People with diabetes have a high blood
glucose which can make you very thirsty
or pass a lot of urine
or lose weight or get very tired.
Over many years
it can also lead to complications,
such as kidney damage or eye damage.
We know that lowering blood glucose
reduce the risk of these complications.
The various treatments for lowering
blood glucose include healthy eating,
keeping your weight the right amount
for your height, exercising regularly
and often taking tablets
and/or insulin injections.
If you're going to take this
you need to know if it's working
and there are various ways
of checking on this.
Glucose is a sugar
and, like other sugars, it's sticky
and it sticks to the haemoglobin
in your blood.
This produces something
called haemoglobin, A1c.
HbA1c, for short.
And studies have shown
over many years
that lowering the HbA1c reduces
the risk of diabetic tissue damage,
reduces the risk of kidney damage,
People with diabetes
have a higher blood glucose than normal.
Treatment of diabetes
aims to reduce this
towards the level
that people without diabetes have
in a way that's safe and appropriate
We measure this, in the long term,
which is a blood test
that your doctor does.
The HbA1c looks at how high
your blood glucose has been
over the past few months,
so it gives us a longer-term view,
an overview, if you like,
rather than instant reading.
At present, HbA1c is reported as a
percentage of the total haemoglobin,
so, for example, 6.5%,
in the new units,
that's going to be 48mmol/mol.
But the results will be reported
old and new units on the same form.
This change is being introduced
so that different laboratories
can compare the results more easily
and it will be an international change.
This may sound complicated, but
worry about remembering new numbers.
because results will be reported
side by side for the next two years.
There's no need to worry about this.
It's not going to change your treatment.