HbA1c stands for Hemoglobin A1c, which is a specific type of protein that glucose becomes attached to. Glucose is a simple sugar that is absorbed into the bloodstream when your body breaks down carbohydrate foods. When glucose is absorbed, some of it becomes attached to the hemoglobin A1c protein and, over time, the more glucose that is circulating in the blood stream, the more glucose becomes attached to the hemoglobin A1c protein. HbA1c is expressed as a percentage because it is the percent of hemoglobin A1c protein that has glucose attached, so if your HbA1c is 5.5%, that means that 5.5% of the hemoglobin A1c proteins have glucose attached to them.

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