Add extra biomarkers to your test from as little as £5 to get more insight into your health.
Dr Nicky Keay
Chief Medical Officer & endocrinology expert
Our HbA1c home blood test will check your body’s average blood glucose levels and will indicate if you are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The test also enables those with type 2 diabetes to monitor their condition.
HbA1c is considered the gold standard in diabetes testing. Unlike other glucose tests which measure your blood sugar levels at the point where the test is taken e.g. that day, the HbA1c blood test provides an average measurement of your blood glucose levels over the previous 2-3 months.
A HbA1c test can therefore identify if you are prediabetic before being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Discovering you have high blood glucose levels can help to motivate you into making some changes to your lifestyle.
Read more about HbA1c.
The main symptoms of type 2 diabetes are:
There are ways to lower your HbA1c level, such as:
Our article ‘Is prediabetes reversible?’ is a good place to start if you’re looking for advice on lowering your HbA1c levels.
HbA1c is an indicator of blood glucose levels over the preceding 6 weeks or so. Impaired control of blood glucose – such as occurs in pre diabetes mellitus and sub optimally controlled diabetes mellitus – means high levels of blood glucose. This excess glucose in the blood attaches to haemoglobin (HbA1c is glycosylated haemoglobin). As the lifespan of a red blood cell is about 6 weeks, this is why HbA1c levels measured in a blood test indicates blood glucose control over this time. If HbA1c levels are high, then appropriate dietary changes as an initial step can be put in place and change in HbA1c can be monitored to determine if pharmacological treatment is required.
Want to improve your health & wellbeing? Forth gives you insight into your body’s key biomarkers. By tracking essential markers overtime you can build a picture of your own unique self and discover how your body responds to the changes you make so you can reach your personal best.
Prediabetes is the stage before type 2 diabetes is diagnosed. During pre-diabetes, your blood glucose levels are increased above normal but are not high enough for a type 2 diabetes diagnosis. Therefore, it is the critical period before diabetes is diagnosed and, if spotted, may be improved with simple changes to your lifestyle.
Prediabetes is often used to describe two conditions. Impaired fasting glucose (IFT), when your blood glucose levels are increased after a period of fasting, or impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) where your blood sugar levels are increased beyond normal after eating.
It is not an uncommon condition either, up to 7 million people in the UK are believed to be prediabetic.
Read more in our article ‘Is Prediabetes Reversible?‘
An HbA1c blood test is the gold standard for diagnosing diabetes type 2. It gives an average measure of your blood glucose levels over the last 2-3 months.
In the UK, 4.7 million people have diabetes and this is expected to rise to 5.5 million within the next decade. 90% of people who have had a diagnosis have type 2 diabetes whereas type 1 accounts for around 8%.
Yet the actual figure could be higher because there is an estimated one million people living with type 2 diabetes in the UK who haven’t been diagnosed. The prevalence of type 2 diabetes is a problem, not least because it costs the NHS a staggering £173 million per week.
The increase in obesity is largely to blame for the rise in type 2 diabetes cases. In fact, it is the biggest risk factor for the development of the condition. Yet, by taking control of your own health and understand what’s really going on inside you, you can take positive action to lower your risk by making changes to your lifestyle.
An HbA1c test is used to test for prediabetes or type 2 diabetes in adults. Unlike other tests, it gives you an average blood glucose reading over a period of up to three months rather than at the time of testing. It is often considered the gold standard in diabetes testing.
For people who do not have type 2 diabetes, a normal HbA1c level is between 20-42mmol/mol.
Several factors can contribute to an increase in HbA1c levels such as obesity or being overweight, lack of exercise, an unhealthy diet, diabetes, stress and even some medications.
There are several things you can do to help lower your HbA1c level such as eat a healthier diet consisting of low glycaemic index foods, exercise regularly, reduce stress and lose weight are just a few.
Use our at home HbA1c blood test to monitor and check your HbA1c levels.