November 30, 2015
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Hemoglobin A1c Test
(HbA1c, A1c, Hb1c)

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Home blood sugar (glucose) testing is an important part of controlling blood sugar for people with diabetes. One important goal of diabetes treatment is to keep the blood glucose levels near the normal range of 70 to 120 mg/dl before meals and under 140 mg/dl at 2 hours after eating.

  • Blood glucose levels are usually tested before and after meals, and at bedtime.
  • The blood sugar level is typically determined by pricking a fingertip with a lancing device and applying the blood to a glucose meter, which reads the value. Some of the meters will allow the blood sample to be taken from the arms or other body areas.
  • There are many meters on the market, for example- Accu-Check Advantage, One Touch Ultra, Sure Step and Freestyle. Each meter has its own advantages and disadvantages (some use less blood, have a larger digital readout, or take a shorter time to give you results, etc).
  • The test results are then used to help patients make adjustments in medications, diets, and physical activities.

Since blood glucose levels can fluctuate widely, even frequent home glucose testing may not accurately reflect the degree of success in controlling blood sugar. The hemoglobin A1C test is a valuable measure of the overall effectiveness of blood glucose control over a period of time.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/21/2015



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