HbA1C! When I first became diabetic I had no idea what this even meant. I just knew that every 3 to 6 months I would have blood taken from my arm. This blood sample, which seemed like gallons of blood, would then come back to me, a few weeks later in a percentage format. The doctors and my parents seemed happy and that made me happy. “I felt a sense of achievement.”
Let’s start with a few basics!
The blood stream is made up of red blood cells these red blood cells contain haemoglobin or Hb. Red cells can live for 8 – 12 weeks before they are replaced. Hb carries oxygen in the blood from the lungs and then to the rest of the body.
“So what did it all mean?”
As I developed a better concept of science and my diabetes, I began to understand, that this HbA1c was an average measurement used to identify the level of control I had maintained over a prolonged period of time.
HbA1c occurs when haemoglobin binds (Hb) with glucose in the blood stream. The glucose and the haemoglobin molecule form a glycated haemoglobin molecule. This is known as A1c or HbA1c.
Hb + Glucose = HbA1c
Someone without diabetes produces normal levels of glucose and therefore produces a normal level of glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c). The more glucose in the blood stream, the more haemoglobin A1c or HbA1c in the blood. Higher levels of glycated haemoglobin in diabetics would suggest poor blood glucose level control.
These high levels of HbA1c are associated with diabetic complications such as retinopathy (eye complications) and neuropathy (nerve damage). There are many other complications, which I will touch on in my next post. HbA1c levels do not ensure that complications will develop or will not develop. However it has been proven, that having good control and a good HbA1c will reduce the chances of these complications arising.
What should your HbA1c be??
|HbA1c in mmol/mol (new unit)||% HbA1c (old unit)|
|Non diabetic||30 mmol/mol||4.90%|
|Diabetic prone to hypoglycaemia||58 mmol/mol||7.50%|
HbA1c testing in diabetics depends on the individual and how well they control their blood glucose levels. A diabetic prone to hypos, but is trying their best to achieve tighter control on their diabetes, HbA1c test is carried out every 3 months.Once the individual is able to control and retain good control, HbA1c testing should then be carried out every 6 months. Since I had my son, I’ve suffered a great deal with low blood glucose levels. Currently I have my HbA1c tested every 3 months, due to my nocturnal hypoglycaemia. This is something I’m working hard to get rid of and maintain a good level of control, as I always have.
My current HbA1c = 7.4% 57mmol/mol
My dream HbA1c = 5.0% 31mmol/mol
Pregnancy HbA1c = 6.4% 46mmol/mol
If you have bad control, or perhaps your HbA1c wasn’t so great the last time.Its not the end of the world. Stay positive and please don’t give up. Keep on striving for a better HbA1c. Use your diabetes team and get them to help you. However you must help yourself first by, taking regular notes of your sugars and create a picture of what is happening with them. The only way to make changes and achieve a good HbA1c is to take the steps to control your blood glucose levels.
- Hemoglobin A1C: The Action Figure! (diabetesmine.com)
12 Comments Add yours
that’s encouraging! I got diagnosed in December last year and in February my levels were 71 and I just did the HbA1c and it’s 58. I have been working out a lot and also keeping an eye on what I eat. I am hoping to lower it to under 4.00- and then goodbye diabetes lol. that’s the dream right?! I am hoping though that I can reverse type 2 by exercising and continuing to have really small amounts of sugar like in bread once in a while.
God bless us all..we sure need it. This journey is really not easy!
Wow Lory that’s amazing. You’ve done a fantastic job. Diabetes really isn’t easy at all but I love that your pushing for the best outcome for you. Cheering you on friend xxx
I have just been told my hba1c is 57, does that mean I’m diabetic?
Hi Jo, as I’m not a doctor I wouldn’t like to say. Your doctor would be able to advice you better. However, for someone who isn’t diabetic 57 is a little high and is suggestive of pre diabetes. I would strongly advice that you speak to your doctor and get him to discuss the results, as he/ she will have more information to work with, to give you a more definitive answer. I wish you all the best and I pray all goes well.
I just found mine as 41 mmol/mol and most of my GP appointments I missed now I don’t know what should I do?…I am just reading these articles and stopped taking sugar..but little bit confused with diets as I read something about starch food..I am pure veg guy..do I need to go for any urgent medication as i lost 5-6 kg in last few months..
I am not a doctor so i would suggest you make an appointment to see your GP. They will better inform you 🙂
hi, i’m melina najib.from malaysia. i’m diebetic(glucose reading a year ago 18 and had high blood pressure reading up to 200) now my glucose reading is 4.8 and high blood is 115/87 as for today.for us in malaysia, it is easy to control our diebetic (we have hempedu bumi =andrographis paniculata = 2 leaves a day and for high blood we consume sabah snake grass = 5 leaves in the morning n 5 leaves in the evening and fenugreek =mix 2 spoonful a day with a glass of water and soak for 4-5 hours.i take these herbs daily.please look this up on google.you wont believe on the results. i hope my info will help you guy. my email firstname.lastname@example.org
Very informative! I believe you should have no problem lowering that HbA1c. At least yours isnt as high as mine (9.8). Keep up the good work!
Thank you so much for the support Paul. I had the chance to read your blog and it’s amazing. Even though you are new to diabetes, I can definitely say your doing a great job. You have a positive mind set, which is really important when taking on diabetes. There are many challenges that you’ll face in the years to come. But just keep up the good work, stay positive and stay on top of it! Also you’ll have that 9.8 down in no time 🙂
No, Thank YOU for your support 🙂 I am very lucky to have the help of my parents and encouragement from people like you.