What is the Glycohemoglobin Test?

The glycohemoglobin test was designed to tell people about their blood sugar levels for the past two to three months. Firstly, you need to get an understanding of what hemoglobin is.

Hemoglobin is a protein located inside red blood cells whose main function is to carry oxygen from the lungs to all cells in the human body. When it joins with other sugars such as glucose, glucohemoglobin is created.

Did you know that once glucose and hemoglobin join, they are linked until they are completely broken down. This process and the life span of a red blood cell is about four months.

The glycohemoglobin test is performed by a lab. Here are some of the important things the glycohemoglobin test can do:

  • Tell you about your blood glucose levels for the past 2-3 months.
  • Allows you to check how effective your blood glucose control has been in this period.
  • Provides a baseline for other blood glucose tests that have been completed.
  • Gives info to enable you to evaluate if your diabetes plan is working.
  • Let’s you decide if any changes in the plan are working.

How do you measure the glycohemoglobin test?

There are both many ways to measure and many types of glycohemoglobin tests. It’s also possible to have one kind of glycohemoglobin measured by many different tests. Another issue is the number of labs used. It’s possible to get different results based on the criteria from different labs.

Glycohemoglobin test

Glycohemoglobin Blood Draw

Normally higher glycohemoglobin test results reflect higher blood glucose levels.

When do you need a glycohemoglobin test…

  1. When you are diagnosed with diabetes mellitus.
  2. If you use insulin you will need a glycohemoglobin test performed four times yearly.
  3. If you don’t take insulin, it is as recommended by your endocrinologist.

The glycohemoglobin test cannot replace your self checks each day. Self checks are designed to help you decide how to treat your diabetes on a daily basis.

Please refer to our other articles on diabetes and the associated pathologies.