Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) is a biomarker that measures the amount of glucose in your blood that is attached to hemoglobin, the molecule in your red blood cells important for carrying oxygen throughout the body. HbA1c gives an average of your blood sugar over the past 2–3 months, providing a snapshot of your ability to maintain healthy blood sugar over time.
Diabetes causes blood glucose levels to stay elevated for long periods of time after a meal, eventually resulting in damage to the eyes, kidneys, nerves, circulatory system, and other organs. Hyperglycemia—the chronic state of having high blood sugar—is also known to adversely affect the immune system¹.
Measuring HbA1c can detect prediabetes, help diagnose diabetes, and be used to monitor the effectiveness of diabetes treatments. The higher your percentage of HbA1c, the greater your blood sugar levels over the past 2–3 months and the greater your risk of having prediabetes or diabetes. Additionally, those with elevated HbA1c and a genetic variant of the haptoglobin protein called Hp2-2 have a significantly increased risk of heart disease². Learn more about haptoglobin.
Other than elevated blood sugar, there are usually no symptoms accompanying prediabetes other than, possibly, areas of darkened skin, including on the neck, armpits, elbows, knees, or knuckles³. Prediabetes can progress to type 2 diabetes, at which point symptoms can include increased thirst, frequent urination, blurred vision³.
If you have prediabetes, it is recommended that you test HbA1c once a year⁴. For diabetics, the American Diabetes Association recommends testing your HbA1c at least twice a year to monitor the progress of your treatment⁵.
The following levels are recognized by the imaware medical advisory board:
The higher your level of HbA1c, the greater your chance of developing type 2 diabetes.
With this information, your healthcare professional can make informed decisions about your diet, lifestyle, and medications to help you control your blood sugar level better. This can include a balanced diet that reduces intake of carbs and sugar-rich foods, regular exercise, and getting enough sleep. Your healthcare professional might also prescribe medications to help regulate your blood glucose level, such as Metformin.
Measure your hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) and glucose levels quickly and conveniently from the comfort of your own home.
Our most popular heart health test! This broad spectrum panel measures cholesterol, glucose, & inflammation levels.
Cover the essentials of men's health and understand personal health risks that apply to you.
This test focuses on key areas of women’s wellness to provide a comprehensive view into your overall health.
Join our email list today to stay in touch and learn more about how you can take control of your own health.