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How to Lower Your A1C Score – Learn How I Went From 13.5 to 6.3 in Just a Few Months!
Lowering your hemoglobin A1C is one of the most important things you can do for your overall diabetic health. It is also a good way to impress your doctor and seriously anger other diabetics with your low A1C score in diabetes forums (totally true!). We tend to wear our latest A1C as a badge of courage, or even shame if it is too high. Either way, you are stuck with it. I am assuming that you are eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly for the rest of this article. If you are not doing those two things, stop reading right now and hit the treadmill with a mouth full of broccoli, stat.
There are a combination of things that come into play when it comes to lowering your hemoglobin a1c like diet, exercise, medication, stress level, self control, and frequent monitoring. This article will focus on the overall best course of action to achieve a nice low score. The most important thing to remember about your a1c is that it is an average (average being the operative word) of the last 2-3 months. We all have peaks and valleys, but the hba1c reads the area between, so we need to keep it below 150 (give or take) the majority of the time. Obviously it’s easier to do once you have your diet under control and you exercise regularly. If you don’t exercise and eat right, there is little anyone can do for you.
You test yourself before and two hours after meals, right? At least I do. In fact, I test when I wake up, after breakfast, before lunch, after lunch, before dinner, after dinner and before bed. You may think this sounds crazy, and yes it does cost more for so many strips, but the way I look at it, it’s just the money I used to spend on beer! Even my doctor was calling me “Compulsive” for testing so much! But it is because of this “compulsion” that I was able to lower my a1c from 13.75 (no joke) to 6.3 n only three months. Now do I have your attention?
Now to the point, how to lower your hemoglobin a1c. The single most important thing that I focused on (besides eating right and moving around a lot) is my bedtime numbers. This is because the a1c is an average, and if you spend 8 hours a night asleep, and your blood sugar is at 140 while you sleep, that means for 1/3 of the days hours, your blood sugar was 140. Now imagine if your blood sugar was 95 while you were sleeping. That is going to help your average immensely is it not?
Now factor in the little peaks after your three main meals. If you are like me, I have tested an hour or so after a meal to see how high my glucose reading would be. The reason for this is that one hour after you eat is when your blood sugar should be it’s highest. I found it as high as 180 before, which was too high, so now I avoid that food. Try to eat low GI (glycemic index) foods, and find out which foods you personally should avoid. I’m sure you have heard that different foods affect different people differently, which is totally true, so I won’t go into detail here. Obviously, you need to avoid high GI foods, garbage carbs like white rice, and most cereals.
Resist the temptation to stress out. I know it is tempting, but you need to learn not to care about some of the things you used to care about. Stress can spike you up like a snickers bar (don’t even think about it!) If you want to keep a low A1c, stress is not allowed. Find an outlet like running or walking or beating on a punching bag. Just don’t get all worked up about things you can’t control, OK? So you see, it is all a simple numbers game. The lower you are, most of the time, the better. Let’s recap for the impatient ones who always skip to the bottom line (yes, I know you!)
1-Eat a healthy diet and exercise as much as your doctor and your body will let you
2-Learn which foods to avoid by testing as much as you can afford (eat low GI foods)
3-Stop stressing out, it raises your blood sugar, and makes you appear foolish.
4-Go to sleep with as little baggage as possible (keep those numbers low at bedtime!)
If you follow these guidelines you will see a very significant drop in your hemoglobin a1c test numbers. As always, seek the advice of your doctor before any change in your life style. Stay positive and get healthy!
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