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How Is The Best Way To Reduce My A1c?

6 Ways To Lower Your A1c Level

6 Ways To Lower Your A1c Level

Diabetes is a serious, chronic disease that can lead to many complications. When managed properly, diabetes does not have to control your life or ruin your health. Getting tested, especially if you are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, is a proactive measure you can take for yourself and your future. In the early stages of diabetes, there are no symptoms. An early diagnosis helps you get treatment before complications occur. The A1C test is a blood test that checks for type 2 diabetes. It is also used to see how well you are managing your diabetes if you have already been diagnosed. The test provides information about a person’s average levels of blood sugar over a two- to three-month period. The number is reported in the form of a percentage. The higher the percentage, the higher your average blood glucose levels are, and the higher your risk for either diabetes or related complications. A1C is one of the primary tests used for diabetes diagnosis and management. It can test for type 1 and type 2 diabetes, but it can’t test for gestational diabetes. It can also be used to predict the likelihood that someone will get diabetes. The A1C test measures how much glucose, or sugar, is attached to hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells. The more glucose attached, the higher the A1C. This test is groundbreaking, as it 1) doesn’t require fasting, 2) gives a picture of blood sugar levels over a period of days and weeks instead of at just one point in time like fasting sugars, and 3) can be done at any time of day. This makes it easier to administer and easier to make accurate diagnoses. According to the National Institutes of Health, a normal A1C is below 5.7 percent. If your score is between 5.7 and 6.4 percent, the diagnosis is prediabetes. Having prediabetes put Continue reading >>

How To Lower A1c Levels

How To Lower A1c Levels

The hemoglobin A1C level is a blood test that measures how “sugar coated” the hemoglobin is in your body. When the blood sugar is high, the glucose attaches to hemoglobin, becoming “glycated hemoglobin”. Elevated hemoglobin A1c levels can indicate prediabetes or diabetes. In testing the hemoglobin A1c level, the doctors are looking for this: Levels less than 5.7 percent are considered to be normal. Levels of between 5.7 percent and 6.4 percent are considered to indicate prediabetes. Levels of 6.5 percent or higher indicate that a person has diabetes. The hemoglobin A1c level can be used to diagnose diabetes. It is most often used, however, to monitor the effect of treatment on type 1 and type 2 diabetics. According to the American Diabetes Association, the hemoglobin A1c level in diabetics should be less than 7 percent to be considered in good control of diabetes. How do you lower Hemoglobin A1c levels? If you are diabetic or prediabetic, there are things you can do in order to lower the hemoglobin A1c level so that you can have a normal level even with the diagnosis of type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Reduce intake of simple sugars Simple sugars include glucose, fructose, galactose, and sucrose. These are small sugars that easily enter the bloodstream and cause elevations in blood sugar levels. Simple sugars can be found in table sugar, cakes, pies, ice cream, and cookies. There are a lot of simple sugars in processed foods you purchase at the store. These sugars have a high glycemic index or GI. The higher the glycemic index, the greater is the rate of absorption of the sugar into the bloodstream. You can lower your hemoglobin A1c level by eating foods that are low in glycemic index and instead eat protein-containing foods or foods that contain complex carbohydrates Continue reading >>

12 Simple Ways To Fight Prediabetes

12 Simple Ways To Fight Prediabetes

At 28, Jennyvi Dizon wasn't expecting to be turned down for health insurance. "I thought I was fairly healthy," she says. The company disapproved her because she weighed 188 pounds and was 5 feet 3 inches tall. They wanted her to weigh 155 pounds or less. When she reapplied one month later, the insurer requested blood tests. This time, the news was even more startling: her blood glucose (blood sugar) level was above normal and her cholesterol was high. Jennyvi's mother has diabetes, so the elevated blood glucose reading was especially worrisome. Online, Jennyvi learned that her test level meant she had prediabetes—a condition that can lead to type 2 diabetes and also increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. "I had been in a little bit of denial because, really, I was overweight and unhealthy, but I didn't realize it," says Jennyvi, a bridal and evening gown designer from Phoenix. "I knew that if I get to the diabetes level, it'll cause me problems later." The hidden condition As many as 60 million people in the United States have prediabetes, yet more than 90 percent of them don’t know it. People with prediabetes usually have no symptoms, and many who learn about their prediabetes think it’s no big deal. "People do not take this as seriously as they need to," says Ann Albright, PhD, RD, director of the Division of Diabetes Translation at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. "The good news is there is something you can do about it," Dr. Albright adds. The best way to fight prediabetes and get your blood sugar back in the normal range is with a coordinated plan of healthy nutrition, increased physical activity and lifestyle coping strategies that support modest weight loss if you are overweight. (Modest weight loss is defined as losing 5 t Continue reading >>

5 Things That Helped Me Improve My A1c

5 Things That Helped Me Improve My A1c

This article is intended for people with diabetes who take insulin and monitor their blood sugars frequently with blood glucose tests and/or with continuous glucose monitors. (NOTE: If you’re struggling mentally with the pressure of improving your A1C results, read this article from a physician who realized just how emotional A1C measurements can be for her patients: Ending the A1C Blame Game.) Your A1c is a simple blood test will tell you an approximation of your blood sugar control for the past 3 months based on the amount of Advanced Glycogenated End-Products (AGEs) that have accumulated in your blood. You can read more about A1Cs here. When I was a college student through to my early 20s, my A1C hovered between 6.8 to 7.3, but as I’ve gotten older and become and more and more engrossed in health, nutrition, planning for optimal pregnancy, and overall commitment to my diabetes, I’ve set my sights on reducing my A1C to a level near 6.0 percent. You can read what these percentages translate to in blood glucose levels with this chart to the right. —> My most recent A1Cs were 6.8, then 6.4, and most recently 5.9. At last, I’ve reached my goal! But this was no accident. In addition to regularly fine-tuning my insulin doses and wearing a CGM, here are 5 things that helped me lower my A1C…that might help you: Change what I view in my head as an “okay” blood sugar. For me, I feel this has the biggest part of my progress. It’s easy (and understandable) in type 1 diabetes to see a blood sugar of 145 or 150 mg/dL as a decent blood level to “hang out” at throughout the day. In reality, if this is often your average blood sugar, then your A1C will inevitably be around 7.0 percent. Which is considered healthy for long-term health in diabetes management, certa Continue reading >>

Diabetes Control: Lower Your A1c In 90 Days

Diabetes Control: Lower Your A1c In 90 Days

Receiving a type 2 diabetes diagnosis was overwhelming. I have always considered myself a healthy person. I eat right and workout. So, how could this be happening to me? If this sounds familiar, take deep breath and know you’re not alone. With the support of my loving husband, guidance of my physicians, diabetes self-management clinics hosted by UC San Diego Health Systems, and SmartDraw, I was able to successfully bring my A1C levels from 10.5 to 6.3 in just 90 days. My ability to take control of my diabetes in such a short amount of time impressed not only my physicians but the medical team at UC San Diego Health Systems. As a result, I was invited as a guest lecturer to teach a class at the University of California San Diego on patient self-management and the use of technology. If you’re interested in reading more about my guest lecture read 5 Steps to Make Your Next Presentation or Sales Pitch Perfect. It’s been a little over a year and based on my most recent A1C test results, I have been able to maintain normal levels. In this week’s post I’ll share with you the 5 tips to help you or your loved one take control of their diabetes. An easy way to remember the 5 tips is S.P.A.R.K. To be honest, finding out that I have type 2 diabetes was the spark that I needed to live an even healthier life. Stay Active Plan Your Meals Avoid Risk Factors Recognize the Signs Keep Track Tip #1: Stay Active Being active doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to run the next marathon. It’s about having an active lifestyle. There are a number of benefits to being physically active. You’ll increase your energy levels as well as longevity. At the same time you’ll decrease your glucose levels, blood pressure, cholesterol and stress levels. They recommend 3 types of physica Continue reading >>

David’s Guide To Getting Our A1c Under 6.0

David’s Guide To Getting Our A1c Under 6.0

The A1C test is our best scorecard to show how well we are controlling our diabetes. It measures how much glucose has been sticking to our red blood cells for the previous two or three months. Since our bodies replace each red blood cell with a new one every four months, this test tells us the average of how high our glucose levels have been during the life of the cells. The experts recommend that we should get our A1C level tested at least twice a year. People who take insulin need to get it about four times a year. If the test shows that our blood glucose level is high, it means that we have a greater risk of having diabetes problems. Think of the A1C as an early warning system for the insidious complications that we can get down the road when we don’t control our condition. But what do we mean by a “high” A1C level? Here the experts disagree. The American Diabetes Association says that we need to keep our A1C results below 7.0 percent. The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists sets the target at 6.5 percent. The International Diabetes Federation, or IDF, also recommends that most people with diabetes keep their levels below 6.5 percent. The more our A1C level is higher than normal, the greater the likelihood that we will suffer from one or more of the complications of diabetes. And here too the experts disagree with how they define “normal.” People who don’t have diabetes have A1C levels below 6.0 percent. That’s the gist of what I wrote here recently in “The Normal A1C Level.” The IDF agrees. But more aggressive endocrinologists say that a truly normal A1C ranges from 4.2 percent to 4.6 percent. That’s what Dr. Richard K. Bernstein wrote in Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution. No matter what our level is, we can be sure that lower is Continue reading >>

Effectiveness Of Cinnamon For Lowering Hemoglobin A1c In Patients With Type 2 Diabetes: A Randomized, Controlled Trial

Effectiveness Of Cinnamon For Lowering Hemoglobin A1c In Patients With Type 2 Diabetes: A Randomized, Controlled Trial

Abstract Purpose: Multiple trials in the past have shown conflicting results of whether cinnamon lowers glucose or hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C). The purpose of this study was to determine whether cinnamon lowers HbA1C in patients with type 2 diabetes. I performed a randomized, controlled trial to evaluate whether daily cinnamon plus usual care versus usual care alone lowers HbA1c. Methods: I randomized 109 type 2 diabetics (HbA1C >7.0) from 3 primary care clinics caring for pediatric, adult, and geriatric patients at a United States military base. Participants were randomly allocated to either usual care with management changes by their primary care physician or usual care with management changes plus cinnamon capsules, 1g daily for 90 days. HbA1c was drawn at baseline and 90 days and compared with intention-to-treat analysis. This study was approved by an institutional review board. Results: Cinnamon lowered HbA1C 0.83% (95% CI, 0.46–1.20) compared with usual care alone lowering HbA1C 0.37% (95% CI, 0.15–0.59). Conclusions: Taking cinnamon could be useful for lowering serum HbA1C in type 2 diabetics with HbA1C >7.0 in addition to usual care. As the worldwide incidence of diabetes increases, the search for dietary adjuncts to treat this life-altering disease has become far ranging. Cinnamon is purported to be a natural insulin sensitizer, with adverse events of perioral dermatitis and stomatitis reported uncommonly with high intake.1 Both in vitro and in vivo animal studies have shown that cinnamon is an insulin sensitizer.2,3 Kim et al3 showed that intestinal glucosidase activity in rats was increased by cinnamon. Polyphenols within cinnamon have been identified as upregulators of mouse adipocyte insulin receptors.4 Peng et al5 found that polyphenols from cinnamon inhibi Continue reading >>

17 Ways To Lower Your Blood Sugar Without Medications

17 Ways To Lower Your Blood Sugar Without Medications

Type 2 diabetes has become a global epidemic. But did you know that it’s not just preventable but also reversible? If you have Diabetes Type 2, we have for you a bunch of helpful tips on how to bring down blood sugar. While some of us are genetically at a risk of diabetes Type 2, it is largely a lifestyle disorder today. By changing your lifestyle, you can learn how to lower blood sugar levels naturally — without the need for medication. Most diabetes medications are nothing more than a temporary-fix. They don’t address the underlying reason behind high blood sugar, which is driven by the environment. Diet and lifestyle changes can reverse diabetes, unlike medications which only treat the symptoms. The key: Make a positive change to the way you eat, sleep, stay active, and manage stress. So, let’s learn how to bring down blood sugar through 15 easy, natural ways. How To Lower Blood Sugar Naturally: 17 Actionable Tips 1. Cut Back On Carbohydrates A diet high in processed carbs adds to the sugar load in your diet. This is because all carbs get broken down into sugars upon digestion. This leads to increased blood sugar and weight gain. Avoid all carbs with a high glycemic index. We recommend a Low Carb-High Fat or LCHF diet to reverse diabetes. Ideally, only 10% of your daily caloric intake should come from carbs. The right carbs for any diabetic are fresh vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth and millets are some whole grains that work. 2. You Need More Of The Good Fats Afraid how will you survive when cutting back on the belly-filling carbs? This is where the good fats step in. Healthy fats that provide Omega 3 fatty acids are your friends. Not only will they keep you full for longer, they will also improve your heart health Continue reading >>

Secrets To Lowering Your A1c — A Diabetic Health Coach Gives Us The Scoop

Secrets To Lowering Your A1c — A Diabetic Health Coach Gives Us The Scoop

As a Diabetic Health coach, the majority of my clients come to me looking for help to lower their A1C. Being a Type 1 diabetic for fifteen years, I understand that a lower A1C is more than just a number. It’s about getting control of your life. When I was diagnosed at seven years old, I was extremely fortunate to have parents that took really great care of me. I remember growing up with my dad telling me, “Out of all the report cards you will ever bring home, your A1C report is the most important one!” The majority of my childhood I had a decent A1C that averaged in the mid 7’s. It was never terrible, but it was always a goal of mine to get it as low as possible to reduce future complications. When I went off to college and became more independent, things changed. While most kids were partying and eating fast food at 2 a.m., I was playing Division 1 soccer, and knew that if I wanted to perform my best, I needed to feel my best. Through self-education and attending the Institute for Integrative Nutrition after college, I started implementing tools for both my mind and body which helped me become healthier and more in control of my diabetes. Today, I want to share with you how I lowered my A1C from a 7.5 to a 5.7, and became the healthiest and happiest I have ever been. If you want tighter control of your blood sugar numbers, start by looking at your level of satisfaction in these 5 areas: 1 – Organization I find that organization makes life with diabetes less overwhelming. Every Sunday night I plan out my week. I write down days, times, and details for food shopping, morning meditation, workouts, pump set changes, appointments, and meal prepping. When I’m organized from day to day, I have more energy to focus on my diabetes control. This also empowers me both Continue reading >>

Exactly What I Ate To Get My Blood Sugar Under Control For Good

Exactly What I Ate To Get My Blood Sugar Under Control For Good

When Thomas Rupp was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, he was stunned. Despite having a challenging career (he was working in corporate finance and for FEMA), he managed to exercise regularly, and he rarely ate fast food or sweets. Sure, he weighed 245 pounds, but at 6 feet tall that didn't seem so terrible. He didn't consider that his weight pushed his BMI into the obese category—and he didn't realize that many of the "healthy" foods he was eating were actually loaded with tons of sugar and calories. Rupp's doctor started him on four different medications. The side effects were bothersome, but what really kicked him into gear was learning that he'd need to start injecting himself with insulin nightly. Instead, he turned to the Diabetes Reversal Program at Tufts Medical Center, where he met with the founding director, Michael Dansinger, MD. They worked together to closely examine Rupp's diet and uncover pitfalls that Rupp had trouble spotting on his own. (You can control your blood sugar with food and without insulin by making healthy lifestyle changes. Try the easy plan in The Natural Way To Beat Diabetes.) For instance, while adding some cream and sugar to a cup of coffee might not be a big deal for some people, Rupp often downed 10 cups of coffee a day to power himself through long days in the office. (Here are 8 physical signs you drink way too much coffee.) And he was putting cream and sugar in each cup. "That's 10 containers of cream and 10 teaspoons of sugar a day I was adding to my diet," he says. And even though he worked out, "I was drinking green juices at the gym, or protein smoothies with mango, once again without realizing the sugar content." Other seemingly healthy choices—like salads—also concealed stealth sugar bombs. "I would add vinaigrette dressi Continue reading >>

14 Amazing Herbs That Lower Blood Sugar

14 Amazing Herbs That Lower Blood Sugar

We live in a world where prescription medicine is getting more and more expensive as well as controversial. Alternative medicine is gaining momentum and with good reason! The same is true for treatments for diabetes type 2. You have therapies that can reverse diabetes through lifestyle and diet changes, natural supplements that can help stabilize blood sugar levels, and also herbs that lower blood sugar. Not only are these alternative therapies safer, but they are also easier on your pocket, on your body and mind. Maintaining normal blood sugar levels is necessary for the body’s overall health. Erratic blood sugar levels can affect the body’s ability to function normally and even lead to complications if left unchecked. Some herbs and spices found in nature do a tremendous job of naturally lowering blood sugar levels, making them a boon for diabetics and pre-diabetics. What’s more, being nature’s multi-taskers, herbs and spices also produce overall health benefits beyond just helping balance blood sugar. We want to clarify one thing right away – not everything on our list can be classified as ‘herbs’. However, they are all from natural sources. Herbs come from the leafy and green part of the plant. Spices are parts of the plant other than the leafy bit, such as the root, stem, bulb, bark or seeds. RELATED: Decoding The Dawn Phenomenon (High Morning Blood Sugar) With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best herbs that lower blood sugar, along with a few spices thrown in, to give you a more comprehensive list. Please note that while we normally do not use animal studies to support any dietary supplement, several herbs like garlic and ginger are considered ‘food’ and so, are used traditionally by cultures across the world in their daily diet Continue reading >>

Amazingly Easy Ways To Lower Your A1c

Amazingly Easy Ways To Lower Your A1c

What if there were a magical “lower your A1c” wand? You just pull it out, swoop it over your head (or your pancreas) and… voila! A1c lowered. If only it were that simple. Focusing on eeking down that ever shifting number can be one of the most frustrating things a person living with diabetes has to do. But here is some good news: while there may not be a magic wand, there are some pretty simple, pretty cool fixes to help you on your way to lower your A1c. Kick it old school: Remember those bulky paper logbooks we all used to lug around? Yeah, well there’s something about them that just works. Going back to actually logging blood sugars, meals and doses can really help a person lower an A1c. Why? Because while it’s great to have tools that automatically upload to our medical team (and our computers), writing things down forces us to face them more, study them more and yes, not ignore them. (A cool side trick: use one of those pens with four colors of ink in it. Write all of your in range numbers in green, your high numbers in blue and your low numbers in red. Use the black for notes. With this, you can look at a logbook page and the patterns will jump out at you.) Ramp it up new school: Never used a CGM? Or haven’t used it in a while? CGM’s are a great way to help you lower your A1c, says Regina Shirley, RD, LDN and person with diabetes. “I make a commitment with my CGM. I will wear it religiously until I can get my A1c back to where I like it. It is not as easy as it may seem to remember to check blood sugars, and inserting yet one more device in your body adds on time to your diabetes care regimen that you would rather spend doing something else. However, when you know you need to get in better control, either to help with such things as pregnancy prepa Continue reading >>

5 Tips For Lowering Your A1c

5 Tips For Lowering Your A1c

If you have diabetes, the idea of lowering your A1C to a number less than 7.0 may seem impossible without acquiring some sort of diabetes management obsession. Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (and Celiac disease) when I was a teenager, I'm here to tell you, it doesn't. While I certainly don’t want to give the impression that it’s a simple or easy goal to obtain, I've been able to maintain an A1C of 6.0 for most of my adult life mostly by following a proven path of tried and true strategies. By far the most helpful thing for me has been to structure my nutrition so I'm eating fairly low-carb throughout the day and "save" my carb servings for dinner or dessert. This way, managing my blood sugars in a tighter range requires significantly less effort than when I do eat my carbs in the evening. Here, a few other rules I live by: 1. Care about the quality of food you eat. This simple principle is terribly important. Consuming a diet that is made mostly of real food—whole food—that you chopped and prepared and cooked yourself will have the greatest impact on your blood sugars and your sensitivity to insulin, whether you’re type 1, type 2 or have prediabetes. You don’t have to be a brilliant chef to cook delicious food in reasonable amounts of time on a reasonable budget—but you do have to be willing! Dive in, learn, take your time—enjoy it! Your blood sugars will thank you for the effort. Start by taking a closer look at how much of your current food choices are highly processed! 2. Find an activity you enjoy and become more active in it. You don’t have to be an athlete or a hardcore Cross-fitter to benefit from exercise. Just walking 30 minutes a day will have a powerful effect on your overall sensitivity to insulin and your blood sugar levels. I used to be a Continue reading >>

The Step-by-step Approach To Better Blood Sugars: Walking

The Step-by-step Approach To Better Blood Sugars: Walking

If you’re like me, you might have a health-focused New Year’s resolution posted on your wall: "lose weight," "exercise more, "be less stressed." Unfortunately, making resolutions is easy, but sticking to them is hard. A 15,000-person survey found that four out of five people who make New Year’s resolutions eventually break them. And it gets worse: a sizeable percentage of people (11%) in one survey actually broke their resolution one week in! As I pondered this depressing data, I thought about scientifically testing the simplest, most fundamental exercise possible: walking. It can be done anywhere, does not cost anything, and requires no equipment. And because the barriers to doing it are so low, it also helps address that very basic New Year’s Resolution conundrum outlined above. What follows is my personal diabetes experience testing the blood sugar benefits of walking, a brief review of studies on diabetes and walking, and five tips to incorporate walking into your daily routine. If you find this article useful, check out my upcoming book, Bright Spots & Landmines! Walking with diabetes – my own experience As a fitness fiend my whole life, I tend to think of “exercise” with a very intense, all-or-nothing frame of reference: cycling, strength training, and playing basketball. So when I approached the question of how much walking could really drop my blood sugars, I was skeptical. In an effort to test it objectively, I performed a dozen periods of walking, and measured my blood glucose immediately before and immediately after finishing. I timed each walk with a stopwatch, always made sure I had less than one unit of insulin-on-board, and tried to go at a normal speed. On average, walking dropped my blood sugar by approximately one mg/dl per minute. The la Continue reading >>

Food That Lower A1c In Diabetes

Food That Lower A1c In Diabetes

The A1C level is the percentage of your red cells that have sugar molecules attached to them. It is also referred to as glycated hemoglobin, glycosylated hemoglobin, hemoglobin A1C and HbA1c. Your doctor can measure you A1C number with a blood test to determine your average blood sugar levels over the past two or three months. A normal A1C level falls between 4 and 6 percent. If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you should strive to keep your A1C number below 7 percent. Eating right can help you do that. Video of the Day Control carbohydrates, fatty foods and calories by limiting your intake of potatoes, rice, noodles and foods containing white flour. Pass up sugary desserts, candy, ice cream, soft drinks and store-bought cookies, pies, baked goods and doughnuts. Avoid fried chicken, frozen dinners, lunch meats, sugared soft drinks and flavored water, store-bought smoothies and fruit drinks, milk shakes, frozen pizza, and restaurant french fries, hamburgers, pizza and chicken and fish sandwiches. All of these foods can raise your A1C levels, particularly if you have diabetes. Vegetables provide vitamins, minerals, protein, anti-oxidants and fiber to help balance your blood glucose levels. Eat plenty of asparagus, beans, broccoli, carrots, red onions, spinach, tomatoes and soy as tofu or in soy milk products. A great source of omega-3 fatty acids, flaxseed as an oil or nutty seed can be incorporated into salads, breads, cereals and dressings. Nuts are an excellent source of cholesterol-lowering plant sterols but are high in calories. So eat them in moderation. Blueberries, cranberries and red grapefruit can lower your LDL cholesterol and promote heart health. Grapefruit can interfere with some medications, so check with your doctor before adding grapefruit to your diet Continue reading >>

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