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What is an HBA1C and Why is it Important to a Diabetic?

The Glycosylated Hemoglobin Test, also known as the HBA1C or the A1C is a test that measures a person's average blood glucose level over the past 2 to 3 months. Hemoglobin is the substance inside red blood cells that carries oxygen to the cells of the body. Glucose (a type of sugar) molecules in the blood normally become stuck to hemoglobin molecules - this means the hemoglobin has become glycosylated. As a person's blood sugar becomes higher, more of the person's hemoglobin becomes glycosylated. The glucose remains attached to the hemoglobin for the life of the red blood cell, or about 2 to 3 months.

A blood test can measure the amount of glycosylated hemoglobin in the blood. The glycosylated hemoglobin test shows what a person's average blood glucose level was for the 2 to 3 months before the test. This can help determine how well a person's diabetes is being controlled over time. It is a very important test!

How is it translated? A non-diabetic has a blood sugar range between 70 - 100, and an A1C range of 4.2% to 6.0%. Normal range should be the goal of every diabetic because it will practically ensure a life void of diabetic complications related to diabetes. It is possible to lower your HbA1C and have normal blood sugar levels! Even with a 5.6% A1C, Isobel was showing some early warning signs. Our last appointment indicated decreased circulation in her legs. Dr. Bernstein wants her A1C LOWER!! So, that's what we're going to do. Looking forward to the next test!

Normal A1c range 4.2 - 6.0% % (72-136) mg/dl

HbA1C Chart


65 mg/dl


100 mg/dl


135 mg/dl


170 mg/dl


205 mg/dl


240 mg/dl


275 mg/dl


310 mg/dl


345 mg/dl 

Isobel's latest A1C was a 5.6%.

Isobel does not enjoy getting her blood drawn. Who does?! I always feel so bad for her when she has to get "pricked". I want to do whatever I can to help her through and the most effective has been this: One day, I timed how long it took from start to finish. I counted about 30 seconds. Our new motto on the days when she has to get blood drawn is this, "Let's not let 30 seconds ruin our day". I can't express how this slogan and mindset has helped her easily get through getting blood taken. It really puts things into perspective -- it's only 30 seconds!! Hope this helps you get through the days where your child has to get blood taken as well.

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