Could an HbA1c Test Restrain Diabetes Before It Wounds Your Body?

February 1, 2024

Diabetes in the United States is an epidemic. According to the CDC, 38 million (11.6%) Americans have diabetes, and alarmingly, out of these, 8.7 million are undiagnosed.1 Why are so many people unaware they’re sick?

The main reason is that diabetes is a silent intruder that can remain unnoticed – while creating damage – as its first symptoms are subtle.

But no need to panic. An alarm exists.

Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) is a blood test that can detect this stealthy invader – diabetes – early before it wrecks your home. Keeping an eye on your HbA1c levels is fundamental! Why? 

Each 1% reduction in HbA1c levels – the gold standard for blood sugar control – according to Medicine Journal, is associated with a lower 21% of diabetes-related deaths.2

But first, we need to dispel some dangerous myths.

7 False Beliefs About Diabetes

Prediabetes Is a Minor Issue

The CDC informs that 97 million (38%) people in the United States have prediabetes, and 80% of them don’t even know!3

If you’re over 35, overweight, have a family history of type II diabetes, seldom exercise, or have high blood pressure or cholesterol issues, Medline recommends HbA1c testing to catch sugar imbalances when they’re treatable.4

Remember this. Prediabetes is not something you can ignore. If you are prediabetic, you are dangerously close to diabetes, increasing your chances of heart disease and putting yourself at risk of having a stroke.5

The most dangerous part of prediabetes, as the CDC explains, is that it hurts your body in silence. You won’t feel its effects until severe health problems disrupt your life.5 However, the good news, as the CDC reminds you, is that prediabetes is reversible.

Sugar Causes Diabetes 

As Mount Sinai explains, sugar does not cause diabetes.6 

The confusion of sugar being the cause of diabetes is understandable.

When you eat, food is converted into glucose (a sugar) that insulin – a hormone produced by the pancreas – moves into muscle, liver, and fat cells to generate the energy that powers your life.

Insulin controls your blood glucose levels. When a person has diabetes – high blood sugar levels – glucose is not transported to their destination because there’s insufficient insulin or their cells have stopped responding to insulin, as Mount Sinai describes.6

Research by the European Journal of Nutrition suggests that excessive sugar consumption is often a behavior associated with overeating (and weight gain), and this excess energy intake leads to metabolic problems.7

Only Overweight People Get Diabetes

Being overweight is one of the main risk factors for developing diabetes. However, this does not mean you will be fine if you have an average weight yet rarely exercise, overeat, and indulge in an unhealthy diet.

No, you could still develop diabetes, as the American Diabetes Association warns, so an A1C test is an ideal test to translate the impact of your lifestyle on your health.8

If Your Blood Sugar Levels Were High, You Would Feel Them

The Journal of Diabetes Research found that 64% of people with diabetes think this statement is true; however, it is not. Research has uncovered that dangerously high sugar levels can go unnoticed for long periods without physical symptoms associated with diabetes, such as thirst, excessive urination, and feeling very hungry.9,10

Diabetes Is a Hereditary Disease

Medline notes that while having siblings with diabetes raises your risk, unhealthy lifestyle choices and being overweight can independently lead to diabetes development, even without a family history. Many people without genetic predispositions still develop the disease. Therefore, an HbA1c test is essential even if no one in your family has diabetes.11

Diabetes Is No Big Deal

Diabetes causes more deaths every year than breast cancer and AIDS combined, according to the American Diabetes Association.12,13

  • Diabetes doubles the risk of a heart attack.
  • People with diabetes are twice as likely to be depressed.
  • Diabetes is the leading cause of chronic kidney disease.
  • People with diabetes have a doubled stroke risk.
  • Diabetes is the top reason for new blindness cases in working-age adults.

If You Have (Pre)Diabetes, There’s Nothing You Can Do About It.

The great news about prediabetes and diabetes is that you can reduce their impact without secluding yourself at the top of a mountain and giving up everything you love.

A diabetes lifestyle program – focused on healthy eating and exercise – led by the CDC estimates that individuals with prediabetes who participate can cut their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58%.14 A study by the Lancet that focused on diet modification and weight loss intervention found that 46% of participants experienced remission of diabetes.15

According to the National Diabetes Association, losing between 10 and 15 pounds and a daily 30-minute walk can dramatically cut your risk. When you’re physically active, your cells are more sensitive to insulin, lowering your blood sugar.16

Now that you understand you can influence your blood sugar levels with lifestyle modifications, what’s the best way to do it?

With the help of a friend like Kyla.

Kyla – the leading anti-aging app – is the ideal sidekick for individuals with prediabetes and diabetes.

Medicine Journal uncovered that personalized diabetes education delivered via digital technology – such as Kyla – aided people in changing their behaviors and lowering HbA1c levels.2

95% of people with diabetes manage their daily care by themselves.2 These are problematic numbers. 

According to Diabetes Care, one of the main difficulties in managing diabetes is how demanding it is for individuals to stick to the lifestyle modifications they require to control their blood sugar levels.17 How come? Modifying habits and staying on track are mentally taxing!

This is why Kyla offers much-needed companionship for individuals on a journey toward healthy blood sugar levels. 

Diabetes Care found that text reminders through an app – like Kyla – about appointments and lifestyle recommendations helped people reduce their HbA1c levels and lose weight.17

JAMA found that coaching individuals via an app – as Kyla does – helped people reduce their HBA 1C levels by 0.79 percentage points.18

We hope you’re convinced you need an HbA1c test. Here’s how it works.

Decoding HbA1c Levels: What They Mean for Your Health

The HbA1c test – a small blood sample – measures the percentage of glucose attached to hemoglobin in red blood cells, showing your average blood sugar levels over the past two to three months.

As the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases explains, the greater this percentage, the higher your blood sugar levels.19

Here are the reference values:

Normal: less than 5.7%

Prediabetes: 5.7% to 6.4%

Diabetes: 6.5% or higher

HbA1c is a convenient test. It doesn’t require you to fast, and its results are relatively uninfluenced by stress, insufficient fasting – less than eight hours – recent illness, or physical activity. These events can alter glucose concentration and skew the results of a standard blood glucose test.20

HbA1c is a powerful test. Oxford’s Postgraduate Medical Journal shows that HBA1C levels below 7% are associated with:21

  • 76% reduction in diabetic retinopathy (eye damage),
  • 54% reduction in diabetic nephropathy (kidney disease),
  • 60% reduction in peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage)
  • 35% reduction in cardiovascular disease risk.

These are all reasons to take a HbA1c test. But you can do much better.

Late Diagnosis: Solving Diabetes Burning Challenge

According to BMC Medicine Journal, 50% of individuals recently diagnosed with diabetes already manifest microvascular (affecting eyes, kidneys, and nerves) and macrovascular disease (leading to heart attacks, strokes, and circulation issues), suggesting that they were undiagnosed for years.22

One of the major bottlenecks in diabetes care is the lack of symptoms in the preliminary stages – leading to delayed diagnosis – which causes severe complications.

How can you prevent a late diagnosis? You rely on a personalized risk profile created by Kyla’s risk engine. Here’s how it works.

Beyond Blood Sugar: Kyla’s Holistic Approach to a Healthier You

An HbA1c test is the ideal alarm to watch your blood sugar levels and prevent silent intruders, like diabetes, from disrupting how you live.

If you order a Kyla Card – that includes an HbA1c test – we will analyze your test results with our AI-powered risk engine.

Based on your HbA1c test result, age, family history of diabetes, BMI, blood pressure levels, lipid panel results, fasting blood glucose, diet, and other factors, Kyla’s risk engine will create a unique risk profile for you.

This risk profile is life-changing. It will offer you personalized advice to live a diabetes-free life, but it won’t stop there.

It will design lifestyle and medical interventions so you can sleep better, have more energy, reduce stress levels, manage chronic pain, and establish healthy habits you can sustain.

Download the Kyla App if you want an anti-aging blueprint – at your fingertips – that will propel your well-being to where it deserves to be.


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  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Diabetes Statistics Report. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2023 [cited 2024 Jan 24]. Available from:
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  17. Lee YB, Kim G, Jun JE, Park H, Lee WJ, Hwang YC, Kim JH. An integrated digital health care platform for diabetes management with AI-based dietary management: 48-week results from a randomized controlled trial. Diabetes Care. 2023 May 1;46(5):959-66.
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