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05-04-2016

How to Lower Your A1C

According to the American Diabetes Association, it is recommended that you have the A1C test administered twice a year, so long as your diabetes is well managed and your blood sugar levels have been consistent. This test can provide valuable insight into how well your diabetes treatment has been working—and how you can adjust it to work better in the future.

For individuals who haven’t been able to control their diabetes and sugar levels as well, a doctor may request that you have the test run every few months until your A1C falls into your target range.

Steps to Help Achieve a Lower A1C

Diabetes is a complex condition, requiring detailed management and understanding. This can be like a second job for many patients. While it does take significant effort to manage diabetes properly, it can lead to a much more rewarding quality of life for patients.

These simple changes can help you secure that lower A1C you’ve been striving for:

1. Get More Active

You don’t need to run a marathon or break a weight lifting record—just start by getting around 30 minutes of exercise around 5 days a week. This doesn’t even need to be “formal” exercising, like going to the gym or running laps. Instead, this can be something like going for a walk with your dog, playing tennis, riding a bike, or other alternatives. Even yoga and stretching can be extremely beneficial. So long as you are moving, your body will be grateful!

2. Balance Your Diet

Eating smart with diabetes can be difficult. Try to keep an eye on the amount of fruits, proteins, fats and complex carbs you are eating. You don’t have to cut these out of your diet completely, but you should be monitoring your portion sizes and ensuring you aren’t over doing it. Fill up on green vegetables, salads, and other non-starchy foods. You can even play mind games with yourself by only using a salad plate when getting food, rather than a larger dinner sized plate.

One of the biggest killers is processed food. Just say no. Sugary drinks like soda, juice, and even coffee drinks can seriously set you back. The more you stick to your diabetes-friendly diet, the better.

3. Maintain a Schedule

Just as much as eating the right food is important, so is when you eat it. If you skip meals or eat too late (or even too soon), you could cause your blood sugar levels to spike or fall too rapidly. This could be harmful to your health and your diabetes management plan. The good news is that you don’t have to figure it out on your own. Talking with a doctor to create a meal plan and schedule can be extremely helpful.

4. Stick to the Plan

Diabetes can look a little different for each individual, which is why an individual management plan should be created. What works for one person may or may not work for you, so always talk to your doctor before “implementing” advice from another person with diabetes. Your doctor can work with you to determine how to successfully manage your diabetes.

5. Monitor Blood Sugar

Even though you will have your A1C levels monitored by your doctor, it is still important that you check your blood sugar levels on your own. Doing this regularly and keeping note of your levels can be a crucial piece of information for your doctor as you work together to create a healthy plan for management. It can also inform your doctor on how certain activities, foods, or eating habits impact your blood sugar. Ultimately, keeping detailed notes on your blood sugar can be one of your most powerful tools in keeping your A1C lower in the future.

This article contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. The information is not intended to replace the advice or diagnosis of a physician. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.

Categories: health information