A1C lowering tips!

Hi! Okay kinda cheesy but I made it my New Years resolution to get my A1C under 7%. I’ve been diabetic for 14 years with an average A1C of 7.3%. All things considered pretty good but I’ve never been able to completely lower myself into the great catagorey. Besides minimizing carbs and exercising more I’m wondering how others have consistently stayed below the 7% threshold especially with working desk jobs and things like that. Thanks in advance!

Hi Taylor @Tee25, a “Resolution” for an HbA1c of 7% or less is certainly honorable and positive, but keep in mind that whatever your A1c happens to be is just a “marker” and not a goal.

What I have done to have my “score” regularly in the low 6% area is being the recipient of lots of good luck balancing my food intake and activity with insulin while living a full active life. For years I did frequent BG checking and been observant of what sent me soaring into the 300’s or caused me to drop to 40 mg/dl or lower and tried my best to plan ahead to either take more insulin with “those meals” or turn my pump off for certain activities. A lot of hit or miss - yes, I write stuff down in a small notebook to review. It really tool me 35 years to get to this point, but the last 25+ years have been good.

what I suggest for you, is to set your goal for living a full, active, prosperous and happy life and fitting your diabetes to best match your lifestyle- do not let “diabetes” define you.

@Tee25 Hi Taylor, I agree with @Dennis - it’s just a number.

If you like numbers and optimization - there are certainly ways to have whatever a1c you want to have. you don’t say if you are on a pump or shots, and you don’t say if you have a cgm… so I’ll guess no pump and no cgm.

for me, under 7% would be too hard for me on shots, the long acting was always hard for me, I could never get it right.

anyway, you cant control something if you don’t measure it… so a check before and 2 hours after every meal is a good start.

Night time can be up to 40% of your total day - what’s happening to your blood sugar at night? if my nights are good - I can almost count on a 7.0 or less.

if you vary wildly during the day and night - simply taking more insulin and eating less carbs will mean you may be exposed to a lot of lows, and no one wants to have a bad low.

good luck!

Keep a food journal for a short period of time and include insulin dosages. Go over it with you doc and make adjustments. I was at 7ish for quite some time and went on the pump for better control.

Hello. Making a New Years Resolution for better control sounds good.

I agree with the others that the A1C is not the end all be all. The original DCCT study found a large improvement in lowering long term complications for an A1C below 8.5 I think it was, Definitely higher than what Drs and the medical device/supplies vendors now tell us.

That said, for years and years I too was hovering between 7 and 7.5. I was prettu happy about that. Over last year I have been able to get it down further and have set a new record at 6.5.

The difference was I got a CGM. first a Libre and now a Dexcom, I switched insurance and the new doesn’t cover Libre. I liked it better, but that’s a whole other discussion. Dexcom is really good too though.

I do not use a pump.

Anyway I use it as a speedometer and can take action when needed. And allowed me to notice things I wouldn’t just checking 4 or 5 times per day. Also great for knowing whats going on at night. It also has provided insight on what foods raise BS how much and how fast. Knowledge is power !! And no more finger pokes. YAY !! :smile: :smile: :smile:

If you can swing it, could be helpful to you too. Seems that insurance co pays etc are now not any more than test strips.

Best of luck in reaching your New Years Resolution. Happy New Year !! :smile:

Why do you like the libre better? Just curious. I also use Dexcom and an omnipod!

I liked the Libre for a few reasons.

The Dexcom does not work with the Smart phone I have. So I got a receiver. The user interface is not nearly as good IMHO. On the Libre, I could look back at the numbers at a specific time. When I put in notes I could see what time I put them in. And I could scroll back to previous days. The Dexcom only lets you do that on computer or smartphone app (I think).

I also like things simple. Seems Dexcom is over engineered with transmitter etc. If I want to know what it is, I’ll check. It’s never very far from my mind where I will forget about it. There was never a time with the Libre I could not get a reading due to a connectivity issue.

I’m not a big smart phone person so that part of it does not appeal to me.

I could see the whole alarm and sharing stuff would be great for kids. But I’m not a kid and don’t want to share my BS info with anyone.

And now, the Libre sensors last 14 days as opposed to 10.

My impression with FreeStyle going back to the first tester you could do arm testing with, is their user ergonomic features are superior but for some reason a lot insurance does not cover them.

Good work on lowering the A1C. I, as many have stated, agree that the A1C is not an end all be all type of a reading. I have been putting most of my focus recently into my time in target (80% of time in 70-180 is my goal), but along with that I have gotten my A1C back into the 6s after being all over the 7s and even low 8s for a long while. I think the lowest my A1C I had previously in my 18 years of T1D was 6.5, and that was probably early to mid 2000s. I just got a 6.6 on Monday at a Dr. visit. So I was pleased that all my work has been fruitful in my measurement. Your focus on your A1C will help you overall and makes you mindful of how to control and keep track of things better.

Big thing for me in getting there has been the Freestyle Libre. I started it early last year and my A1C has dropped continually since then. It’s just been so much easier to predict and determine patterns based upon what I eat and what I’m doing. Just simplifies my insulin dose choices and helps guide my night time insulin to keep me better stabilized through the day. The system has gotten better as well with the 14 day sensors with only a 1 hour warmup time, along with the app and my iPhone now doing all my scanning instead of having to carry around a scanner.

This is my only CGM I have ever used, so I can’t compare much, but it has been a huge change for me.

Best of luck to you!!

Have you heard of Sugar Sufing by Dr. Stephen Ponder? This methodology has helped me lower my young daughter’s A1C to 6.1. I would highly recommend reading this and giving this a try.

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CGM and less than 100 carbs per day with few carbs for dinner. Exercising most days seems to help a great deal.

Thank you Doug. I really like the idea of keeping a food journal. That’s a great idea and something that would benefit my grandson

Another way to lower your A1C is by always taking your insulin prior to eating your meal. My daughter’s endo told her she could lower it by up to 1 point by doing so.

I have not. Thank you!

Thank you! I’ve qlways done that and agree that it helps quite a bit!

Use an app that works on your phone. I don’t have an Android device that Dexcom certifies. You have 2 options:

  1. UsexDrip+ app. Its better for many reasons. Same with Spike for iOS devices. They let you use your smartwatch to see BGs too.
  2. Download and install the “patched” version of the dexcom app. Developers in the community have modified the dexcom app to remove the restriction on devices.

Hey Ken, thanks for the info. This sounds too geeky for me. Even though I am a full time computer programmer/administrator/analyst I’m not a smart phone person. I work on computers all day and when I’m off I don’t want to fool with it.

but you answered my question I think. I can’t have just a watch with the G6. If I want to use a watch I have to use a phone too (my smart phone doesn’t work with G6 anyway).

Seems odd. The watch does blue tooth and displays the same info. Why not just cut out the middle man? I’d do a watch if I could do watch only.

thanks again.