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I don't want to sound stupid but I want to ask an embarrassing question about HbA1c.  Exactly, what is HbA1c?  What does it stand for and what is it exactly?  I know I have it done every 3 months and I have a number given for it.  I don't know what the number actually is telling me.  My doctor just tells me he wants it under 7.  I don't know how to get it under 7?  How do I do that exactly?  I know I am supposed to following my diet for my diabetes, so is that something I am to do to lower this number?  Am I to do anything else for it?  I have no inkling about how to approach this so if you have any ideas, please tell them to me.  What does it mean to have a lower number than 7?  Thanks!

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is nothing wrong with asking about the blood test HbA1c because the number pertains to your health!  You should know what it means and what to do to lower the number.  First of all, you already know that you check your blood sugars.  And you know that you should keep within a certain number for each blood sugar result. 

When the lab draws your blood for your HbA1c, they will process it in a meter.  The machine will be able to determine how much glucose is “stuck” on your red blood cells.  Over a course of time, glucose will stick to the hemoglobin on your RBCs.  The more glucose, the higher your A1c will be.  So if your blood sugars have been running high, it will reflect that in the A1c result.  The A1c is an “average” of the blood sugars in the 3 month time span; red blood cells live for about that long, so that is why they do the test every three months.

 

You can lower the A1c naturally just by keeping your blood sugars as close to normal range as possible.  The number of 7 for A1c is the borderline of which every diabetic should stay under.

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