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Diabetes Test (HbA1c)


Do you think you may have diabetes or pre-diabetes? Diabetes is a disease in which your body can’t make insulin or use it effectively to control blood sugar. While diabetes is a highly common disease, some people do not know they have it as they have no symptoms. 

This test measures the HbA1c level in your blood, indicating your average blood sugar level over the past three months. If it is too high, this may indicate pre-diabetes or diabetes.

Test for: HbA1c

Test method: Finger prick dried blood spot test

  • Easy to use home test
  • Professional analysis in a certified laboratory
  • Prepaid shipping to laboratory
  • Completely anonymous

Frequently Asked Questions

An HbA1c level of between 5.7% and 6.5% often means that you have pre-diabetes. This is also called the preliminary stage of type 2 diabetes. Pre-diabetes means you have higher than normal blood sugar. Because it is not yet high enough to be considered type 2 diabetes, it is called pre-diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance. Without lifestyle changes, adults and children with pre-diabetes are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. If you have pre-diabetes, the long-term damage of diabetes—especially to your heart, blood vessels, and kidneys—may have already started. However, there is good news. Pre-diabetes is reversible by making lifestyle changes such as getting enough exercise.

During a glucose measurement, you measure the amount of blood sugar that is in your blood at the exact time of measurement. An HbA1c test measures your average blood sugar level over the past 3 months and thus gives an indication of long-term glucose levels.

When you measure your blood sugar level over a longer period of time, you have a better idea of your average blood sugar level overall. That is why an HbA1c test is always recommended to detect diabetes. In most cases, HbA1c is elevated when diabetes or prediabetes is diagnosed.

Type 1 diabetes is caused by an autoimmune reaction. This causes the body to not be able to produce enough insulin on its own. As a result, body cells hardly get any glucose from the blood and blood glucose levels rise. Treatment of type 1 diabetes consists of the administration of insulin. Despite the fact that a lot of research is being done into a cure for Type 1 diabetes, no solution has yet been found for this autoimmune disease.

Type 2 diabetes – the most common form of diabetes, also called adult-onset diabetes – occurs when the body has become less sensitive to insulin. This also causes the cells to obtain too little glucose from the blood and causes blood glucose levels to rise. This form of diabetes usually only develops after the age of 40 in people who are overweight, but heredity also plays a role.

In many cases, the effects of type 2 diabetes can be reversed by lifestyle changes such as following a healthy diet, losing weight and exercising more. Through these changes, people with type 2 diabetes may experience no symptoms or require the use of insulin. Recommendations to reverse type 2 diabetes are:

  • Exercise regularly, for at least 30 minutes a day
  • Follow a balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables
  • Do not drink sugary soft drinks or juices
  • Drink enough water
  • Avoid stress
  • Get enough and regular sleep
  • Limit alcohol consumption

If you have diabetes or pre-diabetes, checking your HbA1c level regularly can help you monitor the effectiveness of your current treatment plan. Regular HbA1c tests can also help you see how certain choices you’ve made (such as diet) affect your blood sugar levels. An HbA1c value is not the same as a glucose value you get from a blood glucose meter. With a blood glucose meter you determine the current glucose concentration in your blood, which often fluctuates during the day while you eat and drink or, for example, during exercise. This value is important for diagnosing diabetes and will therefore also be performed by your GP if there is a suspicion of diabetes.

People with diabetes or pre-diabetes should have their HbA1c levels measured every 3 to 12 months to make sure they have good control of their diabetes. In the case of poorly controlled diabetes, it is recommended to do this every 3 months. If you have no symptoms of diabetes and if you are feeling well, a diabetes test on a regular basis is not necessary. In addition, other cardiovascular diseases should also be screened regularly if diabetes mellitus is diagnosed.

This test is a simple and non-invasive way to check for (pre)diabetes in adults. If your GP suspects you have diabetes, they will also check your HbA1c levels.

Learn more about diabetes

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