A1c Test: Remedy for Sugar Rush

A1c, hemoglobin a1c is basically a test for measuring the amount of sugar in your blood. Hemoglobin is the part of the blood cell that is responsible for transporting oxygen, sugar molecules are present in your bloodstream which may fluctuate in various conditions. These sugar molecules get attached to hemoglobin the percentage of which we measure by a1c, so by measuring a1c we can determine the percentage of sugar in your bloodstream and an indication of how much can a1c drop in 3 months.

A1c is typically measured once every 3 months in accordance with the life span of red blood cells which are the most common blood cells and which contain hemoglobin. In that sense, a1c tests the sugar level for the past 2-3 months. For, leading a healthy life, you should know about the ways of keeping the level of a1c within normal and also how much can a1c drop in 3 months, for people living with increased sugar levels.

Why Lower Your A1c?

A1c measures the average of a person’s blood glucose level over a period of 3 months. It is one of the most widely used methods to determine the condition and prognosis in the case of diabetes and screening tests for people at risk of developing diabetes or prediabetic. Hence, everyone should keep a clear idea about how much can a1c drop in 3 months.

For diabetic patients, the measure is of importance as they are always at risk of developing various complications, should the sugar level increase or decrease beyond average level, a drop in 1 unit of a1c equals a decrease of 30 mg/dl of blood sugar, which can bear beneficial effects as:

  • 30% overall risk of diabetic complications
  • 76% less risk of eye damage
  • 60% less risk of nerve damage
  • 50% less risk of kidney disease
  • 42% less risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Less risk of microvascular complications

By early diagnosis, a1c tests provide an opportunity for prediabetics to bring about lifestyle changes that can decrease the chance of any complications in later life. As such, knowing how much can a1c drop in 3 months, appropriate monitoring is of vital importance for healthy living.

A1c Chart

How Long Does It Take To Lower Your A1c?

A1c is a measure of the amount of sugar attached to your hemoglobin over a period of 3 months. While lifestyle modifications may seem tempting in reducing your a1c level, how much can a1c drop in 3 months depending upon age, sex, the culture of individuals.

For younger people who are prediabetic, the normal a1c level is usually held at around 5.7 as they are much less at risk of having hypoglycemic episodes while people of the older age group are considered more vulnerable and thus the normal a1c level is considered much higher. Therefore, one shouldn’t feel disheartened if the level of a1c doesn’t decrease as expected.

A1C measurement is related to the average life span of Red blood cells containing hemoglobin which is 4 months. If a person undergoes drastic life changes eg: excess exercise, fasting, medication, and other proven methods of rapidly lowering a1c, the fastest it can be lowered is four months.

how-much-can-a1c-drop-in-3-months

The only other way that the level can be lowered faster is if a person suffers from conditions that can reduce the life span of red blood cells. So, most commonly the process of lowering a1c is a lifelong process and takes a long time to reach the normal range.

How Much Can a1c Drop In 3 Months?

Changes in the a1c level become visible only after a substantial amount of time. In early diabetics, the drop occurs much more rapidly as the blood sugar level remains relatively higher during the early stages before treatment.

To answer exactly how much can a1c drop in 3 months? we have to know the ways of reducing a1c which includes:

Healthy Diet

Bringing changes in your diet is one of the most effective ways to bring down your a1c in 3 months. A few tried and proved diet tips include:

  • Be careful of portion size
  • Avoid sugary food
  • Be careful of carbohydrate intake
  • Make a habit of eating a small portion of food at an interval of 3-5 hours
  • Drink an adequate amount of water
  • Avoid empty calories from junk food and oily, greasy food
  • Avoid spicy food

Lifestyle Modification

Make a habit of getting an adequate amount of sleep, avoid stressful conditions, practice abstinence from drinking alcohol which may further damage your organs, try to lead a happy, cheerful life. How much can a1c drop in 3 months depends largely upon it.

Physical Exercise

Engage your muscles in various activities as much as possible to ensure a better result, undergoing strengthening exercises has been proven to yield better results in the younger groups. For older people, regular walking for a fixed period of time is more than enough to keep a1c level within the normal range.

physical-exercise

Control Your Urge

While getting results rapidly may be the expectation, don’t overwork yourself to the extent that your body breaks down. It may bring about a bunch of unforeseen complications. Following a routine best suited for your body is definitely better in the long run.

Muscle Buildup

Building up your muscles actually increases your insulin sensitivity and also has no risk of an a1c spike as in regular physical exercise.

Medication

For people living with diagnosed diabetes, oral and parenteral drugs are necessary to maintain an a1c level. People with DM type-1 have to take insulin subcutaneously to keep their glucose level within the normal range. Those with DM type-2 are encouraged to take medication only after approval from a registered doctor.

Some oral medications include- Sulfonylureas, Biguanides. For such people how much can a1c drop in 3 months depends a lot on the appropriate action of medicines.

Now that we have discussed a few methods of reducing a1c let’s have a look at how much can a1c drop in 3 months.

Suppose a person has a blood sugar level of 200  mg/dl or a1c level of 8.3%, if that person takes drastic changes in their lifestyle eg: rigorous exercise, sticking to a healthy diet the fastest his a1c can drop is after the red blood cells from their prior a1c count dies out i.e. after the supposed 4 months period, and this is without taking into consideration their age, sex, body structure, and all other factors.

While measuring a1c we also have to consider that the blood sugar level also contains blood cells from their previous pool of blood that is when they had not undergone any lifestyle modification. With all these under consideration, the drop in a1c may be marked more in the following 7 / 8 months rather than in their immediate next examination.

a1c-medication

A drop of .2 /.3 units in a1c in their next examination can be considered as an indication that their lifestyle modifications are fruitful. Hence, a drop in a1c is a long process rather than something that can bore effect immediately, so don’t get disheartened if you are not getting results right away.

How to Lower a1c in a Week?

One of the most effective ways to rapidly lower your a1c includes:

  • Rethink your daily diet plan, take small portions of food at an interval, include more vegetables, and cut down on carbs and sugars.
  • Make a smart plan to reduce your weight, while all diabetic people may not be overweight, studies have found that lowering your weight actually causes your insulin to function more efficiently, people who have lost 5-10% of their body weight were three times more likely to reduce their a1c by 0.5% in a matter of three months.
  • If your heart doesn’t support excessive cardio-respiratory stress, then try performing exercise keeping a short period of interval in between.
  • Ensure daily intake of medications
  • Get enough rest and avoid stressful conditions that may cause the release of any stressful substances in your body.

How to Lower a1c Quickly Before a Blood Test?

Lowering a1c is a long-term process and it corresponds to the lifespan of your red blood cells. However, if you have been following the recommended lifestyle for managing your blood glucose level, a week of the intense regime may help lower your a1c just in time for your test. A few simple tips to achieve such results include:

  • Try an intense workout program, it can include 10-15 minutes of cardio workout, high jumping, keep a gap of 5-10 minutes in between sessions to successively maintain your heart and respiratory rate.
  • Try going full keto for the week, avoid all sorts of carbs, and only intake protein-rich food, vegetables, fruits to keep your glucose intake at a minimum.
  • Take an adequate amount of rest the days prior to testing as a stressful condition is never favorable for your body.
a1c-blood-test

What Foods to Eat to Lower a1c Quickly?

A welcoming change to your diet not only acts as a great means to keep your a1c level at bay but also improves your all-around body function. As we all know, a1c tests are basically a determination of how much can a1c drop in 3 months, in response to your red cell concentration. Some recommended food for diabetics and pre-diabetics to lower their a1c level includes:

Non-starchy vegetables: These contain a very negligible amount of sugar and are high in fiber so these will fill you up with the minimum risk of raising blood glucose. Foods of this category include: 

  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Avocados
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Cucumbers

Green Leafy vegetables: They are packed with good nutrients along with an ample amount of vitamins and minerals which can help keep reducing and manage your a1c level.

Fatty Fish:  Fatty fishes such as salmon and anchovies can play a vital role in preventing any heart complications due to the multitude of effects of diabetes. It is also an excellent food item to help reduce your weight and a1c level.

 Nuts: Nuts contain low calories and a high amount of fibers.

Eggs: Eggs have been proved to increase sensitivity to insulin and decrease harmful effects from inflammation.

Seeds: The two most commonly used seeds used in breakfast are chia seeds and flax seeds, both of which have proven excellent in a1c level management.

Final Words

To say it in a nutshell, a1c tests have become increasingly common in both developed and developing countries, as an effective method to take precaution while at risk of diabetes and also check its prognosis. A simple test by nature that shows variability upon some conditions, people should try to perform this test at regular intervals whilst maintaining all the medically proved guidelines to lower their a1c level.

FAQs

What is a dangerous level of a1c?

The most dangerous level for a1c differs for individuals, however, an acceptable range depending on various patient factors is :

  •  Less than 5.7: Non-diabetic
  •  Between 5.7 and 6.4: At the risk of developing diabetes
  •  Between 6 and 6.9: Diabetes within the controlled level
  •  Between 7 and 8.9: Uncontrolled Diabetes
  •  Over 9.0: Dangerous level of diabetes

An a1c level over 9 increases the risk of liver and kidney diseases as well as peripheral neuropathy, many people who have taken the a1c test for the first time may have a1c within such a dangerous level.

A1c 6/7 good or bad?

A1c level of 6/7 can be considered good in the case of elderly people who have been dealing with diabetes for many years. However, such figures within the younger population, who have a history of diabetes within the family are not so favorable and require some lifestyle modifications.

What is a normal a1c?

The value of a1c again is subjective of an individual’s age and body status. For young, physically active people a1c level below 5.7% is ideal, while similar numbers are considered for elderly people a decline of 0.1-0.3% may be taken under consideration as such age group may suffer from hypoglycemic episodes more commonly.

Does walking lower a1c?

Walking is an excellent means of controlling the a1c level, especially in the case of people suffering from type-2 diabetes. Recent studies have found a drop in 0.2% of a1c level in people who walk regularly and a daily step count of 10,000 has been recommended.

How much can Hba1c drop in 3 months?

An initial drop in Hba1c can be a good indicator that your lifestyle modifications are definitely heading in the right direction. A drop in 0.2 % from your a1c is indicative of yielding a good result.

Can stress make your a1c higher?

Stress causes the release of a number of hormones in your body, some of which have been linked to causing a temporary spike in your blood sugar level through a long-term effect of stress in causing diabetes has not yet been identified. Daily exercise and avoiding excess workload can help reduce the stress levels in your body.

What are the symptoms of high a1c?

  • An increased tendency to drink water
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Dryness of mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath

Is it possible to have high a1c and not be diabetic?

Yes, a temporary spike in a1c may occur due to compromise in any metabolic condition, stressful situation, and many other conditions. However, such a spike may not lead to diabetes in the long term and can be brought down following the removal of inciting agents.

Dr. Afifa Amer

My name is Afifa Amer and I have done Doctor of Pharmacy. I am a registered retail pharmacist. I believe we should not stick to one specific job, so writing and educating others has always been my passion. I love to share content that improves health, fitness and well being. When I am not typing or dealing with prescriptions, I like to travel and read books.

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