One of the most terrible facts about diabetes, the condition that affects millions of people across the globe, is that you can develop it at any age. If you frequently have extra pounds, you will also be more prone to diabetes.
Although diabetes cannot be cured completely, there are ways to effectively manage the disease. Once you start such a treatment, the goal is to keep the blood sugar levels within a target range to prevent any complications and, at the same time, maintain overall health. The primary methods for treating diabetes include medications, lifestyle changes, and blood sugar monitoring.
If you haven’t heard about hemoglobin A1C before until now, you might have guessed that it has something to do with diabetes. Hemoglobin A1C, which is also known as HbA1c or simply A1C, represents the standard for measuring blood sugar management in the case of those who suffer from diabetes.
‘Normal’ A1C for non-diabetics?
If the A1C values are high, it usually means that the average blood sugar levels are high. As a result, the person getting tested might be at risk of diabetes, or the disease could exist in the body already.
Thanks to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), the following cutoffs have been established:
- If your A1C level is below 5.7%, it falls within the normal range, indicating minimal risk for type 2 diabetes. This suggests that your average blood glucose level is similar to someone without diabetes.
- In the range of 5.7% to 6.4%, termed “prediabetes,” the A1C level is higher than normal but not yet at the level to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. It signifies an increased risk of developing diabetes at some point in the future.
- An A1C level above 6.5% indicates a diagnosis of diabetes. The person’s average blood glucose level over the past few months aligns with those typically seen in individuals with type 2 diabetes.
- Monitoring and understanding A1C levels can provide valuable information about your risk for diabetes and guide appropriate preventive measures or treatment plans. Regular A1C testing helps in maintaining optimal blood sugar control and managing the condition effectively.
Can A1C results be false?
If your body has very low iron levels, a falsely high A1C result can occur. If you suffer from anemia caused by iron deficiency, for instance, an A1C result could be false. However, you need to keep in mind that other causes for false A1C results include liver disease and kidney failure.
Iron is extremely important for our bodies. The chemical element is used to make hemoglobin, which is a protein located in red blood cells responsible for carrying oxygen from the lungs to all areas of the body. Iron also helps in the production of myoglobin, meaning a protein responsible for providing oxygen to muscles. We also need to know that iron also helps in the production of specific hormones.
Here are some important benefits of iron supplementation:
- Improving immunity
- Minimization of bruising
- Boosting hemoglobin levels
- Reducing fatigue
- Improving cognition
- A better athletic performance
Healthcare professionals can assess long-term glycemic control without relying on daily or frequent blood sugar monitoring. By measuring A1C, those who suffer from diabetes can gain valuable insights into their overall blood sugar management and assess the effectiveness of their treatment plan.
A1C provides a snapshot of average blood sugar levels over a period of 2 to 3 months. Studies have established a clear connection between higher A1c levels and an increased risk of complications related to diabetes, such as kidney and nerve diseases.
The significance of A1c lies in its ability to gauge the effectiveness of diabetes management. By diligently working to lower A1c levels, individuals with diabetes can significantly enhance their overall health and reduce the risks associated with the condition.