*Disclaimer: All content and information in this blog is for informational and educational purposes only.
You know the feeling…walking into your quarterly endocrinologist appointment hoping for the best…but fully expecting the worst. Another 90 days has come and gone and you feel like you haven’t made any progress towards lowering your A1C. So you do the same old song and dance with your endocrinologist. They view your blood sugar logs, change up a few basal rates, and send you on your way. But when you leave the office, the motivation to continue in your management slowly dwindles down in a few days or weeks and the cycle repeats itself yet again. If you want to know how to lower your A1C without the overwhelm, keep reading for how the Keeping it 100 proven-framework has supported T1Ds reaching their management goals.
Step 1: Break Down Your Behaviors
When it comes to managing diabetes, there are a number of lifestyle behaviors that can significantly improve your blood sugar control. By breaking down your daily behaviors, you may find that there are certain areas that can easily support your blood sugar that have been neglected aside from the common behaviors of taking medication, checking blood sugar, making dietary modifications, and increasing physical activity. Looking at your daily lifestyle behaviors can help you identify which areas are supporting your management and which areas need your attention.
Step 2: Nail Down Your Baselines
Insulin management is the foundation of blood sugar management for people with type 1 diabetes. Just like if you were to build a house without a solid foundation, it would come crashing down- the same thing goes for your insulin management. You want to make sure that you have nailed down your baseline basal rates, insulin-to-carb ratios, and corrections factors because if your rates are off, nothing else matters since this is the foundation of your management. Working with your care team, diabetes educator, or dietitian can help you with dialing in your baseline rates.
Step 3: Strategize Daily Variability
No matter how long you have been living with diabetes you know that no two days are ever the same. There are a number of daily factors that can influence your blood sugars. The most prominent ones include: nutrition, exercise, and hormones. When you are able to assess how your blood sugars respond to different types of meals, different intensities of exercise, and shifting hormone levels, you can create a more trusting relationship with your body and blood sugars. You will be able to be more proactive by anticipating how your blood sugars will respond to the most common variables.
Step 4: Conquer High Variability Areas
High variability areas can often feel like an automatic failure before you even try. Whether it is eating out at a restaurant, attending a holiday party, or traveling, the high number of variables can often make it seem like you have to choose between either keeping your blood sugars in range or enjoying yourself. But, there can absolutely be a happy medium where you can coexist with managing your blood sugars and living your life. By working through how you approach these situations with an open and nonjudgmental mindset paired with adequate understanding of challenging blood sugar variables, you will be able to conquer high variability areas, too.
When you set out to lower your A1C, you may feel overwhelmed with all of the conflicting information that is out there. But, once you are able to take a birds eye view of your management and see what areas are working and not working you will be able to create intentional steps towards lowering your A1C without feeling overwhelmed in the process.
To find out more about how the Needles and Spoons team supports their clients through this process inside their Keeping in 100 program, check out Keeping it 100 Radio: uncensored Diabetes Conversations Episode 47: Four Steps to ACTUALLY Lower Your A1C with Type 1 Diabetes. Available now on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.