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
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.