Knowing the way forward begins with knowing where you start. When you’re living with diabetes, your A1c tells you your starting point. So, kudos to you for getting your test!
It’s an important first step on the journey to better health. If you’re wondering where to go from here, we can help.
These next steps will get you headed in the right direction. Your daily checklist will help you build healthy habits that keep you on track.
Next steps you can start today
1. Share your result with your doctor. Sharing your A1c result with your doctor helps you create a plan together that’s right for you. Your Health Summary Report makes it easy to keep your doctor informed. It includes your A1c results and blood sugar data. You can send it from your online account or the menu in your mobile app.
Here are some questions to ask your doctor during your next visit:
- What can I do to lower my A1c? There are many things you can do each day to lower your A1c. See the checklist in this guide. But ask your doctor as well. They may have specific actions they’d like you to take to improve your next A1c result.
- What’s my target A1c range? Everyone is different and so are A1c goals. Your doctor may consider things like your age, recent A1c results and other health issues you may have when figuring out your target A1c range.
- When should I retest? Your doctor will let you know when you should get your next A1c test. It’ll likely be within three to six months. Schedule your next test now so you have a specific date you’re working toward.
- What’s a safe blood sugar range? Knowing this will help you start to pinpoint what causes highs and lows during the day. You can change your blood sugar support preferences in your online account profile to match what your doctor recommends. Within minutes of getting an out-of-range blood sugar result on your meter, an expert coach will reach out with extra support.
2. Schedule a coaching session. Tackle the plan you created with your doctor by working one-on-one with a coach. Or ask a coach to help you come up with a plan if you don’t have one. They’ll help you make changes to overcome any hurdles and provide motivation along the way. You can message your coach at any time if you have questions or need support. Schedule a session now.
3. Use your action plan in the mobile app. Set one or more goals, like managing your blood sugar. Then add mini challenges (ranging from just five days to two months) to help you reach your goal. Choose from activities like Fiber Finder (swapping refined carbs for high-fiber foods) or Kitchen Makeover (setting up your kitchen for healthy eating). The activities promote nutrient-rich eating, physical activity, doctor-prescribed medication use and more. See how to get started with your action plan.
Your daily checklist
With small habit changes day by day, you will create a lifestyle that lowers your A1c.
- Keep checking your blood sugar. Regular checks show you how things like food and exercise affect your blood sugar levels. Your doctor will let you know how often you should be checking.
Arming yourself with this info helps you make changes to improve your health. The A1c test is a snapshot of how those real-time changes are working for you in the long term. Read everything you need to know about monitoring your blood sugar levels.
- Take your meds as prescribed. Your doctor may prescribe medication to help control your A1c. Be sure to take your medication exactly as prescribed for the best results. Write down the medications you’re taking and any other important details. Use this worksheet to stay on top of your medications.
- Eat a balanced diet. Try to eat mostly whole foods, and balance carbs, protein and fat. This can help keep your blood sugar levels in check. Watch this video to learn how different foods impact your blood sugar.
- Get regular exercise. Activity is important for everyone. But if you’re living with diabetes, getting enough exercise is especially important. It can help lower your blood sugar (and blood pressure) levels, and help your body use insulin. Discover simple movements you can sneak into your day.
- Get enough sleep. Getting seven to nine hours of sleep a night can help you manage your weight and blood sugar levels. There are other benefits for your health, too. See why sleep matters.
- Lower your stress levels. Stress is, well, stressful. And too much of it isn’t healthy for anyone. Chronic stress can raise your blood sugar levels, and for an extended period. There’s a lot you can do to manage it, though! Check out these stress-relieving resources.
Remember, lowering your A1c isn’t something you have to do on your own. Whether you have a long way to go or are just steps away from your target, asking for help is one of the best things you can do. Your doctor and our expert coaches want to partner with you through every step. They’re more than experts to turn to for advice; they’re members of your team. They’ll cheer you and support you along your journey to success.