The Difference Between Fasting Glucose & A1c


If you’re a diabetic, chances are, you are aware of the difference between A1c and fasting glucose levels. But to others, these terms are probably unfamiliar and unimportant.

With Thanksgiving here, many people are concerned about their dietary intake, beyond diabetics.

In addition to Thanksgiving, November is National Diabetes Month, so we are shedding more light on the disease. Here’s a closer look at A1c vs. fasting glucose and what it could mean for the treatment and prevention of diabetes.

A1c & Fasting Glucose: What You Should Know

Fasting Blood Glucose Test

This test quickly shows blood sugar levels at the time of the testing. It’s a test that diabetics conduct frequently in order to determine how much insulin to administer or to evaluate the effectiveness of their treatment plan.

The main problem with the fasting glucose test? As we said, it only measures blood glucose at the time of the test, meaning it can’t show how your blood sugar has changed over time and it might be a skewed representation based on your health and diet at the time it’s administered.

Hemoglobin A1c Test

Also called glycated hemoglobin or HbA1c, the hemoglobin A1c test measures blood sugar levels differently than fasting glucose. When blood sugar is processed by the body, some glucose bonds naturally to hemoglobin, a protein found in your red blood cells, resulting in glycated hemoglobin. The amount of glycated hemoglobin is proportional to the total glucose levels in your system. This means that glycated hemoglobin is a reliable record of glucose levels for as long as the red blood cell lives – typically 2-3 months – painting a better overall picture of average A1c levels.

Check Your A1c

Knowing A1c levels is imperative for treatment and management of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Despite this, only around 24% of diabetics are aware of their A1c. Those at increased risk for diabetes or pre-diabetes are also prime candidates for this type of blood testing.

Test Smartly Labs of Overland Park offers both fasting blood glucose and hemoglobin A1c testing. Whether your doctor’s schedule is too crowded or you don’t have insurance, we can serve you. We offer walk-in testing, no doctor’s orders needed, and can deliver confidential, accurate lab results to you. Call (913) 815-0988 today to learn more!

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