Manipulating Your A1c Results

Every diabetics dream is to have a rockin’ A1c every time we visit our doctor. There is a lot of fear, excitement, and worry that we haven’t done a good enough job, or that we think we have and need the results to prove that. There’s also the fact that we most often feel “inspected” while at these appointments and our daily decisions are up for harsh review. If you have a super awesome endocrinologist, maybe this isn’t the case for you, but either way, it’s a very personal experience.

A few years ago, my endocrinologist made a comment about how there is a very simple way to lower A1c results without much of an extra effort. Maybe I’m the silly one that didn’t realize this sooner, or maybe this could help you too. Since she shared this with me, I’ve really delved into the math behind her advice; and it makes complete sense. Stay with me here…

Her advice: go to bed with a stable blood sugar. It sounds simple, but requires quite a few steps in order to make it a reality. Here’s what I do to make it happen. And please remember, I am only an expert for my own body.

I try and eat dinner each day at or before 6 pm. For me, insulin stays in my system for 3 hours, so by 9 pm I can check and correct, if needed. This means that from 9 pm to 7 am (or longer, depending on when I get up and eat breakfast) my blood sugar is completely stable. For ten, yes 10, full hours, my BG is in range.

There’s some quick and easy math to help shed some light on why this is so critical. Take 10 (hours with stable BG) divided by 24 (hours of the day) and you’ll quickly see that overnight blood sugars can make up 41.6% of our values each and every day which go on to impact our overall A1c percentage.

Knowing this makes my visits to my endocrinologist much easier. If I can control my A1c values for nearly 42% of each day, I can manage the rest of the 58% with a little more weight off my shoulders. We have the control to help lower our A1c while we sleep! Isn’t that beautiful?

How do you make sure your overnight BGs are stable? Thoughts in general?

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