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May 9, 2001

A1c (Glycohemoglobin, HgbA1c)

Question from Gilbert, Arizona, USA, but permanantly in New Delhi, India:

I am 62 years old and have had type 2 diabetes for the nearly 20 years. I am on oral medication, I walk three to four miles every day, and I am leading an almost normal life with no complications. What exactly is the HbA1c test ? In what way does it help a person with diabetes? How is it taken? How it is used to know the blood sugar levels? How much does it cost? What is the frequency at which the test should be taken.? I am not too sure whether this test could be done in India. However, I am inclined to take this test while I am in the USA.

Answer:

The hemoglobin A1c is an important test to see your overall average blood sugar for the last 90 days. This results takes into consideration all blood sugars that have occurred, not just the ones you are testing at home. I would recommend this being done routinely, every 90 days, to determine if anything is changing or if things are staying in the same target range.

I am sure you can get this blood test done in India but if not, you can now buy a home A1c kit . (We have it in our Online Store for US$21.95 plus charges of US$10 for the first product; US$5 for each subsequent product for shipment outside of the USA.) This is very helpful to people who are unable to get this test done at a laboratory.

KS