If you have diabetes or prediabetes, there is one important test that you should be doing to know how well you are managing your condition. The hemoglobin A1C test gives an average of your blood glucose control over the past 2-3 months and is an essential tool, not only for those with diabetes but for anyone who is at risk for developing it.
“The goal for most adults with diabetes is to get their A1C level under 7%, which is the American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommendation,” says Jennie Flanagan, RN, a certified diabetes care and education specialist at CentraState Healthcare System’s Novo Nordisk Diabetes Center. “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 one of CentraState’s certified diabetes care and education specialists to learn how to better manage your diabetes and reduce your risk of complications. CentraState Healthcare System’s Novo Nordisk Diabetes Center is recognized by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) for excellence in diabetes education. Appointments include glucose monitoring, medication management and meal planning. To request more information or an appointment, visit the CentraState Healthcare System’s Novo Nordisk Diabetes Center.
About CentraState Healthcare System
CentraState Healthcare System, a partner of Atlantic Health System, is a fully accredited, not-for-profit, community-based health system that provides comprehensive health services in the central New Jersey region. In addition to offering a full range of leading-edge diagnostic and treatment options, CentraState serves as a valuable health partner focused on the latest ways to prevent disease, promote healthy behaviors, and help people of all ages live life well. To learn more, visit centrastate.com.