How can I lower my A1C level if I have diabetes?

Talk to your doctor about how you can lower your A1C level if you have diabetes. Because the A1C level reflects your average blood sugar control over the last three months, you’ll need to find ways to keep your blood sugar closer to normal levels. Here are some tips:
  • Monitor your blood sugar levels more often. That may reveal when levels tend to creep up.
  • Watch your diet. Perhaps your meal plan needs adjustment or you may not be following it as closely as you should.
  • Include exercise. Try to exercise at least 30 minutes each day to help regulate blood sugar levels.
  • Change your insulin schedule, but do not do this without the advice of your doctor. You may want to switch to an insulin pump or multiple insulin injections each day to strive for tighter control.
Phil Southerland
Make any three of the following changes to help control your A1c – a commonly used three-month average measure of your blood sugar:
  • Check more often. Using a meter four to five more times per day can help reduce A1cs up to 3 points. (I check twelve to twenty times per day!) 
  • Make more, smaller corrections. Try a small bolus when you’re above 150, so that you never get to 200.
  • Eat better. Add one vegetable and one fruit to your diet.
  • Start exercising more often. You will feel better and achieve better sugar levels.
  • Focus on your fourteen-day average. Can you lower it 10 points or even 20? Shoot for a fourteen-day average below 130, as this will give you a better overall picture of where your A1c is going.
Not Dead Yet: My Race Against Disease: From Diagnosis to Dominance

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Not Dead Yet: My Race Against Disease: From Diagnosis to Dominance

Part memoir, part sports adventure, Not Dead Yet tells the inspirational story of Phil Southerland’s battle with Type 1 diabetes and how from diagnosis to sheer determination, Phil Southerland beat...

Continue Learning about Diabetes


Diabetes mellitus (MEL-ih-tus), often referred to as diabetes, is characterized by high blood glucose (sugar) levels that result from the body’s inability to produce enough insulin and/or effectively utilize the insulin. Diabetes ...

is a serious, life-long condition and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism (the body's way of digesting food and converting it into energy). There are three forms of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that accounts for five- to 10-percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may account for 90- to 95-percent of all diagnosed cases. The third type of diabetes occurs in pregnancy and is referred to as gestational diabetes. Left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause health issues for pregnant women and their babies. People with diabetes can take preventive steps to control this disease and decrease the risk of further complications.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.