The glycosylated test or HbA1c test gives an estimation of average blood glucose level over a period of 3 months. The fasting and random blood sugar level may vary day to day. But HbA1c value is constant. HbA1c is also known as glyco –hemoglobin test.
How HbA1c works?
Normally glucose in the body is linked to certain proteins in our body. Hemoglobin, is one of those proteins. This process of attachment is permanent and is called glycosylation. These attachment remain throughout the lifetime of an RBC that is, for almost 100 days.
As the blood sugar level raises higher the attachment to RBC increases and higher amount of hemoglobin is glycosylated. Actually, her the amount is not the matter, HbA1c indicates the percentage of attachment.
Importance of HbA1c
HbA1c ensures that the blood glucose was within normal limit over a period of past 3 months. The average glucose level is calculated. It gives an option to evaluate the treatment. It does not replace the daily blood glucose monitoring.
Normal HbA1c range
In a non-diabetic individual the normal percentage range of HbA1c ranges between 4% – 6%.
Indication of abnormal HbA1c
An elevated HbA1c suggest that the blood sugar levels are higher and there is a very high risk of developing complications of diabetes in nerves, eye, kidney and heart.
A 1% reduction in HbA1c value is found to reduce the risk of complication by 30%.
If the HbA1c value falls below normal there is chance for hypoglycemia and proper dose adjustment is necessary. Certain studies are now carried out to change the normal range of HbA1c to between 7% – 8%.