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Hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C) Test is not Reliable

Hemoglobin A1C
What is hemoglobin A1C (HBA1C) test ?

Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1C), is a form of hemoglobin that is bound to glucose. Your A1C measures the amount of advanced glycogenated end products (AGEs) that have accumulated in your bloodstream during the past three months. This test is routinely done for people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. 

What is the normal HbA1c level?

According to the latest guideline by ACP for ‘most’ diabetes patients, clinicians should aim to achieve an HbA1c level of between 7 to 8%.

What are the a1c guidelines?

ACP recommends that most patients with type 2 diabetes should aim for HbA1Cs — between 7 and 8 percent.

There are different ways to test your blood glucose levels and thus, potentially predict and/or prevent diabetes. One such test is hemoglobin A1C (HBA1C)

What is hemoglobin A1C (HBA1C) test ?

Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1C), is a form of hemoglobin that is bound to glucose. Your A1C measures the amount of advanced glycogenated end products (AGEs) that have accumulated in your bloodstream during the past three months. This test is routinely done for people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. 

What is the normal HbA1c level?

According to the latest guideline by ACP for ‘most’ diabetes patients, clinicians should aim to achieve an HbA1c level of between 7 to 8%.

What are the a1c guidelines?

ACP recommends that most patients with type 2 diabetes should aim for HbA1Cs — between 7 and 8 percent.

The other tests are,

Fasting Blood Sugar/Glucose Levels (FBG)

The most common is the fasting blood glucose tests (FBG). Basically, you don’t eat anything for at least 8 hours and then do a blood test and they see your fasting blood glucose levels. This is typically done first thing in the morning. You see this all the time with a regular blood test. Healthy levels are between 70-100 mg/dL.

Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT) In this test, you’re given sugar, about 75 grams of glucose dissolved in water. You drink it and then your blood sugar is test after 1 and 2 hours to see how your body handles all of this sugar.
This method does not work because nobody has 4 cups of soda or something else with that much glucose… all at once… by itself … and without any other food.

What is the accurate method ?

You eat a meal, you do a blood tests with a simple glucometer and you see what your blood sugar levels are after your meal.

Hemoglobin A1C test has become more popular over the past 10-15 years. This is done because its thought to be more accurate and reliable than the “fasting blood glucose” (FBG) test. Also it is a lot cheaper and easier than the older, “oral glucose tolerance test” (OGTT). Basically, A1c is a “snapshot” or the “average” blood sugar levels for the past 60-90 days. Specifically, the A1c test measures what percentage of your hemoglobin — a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen — is coated with sugar (glycated). The higher your A1C level, the poorer your blood sugar control and the higher your risk of diabetes complications.

In theory, this makes sense and seems like a better indicator. Unfortunately, there’s a big problem with Hemoglobin A1C levels that most people won’t tell you and your doctor doesn’t know.

The main problem is that how long your hemoglobin survives, varies greatly in people. One study in Diabetes Journals, showed that red blood cells live longer than average at normal blood sugars. Researchers found that the lifetime of hemoglobin cells of diabetics decreased as few as 81 days, while they lived as long as 146 days in non-diabetics.

This proves that the assumption that everyone’s red blood cells live for three months is false, and that hemoglobin A1C can’t be relied upon as a blood sugar marker. In a person with normal blood sugar, hemoglobin will be around for a lot longer, which means it will accumulate more sugar. Thus, in normal, non-diabetic people, this will drive up the A1c test result – but it doesn’t mean that the person had too much sugar in their blood. The result is that people with normal blood sugar often test with unexpectedly high A1c Levels. The post meal is the most accurate test, but also takes more time and effort.

Conclusion

The usual methods of testing for blood sugar are all flawed, when used individually. There are many people who have higher hemoglobin A1C levels, while their fasting blood sugar and post meal blood sugar levels were all great. If you want to lower your blood sugar and help avoid or reverse diabetes, you’ll need to make simple lifestyle changes.
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