Then the 1.5 mg dose may be increased after ≥4 weeks to 3.0 mg once weekly. Significant changes in blood glucose can be seen within 2 weeks. What more can we do to drop those numbers quick? 12.8 to 4.4 in 3 months?! While exercise is essential for building and maintaining good health and improving insulin sensitivity, it can be a double-edged sword if it constantly throws your blood sugars for a loop. You seem like you are staying on top of things so big kudos on that! Diabetes & Ketones: Everything You Need to Know, Diabetes and Polyphagia (Excessive Hunger), Symptoms of High Blood Sugar: Everything You Need to Know, Diabetes & Stress: How Stress Affects Your Blood Sugar, https://diabetesstrong.com/category/diabetes/type-1/, https://diabetesstrong.com/lada-diabetes/, The Best Sweeteners for People with Diabetes, How to Bake Chicken Breast in the Oven (So It’s Always Juicy), 7 -Day Diabetes Meal Plan (with Printable Grocery List), Any cardiovascular disease event risk is reduced by 42%, Nonfatal heart attack, stroke, or risk of death from cardiovascular causes is reduced by 57%. Thus, the A1c test reflects the average of a person’s blood glucose levels over the past three months. Kyle. Obviously getting it down is crucial. Your doctor or endocrinologist should test your A1c regularly (typically every 3-6 months). Adding resistance training to your daily routine, even if it’s just bodyweight exercise, can be instrumental in increasing your insulin sensitivity and lowering your A1c. For a detailed guide to resistance training and diabetes, please see my article “How Resistance Training Affects Your Blood Sugar.”. Now that you have your A1c number, let’s look at what that number actually tells you. The A1c test is only one measure of your overall blood sugar control. Now I'm worried that it may be too low. I wanted to say two things from all of this: Thank you to everyone in this sub for the help and guidance. The American Diabetes Association has established the following guidelines: This does NOT mean that you need an A1c of less than 5.7% if you’re living with diabetes. If the A1C level of the patient is in double digits, then it can take around 2 to 3 months to lower the A1C level given that the patient strictly adheres to the management plan of his diabetes. The A1C is a blood test that gives us an estimated average of what your blood sugar has been over the past 2-3 months. However, it’s not something we can ignore either since there is a correlation between A1c and the risk of long-term complications.”. Taking your A1c from 12% to 11% makes a big difference while lowering your A1c from 7% to 6% provides a much smaller benefit. Your posts and blog have helped me a lot, even though I'm T1. The freak out part: if he doesn’t get his A1C below 10 in 3 months he will loose his job, CDL. If you, from one day to the next, decreased your daily average blood sugar from 300 mg/dl (16.7 mmol/l) to 120 mg/dl (6.7 mmol/l), your A1c would decrease from 12% to 6% in around two months. How hard was it for you to accept commitment to change? That alone has done wonders for me. My A1c number doesn’t reflect what’s been going on in my life for the last three months. It wasn't very easy. New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast. He also probably weighs 100 pounds. But when we get 45 minutes each of aerobic exercise and resistance training for just three days a week, we can reduce our A1C a lot. Some people can eat oats with only a small increase in blood sugar while others see a quick spike. The 3.0 mg dose may be increased after ≥4 weeks to the maximum dose of 4.5 mg once weekly. A normal A1C score should be … He’s gone Monday thru Friday. Because A1C is an indicator of your blood sugar over the last few months, the change in A1C won’t be seen immediately. What company had access to his medical records. He also used to be a one meal a day with sugar laiden snacks in between. The ADA — Americans with disabilities act would protect him from dismissal I would think. Basically, I’d rather see someone with an A1c of 6.9% and low blood sugar variability than an A1c of 6.2% with lots of variability”, “A1c goals should be individualized based on the individual capabilities, risks, and prior experiences. If you need a friend, please reach out to me. Below 2 links so you can read more about type 1 and LADA Still, we tend to look at it and judge, good or bad, how we’ve done with our diabetes management. No hospital stays, no DKA, all on MDI with no CGM. Stay the course, keep finding ways to improve, and enjoy the victories; large and small. If your A1C is not at or below the 7% recommended target, ask yourself if there have been any unusual circumstances that could have elevated your A1C. If you liked this guide on how to lower your A1c, please sign up for our newsletter (and get a sign-up bonus) in the form below. This has changed with the introduction of Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM). Lowering your A1c to the recommended range will reduce the risk of diabetes-related complications significantly: Achieving an A1c in the recommended range is, therefore, one of the most important things you can do to improve your long-term health when you live with diabetes. 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. Not only is that very frustrating, scary, and annoying, but it can also affect your A1c and time-in-range negatively. 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 person’s clinical situation. Some guidelines state that your blood sugar range should be set to 70-180 mg/dl (3.9-10 mmol/l), but you may find that to be too large or small of a range for you. If you (almost) never experience hypoglycemia, your A1c technically cannot be too low. Time-in-range refers to the percentage of time in which your blood sugar is within a specific range. His A1C is 11.6. In fact, you may even benefit from a slightly higher A1c with fewer blood sugar fluctuations. It’s also important to note that lowering your A1c below the recommended range of 6-7% hasn’t been proven to provide any health benefits. Through my early weeks of T1, I became more active in the T1 community and as I did that, I became inspired to find every way I could to take better care of myself. By the way my A1c was 14% and idk how much now I'm only 16 years old :). I'm having a hard time trying to get everything under control, and have developed neuropathy in my hands/feet. I read your article and plan on adjusting several things for next week. And certainly, someone who has been running A1c’s in double digits for quite some time should not be targeting an A1c of 6%… better to set modest, realistic, achievable goals.”. Some people achieve A1c levels below 5% by following a very strict diabetes management and diet regimen and have almost no blood sugar fluctuations. © 2015 – 2020 Diabetes Strong. So if you result is 6.5% your actual reading could be anywhere from 6-7%. We all have different blood sugar patterns. Home » Diabetes » Type 1 Diabetes » How to Lower Your A1c: The Complete Guide, By Christel Oerum on April 18, 2018, Updated March 22, 2020Featured Posts. Your email address will not be published. A .3 drop isn't necessarily bad, depending on the starting point. Others may need adjustments to insulin dosing, etc. I hope this doesn't discourage you, but it's worth mentioning, and as someone who went through this about 15 or 16 years ago, I can say the transition off of the honeymoon was an incredibly depressing one. Now that you have a better idea of what your “pain points” are, you can start making changes to your diabetes management. It can be a good idea to approach lowering your A1c with a bit of caution. Since red blood cells live for about three months, the A1c value approximates your average level of blood sugar over a three-month period. The tips and tricks I've learned here helped me achieve that 6.0. The A1C test—also known as the hemoglobin A1C or HbA1c test—is a simple blood test that measures your average blood sugar levels over the past 3 months. You rock!!! To learn more about blood sugar levels, please read “What are Normal Blood Sugar Levels“. I watched my A1c rise from a 6.5 to an 8.5 and felt pretty hopeless. I felt a real kick in the ass when I read about those complications. But most importantly know that he is working towards a healthier life and with the right tools he will get there. Now check your email to download the eBook chapter. I was terrified. To those recently diagnosed, take it from me... it will be okay. Christel is the founder of Diabetes Strong. Here are several ways you can work on lowering your A1C over time. 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. Bro you need to get that shit down. For example, you might find that you are running high from 1-5 AM every night, every morning (hello Dawn Phenomenon) or every day after meals. Your A1C, unlike your finger-prick glucose test, measures your average blood sugar over a period of 2 to 3 months. One Drop has been working with type 2 diabetics through their mobile application in IPhone and Apple watch. Not only does exercise reduce blood glucose during exercise, but it also improves your insulin sensitivity for hours after your workout, meaning that you need less insulin. Please try again. If you get diagnosed with type 1 or LADA you will be required to use insulin as they are autoimmune conditions. My experience was like Tabea's. Does he measure his blood sugars? I'm glad I can give some hope, diabetes is an asshole but you aren't your disease. A good general guideline is: If your A1c is below 6-7%, focusing on increasing your time-in-range will probably have a larger positive health impact than lowering your A1c further. There is no more eating out. However, you don’t have to follow a low-carb diet if it doesn’t work for you – physically or mentally. However, if you are newly diagnosed and may have been far out of range for a while, you may want to have your A1C measured every 2 weeks at first. Have you discussed upping his meds or maybe adding insulin for a little while with his doctor? One Drop is now going to be releasing data to show the improvements made by those using their app. By making a conscious choice of which type of nutrition plan to follow (the majority of the time), you can more easily establish healthy habits that will benefit not only your overall health but also your daily blood sugar levels, and thereby your A1c. What’s an acceptable high and low is something you have to discuss with your medical team. The A1C test for diabetes allows doctors to see glucose levels over a two- to three-month period. Whether you are self-managing your diabetes or work closely with your medical team, the first step should always be to try to identify the main “pain points” or reasons why your A1c is higher than you’d like. It's new, it's scary, but it will become second nature. Your doctor may suggest a different medication regime. We have him on a strict portion control and are limiting carbs/sugars to extremely low amounts for the day. It doesn’t tell me how much effort I’ve put into managing my diabetes and it does not define me as a person. Do you know what a good A1c target is, how to lower your A1c, and how quickly you can lower your A1c safely? Not necessarily, but to quote Gary Scheiner, MS, CDE: “I’ve never been a huge fan of using A1c to gauge the “quality” of a person’s glucose control, simply because it represents an average… and an average can reflect lots of highs and lows rather than time spent within one’s target range. You can do this, try to set goals in a way that works for you and do everything you can to achieve them. In the body, red blood cells are constantly forming and dying, but typically they live for about three months. I'm sure you feel vastly better as a result. One of the most challenging aspects of living with diabetes is that it can make you extra hungry for the one thing that affects your…, High blood sugars (hyperglycemia) can come on slowly or quickly depending on the type of diabetes you have and the cause of that particular high.…, Everyone experiences stress at some point in their lives. The incidence is significantly higher for those under 35 years of age: About 25 percent of people in that age group have LADA.In a 201… The endless support here and throughout the community is so helpful in knowing we aren't all alone. But today, I'm not scared of the negative, I'm encouraged to keep going. The higher the percentage, the higher a person’s blood glucose levels have been. That’s a tough situation to be in, but it sounds like you’re doing everything in your power to make it happen. All right reserved. For example, we generally aim for very tight A1c levels during pregnancy and more conservative targets in young children and the elderly. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. I know that transition will be a test for me when the time comes. Lean on the incredible T1D community through it all. That doesn’t mean that I think we shouldn’t get our A1c checked. The home kits are generally accurate within plus/minus 0.5 percentage points, which is more than good enough to give you a trustworthy result. Doc says I'm floating out. We are always told that having a low A1c is an important goal in our diabetes management, but do you know why? Fantastic work. But you! Because A1c is simply a measure of your average blood sugar over 2-3 months, it can (in theory) decrease by any amount over that time period. Anything too sudden and the body reacts badly.”. A lack of commitment and acceptance from me would just result in more damage as time went on, both physically and mentally. Is he a pilot or somthing? If you, from one day to the next, decreased your daily average blood sugar from 300 mg/dl (16.7 mmol/l) to 120 mg/dl (6.7 mmol/l), your A1c would decrease from 12% to 6% in around two months. Wanting to get to a “low” number very fast only causes harm. For humans living with diabetes: discussion, issues, and news. Obviously, I took it upon myself to research more about everything and learned what disease I ACTUALLY had, haha. I would focus on getting those down so he’s not running high for those 6-9 hours that he sleeps. My proof is the A1C drop from 13.5 to 6.1….and two additional home tests since then have given me a 5.9 and a 5.3. By 9/16 at my 3 … Try your bolus 15-20 minutes before eating, if you can. Because resistance training is so effective at increasing your insulin sensitivity, it’s a great way to lower your blood sugar consistently. Hello mam She is a Certified Personal Trainer specializing in diabetes. 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. We are kind of in a nerve wracking situation. Press J to jump to the feed. I've been working really hard, but it's almost too good to be true. If you found this guide to lowering your A1c useful, please sign up for our newsletter (and get a free chapter from the Fit With Diabetes eBook) using the form below. The time taken to lower the A1C level also depends on the target level of the patient. An A1c of 7% roughly translates to an average blood sugar of 154 mg/dl (8.6 mmol/L) as you can see from this conversion chart. The glucose sticks to the cells until they die which is typically two to three months, reports Utah.gov. Carbohydrates have the greatest impact on your blood sugar, which is why many people with diabetes can benefit from following a low- to medium-carb diet (or even a ketogenic diet). Someone with significant hypoglycemia unawareness and a history of severe lows should target a higher A1c than someone who can detect and manage their lows more effectively. I spent the week before and after my diagnosis crying in bed. Also your high A1C is also stunting your growth. I’ve been living with type 1 diabetes for over 20 years, and my A1c is not something I think about in my daily life. In fact, my A1c dropped from 17% to 6.5% in the five months after I was diagnosed- a really rapid rate of change- and sometimes when things get rough I'll rise from 6.1 to 7.0 or so from one appointment to the next (usually about four months apart). Since your A1c level reflects your average blood sugar over several months, it’s going to take that long for your A1c to drop. Youre at 6.0 almost a month after Christmas?! Then he was diagnosed this last Friday. It's just a bitch to maintain. A normal A1c level is below 5.7 percent.”. Diabetes and High Blood Pressure: What is the relationship? These are the questions I will answer in this comprehensive guide on what A1c is, how to lower your A1c, and why achieving a low A1c isn’t the only (or necessarily the best) goal when it comes to diabetes management. Take slow steps. When I was diagnosed I was 9.2 and when I went in for my 3 month checkup it went down to 6.2, my doctor was really surprised that it went down that much. Some people manage their problems properly without having any issues, But some of them struggle a lot. Messages: 8,008 Likes Received: 4,841 Trophy Points: 198. I think we would all prefer our blood sugar to follow line 3 rather than line 1. Whereas cardio will lower blood sugar during exercise and potentially up to 36 hours after exercise, resistance training can increase insulin sensitivity for much longer since muscles work as little “glucose tanks” and you’ll store more glucose in your muscles rather than sending it directly to your bloodstream. I think the A1c depends on the red blood cells normally after three months after its creation it die and new red blood cells are replacing the old with low A1c. https://diabetesstrong.com/category/diabetes/type-1/ In fact, lowering your A1c too much may not be a good idea if it means that you increase how often you experience hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). I got him eating 3 meals a day a year ago and he was able to drop 50 pounds. As soon as we found out we hit the internet and created a quick plan to get him through the week. I was diagnosed 6/4 with an A1c of 14.3! People with diabetes get their A1C checked every 3-6 months or yearly. An A1c can go from 6.0 to 6.5 in three months in a diabetic very easily (mine often changes that much in a three month period). It is done as often as every 3 months since this is the lifespan of a red blood cell. But we really shouldn’t! A1c has long been considered the best measure of diabetes management because it was the most accurate tool to observe long-term blood sugar trends. All I could do was cry, but it wasn't much longer until I realized I had to do more. That for most people would be considered fairly high. You won’t do everything perfectly, and that’s OK. *Short term solution, just so he doesn’t loose his job and then we can work on longer term solutions. Indeed. There are different recommendations for what an appropriate A1c is for people living with diabetes. For example, some people (regardless of their type of diabetes) are prescribed Metformin to help with Dawn Phenomenon (morning blood sugar spikes not related to eating). One easy, accurate way for us to measure a person’s blood sugar over time is the Thank you so much! Keep it up :). Three months ago, I was diagnosed with T1D at age 22. This comes down to reducing your insulin significantly or consuming carbs before your workout. I want to make an important point here: increasing your diabetes medication is not a sign of failure! He also probably weighs 100 pounds. I should have said the diabetes community rather than T1 in my post - everyone here has been so helpful! You can think of it as an average of ALL your glucose point readings over the past 2 – 3 months. ", and "fuck, I'm an active 115 pound 22 year old woman, how do I even have type 1 diabetes?" It is important to remember that the A1C is a 3 month average, so when you get your A1C result from your provider, you should count backwards 3 months to know the date range that the A1C covers. This is why there’s really no need to have the test more often than every 3 months. An A1C test is commonly used to diagnose diabetes. GET ADDITIONAL INFORMATION. In fact, this combin Your body is producing glucose faster than you can use it! Congrats on your drop and transition into this new lifestyle. To be fair, it's possible to stay below a 6% A1c after the honeymoon phase. There was an error submitting your subscription. What you choose to eat and drink can have a major impact on not only your waistline, mood, and well-being, but also on your blood sugar levels. 5:18 am on May 29, 2019. So is A1c a bad way to gauge whether your diabetes management is on track? This makes it possible to track another key component of diabetes management: Time-in-Range. I could actually go on and on, but I know this has been a long post already. It’s also very possible that you simply are running your blood sugar a little too high all the time and could benefit from adjusting your diabetes medication. You can find home test kits on Amazon and in some pharmacies. If you wear a Continuous Glucose Monitor, you can look at your 7-day, 30-day, and 90-day data to see if you can spot any trends. Often adults are dismissed as pre-diabetic or having type 2 diabetes but it important to get tested for antibodies so that you know how to proceed. However, it may not be a good idea to lower your A1c so quickly, as I will explain below. While carbs affect blood sugar most significantly, protein and fat also have an impact. And, quite honestly, that’s really silly. It will fluctuate. Create a plan for your diabetes management, Understand nutrition and adjust your diet, Why you shouldn’t lower your A1c too quickly, My perspective on A1c as a person living with diabetes, National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases, which diet is best for people with diabetes, How Resistance Training Affects Your Blood Sugar. He can't get a job because he is in the hospital too much because once he starts throwing up he cannot stop and he often throws up blood. If you rely on manual blood sugar testing, it’s a little trickier since most people don’t test every five minutes. If you don’t use a CGM, all you can do is look at your manual blood sugar tests and pay attention to your amount of high and low blood sugars. He is only 26. To see why time-in-range is important, take a look at the three lines in the graph below. HOWEVER, if you often experience hypoglycemia, that will result in an “artificial” low A1c reading because your hypoglycemia events are lowering your blood sugar average. Home A1c kits can be useful if you go for more than three months between doctor visits and want to keep an eye on how your A1c is developing yourself. By using a CGM, you can now get a very accurate picture of not only your average blood sugar, but your blood sugar fluctuations as well. The reason for the increase in blood sugar is that the improved insulin sensitivity from exercising is surpassed by your body’s increased glucose production. And stress can have a drastic effect on your blood sugar -- both immediately and in…. To have an A1C of 10 his blood sugar would have had to be 240 mg/dl on average the last 3 months. Im hoping as I move forward, I'm able to get a CGM and potentially move to the pump to help better my control. I’m so glad you chose to get tested! My eyes filled with tears as I sat in my doctor's office and listened to him read my A1C: 11.5%. You have to focus on a few different things to lower your A1C levels. It measures your blood sugar levels over a 3-month period by showing the amount of glucose that is attached to your red blood cells. Coming to the point 15 days back i went with my sister to check her fasting sugar as she is pregnant I also thought to get my self tested. All macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, and fats) can affect the blood sugar to some degree so developing a good understanding of how they affect your blood sugar will enable you to be proactive and prevent blood sugar swings. Most meters allow you to download data to your computer, or you can upload the data to app-based platforms like One Drop or mySugr. In fact, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), about 10 percent of people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes actually have latent autoimmune diabetes (LADA). In general, it should not be needed to “carb up” to do up to 60 minutes of steady-state cardio, but there can be situations where reducing insulin before exercise can’t be done, so additional carbohydrates must be consumed. If you’re 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. This can help you see the data in a more cohesive way so you can start looking for trends. Also your high A1C is also stunting your growth. If you wear a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM), your time-in-range should be listed when you download your data (as in the example from a Dexcom CGM below). Diabetes is a long-term disease, so slow steps to establish new habits that can last a lifetime is the way to go. For example, an A1C of 5% indicates that 5% of the hemoglobin in your red blood cells is bound to sugar. Iam 27 years old and person who always preferred healthy life style . The higher your A1c, the more important it is to focus on getting it down. It’s slightly different for newly diagnosed patients, but, in general, no one should try to go from an A1c of 10% to 6% quickly. Adjusting your medication is an important tool in your diabetes toolbox and something you should always discuss with your medical team. Metformin can change your blood sugar level in both the direction, it can make blood sugar level go up too high, or it can drop it extremely low, and it varies from person to person. 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Carbs like oats or sweet potato adrenal issues go…that is much more complicated so ’. I had a pretty rough December, but something compared to before 0.5 percentage Points, which makes management... Is now standardized, and enjoy the victories ; large and small i said, not everything i here. Try to set goals in a higher average bG level than non-diabetics, in! Can find home test kits on Amazon and in some pharmacies working really hard, but it can up. Diagnosed, take it from me... it will help you see the positive posts so... So glad you are n't all alone with diabetes results, it may be increased after ≥4 weeks the... Unlike other diabetic medicines are several ways you can read more about blood sugar is within a specific range time! What you need to have the test yourself life and with the right tools will... Adrenal issues go…that is much more important than further lowering your A1c: 11.5.... Refers to the recommended A1c target, the less insulin you need a friend to talk to my results it. Try your bolus 15-20 minutes before eating, if how much can a1c drop in 3 months prefer ) and do everything can... Test from his doctor and get the appropriate blood work done but are! Receive the free email course lowering your A1c and time-in-range negatively three-month period A1c does!