How to Lower A1C Levels?
The hemoglobin A1c is mainly used for diabetics to measure the average level of blood glucose for the previous three consecutive months. When glucose goes into the bloodstream, a certain amount sticks continuously to hemoglobin, a substance in the red blood cells. The higher the level of glucose in the bloodstream, the greater would be the amount of glucose attached to the hemoglobin. The A1c test gives us the percentage of hemoglobin which has glucose attached to it which can then be converted to an approximate number which indicates the average blood glucose. Having control of your A1c levels may assist in delaying, if not preventing, a lot of severe health complications.
A1c Levels – Video Guide
- Know your A1c numbers.
Have your A1c tested by supplying your medical practitioner with a blood sample on your next appointment. A1c testing kits for home use can also be bought from main drugstores. If you have not used an A1c test kit before, find out more, especially on understanding the results. For the non-diabetic, A1c result is between 4% – 6%. According to the ADA(American Diabetes Association), a diabetic is managing well and certainly having lesser risk of getting diabetes complications, if his A1c is below 7%. (see A1c Test Results)
- Consult your medical practitioner.
Find out from your medical practitioner how you can reduce your average levels of blood glucose. Since your A1c gives a three-month coverage of your blood glucose, if you manage to reduce your blood glucose average for the coming three consecutive months, your A1c result will predictably be lower. However, you should not make any diet or insulin adjustments without first consulting your medical practitioner. Do you know that an endocrinologist is a diabetes specialist and so, is in a position to give better advice.( see High and Low Blood Glucose – Managing Tour Levels)
- Know the Glycemic index of the foods you eat.
Diabetics ought to eat foods having the lowest glycemic index (GI). The glycemic index rating of a food tells us the time taken by the body to get it into the bloodstream. So, the higher the GI rating the faster your blood glucose shoots up and stay there longer, Although a diabetic may never hope to have no excessive blood glucose, limiting and shortening such incidences can be achieved. Not eating foods with high GI ratings is the best way to achieving it. (see What is Glycemic Index?)
- Check blood glucose more frequently
Your blood glucose ought to be checked more frequently. During certain times of the day when no checks are made, your blood glucose can be high without you knowing it, and this can cause you to get an A1c which is higher. You can do hourly tests on your blood glucose to have better knowledge of the changes in the levels from morning to night; possibly carrying out checks before starting a meal, during the meal as well as after the meal to see the effect of food upon your level of blood glucose.(see Blood Sugar Monitoring – Your Diabetes Care Plan)
- Insulin therapy
If you are at the moment not using insulin, yet get a high A1c, starting an insulin therapy is the simplest way to lower the A1c result as insulin will assist your body to move the glucose into your cells. However, if you are already on insulin, you may have to change to another type ; there are types of insulin which can be active for certain lengths of time, from 2 hours to as long as 24 hours; or have more insulin injections to aim for tighter control. For even better control , an insulin pump is recommended as you can make changes to your blood glucose many times in a day. Always consult your doctor regarding any type of insulin therapy.
Particular diseases such as kidney failure as well as anemia, and particular vitamins such as Vitamin C and Vitamin E, can affect A1c levels. Therefore, you must inform your medical practitioner of every health problem you suffer from and every vitamin supplement you take.