The Hemoglobin A1c test is the most widely used test to measure blood sugar levels over time. It identifies average blood sugar (glucose) levels over the past 2-3 months, so you can track your progress in managing your diabetes. Glucose blood levels are tightly controlled by hormones like insulin produced by the pancreas. Consistently high blood glucose is typically seen in individuals with uncontrolled or undiagnosed diabetes. In people with diabetes, insulin is either less effective or not produced in sufficient quantity, thus making it harder to manage the amount of sugar passing through the blood. This test is used to help diagnose conditions that result in too much sugar in the blood, such as diabetes, prediabetes, and gestational diabetes.
Common signs of high blood sugar levels include increased thirst, increased hunger, frequent urination, fatigue, blurry vision, darkened areas of the folds in the skin (often found in the armpits, groin, and/or neck), and weight loss.
This test may be appropriate for those who are looking to manage their diabetes or prediabetes or those at higher risk for developing insulin resistance. You may also consider this test if you are overweight or obese, and/or have certain risk factors, including if you:
The Hemoglobin A1c Test does not require fasting.