Diabetes Risk Awareness Service

HbA1c - More Reliable Than Blood Sugar Test

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Checking HbA1c Levels is Proven More Reliable Than Blood Sugar Test


Are you Diabetic? ... Find out today! Live Healthier ... Live Longer

No Fasting Required - No Appointment Necessary


This test is available from:


Regent Pharmacy, 19 Windmill Street, Gravesend, Kent DA12 1AS       On-line booking available: click here

Tel: (01474) 534771


Echo Pharmacy, Oakfield Health Centre, Off Windsor Road, Gravesend, Kent DA12 5BW

Tel: (01474) 533754


Meopham Pharmacy, Nevill Place, Wrotham Road, Meopham, Kent DA13 0HP

Tel: (01474) 812144


Unlike regular glucose tests that are limited to showing your results in that singular moment, measuring your HbA1c levels provides an in-depth look at your sugar levels if you're diabetic or pre-diabetic. These results alert you of two things: what your sugar levels are currently at and how high or low they have been for the past few weeks.


Let’s take a better look at the benefits of measuring your HbA1c and the relationship between the test and your pharmacist. 


What is HbA1c?


HbA1c is a blood test you can do every 2-6 months out of the year. There’s a protein (haemoglobin) in red blood cells that attaches to the glucose in your blood stream. This bonding process is called glycation, which is how the name glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) came into fruition.


Why use HbA1c instead of glucose tests?


HbA1c is important to measure for anyone who is diabetic or pre-diabetic. It also helps your pharmacist inform you of your diabetes status and prepare an action plan to reduce your risks.


As mentioned above, HbA1c is able to measure your sugar levels over a history of time, anywhere from a few weeks to a couple months. Regular glucose testing only measures your sugar levels during the moment you take it. They don’t take in account the history of your levels or whether they’ve been inclining or declining over the past few months. 


The reason why you get a long term reading with HbA1c is because your red blood cells live in your system for anywhere from 8-12 weeks before being renewed. When you take a glucose test it only reflects your levels in that moment. 


So, for example, if your blood sugar has been abnormally high for the past few weeks but drops to a normal level the night you take the glucose test, you may be mislead to believe you’re in the clear. 


With the HbA1c test you’ll see for the past few weeks your sugar levels have been high and it may reflect a larger issue. Without the HbA1c test, you may not have been aware an issue was looming around the corner.


The goal with diabetes treatment is to lower the levels of your HbA1c and that is much easier to do through these tests than a regular glucose test due to its specific measuring system. 


HbA1c Target levels  


The common measuring unit in the UK for HbA1c testing is mmol/mol. There are specific ranges for gauging where your mmol/mmo levels should be if you’re diabetic, non-diabetic, or at a higher risk than others to develop hypoglycaemia (low blow sugar).


  • Non-diabetic: 20-41 mmol/mol (4%-5.9%)

  • Diabetic:48 mmol/mol (6.5%)

  • At risk of hypoglycaemia: 59 mmol/mol (7.5%)

HbA1c can also lead to the diagnoses of pre-diabetes. If you’re in the 5.7% to 6.4% range, you’re more at risk of developing pre-diabetes. 


HbA1c for treatment of diabetics and pre-diabetics


Diabetes is becoming quite common, especially Type 2 diabetes. Although there are definitive signs that you may have or be developing diabetes, many times these symptoms slowly creep up over the years without warning.


Many factors play a part in developing Type 2 diabetes. Some of these factors include:


  • Obesity

  • Eating habits and/or exercise

  • Ethnic background (African-Caribbean, Black African, Chinese or South Asian are more susceptible)

  • Family history of diabetes

  • You’ve previously had high blood pressure, a stroke or heart attack

  • You’ve previously had gestational diabetes (common with pregnant women)

Testing your blood levels with a standard glucose test won’t provide you with enough information if you’re potentially pre-diabetic. The HbA1c test can provide this information since it measures your sugar levels for a duration of time. It can give you a more thorough and healthier look at where you are with diabetes - whether you’re on the road towards it or in the clear. 


If you have already been diagnosed with diabetes, using the HbA1c testing can help you create a thorough and active plan to lower your HbA1c percentage and manage your diabetes in a healthier way. 


The best person to help you create this plan is your pharmacist. Book in a one to one private consultation today!


In-store screening tests at your pharmacy



In the pharmacy there’s a type of technology called the Quo-Test. All it needs is a sample of your blood from your finger and it will analyze your HbA1c quickly and accurately. You’ll have your results in 4 minutes!


From there your pharmacist will explains your results (the mmol/mol and percentage levels) clearly and directly. If you’re a diabetic and your HbA1c levels are high, or you’ve discovered you’re pre-diabetic, this is the time you and your pharmacist will take to create an individual action plan based on your results, your current health, and your future needs.


You’ll be able to have a one-on-one consultation with your pharmacist who will then point you in the right direction for potential medications, prescriptions, and healthy living no matter what your HbA1c results were.


Now you have an accurate reading of how your sugar levels have been doing over the past few weeks (or months) and you have someone with the know-how to get you on the right path to a healthier you.




It’s ideal for you to go in and take a HbA1c test every few months to have a clear and thorough examination of your blood sugar levels. 


If you’re pre-diabetic or thinking you might be, having your HbA1c levels tested is beneficial because it shows your current state of health. If you’re diabetic, you’ll be given the tools (a.k.a your pharmacist) for an in-depth sit down while they help you figure out where to go from here.


Your pharmacist is here to provide you with the best service they can. Go in and ask them about the H1bAc test today — they’ll be happy to assist you!


This test is available from:


Regent Pharmacy, 19 Windmill Street, Gravesend, Kent DA12 1AS       On-line booking available: click here

Tel: (01474) 534771


Echo Pharmacy, Oakfield Health Centre, Off Windsor Road, Gravesend, Kent DA12 5BW

Tel: (01474) 533754


Meopham Pharmacy, Nevill Place, Wrotham Road, Meopham, Kent DA13 0HP

Tel: (01474) 812144



A photo posted by dearPHARMACIST (@dearpharmacist) on

Feb 24, 2015 at 7:27am PST


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