Habits to Lower A1c

Looking for healthy habits to lower your HbA1c? Look no further! Check out our handy infographic for six key habits that are associated with lower HbA1c and helpful tips for working your way toward better diabetes outcomes! This series is based on data obtained from 1,212 T1D patients seen by the U-M Pediatric Diabetes Clinic.

Don't forget to check out our Helpful Hacks page for more behaviors and tips on managing T1D!

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Checking Blood Sugars

Did you know that checking your blood sugar regularly can help lower your HbA1c? By checking your blood sugars more often, you will be able to respond to out-of-range blood sugars more quickly or confirm that you’re still in range. Checking your blood sugars consistently also allows you to see blood sugar patterns and trends that will help you make decisions about your behaviors and insulin dosing.

 

We recommend that patients check their blood sugar between 4 - 8 times per day or use a continuous glucose monitor (CGM).

Average % HbA1c Based on Behavior

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Talk to your care team about using a CGM.

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Set up a reward system for checking, like picking the family movie or board game.

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Use sticky notes in common areas as reminders to check.

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Set alarms before meals to remind you to check. Try using different songs for each time of the day.

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Use a log, journal, or chart to help keep track of your numbers. Logging apps work great for this!

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Turn checking into a game! Try making a Blood Sugar Bingo card or guessing the number before you see it. 

Bolus Insulin Delivery

Insulin delivery is a vital part of managing T1D and lowering HbA1c. It’s important to give a bolus with every meal to cover the carbs and keep your blood sugar in check. You may also need to respond to high blood sugars between meals by giving insulin in the form of correction doses. By keeping up with these behaviors, you can help keep your blood sugar in range and lower your HbA1c over time.

Average % HbA1c Based on Behavior

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Talk to your care team about using an insulin pump.

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Keep your insulin supplies where you use them most so you don’t have to worry about finding them.

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Ask teachers to leave class early enough to give insulin. Use the bathroom or the school office for privacy.

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Set alarms before meals to remind you to give insulin 10-15 minutes before eating.

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Remember to rotate your injection spots for comfort and effectiveness.

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Don’t forget to celebrate your successes! Be proud of your successful days.

Reviewing Diabetes Data

T1D is an ever-changing condition, and it’s important to know whether your behaviors and/or insulin doses need to be changed. Your diabetes care team will review your blood sugar logs and recommend changes to your care routine at each clinic visit, but we recommend you make time to review this information and make adjustments between visits to better manage your diabetes.

Average % HbA1c Based on Behavior

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Be sure to keep accurate blood sugar logs with carb information and insulin doses to review later.

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Check your blood sugar logs for patterns like high blood sugars after meals or low blood sugars after boluses.

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Ask about a refresher diabetes education class if you need help reading your blood sugar logs.

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Set a weekly or bi-weekly reminder to review your blood sugar logs.

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Talk to your care team if you need help making adjustments to your insulin regimen.

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Remember to wait a few days between any changes to your diabetes routine to ensure they’ve worked.