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Managing Diabetes: The A1C Test

Red blood cell with some glucose stuck to hemoglobin inside cell.
Healthy red blood cells have some sugar (glucose) stuck to them.
Red blood cell with too much glucose stuck to hemoglobin inside cell.
A high A1C means that unhealthy amounts of sugar (glucose) are stuck to the cells.

What is the A1C test?

Using your meter helps you track your blood sugar every day. But your glucose meter tells you the value at the time of testing only. You also need to know if your treatment plan is keeping you healthy over time. The hemoglobin A1C (or glycated hemoglobin) test can help. This test measures your average blood sugar range over a few months. A higher A1C result means that you have a higher risk of developing problems.

The A1C test

The A1C is a blood test done by your healthcare provider. You will likely have an A1C test every 3 to 6 months.

Your blood glucose goal

A1C has been shown as a percentage. Your A1C and measures the amount of glucose stuck to a protein called hemoglobin in red blood cells. Your healthcare provider will help you figure out what your ideal A1C should be. Your target number will depend on your age, general health, and other factors. If your current number is too high, your treatment plan may need changes, such as different medicines.

Author: StayWell Custom Communications
Last Annual Review Date: 12/1/2019
Copyright © The StayWell Company, LLC. except where otherwise noted.
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