I have been diabetic for the past 12 years now. Experienced and learned about diabetes over these period. 4 Months back when I tested my HbA1c level, it was 11.8, which was the highest ever during these 12 years. I was very upset, but decided to change. I would put the entire blame on me for not following a disciplined lifestyle and ignoring many important things that I had to be careful about.
Now lets come to the topic, for readers who do not know what HbA1c is, let me give some information on that. If I talk from a diabetic patient point of view, this is a test which cannot be manipulated by the patient and you get caught. I knew a person, who was about 60 years of age, diabetic, but very fond of eating sweets. He will always make sure that his Fasting Blood Sugar and Post Parental Blood Sugar is not worrying in the laboratory reports. The day before his tests are scheduled, he will be very strict on diet and even take some extra doses of medicines. But if we rely on HbA1c results, it would be very easy to understand how controlled is the diabetes.
By measuring glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c), clinicians are able to get an overall picture of what our average blood sugar levels have been over a period of weeks/months.
For people with diabetes this is important as the higher the HbA1c, the greater the risk of developing diabetes-related complications.
HbA1c is also referred to as haemoglobin A1c
Changes that I made in my lifestyle / diet to bring down my HbA1c Level
- First thing I did was about my diet. I stopped taking any food that has direct sugar added. We need to be very strong and decided that we will not take anything sweet not even sugar in tea or coffee.
- Deciding my diet and time to take my food was something I did next. Taking medicines on time is also very important. Never think that skipping medicines today is fine, that would not be the end of the world, I used to do this. Reduce the quantity of food and increase the number of times we have food.
- Next was to find out what are the food that I should eat and what are the food that I should not eat or eat less or more. There is something called Glycemic Index (GI) for any food. The GI of every food would go up or down depending upon how you cook or if you take the case of fruits, papaya if more ripen the GI will go high, so you need to have fruits which are not that ripe.
Glycemic index and glycemic load offer information about how foods affect blood sugar and insulin. The lower a food’s glycemic index or glycemic load, the less it affects blood sugar and insulin levels.
- Other Important change that I did was exercise / yoga / walking. I made sure that I do some workout everyday, atleast go for a brisk walk if I am not able to do anything else. Now let me accept that I used skip exercise telling myself that I am busy, lots of work to do at office, etc, but for the last 5 months I am doing more work, and never missed my workout. It’s all about the dedication, discipline and understanding the importance of exercise for your health.
- Stress was something really effecting my sugar level. I used to notice that even if I eat my regular diet and I am mentally disturbed, my sugar level used to shoot up. Its best to keep yourself relaxed, sleep atleast 8 hours a day to keep your sugar level in check.
- Regular monitoring of your blood sugar using a Glucometer helped me to understand which food was good for me and decide what to do and what not to do.
- I even followed some home remedies like bitter guard, ladies finger and some more which I would share on separate posts.
Overall I would like to say is not to worry about your current status of your glucose level. Better late than never, start from today. Have good diet, eat a lot of green vegetables, low carb food is very important. Don’t think that rice do not have direct sugar so you have eat a lot of rice, rice will shoot up your sugar level because it has lots of carbohydrates. Check out the list of food that has low glycemic index and plan your diet. You should also talk to a dietician and get a diet prescribed for you. Also make sure that you meet your doctor periodically and if you feel that your sugar level is not getting under control you should consult a specialist. It is best if you can maintain your HbA1c level around 6.5-7.0, but do not get worried, do the best what you can.
I will share some of the details of the diet that I follow in my future posts. Please share your experience so that it would be helpful for others.