Your Healthy Family: Why have your hemoglobin A1c checked?

3:00 PM, Apr 30, 2018

Dr. Kim Runyon with DaVita Medical group in Colorado Springs says one of the key things they look at in the blood test is the hemoglobin A1C.

“Hemoglobin A1c is going to check for diabetes or if you’re pre-diabetic.  What it does is it measures the sugar coating on a red blood cell for the last three months.   It tells us what our average sugar has been in that time.”

Hemoglobin A1c is checked through a simple blood draw, that can make many people uncomfortable because it does involve a needle, but there many things that can be done to put you at ease at the health fair.

Dr. Runyon says, “We do a simple blood test.  You don’t have to be fasting and we do ask that you drink a lot of water the evening before.  It’s really not as painful and as bad as many patients think, it’s a quick and tiny pinch.”

If you’re diabetic, make sure not to fast and take your medications as normal.  Results will be sent in the mail with a full explanation of results, and if something urgent is spotted someone will call you right away.

The red flags that doctors are looking for when it comes to hemoglobin A1c says Dr. Runyon are, “When it comes to the sugar coating on the blood cell, we know that if it’s below 5.7 that’s non-diabetic.  If it’s between 5.7 and 7.6 you may be pre-diabetic. Certainly anything higher than that is much a classic indicator of diabetes.”

Dr. Runyon adds that knowing where you are at on the scale and preventing diabetes, or taking step to address it can save your life, and save you money.  “Diabetes is one of those conditions that can sneak up on you and cause long term health effects. If we don’t get it under control that can cost you time and money.  It’s better to deal with it sooner rather than later.”

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