How much can A1C drop in 3 months?
One of the important goal required in any diabetes management is to have a low a1c. So, it is very necessary to know what this a1c is and how long it will take for the a1c to drop within a time frame like 3 months as well as how to quickly lower your a1c safely.
Diabetes is a common medical condition. It has been estimated that about 29 million people have diabetes, and out of those, about 7 million are not aware they have the disease. Diabetes can lead to other serious health complications like stroke, kidney disease, heart disease even blindness if it is not treated. Patients with diabetes are advised to manage the disease by doing things like control of their a1c.
WHAT IS A1C?
A1C also known as hemoglobin A1c, HbA1c or glycohemoglobin test is a blood test that is done to measure the average level of sugar in the blood within the period of 2 to 3 months. The average is not even, rather it is an average where the blood sugars over few weeks count more than the blood sugars in about 2 to 3 months ago.
The National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases stated that this test is based on the attachment of glucose to hemoglobin (the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen). The red blood cells in the body form constantly and die as well, so they live for about three months. The a1c test shows the level of glucose in the blood over the past 3 months.
The result of this test is in percentage. If the percentage is high, that means the blood glucose level has been high. However, a normal a1c level is below 5.7 percent. One of the importance of the result of A1c test is that doctors and their patients can know if and when they are at risk of developing diabetes. It can also show how well a person’s treatment and management of diabetes works.
WHAT IS A NORMAL A1C?
According to the American Diabetes Association, a normal A1c is less than 5.7 percent and there is a minimal risk for type 2 diabetes. An A1c with the percentage of 5.7 to 6.4 is termed prediabetes and there is risk of developing type 2 diabetes while A1c that is 6.5 percent and greater is diagnosed diabetes.
The above statement does not mean that diabetic patients should strive to get their A1c to be less than 5.7 percent. It means that your A1c should be less than 5.7 percent if you do not have diabetes. The American Diabetes Association recommends that adults living with diabetes should target their A1c to be below 7 percent.
WHY SHOULD YOU CARE ABOUT YOUR A1C?
Multiple studies by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases have shown that having high average blood sugars is not good for the body and can increase your risk of developing diabetes-related complications. It is very important to lower high A1c to the recommended level so as to reduce your risk of developing diabetes-related complications.
Lowering your high blood sugar will reduce your risk of having:
- Kidney disease by 50 percent
- Eye disease by 76 percent
- Nerve disease by 60 percent
- Any cardiovascular disease by 42 percent
Non fatal heart attack, stroke or death from cardiovascular disease by 57 percent. From the above listing, it is very important to lower your A1c to the recommended level as it will save you from developing other health complications and improve your overall health.
However, you should know that the more you lower your A1c level and get to the recommended target, the less benefit you will get from further lowering of your blood sugar. For example, reducing your A1c from 12 percent to 11 percent is of great benefits and a big difference than reducing from 7 percent to 6 percent, this is because the latter gives a much lesser benefit.
HOW MUCH CAN A1C DROP IN 3 MONTHS?
There is no final or conclusive answer to this question because the body is different and everyone’s body will respond differently to treatments. Factors like the health condition and age of the patient have a lot of effects on how much A1c will be dropped in 3 months.
Other factors that determine or influence the drop of your A1c level are:
In some people, their A1c level drops by 1 point after three months, others experience 1.5 drop while in some others, the level goes down by 2 points if there is concerted effort after 3 months. However, if you are using drugs like metformin, it can also help. A 1000mg dose of metformin can decrease an A1C level up to 2% over a 3-month period.
You should always talk to your doctor first before taking this drug. If your A1c is high like 10 percent or more, it will be easier for it to drop within 2 or 3 months but if your A1c is 7.5 percent, it will a longer time to lower A1c. This means that the higher your A1c, the faster it will come down.
Lowering A1c is a gradual and slow process. Remember the test measures your average blood sugar for 2 to 3 months ago, so it can take up to 2 or even 3 months to see changes in your A1c.
WAYS TO LOWER YOUR A1C LEVELS
1. Choose Your Diet
What you eat and how much you eat is a very important factor in your blood sugar and your A1c. There are many diet on the internet recommended for people with diabetes but this diet will not work for everyone. Furthermore, the American Diabetes Association does not recommend any one type of eating plan as there are many types of eating pattern like Mediterranean, lower carb, vegetarian and DASH. You can meet a dietician to recommend the best for you.
2. Come-Up With a Plan
Also, form the habit of eating 3 meals a day with snacks in-between to control your A1c. Try to eat your meals at the same time each day so as to stabilize your blood sugars. Avoid skipping meals or delaying to eat.
3. Choose Your Carb
Not all carbs are dangerous and need to be avoided like most people think as there are nutrients to get from them. The important thing is to know the type of carb you are consuming . Some crabs like white bread, cookies, soda and others will spike up your blood sugar. Eat more of unrefined or unprocessed carbs as they still have their fiber, vitamins, minerals and other plant compounds. Refined carbs will increase the risk of having heart disease, obesity, diabetes while unrefined carbs will promote your health.
4. Be Consistent with your Carb Intake
Eating carb is very important but there should be control. Controlling your carb intake will help with controlling A1c level. Too much carb will mean high amounts of blood sugars and high level of A1c. Try to eat same amount of carb both in your foods nd snacks everyday. Being consistent with your carb intake will help to keep your blood sugar steady and stable even with the diabetes medicines.
5. Watch your Portions
Too much of everything is bad including food. You should not take too much of carbs, protein, or any other nutrients. Watch every portion of food you eat especially if you want to loose weight as well. Loosing weight is another way of lowering blood sugar, A1c or maintaining a healthy lifestyle. You can get a plate to measure the quantity of food you consume.
6. Be active
The importance of exercise cannot be overemphasized, it helps to keep you fit, reduce depression and weight including A1c. If you are not an exercise person, you can start by looking for what you like to do, you can include walking ,dancing, swimming, cycling or even skipping. In addition, try to be consistent with your exercise routine. Just get your sneakers and start your exercise routine.
7. Commit at Least 150 Minutes Each Week
You do not have to spend the whole day at the gym just to exercise. You only need at least 150 minutes every week doing physical activity. You can even exercise for 30 minutes in 5 days, break the 30 minutes into three times a day if you cannot exercise for 30 minutes at a time. Just start slowly till you become comfortable.
CAN YOUR A1C BE TOO LOW?
If you have never experienced low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), then your sugar cannot be too low. Some people can lower their A1c levels below 5 percent strictly managing their diabetes and diet but they do not have fluctuations in their blood sugar.
If you have or often experience low blood sugar, then your A1c can become too low because the low blood sugar is already having effects on your blood sugar level. You should note that there is no benefits attached to lowering your A1c below 6 to 7 percent.
The length of time it will take your A1c to drop depends on many factors like age, weight, diet, medications and health conditions. You should not expect the level to drop abruptly, it will take gradual and slow process. You can lower your A1c by knowing the type of food to eat, the type and amount of carbs to eat and exercise as well.