Diabetes (HbA1c) Blood Test


Check your diabetes risk by assessing your blood sugar control with our HbA1c finger-prick test.

Results estimated in 3 working days

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  • Collect your own finger-prick blood sample at home   Free

    We’ll send you everything you need to collect your blood sample from your finger at home.
  • Book a venous draw at a clinic   +£35.00

  • Book a venous draw at home with a nurse +£59.00

  • Self-arrange a professional sample collection Free

Diabetes (HbA1c) Blood Test

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Is it for you?

Are you experiencing symptoms of type 2 diabetes such as fatigue or feeling thirsty all the time? Maybe you’re at increased risk of this condition due to factors such as a family history, a medical condition like heart disease or PCOS, being overweight, or a sedentary lifestyle.

By checking your average blood sugar level over the past 8–12 weeks, our finger-prick Diabetes (HbA1c) Blood Test can help detect type 2 diabetes. As this condition can be reversed in its early stages, this test may help you take early action to improve your health and wellbeing.

Please see your doctor without delay if you feel constantly thirsty, need to urinate more often than usual, are experiencing dizziness, nausea, or an odd taste in your mouth, or feel generally unwell.

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Learn more

Haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), also known as glycated haemoglobin, is a longer-term measure of glucose levels in your blood than a simple blood glucose test. Glucose attaches itself to the haemoglobin in your red blood cells, and as your cells live for around 12-16 weeks, it gives us a good indication of the average level of sugar in your blood over a 3-month period.

A raised HbA1c result points to diabetes or an increased risk of developing diabetes, which can have a significant impact on your lifespan and quality of life. Complications of uncontrolled diabetes include heart disease, kidney disease, eye problems, and vascular conditions. It can also contribute to mental health problems. And men with diabetes are three times more likely to have erectile dysfunction. Keeping your HbA1c within a normal range can help you reduce the risk of these conditions.

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What is HbA1c?

HbA1c refers to glycated haemoglobin. Haemoglobin is a protein in your blood that carries oxygen around your body to make energy. When your blood glucose (or blood sugar) level is high, glucose binds to haemoglobin to form glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c). The higher your blood sugar, the higher your level of HbA1c.

What is an HbA1c blood test?

Our HbA1c blood test assesses your average blood sugar control over the past 8–12 weeks by measuring HbA1c. Unlike a fasting plasma glucose test that measures your blood sugar level at a single point in time, an HbA1c test is not affected by short-term changes.

Your test results can help diagnose diabetes or prediabetes (a condition where your blood sugar is higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes). Our HbA1c home test can also be used to monitor diabetes with regular testing.

What are the symptoms of diabetes?

The symptoms of diabetes include:

-Needing to urinate more than usual, especially at night

-Feeling thirsty all the time

-Feeling very tired

-Unexplained weight loss

-Genital itching (bouts of thrush)

-Blurred vision

-Cuts/injuries taking longer to heal

If you’re concerned you might have diabetes, you should speak to your doctor. The earlier diabetes is diagnosed and treated, the better the outcome. This can help reduce the risk of diabetes complications, such as heart disease, kidney disease, and vision problems.

What is a normal HbA1c level?

The table below gives target levels for HbA1c for people without diabetes, with prediabetes, and with diabetes. This is a general guide and people with diabetes will talk to their healthcare team about their unique target level.

HbA1c results can be expressed as a percentage or as mmol/mol, which is the standard unit for the UK.













What increases my risk of type 2 diabetes?

Diabetes is strongly associated with obesity, poor diet, and a sedentary lifestyle. And your risk of developing the condition increases with age. Having a close relative with diabetes and your ethnicity can also put you at higher risk, with diabetes being more common in people of South Asian, African-Caribbean, and Black African descent.

How can I lower my HbA1c?

Healthy lifestyle changes can help lower your HbA1c and reduce your risk of diabetes. Tips to reduce your HbA1c include losing weight if you’re overweight, getting regular exercise, managing stress, and cutting down on alcohol. Diabetes UK has lots of advice on how you can reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes. A healthy diet and lifestyle can also help reverse prediabetes.

Do I need to fast for an HbA1c blood test?

No, you don’t need to fast before taking our at-home diabetes test, as this test identifies your average blood sugar level over the past 8-12 weeks. However, you do need to fast for 12 hours before taking our Advanced Diabetes Blood Test, which measures your current blood sugar level in addition to HbA1c.

Can I take an HbA1c test at home?

Yes, you can take our diabetes test at home using our HbA1c finger-prick test kit. We’ll send you everything you need including clear instructions and a prepaid return envelope for your sample.

Limitations of the test

Read before you order:

An HbA1c result of 48mmol/mol (6.5%) is recommended as the cut-off for diagnosing diabetes. However, a measurement lower than this doesn’t always mean you don’t have diabetes, while a raised HbA1c result doesn’t always mean you have diabetes.

HbA1c may be falsely lowered with some conditions like haemolysis and chronic liver disease, while it can be falsely raised with conditions including iron deficiency and vitamin B12 deficiency. A formal diagnosis must be confirmed by your doctor, who will consider your HbA1c result alongside any symptoms and the results of further tests.

HbA1c testing is unsuitable to diagnose diabetes in certain groups of people. Find out more in our HbA1c blog.

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