.

How Health Care Providers Use the Results

Interpreting the results of the Diabetes lab test (Hemoglobin A1c) is essential for diabetes management:

  1. Diagnosis and Classification: HbA1c levels help classify diabetes and prediabetes. A higher percentage typically indicates poorer blood sugar control.

  2. Treatment Adjustment: For individuals with diabetes, healthcare providers use HbA1c results to tailor treatment regimens. If HbA1c levels are consistently above target values, treatment adjustments such as medication changes, insulin dose modifications, or lifestyle interventions may be recommended.

  3. Monitoring Progress: Regular HbA1c tests allow healthcare providers to monitor how well a patient is managing their diabetes over time. A decreasing HbA1c may indicate improved glycemic control, while an increasing one may suggest the need for more intensive management.

  4. Assessing Risk: Elevated HbA1c levels are associated with an increased risk of diabetes-related complications, such as kidney disease, neuropathy, retinopathy, and cardiovascular problems. Healthcare providers use this information to counsel patients on the importance of glucose control and to implement preventive measures.

In summary, the Diabetes lab test, specifically measuring Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), is a vital tool in diabetes care. It aids in diagnosis, guides treatment decisions, assesses long-term risk, and plays a crucial role in preventing diabetes-related complications, ultimately contributing to improved overall health for individuals with diabetes.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.

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