What small changes helped you lower your HbA1c?

I’m curious to know what small life changes, incentives, perspective changes, dance moves, and other resources of humanity you have found helped lower your A1c…

One thing that helps me a lot is my “treat first” rule. I have an insatiable sugar tooth and if I save room for my little something sweet at the end of a meal I’m very likely to have just one more taste than I really should, and then another and another … So I decide beforehand how much I’m going to have (like 50 grams of ice cream, for instance – about 12 g. of carb) and enjoy that first, and THEN eat my “real” food. If I’m still hungry at the end of the meal I’ll have a little more salad or cauliflower or whatever, instead of another spoonful of dessert.

A corollary trick: There are certain tv shows that I secretly love, but I feel like they’re kind of too trashy to waste time watching. So my partner gets the whole series for me from the library and I use them to bribe myself into running on the treadmill. One episode without commercials is about 40 minutes – a nice amount of after-dinner exercise, especially if I had that ice cream.

I like your idea of HbA1c-lowering dance moves too. I’m going to get right to work on that!

  1. adding in exercise - any at all
  2. taking insulin 20-30 minutes before meals instead of right on top of them
  3. treating lows with glucose tabs instead of considering it a blank check for donuts/chocolate/candy bars, etc.
  4. smaller carb counts at dinner
  5. leaving meters, strips, and lancet devices everywhere (nightstand, kitchen, purse, office) so that I’ll test more frequently

Everything that Melissa said!!! Small and I mean small portions of bread, potato, rice or pasta. You be amazed by how much less insulin you use/need.

Good discussion topic Diana!

(1) TuDiabetes community (in providing motivation and teaching me that it is possible)
(2) Taking my insulin 20-30 minutes before eating

small life changes - daily exercise, more protein vs. carbs, more blood checks

incentives - weight loss, health benefits, just proving that I could do it

perspective changes - I never let myself believe that controlling diabetes is “hard”

dance moves - mostly the running man, with the occasional kick-worm and river dance

other resources of humanity - inspiration from tuDiabetes.com community

Thanks for sharing! I love your meal time creativity and smart treadmill indulgence!

Thanks for sharing, Melissa. These are all great ideas!

Are you pumping? Is it short-acting insulin you take 20-30 minutes early? I want to try this and see if I can nip the post-prandials in the butt…

Yes, I’m a pumper and I use (short-acting) Apidra.

My CDE says that since the medical community has begun collecting data from CGMS’s, they’ve discovered that our insulins don’t work as quickly as originally thought. She said that Apidra and Humalog should be taken 20-30 minutes before meals and Regular as much as an hour before. The post-prandial spikes are causing your A1c to skew higher, so taking the insulin earlier can have a huge effect.

I give all the credit for that suggestion to Kristin though. She’s the one that convinced me to try it!

My patients who test more frequently, drop their HbA1c in a steady fashion,educated about the BG numbers target,they are encouraged and motivated to go forward to better control.

I’m with David and Melissa on this one. Exercise is amazing!!! It truly helps. I pump with humalog and know exactly what Melissa is talking about. Figure out what you think you are going to eat and take a modest dose as you start to prepare it. If you take a modest dose you can always add more but aren’t locked into eating a certain amount yet still have the insulin starting to enter your system. If you take it right when you start eating, your food can react quicker than your insulin shooting your bloodsugar high before it balances out about two hours later. Again, you can add insulin if you eat more than you originally thought but the process has already started in your system and will, hopefully, smoothe out the yo-yo bloog sugars.

A few Michael Jackson moves help as well! :slight_smile:

And others in this community convinced me to start bolusing early! So pass the info on!!! Too few people realize how long it takes for “fast-acting” insulin to start working!!!

One word of caution.

Like everyone here I have been able to lower my A1c using the suggested techniques: To a point.

After that point no matter what I do, the A1c will not come down. I have a few other friends with similar stories, and over time it can become frustrating.

Some research I found suggests that some of us for reasons that are not completely understood have higher A1cs than our actual blood sugars would suggest. For me, I can have meter averages around 100 with 6 measurements a day and still see a 5.7 or 5.8% A1c. So I have to remind myself that I am hitting my post-meal blood sugar targets about 95% of the time and that whatever the A1c might be, my actual blood sugars are in the healthy range.

So choose healthy blood sugar targets for after meals, hit them consistently, and let the A1c fall where it may.

For me the target I choose is under 120 at 2 hours and if possible around 100. If I am eating very low carb and hence not using much insulin I’ll go a bit lower if possible.