For some, home blood sugar testing can be an important and useful tool for managing your blood sugar on a day-to-day basis. Still, it only provides a snapshot of what’s happening in the moment, not a full picture of what’s happened in the long term, says Gregory Dodell, MD, assistant clinical professor of medicine, endocrinology, diabetes, and bone disease at Mount Sinai Health System in New York City.
For this reason, your doctor may occasionally administer a blood test that measures your average blood sugar level over the past two to three months. Called the A1C test, or the hemoglobin A1C test, this provides another lens on how well your type 2 diabetes management plan is working.
How Often Do You Need to Take an A1C Test?
If your blood sugar levels have remained stable, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends getting the A1C test two times each year. If your therapy has changed or you are not meeting your glycemic (blood sugar) targets, the ADA recommends getting the test four times per year. This simple blood draw can be done in your doctor's office.
The A1C test results provide insight into how your treatment plan is working, and how it might be modified to better control the condition. Often your blood sample is sent out to a lab for your results; though some doctors can use a point-of-care A1C test, where a finger stick can be done in the office, with results available in about 10 minutes. Such an in-office test can be used to monitor your condition.
Nonetheless, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDKD) notes that point-of-care tests should not be used for diagnosis, which can only be done by lab tests certified by the NGSP. Any results pointing to a change in your health should be confirmed by conventional lab tests.
What Do Your A1C Results Mean?
diabetic and not hungry questionnaire tool (⭐️ with neuropathy) | diabetic and not hungry treatment side effecthow to diabetic and not hungry for The A1C test measures the glucose (blood sugar) in your blood by assessing the amount of what’s called glycated hemoglobin. “Hemoglobin is a protein within red blood cells. As glucose enters the bloodstream, it binds to hemoglobin, or glycates. The more glucose that enters the bloodstream, the higher the amount of glycated hemoglobin,” Dr. Dodell says.
According to the ADA, A1C level below 5.7 percent is considered normal. An A1C between 5.7 and 6.4 percent signals prediabetes, according to the ADA. Type 2 diabetes is diagnosed when the A1C is at or over 6.5 percent. For many people with type 2 diabetes, the goal is to lower A1C levels to a healthier percentage.
Your A1C goal is specific to you. Several factors come into play, such as your age, how advanced the diabetes is, and any other heath conditions you have. A common A1C goal for people with diabetes is less than 7 percent, Dodell says. If you can keep your A1C number below your goal, you help to reduce the risk of diabetes complications, such as nerve damage and eye problems.
What Are the Top Tips for Lowering A1C?
Your A1C score is a valuable part of the diabetes control picture, Dodell says, but it is not the only indicator of your health. Someone who has wide fluctuations in blood sugar levels (which is more common among patients who are taking insulin) may have an A1C at goal because the average over two to three months is good. But the day-to-day fluctuations can lower your quality of life and increase your risk of complications, he cautions.
Diabetes can be a tough condition to manage, Dodell says. He tells his patients to view diabetes management like a job. It takes work, but the time and effort you put into it can result in good control and an improved quality of life. “The key to reaching your A1C goal is trying to follow a healthy lifestyle,” he says.
diabetic and not hungry treatments vinegar (⭐️ nails) | diabetic and not hungry levelhow to diabetic and not hungry for Making these healthy changes can help you improve your day-to-day blood sugar management and lower your A1C:
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Find something you enjoy doing that gets your body moving — take your dog for a walk, play a sport with a friend, or ride a stationary bike indoors or a regular bike outdoors.
A good goal is to get 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, recommends Jordana Turkel, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator at Park Avenue Endocrinology and Nutrition in New York City. This is also what the ADA recommends. Different types of exercise (both strength training or resistance training and aerobic exercise) can lower your A1C by making the body more sensitive to insulin, Turkel says. She encourages her patients not to go more than two days in a row without exercising, and to aim for two days of strength training.
Be sure to check with your healthcare provider before embarking on an exercise plan, though. He or she can come up with an individualized plan for you.
diabetic and not hungry straight talk (🔥 untreated) | diabetic and not hungry toolshow to diabetic and not hungry for And if you monitor your blood sugar daily, check it before and after exercise. As the Joslin Diabetes Center at Harvard Medical School explains, exercise for 1 last update 08 Aug 2020 can cause your blood sugar to rise, as more is released from the liver, and blood sugar to fall, due to increase insulin sensitivity. Fluctuations in your blood sugar levels can result if you aren’t careful. This is particularly important if you are on insulin or another diabetes medication that causes insulin secretion, such as include sulfonylureas, such as Amaryl (glimepiride), and glinides, such as Prandin (repaglinide) and Starlix (nateglinide).And if you monitor your blood sugar daily, check it before and after exercise. As the Joslin Diabetes Center at Harvard Medical School explains, exercise can cause your blood sugar to rise, as more is released from the liver, and blood sugar to fall, due to increase insulin sensitivity. Fluctuations in your blood sugar levels can result if you aren’t careful. This is particularly important if you are on insulin or another diabetes medication that causes insulin secretion, such as include sulfonylureas, such as Amaryl (glimepiride), and glinides, such as Prandin (repaglinide) and Starlix (nateglinide).
2. Eat a Balanced Diet With Proper Portion Sizes
It’s best to check with a certified diabetes care and education specialist or a registered dietitian-nutritionist to determine what a balanced diet and appropriate portions mean for you. But a great rule of thumb is to visualize your plate for every meal and aim to fill one-half of it with veggies, one-quarter with protein, and one-quarter with whole grains, says Turkel. If you like fruit, limit your portions to a small cup, eaten with a little protein or lean fat to help you digest the fruit carbohydrates in a manner that is less likely to spike your blood sugar level.
Also, avoid processed foods as much as possible, and say no to sugary sodas and fruit juice, which are high in carbs and calories, and thus can lead to spikes in blood sugar and contribute to weight gain, according to the ADA.
3. Stick to a Regular Schedule, So You Can More Easily Follow Your Healthy Diet and Lifestyle
Skipping meals, letting too much time pass between meals, or eating too much or too often can cause your blood sugar levels to fall and rise too much, the ADA points out. This is especially true if you are taking insulin or certain diabetes drugs. Your doctor can help you determine the best meal schedule for your lifestyle.
4. Follow the Diabetes Treatment Plan Your Healthcare Team Recommends
Diabetes treatment is very individualized, noted an article published in May 2014 in Diabetes Spectrum. After all, factors including how long you’ve lived with the disease, your socioeconomic status, and any other conditions you’re living with can play a role in the best treatment approach for you.
Your healthcare team will help you determine the steps you need to take to successfully manage diabetes. Always talk to your doctor before making any changes, such as starting a very-low-carbohydrate diet or beginning a new exercise regimen, and especially before making any medication or insulin changes.
5. Check Your Blood Sugar Levels as Your Doctor Has Directed
Work with your doctor to determine if, and how often, you should check your blood sugar. You may be tempted to pick up an A1C home testing kit, but Dowdell does not recommend doing that. As he mentions, day-to-day fluctuations in your blood sugar can be masked by an A1C result that is at your goal level. Instead, if you have a personal continuous glucose monitor, such as a Dexcom G6 or a Freestyle Libre (or can get one from your healthcare provider), Dowdell recommends checking your “time in range” to see if you are at the optimal level. For many people that is 70 to 180 milligrams per decilter (mg/dL) (3.9 to 10 mmol/L), according to ADA guidelines. Having your A1C checked by your healthcare provider every three to six months is sufficient, he adds.
Understanding your A1C levels is an important part of your overall diabetes management. If you have any the 1 last update 08 Aug 2020 questions about your A1C levels or what they mean, don’t hesitate to ask your doctor.Understanding your A1C levels is an important part of your overall diabetes management. If you have any questions about your A1C levels or what they mean, don’t hesitate to ask your doctor.
Additional reporting by Mikel Theobald.