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Decoding HbA1c Test for Blood Sugar

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What is considered a ‘normal reading’ for the HbA1c calculator?

Recommended HbA1c readings fall within the reference range of 6.5 to 7%. This implies that for every 100 red blood cells, 6-7 cells have glucose attached to them. Mean blood sugar levels can be better understood from the following table.




HbA1c-Average Blood Glucose Reading

% mmol/L mg/dL Inference
3-4 2-4 36-72 Extremely low to low blood sugar
4.5 5.5 99-100 Perfect!
4.5-5 5-6 90-108 Normal range for non-diabetics (pre-prandial)
5.5 - 6 7 – 8 126 - 144 Normal post-prandial in non-diabetics
6.5 – 7 9 - 10 162 - 180 Maximum post-prandial in non-diabetics
6.5 – 7.5 9 – 11 162 - 198 High, even for diabetics
7.5 – 9.5 11 – 15 198 - 270 Indicates to poorly controlled bG
12.5 - 25 20 - 25 360 - 450 Extremely high
> 19 33 or > 33 > 594 High possibility of serious electrolyte imbalance!!

Key:

Blood Glucose, post-prandial, After meal,

Pre-prandial, Before meal

Micromat™, Diastat™, VARIANT™, Immunoturbidimetric, hemoglobin testing system, diabetes monitoring, beta-thalassemia, hemoglobinopathy, sickle cell disease

Rough Glucose Conversions:

mmol/L →  mg/dL : Multiply by 18

mg/dL  →  mmol/L:  Divide by 18 (or multiply by 0.055)

Or, you could simply use Medindia’s Blood Sugar Converter available at http://www.medindia.net/patients/calculators/bloodsugar-conversion.asp  or our HbA1c1c1c(A1c) Calculator for Blood Glucose at http://www.medindia.net/patients/calculators/bloodsugar-HbA1c1c-convertor.asp

Since glucose binds slowly to Hemoglobin A (and decomposes at about the same rate), the HbA1c count is a good indicator of average blood glucose over a period of time. The American Diabetes Association recommends an A1c of 7% (implying 7 cells out of every 100 have an appendage of blood glucose) or lower. But deciding upon a generalized “perfect blood sugar” value is impossible as this varies from person to person.

Instruments to Measure HbA1c1c

The following instruments are used to measure glycosylated hemoglobin.

a) Conventional procedures like Immunoturbidimetric methods (out-dated and inaccurate).

b) Micromat™ which provides on-the-spot (in 5 minutes) and accurate results. Recommended for diabetologists and small laboratories.  

c) Diastat™ is the ideal HbA1c monitoring device. It is used in pathological laboratories and hospitals.

d) The VARIANT™ Hemoglobin Testing System is a state-of-the-art contraption which provides automated diabetes monitoring, beta- thalassemia, and screening for hemoglobinopathy and sickle cell disease.

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HbA1c Test can be a good measurement for diabetes, however genetic variations play important role in Diabetes. For example, genetic polymorphisms and mutations have been linked with Maturity onset of diabetes of young (MODY). There are about 15 genes associated with MODY, which were, till-date wrongly diagnosed as Type-1 diabetes. MODY donot require any medicines. Gene therapy and dietary changes alone can cure MODY diabetes. In patients diagnosed with type-2 diabetes, a genetic testing is recommended to find the best treatment for diabetes according to their genetic make-up. Certain dietary and life-style changes can even cure the disbetes completely in some individuals, but others may not be cured at-all from type-2 diabetes. Hence it is now recommended for comprehensive genetic testing for all patients with type-2 diabetes and MODY-type diabetes...
avinash1005 Wednesday, December 18, 2013
There is big gap regarding declaring a person as Pre-Diabetic and Diabetic based on 1] Fasting and PP sugar levels 2) HbA1c levels. Many patients with with Fasting sugar less than 100 mg/dl and PP sugar less than 140 mg/dl show HbA1c level in the range of 6 % 0r 6.1 %. A person with Fasting sugar less than 100 mg/dl and PP sugar less than 140 mg/dl is considered Non Diabetic. On the other hand a person with HbA1c level between 5.7 % to 6.4 % is considered as Pre-diabetic. Two comments posted below on this website also confirm this discrepancy. For example Comment posted on 12/16/2013 [yesterday) showing Fasting and PP level as 109 and 139 ( only Pre-Diabetic range) but HbA1c as 9.4 which is very high and is severe Diabetic range. Similarly comment posted on 08/06/2012 stating that blood sugar fasting in last 6 months was 100 and 91 and pp as 122 and 102 Recently I did Hb1ac test and it gave 6.1. On the basis Fasting and PP levels the person would be non -Diabetic. in Reply just below that comment Dr Marks has declared the person as Pre-diabetic. SC Gupta
Gupta1952 Tuesday, December 17, 2013
my fasting glucose level 109, pp 139, hba1c range 9.4, i am not taking any medicine as of now, do i require medication
zydusovraman Monday, December 16, 2013
Hi have been diagnosed type 1 for 2weeks and my hba1c result came back as 99. Does this mean I have been diabetic for a while and not known ?
paul83 Monday, September 23, 2013
I was diagnosed diabetic 2 in July,2011. Fasting was 299, PP 326 and Hba1c 10.6 !! I was administered Meformin 500 mg twice a day.With all other precautions on diet and exercise I could bring down the HbA1c to 5.9 in Aug,2012. I quit medicine to see the HbA1c behavior. Diet control and 70 minutes evening walk continues. During the Non-medicine period my glucometer reading of fasting was always in the range 100-85 but sometimes PP went upto 190. Anyways, after August 27th when HbA1c read 5.9 I again got tested for HbA1c today [3rd Dec.2012] and the reading is again 5.9 with mean as 122.6 Am I right in quitting medicine ? Does 5.9 suggest that I better control diabetes with diet control and evening walk only. Thanks
vijayshubh Monday, December 03, 2012
I have been getting my blood sugar tested every six months because of family history. I run /cycle 5 to 6 time a week and otherwise have a desk job.I am 44 yrs old. I feel unease after 2 hrs of taking food in the morning after excersie but after taking food I am ok. My blood sugar fasting in last 6 months was 100 and 91 and pp as 122 and 102 Recently I did Hb1ac test and it gave 6.1. Can I be predibatic pls suggest Thanks
suratrunner Monday, August 06, 2012
Yes, at 6.1 this is a pre diabetic level. From 5.7-6.3 is pre diabetes. At 6.4 you are diabetic. Keep up the excercise, but you must watch your carbohydrate consumption. Bread, rice, pasta potatoes fruit juice and more than 2 fruits a day will keep you in this state. Increase salads and non starchy vegetables as well as lean proteins and you will improve. Dr. Marks
Lmarks1000 Friday, August 24, 2012
What should be the reference range of HbA1c in Ist, IInd and IIIrd Trimester of pregnancy????????
dr.meera Sunday, April 01, 2012
Can having a lot of sugary foods as at Cristmas time raise the levels seen on HbA1c test? Rafe
Rafael Sunday, February 20, 2011
I will be much benefitted if I know whether I have to go for the test in empty stomock or after taking food. Since I am going for this test periodically I want to know this.
ramasamy43 Saturday, July 24, 2010
HbA1c test measure the average level of glucose during last 3 months.Hence you can go both with empty stomach or after taking food.
Gupta1952 Tuesday, December 17, 2013
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