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A1C motivation

Hi all. I've been fighting the good health fight for many years. Some years I won, others I lost. But now at the ripe young age of 42 I have just been handed a new and scary motivator. My last blood work revealed an A1C of 6.5. While I'm not technically diabetic yet, I am skating the line and my doc has read me the riot act. After moving past the sulking stage and taking ownership for something that lies solely at my feet, I have doubled down on my efforts to implement permanent healthy changes. I have no choice and cannot afford to keep my head buried. So I'm starting this thread for myself and anyone else that is facing similar challenges and fears connected to their health. I believe that a supportive community makes all the difference. So please share your experiences, offer support, or just add me as a friend. Thanks for listening!


  • Xerogs
    Xerogs Posts: 328 Member
    I am in the same boat and trying to get back shape and lose weight. It will help me across the board in terms of bloodwork so I've started that journey once again.

    My best advice is to have patience and give yourself some room. There will be ups and downs and stalls along the way for sure. I have to remind myself that this journey will be life long for me which helps when I feel like I want to slip back into old habits. Plus over the past month or so I've felt better than I did in the past year so I hold onto that. I still enjoy my meals but look that them as a means to heal and fuel my body more so than comfort. Cutting out the added sugar and processed foods helps out a great deal too.

    Not that they test your A1C but I've started donating blood as just a way to give back in some way. They check my blood pressure, overall cholesterol, and iron every 8 weeks so I can kind of gauge how my weight loss affects those markers before my next major physical. It's nice to know my weird-*kitten* blood profile can help someone in need.

    I will follow this thread for sure. Good luck :)
  • cheripetall
    cheripetall Posts: 4 Member
    Haven't yet had any tests but I did get told due to another condition that it could be likely that I am pre-diabetic and it has haunted me for a few weeks until today when I decided enough feeling sorry for myself, enough sulking, it's time to do something about it ... a blood bottle shortage in the UK means I am unable to get tested yet so in this gap of uncertainty, there's no better time than to get to it and make the changes I so desperately need to make.
    I'm super proud of everyone here for making the same decisions. We've got this.
  • ravi_tiwari_786
    ravi_tiwari_786 Posts: 651 Member
    Try to cut carbs after 6 pm. Also it`s super important to only go for healthy carbs.
  • swanjun
    swanjun Posts: 27 Member
    I don't have this exact problem—though I do watch my A1C like a hawk—but I'm also terrified of other things, like NAFLD/NASH and heart disease, and simply HAVE to stick to this so I can stop being so paranoid about my health.
  • ravi_tiwari_786
    ravi_tiwari_786 Posts: 651 Member
    swanjun wrote: »
    I don't have this exact problem—though I do watch my A1C like a hawk—but I'm also terrified of other things, like NAFLD/NASH and heart disease, and simply HAVE to stick to this so I can stop being so paranoid about my health.

    Diabetes is the root cause for all diseases. Lost a lot of people because of it.
  • MargaretYakoda
    MargaretYakoda Posts: 2,890 Member
    Welcome to the club. You got this.

    The advice to make small, sustainable changes is very good advice. You have to be able to live in a way that makes it easy to keep up with the changes in habits.

    One thing you can do now that is easy enough is to get a cheap glucose monitor from Walmart. Their ReliOn brand.
    Get the monitor and a box or two of test strips.

    Use it to check how your body reacts to different foods. Check with a single serving of suspect foods - carbs like rice or potatoes, for example.
    First test, then eat. Wait an hour and test again. If your glucose is back to baseline, then that size serving of that particular food is OK for you. If not back to baseline test again in an hour. If you are not back to baseline even then? Avoid that food. At least for now.

    Furthermore, don’t beat yourself up too much. Yes, diabetes is associated with higher BMI and a sedentary lifestyle. But it’s also got a very high genetic component, and there are some toxins that exposure to can be a factor.
    The GOOD NEWS is that a good diet and even just moderate exercise can make a huge difference.
  • kfly44244
    kfly44244 Posts: 17 Member
    Thanks for this info and the suggestion, very helpful!!
  • kfly44244
    kfly44244 Posts: 17 Member
    Try to cut carbs after 6 pm. Also it`s super important to only go for healthy carbs.

    Thanks, late eating is definitely my kryptonite. My diet is actually quite healthy in terms of content. It's the late night snacking that kicks me in the rear end. Really I need to get to bed earlier!
  • al0481113
    al0481113 Posts: 67 Member
    Yes, diabetes is associated with higher BMI and a sedentary lifestyle.

    That's exactly what I thought) I was sure that I would never got it with my BMI which is under 16. But I was diagnosed with pre-diabetes a couple of years ago. I was in a panic. I changed my diet, my routine, the whole way of life and whoo-whoo! I don't have it anymore!
  • booboo1000
    booboo1000 Posts: 58 Member
    Hi @kfly44244,

    You are getting good advice in this thread. Yes, we all are responsible for what we do, but don't discount that some of us have bodies that are more susceptible to this than others. There are plenty of people who are very overweight but never develop diabetes. This is our reality and what we have to deal with the best ways we can.

    I was diagnosed in my late-30s over 20 years ago. I have had my ups and downs with weight and A1c. Currently I am on the low side of my healthy weight range. I did it slowly and made changes over time. I've never had this type of success before. At 5'2" and 113ish pounds I am smaller than I was in high school. I feel very good physically, even with a number of chronic conditions. I may not stay quite this small after COVID is out of the pandemic designation, but I am certainly establishing new habits and hope to never return to the old me.

    I think I have a different view of medications than many others. When I was still overweight but significantly smaller than my highest-ever weight, I used both metformin and one of the non-insulin injectables. My A1c went down to 4.7.

    I went off the injectable due to a change in insurance. I regained weight and the A1c went up.

    When COVID came I realized I was a sitting duck for a bad outcome if I got the virus, so I became very serious about losing what I had regained and then some. I went off metformin to see how I would do off of it when at a healthy weight.

    Nope. A1c was pretty good at 5.9, but not good enough. Also, I was eating fewer than 100 grams of very good carbs every day and that wasn't sustainable, particularly without the A1c being in the normal range. (I eat very little meat so much of my protein comes from legumes and dairy in addition to nuts.)

    So, I continued to lose weight and went back on metformin. Very quickly I was down to 5.1 as I built back up my tolerance to metformin. At the full dose of metformin I have maintained a 4.9 A1c for 6 months, even as I've added back in about 30 grams of carbs a day. (I needed to increase calories to slow down my weight loss as I approached maintenance.)

    I don't see myself as having reversed diabetes, as much as having my diabetes in very good control through a variety of strategies. Not all diabetics can or should have goals of being in the normal range. I am lucky that I don't have *any* problems from doing this, and my docs are supportive.

    I should add that this is without excessive physical activity. I walk several times a week but am unable to push myself too hard given some autoimmune diseases that can make spending energy a day-to-day decision. The Central New York snow season will start soon, so I anticipate shoveling will take the place of some of my walks.

    Best, Boo
  • Kitty2Kats2
    Kitty2Kats2 Posts: 13 Member
    I wish I had the good sense to have taken care and done something about it years ago. I was diagnosed back in 2005, and it was full blown diabetes by the time it was discovered. (Type 2)

    For a long time my diabetes was under control no problem but as I get older my diabetes has become out of control it's been really high. My a1c has been staying around 10.9 which is really high. The doctors put me on three kinds of pills and when they didn't work completely, they took one way and give me insulin first it was long-acting insulin which I take before going to bed and then short-term insulin to take just before I eat. With a change in my diet and exercise my a1c has dropped to 9.1, I'm working to get it the a1c below 7.

    Because my sugar was so out of control I now have things wrong with my eyes and other health issues related to the diabetes. But it's not too late like I said I'm working to change my diet and getting this weight off which will help.

    You're smart to be doing something about it before it's too late, and you have full blown diabetes. I give you kudos for being smart and wise to be doing something about it now before it gets worse.

    I wish you the best on your journey, may you never have to deal with what I have gone through.
  • hdriding75
    hdriding75 Posts: 151 Member
    About a year ago I was 300 pounds with an a1c of 13.9. I decided to go keto ans my last a1c was 5.2. I don't even take meda anymore. My glucose is typically between 80 and 100 now.
  • phocid
    phocid Posts: 85 Member
    Same here. I just got a 6.5 A1C a couple weeks ago and I'm kind of freaking out. I've been skating around the edges of this for a long time. I struggle with consistency and long-term implementation. I wish you well in this journey. These boards are so great for finding inspiration from others who have BTDT.
  • useyourthorns
    useyourthorns Posts: 30 Member
    Hey there! While I have not had my A1C tested, I was diagnosed with, "glucose intolerance of pregnancy", aka: Gestational Diabetes.

    They immediately had me start testing my blood sugar and hour after meals, but I decided to do one better and track my meals. I learned that the pro plan (whatever the paid for part of this site is called) is a little better for tracking your carbs per meal and setting and tracking macro nutrition goals, though the freebee part of this site still has a lot to offer. (Like making nutrition labels for old family recipes.)

    I'm currently out of test strips - bc hey look I don't eat 3 meals a day like a normal person, more like 4-5 equal sized "snacks", so they're all meals. Lol.

    Currently trying to figure the best balance for me, in regards to total calories and macro %. In pregnancy you aren't supposed to go below 175g of carbs a day, but by tracking you can help spread the carbs out better to keep sugar where it belongs.

    You're on the right track! Track your carbs, check your sugar after meals if you can to see how your body responds, exercise, and I'd wager your A1C comes down within the year. Best Wishes.