Ever heard of your A1C? If you don't have diabetes, you may not even know what it is, but it's an important number to know, especially for those with prediabetes or those at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
For those whodo have diabetes, A1C levels can indicate whether or not a treatment plan is working. For those who don't, it can determine just how efficiently sugar is being processed within the body and is sometimes used by doctors to diagnose diabetes or prediabetes.
The A1C test is a blood test that shows the average amount of glucose (or sugar) in your blood over the past 3 months. It measures the percentage of sugar present, so the higher the number, the higher your blood sugar levels are.
The American Diabetes Association guidelines point to a hemoglobin A1C goal of 7 or below to prevent the complications of uncontrolled diabetes. A normal A1C level for those without diabetes is below 5.7.
Here's how those percentages translate to blood glucose values.
It's encouraged to have your hemoglobin A1C checked twice yearly. Your physician may request that you have it done more or less often. If you have any questions, be sure to ask your physician or diabetes educator.