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Hemoglobin A1c (A1C) Test

The hemoglobin A1c (A1C or HbA1c) test measures how much hemoglobin, a protein in your blood, is coated with sugar. It helps show how well your blood sugar levels have been controlled over the past 3 months. This can help your doctor decide how your treatment is working and if it needs to be changed. It can also be used to help diagnose a person with diabetes.

Ask your healthcare provider how often and what time of the day you should check your blood sugar.

The A1C test is a simple blood test.

Your healthcare provider will take a sample of blood from your arm or finger. You can eat and drink before the test.

A1C is reported as a percent (%). Most people with diabetes should keep their A1C below 7%.

However, your healthcare provider will help decide what your A1C goal should be as some people will have a different goal, depending on their health status.

Your A1C can also be reported as an average blood glucose (sugar) level, similar to what you are used to seeing on your blood glucose (sugar) meter at home. Because your blood sugar levels can change each day, it is important to measure your blood sugar at home with your meter.

Your A1C will not show if you have had a lot of high or low blood sugar results. The A1C test does not predict the future. You should have your A1C tested at least twice a year.

If your treatment has changed or if your blood sugar is not well controlled, then you may need to have your A1C tested more frequently, perhaps four times a year. Your healthcare provider can tell you when you should have your A1C tested.

Source: MKT0557

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