How to Lower A1C – Latest Research Included

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You've likely been able to have your blood glucose levels assessed. A quick scratch of your finger and an ounce of blood show the sugar in your bloodstream. This can be a valuable method for diagnosing and treating diabetes; however, it only displays the blood glucose level. If you haven't fasted and performed the test correctly, this isn't a precise method of determining how your body's metabolism works constantly.

Your A1C is the average blood glucose reading over the last three months. Knowing this number can help your doctor diagnose and manage the condition of diabetes (and prediabetes) before you develop grave complications.

Why Your A1C Level Matters

Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of deaths for deaths in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The majority of types of Type 2 Diabetes can be controlled through exercise, diet, and medication. However, uncontrolled levels of blood glucose increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, eye issues, Amputations of the legs and feet, as well as kidney failure.

Around 30.3 million Americans have diabetes – this is roughly 9.5% of the U.S. population. Of the people who suffer from diabetes, 7.2 million are undiagnosed. Additionally, 84.1 million American adults suffer from prediabetes, which means they're at risk of developing the disease without treatment or lifestyle modifications. Regular A1C tests can assist your doctor in detecting the disease in its early stages, typically even if it's not preventable. If you've been diagnosed as having diabetes, Your A1C will inform your doctor if the treatment plan currently in place is working.

What the Numbers Mean

The A1C test determines how much glucose is linked to hemoglobin present within your blood. The results are reported in percentages. To determine if you have diabetes using the A1C test, doctors employ an A1C scale as follows:

  • Average: less than 5 percent.
  • Prediabetes is 5.7 up to 6.4 percent
  • Diabetic: 6.5 percent or greater

It's recommended for diabetics to maintain an A1C of less than 7 percent to avoid complications.

7 Ways to Improve Your A1C

Whether you're managing your diabetes or attempting to prevent the disease, it is possible to reduce the levels of blood sugar by:

1. Exercise

Physical activity can help the body utilize insulin more effectively, which means it can better process the sugar in the blood. Regular exercise can help lower blood sugar levels and increase your A1C. It also reduces the risk of suffering from stroke, heart disease, and other severe diseases that diabetics are at risk of. Try to do 30 minutes of physical activity every day, at least five days a week.

2. Eat Right

Be careful with sugary sweets and drinks, such as white bread, potato pasta, starchy veggies, and other foods high in carbohydrates, as they increase blood sugar levels. Instead, choose foods rich in fiber, vegetables, and fruits, small portions of lean poultry and meats, and low-fat milk or cheese.

3. Take Medications as Prescribed

Some people manage their prediabetes and diabetes with fitness and diet, while Others require medications. The dosage and type of drugs needed are different for each person, and therefore, you should consult with your doctor to design an individual treatment plan and follow the plan.

4. Manage Your Stress

The body can respond as if it's under attack. Your body stores stored energy through sugar and fat to prepare for a fight-or-flight response. In time, this will raise the A1C level. To ease stress, unwind, spend time with the people you cherish, and engage in things you love. Relaxation techniques such as meditation or other methods can be helpful. If you are still feeling constantly stressed, speak to your physician.

5. Stick to a Schedule

If you go too long without food, blood sugar levels may fall to a low level. It's also possible to eat more later in the day, which can cause your blood sugar levels to increase. Eating three healthy meals and two nutritious snacks per day is recommended.

6. Drink in Moderation

Alcohol consumption can lead to decreases in blood sugar, mainly when you've not eaten or if your blood sugar is already at a low level. If not, it's not a problem. The American Diabetes Association recommends that diabetics adhere to the same guidelines as the rest of us: not to exceed one drink a day for women and two drinks each day for men.

7. Monitor Your Numbers

If you've been assessed with prediabetes or diabetes, it is crucial to monitor your blood sugar levels at least once a week, as your physician suggests, to avoid dangerous spikes and drops. Your doctor may also advise you to monitor your A1C levels to ensure that your current treatment regimen keeps your condition in check.

Diabetes is a severe and long-lasting condition, but by making some changes to your lifestyle and the right healthcare professionals at your side, you'll be able to continue living an active and healthy life.

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