Patient Blogs | Type 2 Diabetes
How I Keep My A1c Under Control
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Living with diabetes is not always easy. I often tell people that “managing diabetes is a work in progress.” Many people may say it is not hard to manage diabetes, that all you have to do is “this or that.” However, the truth is, it is a work in progress. I have good days and bad days. The most important thing to remember is “when you have your bad days, it is just a minor setback.” You just have to regroup and restart.

I manage my diabetes day by day, taking it one day and step at a time. The reason I take this approach is because you don’t have the extra level of stress to be perfect every day. As I have discussed previously, stress is a contributing factor that can cause your numbers to drastically change. As a result, you want to try to remain calm and as stress-free as possible.

According to the CDC, the A1c test -- also known as the hemoglobin A1c or HbA1c test -- is a simple blood test that measures your average blood sugar levels over the past 3 months. Hence, you will never be able to lie to your doctors about your numbers because when they do the blood test it will tell them what your average numbers were.

To keep my A1c under control, my average day consists of the following: waking up in the morning and taking my daily vitamins and diabetes medicine. Taking your medicine every day as prescribed by your doctor is extremely important because the medicine helps to stabilize your body and to keep your sugar levels down.

The next thing I do is eat a light breakfast. I found that eating on a somewhat consistent schedule also helps because you aren’t starving throughout the day. In addition, taking your medicine without eating can cause your levels to go extremely low and cause you to become sick.

I also “try” to get in at least 15-30 minutes a day of some form of physical activity, which generally includes walking. I try to commit to a minimum of 3-5 days per week. I have found that when I am more active, my numbers stay consistent and I feel better overall.

Another tool I use to help manage my diabetes is my medication, a type of drug called a GLP-1 agonist, which is only for type 2 diabetes. It has worked really well with my body and has helped to maintain my levels as well. I take it once a week along with my normal diabetes medicine. I like it because it really does help, especially during my bad days. It keeps my levels from being too high.

Additionally, having a good support group or family is also important to help manage diabetes because sometimes you need someone to talk to. It is useful if you are an emotional eater or a person who finds comfort in food to help take their mind off of stress.

Talking to someone may ease the stressful situation you are going through and also may prevent you from finding comfort in food or making bad food choices because of stress.

We are not alone in this fight as over 34 million Americans have diabetes. “Choose to live and fight diabetes.” You can do it, one day at a time, one step at a time. And remember that when you do have a bad day, it is OK! Regroup and do better tomorrow.




Photo Credit: Grace Cary / Moment via Getty Images

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Robin Dorsey

Robin Dorsey

Diagnosed since 2006

A native of the Washington, DC, metro area, Robin Dorsey has lived with Type 2 diabetes for 15 years. She's the award-winning host of The Impact with Robin Dorsey, which airs on DCTV public access and will soon be on Fairfax Public Access (FPA) TV. The show profiles nonprofit organizations, community outreach efforts, extraordinary individuals and celebrity red carpet events. She founded her own publishing company, Dorsey Publishing, and is the co-author of A Mother & Daughter Memoirs of Love, Desire, Pain and Inspiration. She wrote the book along with her late mother, Renita T. Mock. Robin is an Ambassador for the American Diabetes Association (ADA). In addition, she has her MBA and provides subject matter expertise to the federal government. She has administered federal contracts for over 20 years. Her ultimate goal is to make a difference and to help “Stop Diabetes.” She is a proud mother to a handsome son, Darius, who is her biggest supporter and helps her maintain her diabetes.

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