My doctor said my A1c level needs to go down. How long does it take?
People with Type 2 diabetes want their A1c level to go down. Lowering your A1c is a successful indicator of your overall health heading in the right direction. The A1c test shows how many of your body’s red blood cells have sugar on the hemoglobin proteins. It is also a measure of how well the body is managing blood sugar levels. When you follow a healthy diet and exercise even a little every day, it will cause your A1c level to go down.
Also known as your average glucose, a healthy A1c for people without diabetes is below 5.7%. If your number is higher than that, you are pre-diabetic.
Once your level is 6.5% or higher, this tells the story that you already have Type 2 Diabetes. Oh no!
After you have Type 2 Diabetes, managing the disease is best done by keeping an eye on your A1c level. It should be less than 7%1https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/managing/managing-blood-sugar/a1c.html.
Your doctor will work with you (hopefully), to bring your A1c level to lower than 7 percent.
Guess what? You can do this on your own, by choosing to walk just 2 minutes2https://www.health.com/news/walking-after-meal-blood-sugar after meals, at least 3 times a day. This has been shown to improve your blood sugar levels and bring down your A1c. And, the news almost nobody wants to hear… is you will have to change what you eat.
The better idea though is to bring this number down to under 5.7%.
There are three ways to lower your A1c levels. Change what you eat, exercise more, and diabetes medications.
SO… How long is this going to take? To get your A1c numbers down? It takes at least 3 months to lower the A1c level by 1%.
There is a lot you can do to bring your A1c level down.
The latest research has shown that exercise is one of the best ways to lower blood sugar. After exercise, people are often able to maintain healthy blood sugar levels for 24 hours or more. This is even true if you take a 10-15 minute walk.
Exercise is a great way to get to better A1c levels. However, exercise alone will not bring these levels down. You also have to eat better. A1c levels will drop with consistency, but your efforts will not work if you only do exercise and do not also eat healthy foods.
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