Lowering A1C Levels Naturally: What is A1C and How Does it Affect Diabetes?
You may have heard about the A1C test, either from a friend, from social media, on the news, or from your doctor. Perhaps you had the test done and the results came back abnormal. Read on to learn more about the A1C test, how it relates to Diabetes, and how you can try Lowering A1C levels naturally.
What Is an A1C Test?
According to the National Institutes of Health, the A1C test is a blood test that provides information about your average levels of blood glucose over the past 3 months.
The A1C test can be used to diagnose type 2 diabetes and prediabetes. This test is also used to measure how well you are managing your existing diabetes.
The test, also called glycated hemoglobin or hemoglobin A1C, measures the amount of glucose attached to the hemoglobin on your red blood cells. Hemoglobin is the part of the red blood cells that carry oxygen.
When blood glucose is high, glucose attaches to the hemoglobin. The higher the blood glucose, the more glucose attaches to the red blood cells.
What Do the Results Mean?
The A1C is measured as a percentage. Normal levels are 5.6% or lower. If you have an A1C result of 5.7-6.4%, chances are you have pre-diabetes. Levels above 6.4% indicate type 2 diabetes.
While this blood test is fairly accurate, your medical team should not use it as the only measure to diagnose diabetes. Usually your doctor will look at your symptoms and other factors to determine a diagnosis.
So You Have a High A1C Result, Now What?
You can try lowering A1C levels naturally. THIS article in Everyday Health claims that the best, natural ways to lower your A1C are:
Get More Exercise
Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise, five days a week. You don’t have to go to the gym. It can be something you enjoy like walking, hiking, riding a bike, or roller-skating!
Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet
Make your plate half vegetables (the non-starchy kind!). Eat lean proteins and plant-based proteins such as lentils, legumes, and soy. Eat whole fruits and avoid juices.
Make sure you incorporate whole grains into your diet and avoid refined white grains. Try to avoid processed foods.
Maintain a steady routine
Don’t skip meals or go too long between meals. Try not to eat too much or too little. Have your breakfast at the same time each morning. Upsetting your schedule can mess with your blood glucose levels. A dietitian can help you determine the best meal schedule for your lifestyle.
Follow your treatment plan
Your care team creates your diabetes treatment plan specifically for you. Your job is to make sure you follow it. Read THIS blog for more on the Diabetes Care Plan.
Check your blood sugar often
Your diabetes care team can help you learn when (and how) to check your blood sugar. When you manage your blood glucose levels on a daily basis, it will help lower your a1c naturally.
Why is it Important?
It is important to control your blood sugar levels so that you don’t suffer from the complications of having diabetes. These complications include: Blindness, amputation, kidney disease, heart disease, nerve damage, and coma leading to death.
High Blood Pressure
High blood glucose can cause high blood pressure, which affects the small blood vessels in the back of the eye, on the retina. This can cause the vessels to burst and bleed into the eye.
This is called diabetic retinopathy. When the blood vessels burst, it will cause you to see spots in your vision, or, “floaters.” This can be fixed through laser eye surgery. They have to go in and cauterize the bleeding vessels.
Kidney disease and heart disease are also caused by the high blood pressure that comes with high blood sugars. The kidneys must work overtime to push the extra sugar out of your body. The heart has to work harder to pump the blood throughout your circulatory system.
We don’t want to make our bodies work harder than they need to in order to perform basic functions. The best way to prevent these issues is lowering A1C levels naturally.
Amputation occurs as a last result of untreated circulation problems. If you lose feeling in your extremities and don’t seek treatment for it, blood may stop flowing to your feet and hands. If this happens, you will need to have them amputated.
This is why your doctor will do a foot exam when he or she sees you. They test the bottom of your foot with a small pin to make sure you can feel it. This helps them check for nerve damage as well.
Getting it Under Control
If you can follow these tips, you can control your diabetes. If you’re pre-diabetic or type 2 diabetic, you can put it in remission.
Try to resist the urge to over-eat or indulge on unhealthy snacks and foods. Test your blood sugar at least once a day, at a different time each day (read more about testing your blood glucose HERE and see diabetes diet tips HERE).
If you need an extra bit of support, try Bioterra Herbs’ Blood Glucose supplement. It’s made with all-natural Chinese herbs that are known to help your body control your blood glucose levels. Click the image for a link to purchase the product.
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