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How to Lower A1C

How to Lower A1C
What is A1C and how might it affect me?
According to the CDC,
The A1C test—also known as the hemoglobin A1C or HbA1c test—is a simple blood test that measures your average blood sugar levels over the past 3 months. It’s one of the commonly used tests to diagnose prediabetes and diabetes, and is also the main test to help you and your health care team manage your diabetes. Higher A1C levels are linked to diabetes complications, so reaching and maintaining your individual A1C goal is really important if you have diabetes.
 
 
In this article:
What's the difference between A1C and blood sugar?
What lowers A1C the most?
Is there a natural way to lower A1C?
Caveats and notes
 
 
 
What is difference in A1C and blood sugar?
 
A1C correlated to blood sugar, indeed, but it provides a 'bigger picture' than a single blood sugar reading:
 
Blood sugar can fluctuate. It's dependent upon your diet, your activity levels, your stress load. . . . The A1C test, which, as noted above, measures blood sugar levels over the past three months, provides a comprehensive larger look into your blood sugar patterns.
 
 
 
What's a normal A1C?
Also according to the CDC,
 
Normal: Below 5.7% | Prediabetes: 5.7% to 6.4% | Diabetes: 6.5% or above
A normal A1C level is below 5.7%, a level of 5.7% to 6.4% indicates prediabetes, and a level of 6.5% or more indicates diabetes. Within the 5.7% to 6.4% prediabetes range, the higher your A1C, the greater your risk is for developing type 2 diabetes.
 
 
 
What does it mean if your A1C is high?
 
A high A1C level increases your risk of diabetic complications. Over time, high blood sugars cause cardiac disease, diabetic retinopathy, kidney failure, neuropathy, and gum disease.
 
 
 
 
What lowers A1C the most? Is there a natural way to lower A1C? What foods lower A1C quickly?
You are what you eat: Diet matters . . . .
Eating the right foods is essential to lowering your A1C. Prepare accordingly, making a point to shop for few to no sweets and ensuring you're eating healthy, whole foods. Additionally, regulate your portion sizes and heed your carbohydrate intake. You may need to study up on which foods are heavy in undesirable carbs and plan with a trusted health professional which to avoid and which to embrace.
 
Be realistic yet goal-oriented about weight-loss.
Slow and steady does win the race . . . the weight-loss quest, which certainly is not a race. A pound a week in weight loss can be a realistic and satisfactory accomplishment. Rapid weight-loss patterns are difficult to sustain, whereas practical patterns that get programmed into your brain become a part of your new, salient lifestyle. Plus, weight loss in pounds does not necessarily convey health status: Even what may appear as "slight" weight loss and improved health practices can make a crucial difference in someone's overall health profile. Slow and steady does win the race . . . the weight-loss quest, which certainly is not a race. A pound a week in weight loss can be a realistic and satisfactory accomplishment. Rapid weight-loss patterns are difficult to sustain, whereas practical patterns that get programmed into your brain become a part of your new, salient lifestyle. Plus, weight loss in pounds does not necessarily convey health status: Even what may appear as "slight" weight loss and improved health practices can make a crucial difference in someone's overall health profile.
 
 
Exercise
Develop a realistic exercise and program with your trusted professionals.
 
 
Take the proper vitamins, supplements, and medications as needed
Again, consult your trusted professionals regarding which vitamins supplements, and medications to take. Here are some published study quotes and citations regarding which natural go-to's may positively affect your A1C:
 
 
Commercially produced drugs are largely derived from plants and form the mainstream of today's modern medicine. Therefore, many herbs have shown to have antidiabetic activity by regulating insulin secretion, insulin sensitivity to the cells, glucose abruption, etc. in order to improve the glycemic control of the patients.
 
 
 
 
 
Hypoglycemic herbs are used in Chinese medicine to treat diabetes mellitus. Ginseng, bitter melon and Coptis chinensis are used in both types I and II diabetes. The efficacy of hypoglycemic herbs is achieved by increasing insulin secretion, enhancing glucose uptake by adipose and muscle tissues, inhibiting glucose absorption from intestine and inhibiting glucose production from heptocytes.
 
 
 
Background: Different benefits of various herbal medicines in decreasing blood sugar have been reported in different clinical trials so far. Considering the growing tendency toward these combinations and the booming market, inappropriate advice is growing accordingly. Hence, it is necessary to evaluate the effects and possible complications of such combinations on health status and blood glucose control.
Methods: Two 38-subject groups were formed and a 12-week treatment program was administered for both groups. The inclusion criteria were failure to control blood glucose with two oral medicines, unwillingness to inject insulin. The medicine was prepared in capsules by Booali Company. Each capsule weighed 750 mg and contained nettle leaf 20% (w/w), berry leaf 10% (w/w), onion and garlic 20% (w/w), fenugreek seed 20% (w/w), walnut leaf 20% (w/w), and cinnamon bark 10% (w/w) all in powder.
Results: At the beginning of the study, there was no significant difference between the subjects regarding the evaluated parameters, but after the intervention, the level of glucose was significantly lower in fasting (P=0.0001) and 2-hour postprandial (P=0.002) levels. The level of glycated hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) (P=0.0001) also decreased from 0.33±9.72 % to 0.20±8.39 %. Finally, the level of insulin resistance reduced from 1.9±4.1 to 1.4±2.6 (P=0.001) after consuming herbal medicine.
Conclusion: According to the results of the current study, the herbal combination was effective in controlling blood sugar, and considering the reduction of HbA1c by 1.31 %, it seems that the herbal combination is an effective medicine to treat diabetes.
 
 
Be consistent and realistic.
We've said it on this site and will probably say it a couple times over: it has taken time to get to a certain state of health (or "un"health) . . . and it will take time to recover. Be realistic about your personal expectations; be forgiving and gentle with yourself yet serious and driven, too. We have nothing if not our health.
 
 
 
 
 
 
What foods should I avoid if my A1C is high?
The following are suggestions on foods to avoid if your A1C is high but this is by no means an all-encompassing list:
  • Candy; packaged snacks; sugary goods
  • Many dairy products, especially fatty dairy sources
  • Carb-laden foods: White bread, rice, pasta, many cereals, and more
  • Energy drinks and other caffeine- and sugar-heavy drinks; various coffee drinks
  • Alternative sweeteners such as honey, agave, and syrups
  • Some fruits and dried fruit
  • Processed meat and high-fat meat
  • French fries and greasy foods
 
 
 
 
Caveats and notes:
 
The CDC sagaciously reminds us the following:
 
A1C: Just Part of the Toolkit
A1C is an important tool for managing diabetes, but it doesn’t replace regular blood sugar testing at home. Blood sugar goes up and down throughout the day and night, which isn’t captured by your A1C. Two people can have the same A1C, one with steady blood sugar levels and the other with high and low swings.
If you’re reaching your A1C goal but having symptoms of highs or lows, check your blood sugar more often and at different times of day. Keep track and share the results with your doctor so you can make changes to your treatment plan if needed.
 
 
 
Have you had success in lowering your A1C? Have any of the natural and herbal mentions from the studies noted above helped you?

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