What Is Hemoglobin A1c?

Hemoglobin A1c is a blood screening that measures average blood sugar control for the past 2 to 3 months.

What Diseases/Conditions is Hemoglobin A1c Linked To?

Hemoglobin A1c is a good indication of your risk for type 2 diabetes, and for people living with type 2 diabetes, it indicates how well your treatment plan is working.

Symptoms of High Levels

The normal range for Hemoglobin A1c is between 4% and 5.6%.

If your Hemoglobin A1c is between 5.7% and 6.4%, you are pre-diabetic, meaning you are at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the future. Generally, there are no symptoms of pre-diabetes, but some common risk factors are:

  • Physical inactivity
  • Family history of diabetes
  • High-risk race (African American, Latino, Native American, Asian American, Pacific Islander)
  • High blood pressure
  • Low HDL cholesterol, and/or high triglycerides
  • History of cardiovascular disease

If your Hemoglobin A1c is 6.5% or higher, you are considered diabetic. Some common symptoms you may be experiencing are:

  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Increased appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Slow-healing infections
  • Tingling, pain or numbness in the hands/feet

Who May Want to Have Their Hemoglobin A1c Levels Tested?

The American Diabetes Association recommends that people who fall into the “prediabetic” category (A1c between 5.7% and 6.4%) have their Hemoglobin A1c tested every one to two years to check for type 2 diabetes.

If you are experiencing any of the above risk factors or symptoms, you may want to have your Hemoglobin A1c levels checked.

Always seek the advice of your doctor if you have questions about your results.

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