The hemoglobin A1C test gives an average of your blood glucose control over the past 2-3 months. While it is used to diagnose prediabetes and diabetes, it is also an essential tool for evaluating how well you’re managing diabetes.
“The goal for most adults with diabetes is to get their A1C level under 7%, which is the American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommendation,” says certified diabetes care and education specialist, Jennie Flanagan, RN. “The higher your A1C level, the more likely you are to experience diabetes-related complications.”
So what do you do if your A1C is high? Luckily, Jennie says there are ways to lower your A1C levels:
- Follow a healthy eating plan. This will help you better manage your blood glucose, weight, cholesterol and blood pressure. A registered dietitian who specializes in diabetes education can tailor a meal plan just for you.
- Monitor your glucose levels. The ADA recommends self-monitoring glucose levels to better track the time in your target range. Your healthcare provider can advise you on testing frequency.
- Be physically active. Physical activity helps manage your blood glucose. Speak to your healthcare provider before starting an exercise program.
- Manage stress. Stress hormones can cause your blood sugars to rise.
- Stay consistent. Follow the standards of care for diabetes management by getting annual foot and eye exams, A1C testing every 3-6 months, and cholesterol and kidney function testing. Take your diabetes medications as prescribed, if needed.
Need help keeping your A1C on track? Meet with certified diabetes care and education specialists to learn how to manage your diabetes better and reduce your risk of complications. Appointments include glucose monitoring, medication management and meal planning. Request more information online or call the Diabetes Center at 732-294-2574.
CentraState’s Novo Nordisk Diabetes Center is recognized by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) for excellence in diabetes education, learn more about the recognition.