Create A Plan For Your Diabetes Management
Now that you have a better idea of what your pain points are, you can start making changes to your diabetes management.
If youre insulin-dependent and consistently have high blood sugars in the morning, getting your blood sugar fluctuations and A1c down might be as simple as adjusting your nighttime basal insulin. Or, if you run high every day after meals, your carb-to-insulin ratio might be off, and adjusting that could be what sets you on a path of a lower A1c. Until you collect the data and do the analysis, you have no way of knowing this.
I want to make an important point here: increasing your diabetes medication is not a sign of failure! Its often the best way to control your blood sugar and bring down your A1c.
I adjust my insulin up and down all the time when I change my diet or exercise routine. Adjusting your medication is an important tool in your diabetes toolbox and something you should always discuss with your medical team.
Easy Ways To Lower Blood Sugar Levels Naturally
High blood sugar, also known as hyperglycemia, is associated with diabetes and prediabetes. Prediabetes is when your blood sugar is high, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes.
Your body usually manages your blood sugar levels by producing insulin, a hormone that allows your cells to use the circulating sugar in your blood. As such, insulin is the most important regulator of blood sugar levels .
However, multiple factors can impair blood sugar management and lead to hyperglycemia.
Internal causes for high blood sugar include when your liver produces too much glucose, your body makes too little insulin, or your body cant effectively use insulin. The latter is known as insulin resistance (
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 13% of U.S. adults live with diabetes and that another 34.5% have prediabetes. This means that close to 50% of all U.S. adults have diabetes or prediabetes .
Blood sugar management is especially important for people with diabetes, as chronically high blood sugar levels can lead to limb and life threatening complications (
Increased insulin sensitivity means your cells can more effectively use the available sugar in your bloodstream.
Exercise also helps your muscles use blood sugar for energy and muscle contraction .
Whats more, researchers recommend doing so-called exercise snacks to lower blood sugar and prevent the damage that sitting all day can do .
Blood Sugar And Exercise
There are a few ways that exercise lowers blood sugar:
- Insulin sensitivity is increased, so your muscle cells are better able to use any available insulin to take up glucose during and after activity.
- When your muscles contract during activity, your cells are able to take up glucose and use it for energy whether insulin is available or not.
This is how exercise can help lower blood sugar in the short term. And when you are active on a regular basis, it can also lower your A1C.
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Roller Coaster: Female Hormones
When a womans hormones change, so does their blood sugar. Keep a monthly record of your levels to get a better idea of how your menstrual cycle affects you. Hormone changes during menopause may make blood sugar even harder to control. Talk to your doctor about whether hormone replacement therapy is a good idea.
Does Apple Cider Vinegar Lower A1c
Apple cider vinegar is often touted as a natural way to treat type 2 diabetes and other health conditions. This claim may have some merit to it. Trials have shown that apple cider vinegar can lower A1c levels. However, the scientific evidence is sparse and more research is needed to determine actual benefits, dosing, and safety considerations.
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What A1c Goal Should I Have
People will have different A1C targets, depending on their diabetes history and their general health. You should discuss your A1C target with your health care professional. Studies have shown that some people with diabetes can reduce the risk of diabetes complications by keeping A1C levels below 7 percent.
Managing blood glucose early in the course of diabetes may provide benefits for many years to come. However, an A1C level that is safe for one person may not be safe for another. For example, keeping an A1C level below 7 percent may not be safe if it leads to problems with hypoglycemia, also called low blood glucose.
Less strict blood glucose control, or an A1C between 7 and 8 percentor even higher in some circumstancesmay be appropriate in people who have
- limited life expectancy
What Do Your A1c Results Mean
The A1C test measures the glucose in your blood by assessing the amount of whats called glycated hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a protein within red blood cells. As glucose enters the bloodstream, it binds to hemoglobin. The more glucose that enters the bloodstream, the higher the amount of glycated hemoglobin, Dr. Dodell says.
According to the ADA, an A1C level below 5.7 percent is considered normal between 5.7 and 6.4 signals prediabetes and over 6.5 percent indicates type 2 diabetes. For many people with type 2 diabetes, the goal is to reduce A1C levels.
Your A1C goal is specific to you. Several factors come into play, such as your age, how advanced the diabetes is, and whether you have any other health conditions. If you can keep your A1C number below your goal which, for many people with diabetes, is less than 7 percent, says Dodell you can reduce the risk of complications, such as nerve damage and eye problems.
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What Range Would Hba1c Show A Diabetic Show Their Blood Sugar In Control
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Glycemic Index And Glycemic Load
When it comes to assessing foods based on how they increase your blood sugar, there is a tool for that called the glycemic index. The glycemic index assigns a number value to foods based on how quickly and how high they raise your blood sugar. Foods with a high glycemic index increase blood sugar quickly.
Glycemic load accounts for both the glycemic index and the quantity of carbohydrates in a serving. While it is generally best to eat low-glycemic foods to manage blood sugar, glycemic load might be a better indicator when making food choices. For example, while watermelon is considered a high-glycemic food, it is low on glycemic load.
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Check Blood Sugar Regularly
You have to understand your A1C levels properly as this is one of the main factors of diabetes management. Lowering A1C levels naturally is what you should focus on. We have stated some natural ways to lower A1C levels in the post.
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Understanding how to lower a1c is just a part of the process.
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What Is A Normal A1c
Now that you have your A1c number, lets look at what that number actually tells you. The American Diabetes Association has established the following guidelines:
This does NOT mean that you need an A1c of less than 5.7% if youre living with diabetes. It means that if you do NOT live with diabetes, your A1c is expected to be below 5.7%. There are different recommendations for what an appropriate A1c is for people living with diabetes.
I had a chance to asked Dr. Anne Peters, MD, Director, USC Clinical Diabetes Program and Professor of Clinical Medicine Keck School of Medicine of USC as well as Gary Scheiner, MS, CDE, owner and Clinical Director of Integrated Diabetes Services and author of Think Like a Pancreas, what their perspectives are on a good A1c target:
The A1c target should be whatever is best given the persons clinical situation. For athletes, too many lows can limit performance, for someone who is pregnant it should be < 6%, for an older person the target should be higher. I generally think an A1c target of 6.0 7.0% is ideal and data shows that going below 7% has fairly little impact on complications. Basically, Id rather see someone with an A1c of 6.9% and low blood sugar variability than an A1c of 6.2% with lots of variability
Gary Scheiner, MS, CDE:
To learn more about blood sugar levels, please read What are Normal Blood Sugar Levels.
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How Often Should You Have An A1c Lab Test
Your healthcare provider may order an A1C test every three months to monitor diabetes treatment changes, such as adjustments to medications, insulin pump settings, or other areas of diabetes self-management. If your blood glucose is within range and stable, your healthcare provider may only order the test every six months.
If you have not been diagnosed with diabetes, sometimes A1C is used along with other measures to help diagnose diabetes. It may also be used as a baseline measurement for people with a strong family history of diabetes or other risk factors to see if levels are increasing over time.
Many People With Diabetes Wonder How To Lower A1c Naturally But Its Important To Know The Best Ways To Do That And What Myths Are Out There
As with any health topic, there are a lot of ideas floating around out there about how to lower your a1c. In this article, weâll dive into what a1c is and not myths and truths about how to lower a1c naturally.
***This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis, opinion, treatment or services. This article and the links contained in it provide general information for educational purposes only. The information provided in this article is not a substitute for medical care, and should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or registered dietitian.***
My Perspective On A1c As A Person Living With Diabetes
I have a very ambivalent relationship with my A1c myself. Ive been living with type 1 diabetes for over 20 years, and my A1c is not something I think about in my daily life. However, every three months when I see my endo, I get a little anxious because receiving your A1c can feel a lot like getting your diabetes report card.
And, quite honestly, thats really silly. My A1c number doesnt reflect whats been going on in my life for the last three months. It doesnt tell me how much effort Ive put into managing my diabetes and it does not define me as a person. Its a good source of information, nothing more.
Still, we tend to look at it and judge, good or bad, how weve done with our diabetes management. But we really shouldnt!
That doesnt mean that I think we shouldnt get our A1c checked. I absolutely think we should, but we also need to understand what it means as well as why we should look beyond the A1c number. I hope this guide has given you the knowledge and tools to do so!
What Is Hba1c And How Does It Affect My Health
Hemoglobin, found within red blood cells, transports oxygen to cells throughout your body. Glucose naturally binds to hemoglobin during a process called glycosylation, leading to an identifiable protein called HbA1c. The higher your average blood sugar levels, the more glycosylation will occur leading to more detectable HbA1c.
High HbA1c levels are associated with prediabetes and symptomatic diabetes. If your HbA1c levels are high, you may be at risk for developing symptomatic diabetes, or it may be an indication that the therapeutic treatment you are following is not sufficient.
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What Is The A1c Test
Before you can begin lowering your hemoglobin A1C, it is helpful to fully understand what hemoglobin A1C is referring to. It is a blood test taken at any time that is the primary way to diagnose diabetes mellitus type 1 and type 2. The hemoglobin in your blood can be coated with sugar which means it is glycated.
In fact, the test may also be referred to as glycated hemoglobin, hemoglobin A1C, or HbA1C. No matter what the title, higher blood sugar levels are not a good sign and can indicate an increased risk of diabetes. This can occur in adolescents or adults depending on different factors like body weight and diet.
Some Options For Low Sugar Fruits Foods To Lower A1c
These are some of the fruits you may go for. This can be added to the diet to lower A1C.
You need to control the foods and vegetables which are high in sugar and not avoid them altogether.
Fruits and Foods to lower a1c are a one way towards lower a1c levels!
This is mostly found in dairy products. Thereâs not much of a difference between reduced fat, full fat, and low-fat milk.
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Check Your Blood Sugar Levels As Your Doctor Has Directed
Work with your doctor to determine if you should check your blood sugar and how often. You may be tempted to pick up an A1C home testing kit, but Dodell says having your A1C checked by your doctor every three to six months is sufficient. A better idea is to use a continuous glucose monitor. He recommends checking your time in range to see if you are at the optimal level. For many people that is 70 to 180 milligrams per deciliter , according to ADA guidelines.
Understanding your A1C levels is an important part of your overall diabetes management. If you have any questions about your A1C or what it means, dont hesitate to ask your doctor.
Additional reporting by Mikel Theobald
How Can I Bring My Blood Sugar Down From 500
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