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Question of the Month

Q:  Is the following test useful w/ treatment and/or detection of PCOS Glycohemoglobin?

A: Glycohemoglobin, also referred to as hemoglobin A1c, measures the amount of hemoglobin (the red, oxygen-carrying substance in red blood cells) which has glucose attached to it. It is used to assess the level of blood sugar control in diabetes because it gives an average of blood sugar levels over the past 2 to 3 months.

Hgb A1c It is sometimes used to diagnose diabetes. However it is not really useful for this because it cannot detect mild elevations in blood glucose, such as may occur with PCOS. The only way to detect mild elevations of blood sugar is with a 3 hour glucose tolerance test. Fasting insulin should be done with it to detect insulin resistance.

Hope this is helpful.

Geoffrey Redmond, MD

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