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HbA1c - Should I Get Tested?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010
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A new recommendation by The American Diabetes Association (ADA) for diabetes diagnosis is to promote the use of the test hemoglobin A1c (A1c) as the diagnostic test of choice and help detect pre-diabetes in patients as it is not only both faster and a lot easier but more important as it was seen to reduce the number of undiagnosed patients.

Another very encouraging quality in using A1C as the diagnostic tool is that it does not require fasting. This will probably impact and encourage a whole lot of people to be tested or screened for type 2 diabetes, as they are unaware that they maybe victims of this chronic and impending pot boiler, according to The President-elect of medicine & science. That apart, detecting early will make a tremendous difference in the quality of life of a person. The best ever advantage, type 2 diabetes, a chronic disease has is that it can actually be prevented, provided lifestyle changes are made while blood glucose levels are well within the pre-diabetes range.



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User Comments

26 April, 2012 | sami | Reply

sami Hi My HBA1c is 5.7 is that consider pre diabetic and i make it again was 5.3 ??blood test fasting was 82 is that pre diabetic and thin and practise exersise almost everyday am 37 years old

27 April, 2012 | Vijayalakshmi Iyengar | Reply

Vijayalakshmi Iyengar Hello Mr Sami
It was heartening to note that both your levels of Hb1Ac of 5.7 and your fasting blood sugar of 82 are both absolutely in the normal range.
I am trying to understand why you are worried, as your levels are normal, you say you are lean in build and you exercise every day.
You need to worry mainly if you have a family history of diabetes, are overweight or obese, highly stressed, diet is made up of low fiber, high fat or refined foods, and have a bad life style which could include any or all –smoking, drinking alcohol regularly and limited physical activity. Keep up your good diet and life style and do share your concerns with us lest we are missing something.
Thank you for trusting for your health solutions.
Vijayalakshmi Iyengar
Senior dietitian

27 April, 2012 | Wolf White | Reply

Wolf White Thank you so much i feel much better !!i was worry cuz everyday in Japan i hear someone get Diabetics!!and am so worry to get it !!so i went hospital and made some check up! z doctor said am OK!! but am too much worry if geeting ill !!maybe this is also not so good Thank you so much i trust your company v much and your home page 1 of best health web site ever made ..1 qustion plz what is best food to eat to avoid diabetic and make my blood sugar in normal range thanks alot for yur fast reply i realy appriciate it..

27 April, 2012 | Vijayalakshmi Iyengar | Reply

Vijayalakshmi Iyengar Hello Mr Sami
There is no specific foods that help prevent diabetes but of the various foods you eat, the emphasis should be on high fiber and low fat esp Saturated fats. Also include foods rich in potassium , calcium, Vitamin B12, Vitamin C and Vitamin D referred to as `Nutrients of concern', as most of us get very little of it.
Focus on
1. Veggies, lean meat and or pulse protein, fruit (not fruit juice), nuts and low-fat dairy.
2. limited amount of carbs and it should be unrefined with a lot of fiber. Examples -Whole wheat flour products-breads, pasta, unleavened breads like Pita bread, rotis etc, brown or unpolished rice, Quinoa or any millet
3. Avoid Trans fats and severely restrict saturated fats and refined or processed foods.
4. Eat minimal salt. It should not to go over 2300 mgs /day but if you’re 51 or older, African-American, or have hypertension, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease, that limit is 1,500 mg.

* It is also important not to skip meals but eat regular and moderate size meals.
* Maintain a healthy body weight
* Exercise regularly and follow a good life style.
If you want any additional and continued help you can register with and have regular consultations for healthy living.

30 August, 2011 | Vijayalakshmi Iyengar | Reply

Vijayalakshmi Iyengar A study published in Postgrad Med J on 18/10/1010 has raised a question as to whether HbA1c should replace fasting plasma glucose or the OGTT or both be conducted?
The need to simplify screening tests for type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and patients need be identified earlier and more efficiently, glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) has been recommended by some international organisations as a diagnostic tool for detecting T2DM and impaired glucose regulation. Since the two tests detect different people, some individuals with diabetes detected on OGTT will no longer be classified as having T2DM using HbA1c =6.5% criteria. Another factor is that certain medical conditions such as haematological disorders, renal failure, and chronic excess alcohol consumption lead to HbA1c assay measurements not reflecting glycaemic control over the last 2–3 months.

15 June, 2010 | Sangeetha Narayana Swamy | Reply

Sangeetha Narayana Swamy Dear Hemali,

You have not mentioned about family history of diabetes, your BMI and physical activity level in your question. Generally it is suggested to get a complete health check done, once a year after the age of 40. This will give you a clear picture of your body status. If your reports are normal again, you can relax for the next one year.

Thank you for your query.

Sangeetha Narayana Swamy,
Senior Dietitian,

01 June, 2010 | Geetanjali Kelkar | Reply

Geetanjali Kelkar Ways to prevent incidence of diabetes
1. Watch your weight- try to be in the normal prescribed range.
2. Exercise regularly
3. Eat right- a balanced with a perfect blend of complex carbs, proteins, essential fats, vitamins and minerals.
4. Eat more fiber-fruits and vegetables
5. Go in for a regular health check up.
6. Learn to manage stress

These simple tips can definitely keep an individual away from diabetes

Geetanjali Kelkar, PhD
Dietitian online

31 May, 2010 | Shweta | Reply

Shweta Hi,
I am 24 years old working professional.I have family history of diabetes from my father's side i.e. my father, his parents and elder brother, all are known diabetics.But there is no known diabetic on my mother's side.Am I too at risk?If yes, what precautions can I start taking so that I dont suffer from it?

01 October, 2010 | Poonam | Reply

Poonam Hi Shweta,
Since your father is diabetic,you are at risk of developing diabetes. In order to prevent getting diabetes, you must watch your weight and always stay within the normal BMI range, exercise for at least 45 minutes everyday and watch what you eat. Most important, you must start screening for diabetes at age 30.

28 May, 2010 | Sangeetha Narayana Swamy | Reply

Sangeetha Narayana Swamy Dear Linda,

We would advise you to get a Diabetes Screening Test done at the earliest because you have mentioned three risk factors in your question like being overweight, family history and your age.

Family history plays a significant role in type 2 diabetes. Overweight individuals, especially with fat around the middle are more likely to have Insulin resistance, as fat interferes with body's ability to use insulin.

Also low physical activity levels and poor diet increase the chances of type 2 diabetes.

NutritionVista has Risk Reduction and Lifestyle Improvement Program which will help you to maintain a healthy weight through diet and exercise. The program will also aim at preventing the risk factors for diabetes. Please go through our packages and feel free to contact us for more information.

Sangeetha Narayana Swamy,
Senior Dietitian,

24 November, 2010 | Linda | Reply

Linda Will Hb1Ac be affected if a person is anemic?

26 November, 2010 | Poonam | Reply

Poonam Hello Linda,
Yes, HbA1C is affected by low haemoglobin levels. This has to be corrected before HbA1C is used for assessing glucose control.

28 May, 2010 | Linda | Reply

Linda Hi,
I am 46 years old,overweight and have family history of diabetes.Should I go for diabetes screening check up?

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