blood test requirements

All Hemoglobin A1c Test FAQs Answered

Today, our experts will answer all the frequently asked questions related to diabetic hemoglobin A1c test.
You can use table of content or the search button to quickly find your query answer.

FAQs about the Hemoglobin A1c Blood Test

Is hba1c the same as a1c?

Yes, HbA1c and A1c are both acronyms for the glycohemoglobin test, or hemoglobin A1c test.

What does the term a1c stand for?

A1c is a short form for the hemoglobin A1c test and the letters are for the type of hemoglobin that binds glucose. See full explanation of what does a1c stand for?
Similar Qs: what is the meaning of A1c in the medical terms?

What’s a HEMOGLOBIN A1C test?

The Hemoglobin A1c Test is a routine diabetes test for:

  1. Measure of the overall blood glucose levels  for the past period of time (2‐3 months).
  2. What percentage of your hemoglobin that is coated with sugar (medical term: become glycated). The higher the A1c% the higher the DM risk.

What does an a1c blood test show?

A1c blood test shows the average blood sugar/glucose level over the 3 months prior to the test.
and shows the effectiveness of DM treatment over the same period of time.
hgb a1c finger test

Is hemoglobin A1c test valid for type 1 or type 2 diabetes?

A1c blood test is routinely performed in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus as well.
nevertheless, may be not a valid diagnostic test for children with low anemia level.

Is HbA1C a fasting test?

You don’t need to fast before hgb A1c blood test and the A1c test will not be affected if you’re fasting or not.
The reason is that the A1c depends on the average life span of red blood cells and average carried glucose on them,
but not on the diet contents or body metabolism. Go to this page to know what are the Fasting blood tests?
However a fasting blood glucose test require a minimum of 6 hours fasting before taking the sample.
You should know that the new guidelines do not recommend replacing traditional DM screening with the A1C test.
Other similar questions: Do you have to fast for a a1c?

How often should you have an A1C test?

Similar questions: 

  • How often do you check hemoglobin a1c?
  • when to take A1c blood test?

The typical answer: After the new guidelines by American Diabetes Association ;
an ordinary person (who’s meeting the treatment goals and have stable blood sugar levels) needs to check A1C level “twice a year at a minimum or more frequently as become necessary”.
That’s because the fact “the A1C test measures your average blood glucose control in the preceding 2 – 3 months”
However, for diabetes patients may need to test two to four times for A1c level a year until they reach the blood glucose target level.
Go to: when is the best time to to blood tests?

How Do I Check Hemoglobin A1c at Home?

Other similar questions: How do you measure for diabetes?, How do you figure out your a1c?

  1. Washing your hands.
  2. Insert a test strip into your A1c  meter.
  3. Get a drop of blood by Using your lancing device on the side of your fingertip.
  4. Touch with holding the edge of the test strip to the drop of blood, and wait for device to show the result.
  5. Your can show A1c level appear on the meter’s display.

How accurate is the a1c blood test?

Accuracy of A1c test depends on the assay that will be used:

  • Medical laboratories may use immunofluorescence (IF) techniques to measure the A1c level, the IF method is very accurate.
  • The At-home-meters may have standard deviation of +0.5% or -0.5%, it means that A1c of 6 on the A1c meter may indicate a range from 5.5 to 6.5.

When to receive Hemoglobin A1c results?

For medical laboratories you may wait up to 1 hour before receiving HgbA1c results.
However, HBA1C meters can take only 10 minutes to show A1c reading.
Go to: list of waiting time for blood tests

What do Hemoglobin A1c Test Results mean?

To find out what do the a1c numbers mean?
A1c results meter artclip

How long does it take to get the results of an a1c test?

Most small laboratories can take up to 48 hours to finish your A1c results,
nevertheless, the average-sized and large labs can afford A1c results in about one hour only after specimen collection.

What is the meaning of Prediabetes?

As described by ADA and other diabetes experts;
The Prediabetes Stage includes initial markers and signs of diabetes without visual symptoms and the blood test results may be as follows:

  • fasting blood glucose 100 to 126.
  • 2h post-prandial glucose level less than 200 and over 140.
  • A1c levels from 5.8 – 6.4 %.

What does it mean if my a1c is 6.1?

A1c 6.1 makes the initial diagnosis of diabetes mellitus which is called Pre-diabetes as stated by ADA.

Is a glycated sugar level of 6.5 high?

A1c 6.5 on two separate occasions means your are on the first step of diabetes and have to get an early control program or firstly test for FBG and 2h GTT.

Is an a1c of 5.4 good?

Yes, it means you never had diabetes according to ADA recommendations for the last two years.

What does A1c level 14 mean?

A1c 14% is considered extremely high and may be seen more in children with type 1 DM.
If your’e adult and diagnosed with type 2 then you have eAG of about 350 mg/dl which is very bad.

FAQ about Normal A1c Levels?

To know what is the normal A1c level?

What should a HbA1c be? 

A1c from 4% to 5.7 is normal and means you’re not diabetic at all.
Regardless of whether it’s type 1 or type 2:
The good A1c results are those below 5.7 for people who aren’t under diabetes risk, and below 7% for DM type 2 patients and below 8 for type 1 DM.
The higher your A1C percentage, the poorer your blood sugar control and the higher your risk of diabetes severity.
Other questions for the same topic and have the same answer:

  • what is a good A1c result?,
  • and ,what should A1C be?,
  • what is the best a1c number?, 
  • or, what is a good score for a1c?,
  • What is a good range for hemoglobin a1c?

What is a good a1c for a Type 1 diabetes?

A1c for a Type 1 diabetes and at childhood below 19 years is lower than 7.5% as recommends by ADA.
Previously was controlled by BG level.

What does it mean when your a1c levels are elevated?

A1c level over 6.5 on two separate dates indicates diabetes indicates DM while A1c over 7 indicates poor diabetes control.

FAQs about estimated average glucose

Estimated average glucose is a calculated value from the A1c using some sort of equations.

What is a good estimated average glucose level?

eAG Target levels is A1c value dependent. For non-diabetes persons, the normal range for an A1c is between 4% and 6%.
This number is the percentage of glucose attached to red blood cells.
From the A1c charts the A1c 4-6% is corresponding to eAG between 70 and 126 mg/dl.
Click here for estimated average glucose chart  and estimated average glucose calculator.
If you need the answers about:
What is normal average glucose?, What is the average reading for blood sugar?
go to Blood Glucose Levels Chart for diagnosis diabetic and non-diabetic

How To Lower A1c?

Follow these easy steps to bring your A1c levels down effectively.
A1c meters and tools

How to Lower A1c Without Medications?

Changing your life style and daily habits would improve blood glucose management and appear in low A1c results.
Similar Questions with the same reply:

  • How to bring Hgb A1c down naturally fast?
  • Can A1c levels be normal without the need to treatment?
  • How can A1c be normal from its own?
  • How do I lower my a1c quickly?

Usual answer: Five guidelines to follow:

  1. It’s effective to do some exercises 30 minutes a day or every other day.
  2. Well integrated meals can boost your sugar control system and lower A1c at the end.
  3. sufficient sleeping hours (6 – 8 hours) especially at night can help treatment plan to get results.
  4. Frequent medical check up can help reduce high A1c complications which include heart and kidney injuries.
  5. Herbal tea and other herbs can help save the jidney and heart from high A1c effect.

How long does it take for your a1c to go down?

Similar to this Q: 
How long does it take for an A1c to come down?
Answer: For a person who stick to a schedule and follow the treatment plan tightly;

  • A1c level less than 7 in type 2 DM can take less than a month to bring them down to 6 or even lesser.
  • Hgb A1c more than 8 in type 2 DM can take more than 2 months to control.
  • For type 1 DM it can take up to a year to lower A1c of 12% to 7.5%.

How fast can you lower your a1c?

Other question formats:
How to get your a1c down rapidly?
Consuming more fiber in fruits and vegetables instead of juices can slow down glucose absorption by the body, thus how can fibrous meals can maintain good sugar level.

Can losing weight lower your a1c?

Yes, losing weight can reduce A1c readings over time, but losing weight with balanced meals of whole grains, vegetables, fruits and lean meats as well as physical exercises.
The fact behind effectiveness of weight loss to lower A1c is that it reduce other factors that increase the risks such as high triglycerides and obesity.

What supplements lower a1c?

Supplements for reducing A1c include:

  1. B-complex vitamins and its rich nutrients, assist methylation process with help regulate blood sugar level.
  2. Berberine: Anti-diabetic herbs.
  3. Alpha lipoic acid (ALA): enhances the body’s ability to use insulin to control blood sugar in type 2 diabetes.
  4. Resveratrol: Found in  peanuts, pistachios, grapes, blueberries, cranberries, and dark chocolate.
  5. Coconut oil: a super food help convert the LDL “bad” cholesterol into good cholesterol “HDL”.
  6. Omega-3 fatty acids: Found in nuts and seeds and is a super food.
  7. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10): dissolve fats and you can found it inside meats such as liver, kidney, and heart, as well as in beef.
  8. Magnesium.

Can you cheat an a1c test?

Yes, A1c results can be cheated in order to abuse medical records, but we urge you don;t follow those bad schemes.

What to do if A1c levels of 8.0% or above?

May indicate that tighter control of blood glucose levels is required.

Resources for Diabetes and hemoglobin A1c test:


Tel. Diabetes educator

contact Diabetes Educator

contact American Diabetes Association

contact American Diabetes Association

Find a Diabetes Educator
American Diabetes Association “ADA”
National Institutes of Health 
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International

Our Experts team can answer any question, just contact us or follow our Fb page.

6 to 12 hr fasting blood test list, fasting before blood test explained

Fasting blood test is a lab test requires a fasting period from eating, drinking, and some medications to get accurate results, here is a list of most fasting and non-fasting blood tests, other non-blood tests have other guidelines.
Why fasting before blood test? Fasting for a blood test means you’re abstaining from eating, drinking, smoking, taking pills for a certain period of time depending on each test rules, fasting is to avoid interference (in general) of some substances in our food and drinks with the substance being tested, and enhance the test accuracy.
How to Prepare yourself prior taking a blood test?
3 things you should know before going to lab:

  1. Which is the best time to take a blood test?
  2. Does test require fasting before blood test sampling or other procedures?
  3. Waiting time for test results.

Can I eat and drink before having a blood test?
If no fasting, the test results can be wrong?
Yes, fasting for some tests is crucial to get correct results which represent your actual condition, however
Can I drink coffee or tea when fasting for blood test?
No, for glucose test any drinks contain sugar will affect the final results.
What should be fasting for?
To abstain from eating and drinking only, or to refrain from certain types of food only, to abstain from alcohol only, refrain from certain types of medications only, or general fasting from everything, other people questions like this:
How long to fast before blood test?fasting blood test time
6 to 12 hours is usually requested, however each blood test has a special fasting times and certain fasting rules, the following fasting tests chart highlights some fasting rules and the proper fasting time before blood test sampling.
I can’t fast too long before a blood test, what should I do?
Some individuals can’t fasting before blood test sampling like the Patients on a critical conditions as those with sever DM, anemia, starving person, newborn, children, pregnant female, and admitted ICU patients after surgery.
Those people have a licence to not fast, and their doctor must know that for proper interpretation.

Most frequent fasting blood test lists:

If your doctor asks for a blood test out of this list, please take the lab advice and your doctor recommendations about medications.

  • Fasting blood glucose test requires 8 to 10 hours fasting period before taking the blood sample, only water is allowed, no eating, snacks, caffeine, fruits, or juices.
    Glucose tolerance test (GTT) test requires 6 hours fasting from foods and drinks before the first sample.
    Glycated hemoglobin test (HbA1C) does not need fasting because A1C levels independent on glucose levels which affected by meals or antisugar pills.
    Why fasting before a sugar test? Because blood glucose level is rapidly increase 30 minutes after meals and rapidly reduced after taking glucose-reducing medications.
  • The Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP) tests require 10 to 12 hours fasting from foods, drinking, alcohols, smoking, snacks, except drinking water which is not affecting CMP results, CMP blood tests include the following tests:
  1. Sodium (Na)
  2. Potassium (K)
  3. Chloride (C)
  4. Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
  5. Albumin (Alb)
  6. Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP)
  7. Bilirubin (Bil) Total
  8. Aspartate Transaminase (AST)
  9. Alanine Transaminase (ALT)
  10. Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN)
  11. Total Protein
  12.  Calcium (Ca)
  13. Creatinine (Cr)
  14.  Glucose

However, some tests from CMP doesn’t require fasting if its requested alone, see non-fasting blood tests list below.

  • Blood cholesterol test requires 9 to 12 hours fasting before taking a blood sample in the lab or overnight fasting, only water is allowed, no eat, no juice drinks, no snacks, no fruits.
  • Triglyceride blood test requires overnight fasting or 12 hours fasting period before the sampling time with no alcohols, smoking, or eating during this period, only water is allowed during this period, drinking alcohols is prohibited, it means no alcohols is allowed before triglyceride blood testing.
  • All Lipid profile tests need a 9 – 12 hours fasting, include:
    • “good” (HDL) cholesterol
    • “bad” (LDL) cholesterol
    • total cholesterol
    • triglycerides (other fatty substances)

Why blood lipid tests require fasting and no alcohols? blood fats as Triglycerides taking a very long time to be absorbed and metabolized, also it can be converted into glucose or vice versa, so that eating prior to testing blood for fats can show erroneous levels, also alcohols and smoking interfere with those fatty substances in your blood.
However, children, pregnant, diabetic, sever anemic people can abstain for short periods for fasting a blood test due to their critical condition and the doctor should concern these conditions when interpret final results.

Do You know: what does high cholesterol level mean?

  • Iron blood test requires overnight fasting, no iron supplements 24 hours before taking iron test.
    Why fasting before Iron blood test? Because iron is avidly absorbing iron after meals or taking supplements and lead to temporarily elevated iron level when your blood is being analyzed.
  • Gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) test requires 24 hours fasting from drinking alcohols and smoking, however addicts need long periods.

Why fasting from alcohols is must for GGT test?
As alcohols and smoking cause damage to your liver integrity and release GGT enzyme from liver cells into the blood stream, Alcohols are the primarily responsible for the high level of the GGT enzyme in the blood, GGT is an alcohol fasting blood test.

  • Uric acid test does require 4 to 6 hours fasting, although it’s not must.
  • ESR blood test requires a 6 hours fasting period, as the ESR level affected by some foods, ESR results explained.
  • Liver function tests require fasting time for 6 hours, LFT panel include:

Total protein
Transaminases (AST and ALT)
Alkaline phosphatase
Total bilirubin
Direct bilirubin
Indirect Bilirubin
INR and prothrombin test.
Gamma glutamyl transpeptidase
5′ Nucleotidase

Non fasting blood test lists:

Non-fasting blood tests are those tests which their readings don’t obviously affected by foods or drinks, it means they’re tested randomly at any time during the whole day.

  • A1C test is not requiring a fasting period prior to sampling because it depends on glucose particles attached to RBC’s surface and not depends on the circulating glucose.
  • CBC blood test is not requiring a fasting period prior testing because it is only counts the blood cells, blood cells count not affected by food type in general.
  • Thyroid function tests does not need fasting period, because thyroid hormone is responsible for metabolism processes, hence T4 and T3 is not a fasting blood test.
  • TSH blood test isn’t a fasting blood test.
  • PSA blood test fasting is not needed, you don’t have to fast from foods and drinking before taking prostate specific antigen test, as no study yet to told us about influence of PSA levels by some foods, however high PSA medications are responsible for lowering PSA levels, so that consult your urologist when testing PSA with taking its medications.
  • Blood group type and RH tests does not require fasting before identify the ones blood type.
  • Cancer antigens blood tests are not fasting tests in general, when testing for Cancer antigen CA.19.9, it is preferred to fast
  • ASO titre, CRP test, Rheumatoid factor test aren’t fasting blood tests.
  • Kidney Function tests don’t require fasting before blood test sampling.
  • CMP non fasting tests include:
    Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP)
    Bilirubin (Bil) Total
    Aspartate Transaminase (AST)
    Alanine Transaminase (ALT)
    Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN)
    Creatinine (Cr)

This Post is to understand which one is a fasting blood test before going to the laboratory, read carefully, and if you don’t find your test here, please drop it in a comment, we promise a good fast help.