As most diabetics know, your A1C level is the benchmark for how you are doing in managing your disease, and reaching a healthy A1C level should be a priority for any sufferers of type 2 diabetes.
A1C testing is important in addition to your daily blood glucose testing, as it gives you and your caregivers a snapshot of your health over a period of time, and not just at the moment of testing. Knowing your A1C level is crucial in determining an effective management plan, and will help you to make adjustments as you go.
How often do you need to take an A1C test?
If your doctor has determined that your blood sugars have remained stable over an extended period of time, it is suggested that the A1C test is performed twice yearly. If your levels are less than ideal or have remained unstable over a period of time, your doctor may need to perform this test more often to better identify the source of your imbalances.
What is the desired range for the A1C test?
The A1C test is a blood test that measures blood glucose through glycated hemoglobin levels. Glucose binds to the hemoglobin; the more glucose that enters your body, the higher these numbers are going to be, and unlike the standard blood glucose test, it is cumulative and does not fluctuate dramatically.
This is how it can provide a standard for optimum health in type 2 sufferers. As for the desired range of A1C, this is a guideline:
Normal: below 5.7%
Pre-diabetes: 5.7 – 6.4%
Type 2 Diabetes: more than 6.4%
Keeping your A1C levels under your goal range will help you to reduce the risk of developing complications from nerve damage or ocular (eye) issues. Your healthcare professional will set an A1C goal for you and will give you tips on how to maintain or achieve it.
Mitigating factors that can affect your A1C level
Factors that can affect your A1C level include your age, the general state of your health and fitness level, and how advanced your disease is. In most cases, it is possible to mitigate these risks by following your doctor’s suggestions, testing regularly, and making the appropriate corrections in a timely manner. Some tips for better management of your A1C levels might include:
Regular exercise: while it doesn’t have to be vigorous, you should commit to moving your body more. Walking the dog, riding a bicycle, or doing an activity you enjoy are good ways to incorporate exercise into your daily routine, and they don’t have to be drastic. Commit to moving more, and you will find many more benefits to your well-being, including a reduction in depression, more energy, less pain, and a better outlook on life, overall.
Eat clean, eat well: knowing what foods cause a spike in your blood sugar is a good place to start. Read up on the glycemic index and discover the surprising number of so-called “healthy” foods that are off the charts in terms of the sugar and carbs it puts in your body. Avoid processed foods, and opt for fresh fruits and vegetables when you can. If you can afford to eat organic, this may help as well, as it will remove the possibility of potential toxins entering your system. Opt for fresh fruit over fruit juice, and avoid sugary drinks like soda, or pre-processed iced tea. Once you have educated yourself about what foods are best, and which are best to avoid, you may actually be able to eat more than before. Fresh foods are higher in nutrition too, and will potentially give you more energy simply on the basis of their nutritive content. This gives you many benefits: more energy, more vitality, and better overall health. If you manage your diet well, you should never feel deprived.
Test your sugars regularly and according to a schedule: despite the fact that your doctor is checking your A1C levels, you will always need to test your sugars on your own. Keep a daily journal so you can see where you are falling short, and resolve to do better. There are certain foods and activities that can drastically affect your blood glucose levels, causing it to spike dramatically. Having a sense of what these triggers are will help you to manage any potential risk and avoid emergency situations. Your journal is also a helpful tool to communicate your progress with your physician, who can help you make adjustments to your maintenance protocol.
Be consistent: you should establish a plan, and stick to it. Of course, we are all human, and can’t be absolutely perfect all of the time (well, not all of us, anyway), but we can resolve to live in such a way that it improves our quality of life. This entails showing up for yourself every single day, and it’s not just about your own personal welfare, although that is #1. Think about your family, your children, your friends and loved ones, and how much more you can be there for them when you feel energized and positive about your life. Don’t get discouraged by your lot in life, just do your best to improve it, even if it’s just by little bits.
Consider natural supplements to help regulate your A1C
Reishi mushroom, or Ganoderma Lucidum, is well-known in Chinese medicine as a way to naturally lower your blood sugar. It also has the ability to regulate your blood pressure, give you more energy and mental acuity, strengthen your immune and endocrine system, and protect you from all kinds of environmental toxins. The FCR is a natural, organic supplement that combines three of the most powerful substances in natural medicine – fucoidan, cordyceps and reishi mushroom. In fact, The FCR is the only product on the market today that contains all three, each known separately to provide miraculous health benefits that include better health, longevity, and results that have been life-changing for many. Discover what Chinese, Japanese and Ayurveda has known for centuries, and support your good health naturally with The FCR.