Op. Dr. Mehtap Abay explains:

Hello, I'm Mehtap Üçkardeş Abay, an ophthalmologist.

Today I want to share with you what Haemoglobin -A1c is; known from diabetics as 3-month sugar level; as it is very important for me to track the blood counts of the diabetic patients who come to me for check-up; as if the eyes are involved this disease can unfortunately lead to blindness and eye loss in later stages.

One of the first questions I ask: "What is Haemoglobin -A1c?" The answer mostly: "The 3-month sugar average". No, that is definitely not the case.

Haemoglobin-A1c means your cell, all cells in your body, are not getting enough oxygen.

You know if your blood test result shows that your haemoglobin level is too low, you suffer from anaemia. Everyone knows haemoglobin: The job of haemoglobin is to transport oxygen to the cells. Oxygen attaches to the haemoglobin and is delivered to the cells on that way. When the sugar level in your blood is much too high, sugar and oxygen starts to compete. Who will attach to the haemoglobin now?

Unfortunately the very “attractive” sugar manages to adhere to the haemoglobin and, instead of oxygen, is transported to the cells, i.e. glycotinated haemoglobin / candied haemoglobin tries to transport glucose into the cell.

And what happens to the oxygen? The oxygen cannot get to the cell.

Imagine parched soil that is not watered. This is called ischemia. The cells will not get oxygenated and as a result die.

Please note that Haemoglobin-A1c is not a 3 month sugar average. Your cells, all of your cells; be it the retina in the eye or the kidneys; imagine that no / not enough oxygen is transported, the cells get ischemia, and unfortunately ischemia cannot always be reversed. For this reason: Let us know this value and track it accordingly.

Stay healthy