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Know your numbers: Hemoglobin A1c useful for diabetes management

Know your numbers: Hemoglobin A1c useful for diabetes management

Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States, knowing your risk and your Hemoglobin A1c number is important.

The Hemoglobin A1c test gives you information about how well your blood sugars are being controlled and gives you the average blood sugar over a two- to three-month period. The test can be an especially useful tool for those who struggle with diabetes to help manage the disease, but is also worthwhile to know your number if you aren’t diabetic.

Hemoglobin carries oxygen through the body. When blood sugars are too high, sugar builds up in the blood and combines with hemoglobin, becoming glycated. If the sugar in the blood has been high over the past several weeks, the Hemoglobin A1c test will have a higher number.

According to the WebMD post Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) Test for Diabetes, the normal range (aka, people who don’t have diabetes) of the hemoglobin A1c test is between 4% and 5.6%. Hemoglobin A1c levels between 5.7% and 6.4% indicate an increased risk of diabetes, and levels of 6.5% or higher indicate diabetes. Studies have repeatedly shown that out-of-control diabetes results in complications from the disease, so the goal for people with diabetes is a hemoglobin A1c of less than 7%. The higher the hemoglobin A1c, the higher the risks of developing complications related to diabetes.

The American Diabetes Association and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommend having an A1c blood test if you are 45 or older. If you are younger than 45 and have risk factors such as excess weight or a family history of diabetes, you should consider being screened as well. The A1c test should be rechecked between every one to three years. If you have been diagnosed with prediabetes, you should be tested at least annually and more frequently based on your doctor’s recommendations.

Through the end of the year, Campbell County Health Wellness is offering our Diabetic Management panel at a discounted rate. For $45, this panel includes a Wellness Panel (a total of 23 tests that measure glucose, electrolytes/minerals, uric acid, iron, kidney function, liver function, cholesterol, triglycerides and thyroid), and the Hemoglobin A1C. The special price also includes a free body fat measurement! Wellness is open for screenings Monday-Friday, from 6-11 am at 1901 Energy Court, Suite 125, located off Boxelder Avenue, behind Common Cents and Wendy's. The Diabetic Management panel is a test that you should fast 10-12 hours for; however, feel free to drink plenty of water prior to the test. 

Have Questions?

Campbell County Health's Wellness Services works to reduce health risks and promote overall wellness among employee groups and individuals across the northeastern Wyoming region. To learn more about Wellness, please visitwww.cchwyo.org/Wellness or call 307.688.8051.

This blog was written by Rachel Wilde CPT, MA, CCH Wellness Services Technician and Phlebotomist