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A glycosylated hemoglobin test (HbA1c) is a blood test that measures the amount of glycosylated hemoglobin in the blood. Hemoglobin is a protein found in the blood. Glycosylated hemoglobin means that glucose (sugar) has attached to the hemoglobin protein. The higher your blood sugar is, the more that glucose gets attached to your hemoglobin.
HbA1c shows how high your blood sugar levels have been during the past three months. This can help your doctor determine how well you are controlling your
diabetes. Your doctor may also use HbA1c to test you for diabetes.
There are no major complications associated with this test.
What to Expect
Description of Test
You will roll up your sleeve. An elastic band will be wrapped around your upper arm. An area on your arm will be cleaned with alcohol. The needle will then be inserted into your arm. A small amount of blood will be drawn into a tube. The needle will be removed. Pressure will be applied to the puncture site. A small bandage may be placed on the site. Your blood will be sent to a lab for testing.
Apply pressure to the site until bleeding stops.
How Long Will It Take?
Less than five minutes
Will It Hurt?
It may hurt slightly when the needle is inserted.
Talk to your doctor about what goal is right for you. If your HbA1c levels are high, you may need a change in treatment, such as:
Changing your medicines
Increasing your level of physical activity
Modifying your diet
Talk with your doctor about when you should be tested again.
Call Your Doctor
After the test, call your doctor if any of the following occurs:
Bleeding from the puncture site
Red, swollen, or painful puncture site
If you have not heard from your doctor in 1-2 weeks
In case of an emergency, call for medical help right away.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.