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Tamer Hassan said...
how do you achieve these numbers?
These numbers are impossible to reach...
Or at least give me some suggestions on how to reach these levels. Thanks.
'How to reach these numbers' is a question for your healthcare provider really. Don't just ask some random nutter on the Internet! However (and desperately trying to avoid sounding like Mr Smug of No 22 Smug Gardens, Bigheadshire) I have had a sub 6.5% HbA1c for over 3 years now, so I know that it *is* possible if only perhaps for the lucky few. Plus I've never had fewer hypos in my life with diabetes either - so it's not that I am 'paying' for A1c improvements with the hefty cost of Severe Hypoglycaemia.
I cannot really tell why some people seem to put in so much effort and get such scant rewards, and that is why I think individualised targets are SO important.
But it does seem pretty clear to me that the closer you can get to those standard-issue BG targets (5-7mmol/L waking, 4-7mmol/L pre meals and <9mmol/L by 2 hours after meals) for as many days in the week as you can manage, the closer you will get to these kind of tough, aspirational, borderline non-diabetic A1c targets. My own HbA1c has fallen by around 1.5% in recent years, and I think only around 0.5% of that is attributable to the pump - though Artoo has gone a LONG way to reduce my number of irritating low-level hypoglycaemia dips. When I look back over the changes that I have made in recent years I can see a few things that I think were important. I don't offer these as any kind of guide or advice - it's just what I did.
- Education. Get access to proper structured education regarding diabetes management. In the UK we have DAFNE which is highly thought of, but other options are available. Things that should be included (in my opinion) are:
- carbohydrate counting, working out how to check and change insulin:carb ratios for different times of the day
- SMBG technique - when to test and what to do with the results *including* basal testing to PROPERLY adjust basal on an ongoing basis
- correction factors - when and how to correct (with insulin or fast-acting carbs) to aim bring you back into range without jumping aboard the gluco-coaster
- exercise and alcohol
- dealing with illness
- Test more often AND RECORD THE RESULTS. Find some way of keeping notes daily as you go along. What you are eating, units and timing of doses (how long before... split doses...), exercise, mood, everything! Without a fairly detailed set of records I find it impossible to see what is going on. Personally I still love mySugr for this.
- Gadgets - seek out new tech that can help you manage your diabetes more easily. It might be a 0.5u pen; a smartphone tracking app, or copy of 'Carbs and Cals'; or it might be a BG meter with a bolus wizard so that you can have properly fine-tuned ratios without having to worry about keeping the maths easy. Additionally, ask your clinic about access to Insulin Pump therapy and CGM.
- Seek peer support - join a forum or two, join Twitter, read some blogs (thanks!) or even *crazy!* join a local group and meet face to face. Living with diabetes is tough, but it's even harder if you are battling on your own. For everyone there's a little corner of the internet that can provide support, encouragement and shared experiences.
At the end of the day we each have to find our own balance between living a life and managing our diabetes. Somewhere in the middle you'll find your perfect A1c and it won't drain all the joy out of life to reach it.
Good luck :)