5 Ways to Lower Your A1C


Infographic by ConsumerHealthdigest.com

If your doctor suspects that you have diabetes, he or she may order an A1C blood test to diagnose what type of diabetes you have, type 1 or type 2. If you hear other names for blood work for diabetes, such as HbA1C, or glycosylated hemoglobin, the blood work called A1C is the same things. This test gives the doctor a good example of what your blood sugar has been over the past 90 days.  When you show an elevated A1C, there are some simple ways to decrease these levels.

When you have a reported increase in your A1C level, you will need to create a management plan. Management plans include the following information and needs updating at least every 90 days.

  • Your patient advocate
  •  DNR
  •  Emergency contacts
  •  List of medications
  •  Medical instructions with name of primary care physician
  •  A list of recent glucose levels

A management plan is your second chance to avoid diabetes, reverse your condition, or keep your A1C within an appropriate and acceptable range. When you visit your doctor, show him or her, your personal plan of care and get his or her approval.

1.   Make yourself a personal care plan 

List your problems, needs, or desires to increase your quality of life, the date to reach your goals, and how you are going to achieve your goals, such as the following example.


Increased A1C


Decrease A1C by two points in 90 days

Approaches (How are you going to reach your goal?)

A.   Speak with the doctor about serious lifestyle changes
B.   Develop a sensible exercise plan
C.   Learn how to cope with stress
D.   Lose five pounds
E.   Change eating pattern

2.    Importance of Grocery Shopping

When you go grocery, shopping start, reading the labels. Avoid buying the food items that contain a high percentage of saturated fats.

Avoid prepared meals such as frozen dinners and entrees.

Avoid products high in sodium and sugar or carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates come under many different names such as fructose and corn syrup. Find healthy carbohydrates in fresh fruits. Diabetics must monitor this ingredient carefully on food labels.

Try to avoid canned foods altogether and buy fresh or fresh frozen fruits and vegetables. A vegetable steamer is a wise investment. This kitchen tool gently cooks fresh frozen vegetables with cooking all the nutrients from them. Steam potatoes in your steamer in less time than boiling them. Boiling tends to remove all the healthy nutrients.

Remove all white products from your kitchen such as white sugar, flour, and salt. Remember that fresh frozen or fresh unfrozen is best.

Another ingredient to avoid is GMOs. When you have the time to read up on GMOs to find out how unhealthy GMOs are. GMOs are in many of our choices today. There is an increase in food, labels stating “No GMOs.”

3.   Prepare Food Correctly

Learn how to prepare foods so that you never cook all the nutrients from nutritious foods. Avoid fried foods and bake, broil, grill, or steam foods. Cut red meats to once a week. Consider turkey, chicken, and fish in place of red meats.

4.   Track Your Food and Fluid Intak

The doctor will probably request you keep a food diary tracking all the foods you eat every day. If you put an unhealthy food option in your mouth and swallow it, it needs to go in your daily diary. Never cheat on a food diary. When you write down the foods you should not eat, but do; it helps to see what you did in print. The doctor may refer you to a skilled dietician for a dietary consult. This consult is helpful in getting you on the right track towards improved health and a lower A1C level.

Emotional status has a bearing on what you eat. If you are depressed, sad, anxious, or bored this all has an impact on what you do or, do not eat. Make a note about how you felt as you ate that candy bar or piece of cake. It is a good idea to let the doctor know what negatively affects your eating.

5.   Exercise 

Create a sensible exercise plan. Contact a trainer at a local gym facility or health facilities around you.

Many times local hospitals offer classes and programs for exercise plans. Whether you need to lose weight or gain weight, everyone needs to exercise every day, if it is just to walk a 1/4 of a mile.

Less time on the couch means more added years of life and an increase in quality of life so get up and get going with some activity for at least 15 minutes a day. Try to increase this time a bit every week.

*Never start a diet or exercise program without your doctor’s approval.

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