HbA1c Discussion No. 1
As promised, on each Monday in September, we'll discuss how to lower your HbA1c.
First things first.....What is the "normal" HbA1c range? It is 4.2% - 5.6% for non-diabetics.
According to Dr. Richard Bernstein, diabetics (type 1 and 2) should try to stay in the normal range as this lowers the likelihood of diabetes-related complications. The higher the HbA1c the higher your risk of complications such as neuropathy, retinopathy, vasculitis, poor circulation and Alzheimer's.
The primary way to decrease your HbA1c is to stabilise your daily blood glucose levels. This can be achieved by reducing your overall carbohydrate intake.
When estimating the insulin required to cover a meal your margin of error increases with larger quantities of carbohydrates. By consuming small amounts of carbs and taking small amounts of insulin to cover them you are better able to keep blood sugar levels close to the normal range. If you have estimated incorrectly, you can easily adjust a small error either high or low.
When you try to correct large errors you end up with large fluctuations in blood sugar levels. This is dangerous and it makes you feel terrible as well.
If you are concerned that a low carb diet is bland and boring....it's not. There are so many tasty, nutritious, low-carb wholefoods to enjoy. And there are great resources out there to support you in making dietary changes.
It is best to work with a practitioner when reducing your insulin levels. Both basal and bolus insulin needs will decrease when you decrease your overall carbohydrate intake.
Let's keep this conversation going....post in the comments or contact me via my website any questions you may have or experiences in changing your diet to lower your HbA1c.
Cheers - N x