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From Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA:

How long does it take to lower an A1c? My reason for answering this question is because I have always wondered but never seemed to be able to get a straight forward answer.


First it helps to know what the hemoglobin A1c is measuring. In essence, the A1c is measuring the percentage of glucose that is "stuck" to the protein in blood called hemoglobin. Once stuck to hemoglobin, glucose stays stuck, at least until we recycle our hemoglobin, which we do approximately every 120 days. At any moment, you are making fresh hemoglobin (with no glucose yet attached), but you are also recycling four month old hemoglobin (with glucose attached). So at any moment, about half of your hemoglobin has the potential to be stuck with glucose. Half of 120 is 60. Therefore your hemoglobin A1c reflects about eight or so weeks of past glucose readings. Several things influence this including levels of glucose, degree of hemoglobin, type of method used to measure this material, illness, rates of metabolism and others.


Original posting 18 Sep 2002
Posted to A1c, Glycohemoglobin, HgbA1c


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:38
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