The average life of the Red Bood Cell (RBC), is around 120 days. With an estimated half-life of 2-3 months, it is a good indication of the overall health of the individual. Glucose molecules in the blood combined with hemoglobin, and through this glycation form a ketoamine that is stable and can be used as a measure of the glucose in the blood. Since 1970’s hbA1c measures have been recommended as a standard of care for diabetes management.
Why is this a better measure than the traditional fasting and Post-Prandial measures(PP)?
- Firstly measuring hbA1c gives us the story for 90 days. So it not a point in time investigation rather its a holistic view of the system.
- It is human tendency to cheat if we know that a blood sugar test is looming. I have seen my mother do that many times and there are dietary adjustments made just before the test that can give us a false negative.
- Thirdly the test does not require any fasting or dietary restrictions, hence the compliance is better.
For more scientific details on this method, please do read this article on the research already conducted.
While these are great reasons to conduct the test, the key to the test is to go to an accredited lab. Always insist on choosing a NABL (National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories) accredited lab. I have often heard of samples getting mixed up between patients. This is mostly true of the many labs providing online services or online firms serving as aggregators.
Finally, talk to your doctor on why you should consider mapping this level. I have been doing my tests over a period of time and last few months results are below. These tests have given my physician a good indication as to why we need more aggressive intervention in my case.
Anyways do let me know if you have any questions on diabetes management and I would be happy to answer them for you.