Hemoglobin A1c (Diabetes) - Cholesterol Test Descriptions

Hemoglobin A1c is used to evaluate persons who have up and down fluctuations in blood sugar (glucose) levels. It is theorized that a single glucose measurement may not accurately describe a person's true blood sugar levels. Glucose measurements alone may only provide a snapshot of blood sugar levels whereas Hemoglobin A1c can provide a more accurate longer-term assessment.

What is Diabetes?
Diabetes means that your blood sugar is too high. Your blood always has some sugar in it because the body needs sugar for energy to keep you going. But too much sugar in the blood is not good for your health.

How do you get high blood sugar?
Your body changes most of the food you eat into sugar. Your blood carries the sugar to your body cells. The sugar needs insulin to get into the body cells. Insulin is a chemical (a hormone) made in a part of the body called the pancreas. The pancreas releases insulin into the blood. Insulin helps the sugar from food get into body cells. If your body doesn't make enough insulin or the insulin doesn't work right, the sugar cannot get into the cells. Its stays in the blood. This makes your blood sugar level high, causing you to have diabetes.


What are the signs of diabetes?
The signs of diabetes are:
* being very thirsty
* urinating often
* feeling very hungry or tired
* losing weight without trying
* having sores that are slow to heal, or dry itchy skin
* losing feeling in the feet or having tingling in the feet
* having blurry eyesight
You may have had one or more of these signs before you found out you had diabetes.

What kind of diabetes do you have?
People can get diabetes at any age. Most people get diabetes when they are over 40 or 50 years old. They usually have the kind of diabetes called noninsulin-dependent diabetes. People with noninsulin-dependent diabetes follow a special diet and may take diabetes pills. However, sometimes they need insulin shots. Some people get diabetes as children or teenagers. They usually have the kind of diabetes known as insulin-dependent diabetes. This means they need daily insulin shots.

Why a blood glucose screening?
A glucose test shows what your sugar level is right now, and is a basic indicator to diabetes. Too often, people don't have a clue that they have early type 2 diabetes. Yet damage to their eyes, kidneys, heart, and blood vessels may already be under way. It doesn't have to be like that. We have better methods to detect diabetes. We understand more about preventing and reducing its complications. Diabetes - a "silent killer" --continues to ravage the health of millions of Americans. Often, diabetes runs in families. Nonetheless, a recent survey of diabetics found that most of them didn't know about the family connection.

What is a good blood sugar level?
Everyone has some sugar in their blood. The normal amount of sugar in the blood ranges from about 70 to 120 -- in people who don't have diabetes. Blood sugar goes up after eating, but returns to the normal range in 1 to 2 hours. A good blood sugar range for most people with diabetes is from about 70 to 150. This is before a meal -- like before breakfast or 4 to 5 hours after your last meal.
  • People can get diabetes at any age. Most people get diabetes when they are over 40 or 50 years old.
  • The normal amount of sugar in blood levels is about 70-120 in people who don't have diabetes
  • Every person is different; for example blood sugar of 80 may be too low for some people.
  • American Diabetes Association recommends both Glucose and A1c testing.
  • Often, diabetes runs in families. Nonetheless, a recent survey of diabetics found that most of them didn't know about the family connection.
  • Too often, people don't know that they have early type 2 diabetes. Yet damage to their eyes, kidneys, heart, and blood vessels may already be under way.

Remember: Everyone is different. A good blood sugar range for someone else may not be the best for you. For example; a blood sugar of 80 may be too low for some people. Ask your doctor what the best range of blood sugar is for you.