CHECK YOUR HEMOGLOBIN A1c I.Q.
The following is courtesy of the National Institute of Diabetes
and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, a division of the U.S. National Institutes
Find out how much you know about the Hemoglobin A1c test (also
called HbA1c). Mark each statement true (T) or false (F). Then see how you did
by checking the correct answers and explanations, found below.
1. A Hemoglobin A1c test measures the average amount of sugar
in your blood over the last three months. [ ] T [ ] F
2. It's important to know your Hemoglobin A1c number. [ ]T [
3. All people with diabetes need to have a Hemoglobin A1c test.
[ ] T [ ] F
4. The Hemoglobin A1c goal for people with diabetes is less
than 7 percent. [ ] T [ ] F
5. Most people can tell what their blood sugar levels are simply
by how they feel. [ ] T [ ] F
6. You can have a "touch of sugar" but don't have
to do anything about it. [ ] T [ ] F
7. You can do something about high blood sugar.
[ ] T [ ] F
8. A Hemoglobin A1c number over 8 percent is a sign that one
or more parts of your treatment plan needs to be changed.
[ ] T [ ] F
9. A Hemoglobin A1c test should be done about once a year. [
] T [ ] F
10. There's no proof that lowering your Hemoglobin A1c number
can reduce your chances of getting serious eye, kidney, and nerve disease.
[ ] T [ ] F
Answers to the HEMOGLOBIN A1c I.Q. QUIZ:
- TRUE: The Hemoglobin A1c test shows the average amount of
sugar in your blood over the last three months. It is a simple lab test done
by your health care provider. The Hemoglobin A1c is the best test to find
out if your blood sugar is under control.
- TRUE: If you know your Hemoglobin A1c number, you will know
if your blood sugar is under control. A high number is a sign that you should
work with your health care provider to change your treatment plan. A good
test result is a sign that your treatment plan is working and your blood sugar
is under control.
- TRUE: All people with diabetes should have a Hemoglobin A1c
test at least twice a year. Regular Hemoglobin A1c testing can help you track
your blood sugar levels over time to see if they stay close to normal or go
up and down. If your blood sugar levels are too high or too low, work with
your health care provider to change your treatment plan and reach your target
level of control.
- TRUE: The Hemoglobin A1c goal for people with diabetes is
less than 7 percent. The findings of a major diabetes study, the Diabetes
Control and Complications Trial (DCCT), showed that people with diabetes who
keep their Hemoglobin A1c levels close to 7 percent have a much better chance
of delaying or preventing diabetes problems that affect the eyes, kidneys,
and nerves than people with Hemoglobin A1c levels 8 percent or higher. A change
in treatment is almost always needed if your Hemoglobin A1c is over 8 percent.
But, if you can lower your Hemoglobin A1c number by any amount, you will improve
your chances of staying healthy.
- FALSE: Research shows that few people can tell their blood
sugar levels simply by how they feel. Testing your blood sugar is the only
way to know for sure whether you are reaching your blood sugar goals.
- FALSE: If you have "sugar" you have diabetes. Diabetes
is a serious disease that causes the sugar in your blood to build up in your
body. This buildup of sugar can cause you to go blind, suffer a heart attack,
lose your feet or legs to amputations, stop your kidneys from working, and
even kill you. There is no cure for diabetes, but there is a lot you can do
to control it. For example, you can see your health care provider more often.
You can change some of the foods you eat. You can stay at a weight that is
right for you. And you can get regular physical activity.
- TRUE: You can do a lot to bring down high blood sugar and
get it under control. Start by asking your health care provider for a Hemoglobin
A1c test. If your Hemoglobin A1c test result is too high, talk to your health
care provider about how to lower it. To get your blood sugar under control,
follow the meal plan recommended by your health care provider, stick to a
physical activity program, take prescribed diabetes medicines, and consult
your health care provider often.
- TRUE: A change in treatment is almost always needed if your
Hemoglobin A1c is over 8 percent. Common causes of high blood sugar include
eating too much food or eating the wrong foods, lack of physical activity,
stress, a need to change medicines, and infection or illness. If your Hemoglobin
A1c number is too high, work with your health care provider to change your
treatment plan and reach the goal of less than 7 percent.
- FALSE: You should get a Hemoglobin A1c test at least two
times a year if your blood sugar is in the target range and stable. If your
treatment changes or if your blood sugar stays too high, you should get a
Hemoglobin A1c test at least every 3 months until your blood sugar level improves.
- FALSE: The DCCT showed that the lower the Hemoglobin A1c
number, the greater the chances that people with diabetes will slow or prevent
the development of serious eye, kidney, and nerve disease. The study also
showed that if you can lower your Hemoglobin A1c number by any amount, you
will improve your chances of staying healthy.