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Fructosamine Test

How Is It Different Than the A1c Test?

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Updated November 30, 2009

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

If you have type 2 diabetes, you may be familiar with the A1c test, which measures your average blood glucose levels over two or three months. Did you know that there is another test that is used to track blood glucose levels over time? The fructosamine test is not as well known as the A1c test, but it is also used to measure overall blood glucose levels. The difference is that the fructosamine test measures levels over a period of two to three weeks, rather than two or three months.

The fructosamine test is a blood test, like the A1c, except that it measures glycated protein in the blood instead of glycated hemoglobin. Sugar molecules that are present in your blood stick to proteins. These proteins circulate in your bloodstream for 14 to 21 days, so measuring them gives a picture of the amount of sugar in your blood for that time period.

When is the fructosamine test used?

Your doctor might order a fructosamine test if you've had a recent change in your medications or insulin, so he can monitor the effectiveness of the new treatments.

The test is also used in gestational diabetes because changes can happen very quickly during pregnancy. The shorter time span of the test allows the doctor to track blood glucose levels more closely.

Source:

Fructosamine - The Test. 24 Nov 2009. Lab Tests Online, Web. 28 Nov 2009. http://www.labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/fructosamine/test.html

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