Many diabetic patients or people at risk of developing diabetes are advised to undergo a hemoglobin A1C test. Our blood has hemoglobin in it, and it is a protein that carries oxygen to the rest of the body. Sometimes the sugar(glucose) attaches itself to this hemoglobin, forming hemoglobin A1C.
The A1C test is used to measure and analyze blood sugar concentration. The higher the blood sugar concentration, the higher your A1C level will be, and if your blood concentration level is low, your A1C result will be low as well.
Hemoglobin A1C is used and prescribed by doctors to see how people have managed their blood sugar levels for 3 months.
The A1C test is more accurate than the usual finger-prick sugar test as the former shows the level of glycosylated hemoglobin in your blood over several months. In contrast, the latter measures the sugar level in your blood at the moment the test was taken out gives the estimate of blood sugar level at a particular time. Still, we know our blood sugar concentration changes throughout the day.
High A1C Level:
According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), an A1C level 0f 6.5% or higher is considered a high level of A1C. This means your blood sugar concentration is higher than normal. Such patients are at risk of Heart disease, kidney failure, obesity, and other disorders.
Many healthcare practitioners set an A1C Level goal for their patients. According to ADA, an A1C level of 7% or below is a good target.
To see information regarding your A1C level goal the CDC lists the levels here.
How to lower A1C level:
As mentioned before, your A1C level test measures your blood sugar level concentrations over three months; therefore, lowering your A1C is not going to happen overnight it may take the same amount (up to 4 months) to see any results. However, it is attainable if you work on some factors.
Following are some factors that help lower your A1C levels:
A good diet is an essential factor in lowering higher A1C levels. Carbohydrates(sugar) increase the sugar in our blood so we need other carbs, proteins, fiber, and vitamins to function correctly and keep diabetes or other diseases at bay. Doctors always recommend a good diet to their diabetic or pre-diabetic patients. Have a good concentration of:
- Whole grains
Avoid foods such as:
Consult your dietician or doctors for an accurate meal plan/diet plan to lower your A1C level.
In 2015 the American Heart Association documented that type 2 diabetic patients who completed 30 minutes of exercise 5 times a week with a target heart rate of 85 b% saw a twofold decrease in their A1C levels! Also, exercise is a great way to kickstart your body’s natural insulin, which is a substance that moves sugar from the blood to the body’s cells; however, it can not work if there is too much sugar in the blood.
ADA recommends a high-intensity workout only after consulting your doctor.
Not every type 2 diabetic patient is overweight, but if you are, you need to consult your doctor and have a weight loss plan. In that case, your doctor will most probably recommend you reduce 5% to 7% weight. You can achieve this weight loss through a good diet plan and enough exercise.
Customize your plate:
According to nutrients and dietician, your plate concentration should be as followed:
- Half of your plate should be filled with vegetables.
- One-quarter of the plate should accommodate protein (chicken, fish)
- The remaining one-quarter should accommodate whole grains.
Apart from these suggestions, ADA also recommends type 2 or pre-diabetic patients to manage their day-to-day life stress. Stress and tension harm our physical and mental health and release cortisol, which increases the sugar in the blood. Do mediation and exercises to boost your mental and physical health.
After reading this, do you feel you need a HEMOGLOBIN (HB) A1C BLOOD TEST? Ordering the test is easy. Just pick your test, order online, then go to your local lab to get tested.