Diabetes (HbA1c) Blood Test, from our experts to you.
Dr Natasha Fernando MBBS, MRCGP

Medical Director

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What is

Diabetes is a condition in which blood sugar levels are too high. Our Glycosylated HB (HbA1c) blood test measures the amount of sugar that is attached to the haemoglobin in red blood cells, with results expressed as mmol/mol, which is the standard unit for the UK.

What can I learn
from this test?

As red blood cells live in the bloodstream for about three months, our HbA1c test shows the average blood sugar for the past few months. Unlike a regular blood sugar test, our HbA1c test is not affected by short-term changes (e.g. a recent sugary snack). So even though you may have had high blood sugar on occasion, a good HbA1c result can show that you are controlling your blood sugar levels well. If your HbA1c result is high, it could mean you have pre-diabetes or diabetes.

What are the
symptoms of diabetes?

Symptoms of diabetes include frequent urination, fatigue, unexpected weight loss, and feeling thirsty all the time. Diabetes can lead to further complications, including heart and kidney problems.</p><p>In its early stages, type 2 diabetes can be reversed through lifestyle changes. </p><p>Diabetes is strongly associated with obesity, poor diet, and a sedentary lifestyle. Losing weight through a calorie-restricted diet has been shown to bring blood sugar back down to normal levels. Our HbA1c diabetes check can help you know whether you need to be acting to improve your risk factors now. To find out more, read our blog: 10 steps to reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes.

What's Included?

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HbA1c 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.

Frequently asked questions

Can a routine blood test detect diabetes?

If you believe you are at risk of developing diabetes, you can test your blood sugar levels with our simple finger-prick, Diabetes (HbA1C) Blood Test. It measures the amount of sugar that is attached to the haemoglobin in red blood cells and comes with results and next steps from a qualified doctor. A formal diagnosis must be confirmed through a medical consultation. Find out how you can reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes.

Is fasting required for a diabetes blood test?

You do not need to fast for an HbA1C blood test, which identifies blood sugar levels over the previous 8-10 weeks. However, you would need to fast for the fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test, which measures blood sugar after you’ve fasted for 8 hours. Learn more about how diabetes is diagnosed and treated.

When should I do a diabetes blood test?

You may want to do a diabetes blood test if you have a family member with type 2 diabetes or if you have any type 2 diabetes symptoms, like:

  • Tiredness
  • Increased hunger, thirst, or urination
  • Blurry vision
  • Sores that are slow to heal
  • Recurrent infections
What can a diabetes blood test result show?

Diabetes blood test results could show if your blood glucose level is too high or if it is within the normal range. Your doctor can use the test results to help diagnose diabetes and pre-diabetes. Pre-diabetes describes the transition between not having diabetes and having it. If you detect it early, you can reverse pre-diabetes through lifestyle changes.