Diabetes; The A1c Test

The A1C is sometimes referred to as the "Hemoglobin A1C" ("A" for adult), measures average blood glucose for the past 60 to 90 days.  The value is expressed as a percentage.  Many clinicians consider this a more meaningful and reliable blood glucose measure because it takes into account high and low swings that occur in the expression of the burden in your blood of glucose.  

 

It measures a TREND, rather than episodic or 'point-in-time' glucose levels.  It is NOT wrong to take a fasting or random non-fasting glucose reading, but it must be understood that this measure is merely a snap shot of the glucose level, rather than a time average value over a much, much longer period of time. 

 

A normal A1C taken at any point in time should be between 4% and 6%.  These percentages are reflected in mg/dl numbers for blood sugar, such as 80 mg/dl or 110 mg/dl.  An A1C of greater than 6 or even higher will directly correlate with abnormal serum glucose levels ranging from 140 mg/dl to perhaps as high as 400 mg/dl. 

 

The test is accomplished with a simple finger prick to provide a DROP of blood.  A small, hand held mini-computer will analyze the sample and provide an answer in 5 minutes.  At VITAL HEALTH SCORES the A1C is taken in context of the clients medical history, physical signs & symptoms, and in the gathering of other important parameters such as:

 

  1. Visceral Adipose Tissue (VAT) described with a body composition exam via DEXA.
  2. Carotid Intima Medial Thickness (CIMT) measured during a carotid artery screen.
  3. Non-specific inflammatory markers such as free radical burden in a urine test.
  4. An 11 point urinalysis that randomly measures PROTEIN, NITRITE, KETONES, and GLUCOSE.

 

Author
Mark Zemanek Technical Director, Vital Health Scores

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