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Diabetes

Do you know your average blood sugar level? Check for and monitor diabetes from home with the MyHealthTest HbA1c Diabetes Test Service.



About diabetes

Diabetes is Australia's fastest growing chronic condition. Almost 300 Australians develop diabetes every day and it’s thought that about 500,000 people are living with ‘silent’ or undiagnosed diabetes.

Diabetes is a condition where the body is unable to process blood glucose (blood sugar) effectively. An organ known as the pancreas produces insulin, a hormone that helps your body convert blood glucose into energy. In diabetes either insufficient insulin is produced or it does not work efficiently.

If left untreated, diabetes can lead to a number of debilitating conditions including heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, vision loss and lower limb amputations.

For more information about diabetes, visit Diabetes Australia or Health Direct.



Our HbA1c Diabetes Test Service

The HbA1c (or glycated haemoglobin) test measures your average blood sugar levels over the previous 3 months.

If you have diabetes, you will be familiar with the HbA1c test that your doctor arranges every few months to help you manage and monitor your condition. The HbA1c test is now also used to help diagnose and assess the early stages of diabetes, known as pre-diabetes.

For the MyHealthTest HbA1c Diabetes Test Service, we only need a couple of spots of blood provided on a specialised collection card. Our dried blood spot test for HbA1c levels has been found to be comparable to testing with traditional whole blood samples.

If your HbA1c level is raised your healthcare provider can use this information to help guide you to the next steps to best manage your health.

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Note: This HbA1c test is not used in the diagnosis of Type 1 (insulin-dependent or juvenile) diabetes and is not recommended for the diagnosis of gestational (pregnancy) diabetes.



How is HbA1c different from a blood glucose test?

The HbA1c test is a different test from the blood glucose test that people with diabetes do frequently – often several times a day, usually with a fingerprick and small device called a glucose meter.

A blood glucose test gives a snapshot of your blood sugar level at a particular time, while the HbA1c gives an indication of what’s been happening over a longer period. Both measurements are important when managing diabetes.



What can affect the results of this test?

Some of the glucose in the blood binds to the haemoglobin inside your red blood cells. Therefore, conditions that affect your red blood cells or haemoglobin can affect your HbA1c results. Such conditions include for example anaemia, iron deficiency, vitamin deficiencies or kidney disease amongst others. If there is any possibility that you may have a condition affecting your red blood cells or haemoglobin you should consult with your doctor before taking an HbA1c test.

It is important to note that blood test results obtained from different laboratories can and do vary. MyHealthTest results for HbA1c may be slightly higher than other laboratories. This should be considered if comparing results to those from other labs.



Who should not use this test?

HbA1c tests should not be used as an indicator of diabetes for:

  • Children and young people
  • Women who are currently pregnant or have been pregnant in the past 2 months
  • People with suspected type 1 diabetes
  • People with short duration of diabetic symptoms
  • People at high risk of diabetes who are acutely ill
  • People taking drugs that may cause a rapid rise in glucose, such as corticosteroids or antipsychotic drugs (for less than 2 months)
  • People with acute pancreatic damage or who have undergone pancreatic surgery
  • People with kidney failure

Always consult your healthcare provider if you have any concerns about a test service.