Why are A1C tests important for diabetes treatment?

The purpose of an A1C test is to indicate a poor diabetes management. This test can diagnose both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Other diagnostic tests for diabetes reveal the current blood sugar status. The A1C is the only test that can reveal information about blood glucose for several weeks in the past. Lower A1C levels can indicate good blood sugar management.

Diabetes diagnosis
A1C tests are quite accurate in diagnosing type 1 and type 2 diabetes. However, like all laboratory tests, there can be anomalies in the results. Recently, there has been a lot of improvements in  A1C tests, and the results can vary only by 0.5% on the actual score.

  • The A1C test can diagnose diabetes through a simple blood analysis and can be done any time of the day. It requires no fasting or preparation time. The convenience of the testing process is an advantage when it comes to diabetes testing. This makes it easier for people to schedule testing for their prediabetes (a diabetes risk factor) or diabetes management.
  • With appropriate testing and diagnosis, people with diabetes and prediabetes can avoid complications of the condition such as problems in the eyes, nerves, kidneys or severe hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

Diabetes management
Many doctors use the A1C test for diabetes management.

  • If a patient has been lax with the treatment in the past three months but has controlled sugar levels in the present, the A1C test can reveal this information to the doctor.
  • Also, if the A1C level is high, the doctor can recommend steps to help achieve lower A1C levels.
  • A1C tests help doctors modify the treatment plan based on the patient’s current health. Perhaps in the past, the patient required insulin therapy. But if they have low A1C levels, they may not need any diabetes medicines and can manage the disease through diet and lifestyle changes alone. The test results can also help modify the diet if needed.

Regular A1C testing can be expensive. But it can help to lower A1C levels in time and improve the quality of life by reducing risks of further health complications.

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