I Just Learned My A1C Is High — What Should I Do?

I Just Learned My A1C Is High — What Should I Do?

There are many essential health tests you should get regularly. One of them is an A1C test. But if you’re unsure what your results mean, it’s just another line item on your lab report. 

At Optimal Performance Medicine in Woodstock, Georgia, we believe knowledge is power, especially when it comes to health. Here, Dr. Michael Skardasis explains what you need to know about A1C, what it means for your health, and what to do when your levels are higher than they should be. 

What exactly is A1C?

Simply put, A1C is a measure of your body’s average blood sugar (glucose) levels over the past 2-3 months, and you determine your levels with a blood test. You also may hear it called a glycohemoglobin test, hemoglobin A1C, or HbA1C. 

Here’s how it works. 

Your blood contains hemoglobin, a protein that transports oxygen and other nutrients around your body. Along the way, hemoglobin also picks up glucose. The sugar binds to the protein, creating something called glycated hemoglobin. 

The more sugar you have in your blood, the more sugar attaches to the available hemoglobin. An A1C test measures the amount of glycated hemoglobin present in your bloodstream. 

Elevated A1C numbers can help your care team detect prediabetes and get you started on a preventive treatment plan. If you already have Type 2 diabetes, knowing your A1C levels are high helps you make adjustments to your current management plan. 

What’s considered high A1C?

Diabetes experts have established a range of A1C levels. For example, if you get an A1C result of 10%, you have 10 glycated hemoglobins out of every 100 hemoglobins in your blood. 

The range of A1C levels are as follows:

The higher your percentage, the higher your blood sugar levels. Elevated A1C also indicates an increased risk of developing severe diabetes-related conditions, including:

The good news is that you can take steps to lower your A1C, manage your blood sugar levels, and reduce your risk of complications. 

What should I do if my A1C is high?

If your A1C levels are high, it’s a sign that your health needs an overhaul. Fortunately, you don’t have to do it alone. We specialize in creating diabetes management plans based on establishing healthy, sustainable habits. One of the first places we start is your diet. 

Everything you eat affects your blood sugar, so it’s often one of the fastest ways to control it. An A1C-friendly diet includes:

If you’re unsure where to begin, the Mediterranean Diet has helped many prediabetics and diabetics effectively manage their blood sugar. Controlling your portion sizes is another good rule of thumb when eating with your blood sugar in mind.

We also help you find ways to get and stay active. Regular physical activity burns excess sugar and improves blood sugar levels. Combining a healthy diet and more exercise can also help you lose weight, which is another key player in diabetes management. 

But our team doesn’t stop at designing your plan. We offer continued support and counseling to help you maintain your health and wellness for the long haul. 

If you’re concerned about your A1C levels or you want a customized diabetes management plan, call Optimal Performance Medicine to schedule an appointment or use our convenient online booking. We’re here to help you improve your overall health.

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