My HbA1c

Rachel Swallow
By Rachel Swallow Latest Reply 2014-05-07 06:28:23 -0500
Started 2014-04-26 15:22:22 -0500

Hi I'm rachel , Im sixteen , I've had diabetes for about three years now , my recent A1c was a terrible 9.6%, quite honestly its embarrassing , and I do try really hard to normalize my sugars everyday . I eat little to no carbs , I play sport everyday, it just seems like i still don't know what I'm doing , I'm going for my next A1c in three weeks , but i don't think it'll be much better . I know i have to get it much lower to avoid complications , but i think i just loose motivation , other diabetics seem to just get it , they make it seem so easy , but I'm really struggling , its taken a huge toll on my life and i feel like everything is some much harder for me compared to other non-diabetics. I just wanted to know if there is anyone else who has previously struggled with their blood sugars but has now managed to control them . Thank you x

6 replies

ko4 2014-05-07 06:28:23 -0500 Report

Hi Rachel, I know when I was 16 my hba1c was constantly over 10%, actually at one point I was making myself seriously ill and my hba1c was 13%. I was having trouble getting my blood sugars under control due to hormones and I just gave up! I was sick of eating well and feeling like a failure so I ate bad foods and didn't take my meds on purpose. Now at 21 I have diabetic neuropathy and have recently had to give up work as my feet and legs are extremely painful. Please get the help from your diabetic team! I wish I had someone to tell me when I was younger, don't give up!! You may feel like your in constant battle with your own body but just think how strong you are! my advice at the moment to you is test, test, test!! Do your blood sugars every 2hrs. Do what you would normally do, for example if you usually have a snack at 11am without taking any insulin, do your blood sugars 2 hrs after and you may find you need a tiny bit of insulin to cover it. Also check your sugars during the night, you sleep for a third of a whole day (8hrs) so it's ideal to make sure your sugars are good!! Regarding your low carb diet, I would start eating slow releasing carbs, things like whole grain bread, porridge etc these helped my blood sugars stay level and stopped the rapid rise and fall which made me feel really ill. Considering the amount of exercise you do, you should be enjoying eating carbs!! :) Ask your diabetic team for help, if you can talk with a dietician. remember every one is different and what works for one diabetic won't work for another, little changes can make a big difference! Good luck :) x

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-04-29 13:00:42 -0500 Report

Hi Rachel,
I think your problem is that you are viewing diabetes as a struggle. When you view things as a struggle they will become one. I think you may have to look at what your are doing. Talk to a dietitian who can help you make better choices. Eating little to no carbs isn't going to help you because the liver is going to dumb carbs into your system when it thinks the body needs it.

You have to come up with a balanced meal plan and snacks that will also help you when you are playing hockey. This is something you need to discuss with a dietitian. Because you are so active, you are burning carbs and calories and your body needs to be fueled properly as a diabetic.

For those of us in control, it did not happen overnight. You have to at times stop and look at what you are doing. Diabetes is not a one size fits all disease. It can be different for each of us. You have to find methods that work for you. Never compare yourself to other diabetics for the simple reason that what they are doing is working for them but may not work for you. You have to keep a positive outlook. There are going to be trials and tribulations but never look back at what life use to be prior to being diabetic. Look at life as what you can do and accomplish being diabetic. There are a lot of professional athletes who are diabetic. They have found a balancing act that works for them. You may want to seek out someone who is a diabetic athlete and find out how they manage to keep up with being active and diabetic. They may be able to give you some tips and positive feed back. Good luck to you.

rileyh11 2014-04-28 18:21:48 -0500 Report

Hey Rachael,

I have had struggles with my hba1c as well. I have been type 1 diabetic since the age I was 3 and I am about to be 20 next month. I struggle severely with motivation. My a1c on April 12 was 12.7% and 2 weeks later it had dropped to 11.7% with severe dedication it will come down. I know it is hard to do but if you have a phone you can set alerts every 2.5-3.5 hours to test and I have found for me that is the best way to stick to it. Also remember to always take insulin about 10-15 minutes before you eat that will help keep your a1c down a little. If you ever need help with reminders to check you should get a diabetic friend that you can text and you guys can help each other out.

jayabee52 2014-04-26 21:59:41 -0500 Report

Howdy Rachael.
WELCOME to Diabetic Connect!
Sorry you qualify for this shindig, but since you do I'm glad you're here.

Yes I had struggles with my Blood Glucose (BG) levels at first being Dx'd and continued to have minor struggles throughout my life with T2D. However I was Dx'd in my 40s.

You, however, have the added confusion of being Dx'd in your adolescence. There are a lot of hormonal changes going on in your body, readying you for adulthood and preparing your body to have children. Generally speaking your body and brain finishes its physical maturation by 25 years of age.

Hormones interact with one another and one thing I learned researching this answer is that insulin resistance in an adolescent can vary from time to time.

So your "terrible" 9.6 A1c may not be your fault.

A quote from "The challenge of adolescence: hormonal changes and sensitivity to insulin" In Diabetes Voices: "The cause of insensitivity to insulin during puberty has been under investigation. The major hormonal changes that are associated with the onset of puberty include a two-fold increase in the secretion of growth hormone and an increase in the sex steroids that lead to the development of secondary sexual characteristics, remarkable increase in height, and change in body composition. Thus, both growth hormone and sex steroids are likely hormonal candidates for inducing insensitivity to insulin during puberty." source ~

Praying God's best upon you and yours.

James Baker

wraithmb 2014-04-26 20:09:27 -0500 Report

I'm just starting my own struggle as well. I'm 33 years old and have been diabetic for almost 24 years. For the last 15 I have been rather lax in taking care of myself. My a1c last week was over 11%, and like you say it's quite frustrating. Unlike you, I eat quite a few carbs, and have always had a large appetite.

My plan is to use my iphone to try and get back on a schedule so that I can determine my insulin to carb ratio, and correction scale again. I have reminders set for everything in my phone, including bedtime! I'm even looking at the cookoo watch for a little something extra to remind me while I'm at work, as using a cell phone is a major safety risk in my work environment.

I also recently purchased the ibgstar glucose monitor which plugs into my iphone to download readings. It helps to have everything where it is constantly available.

In the near future I will be going back to my local diabetes education center for "retraining" as it has been probably 20 years since I have had anyone explain things to me.

All of this can be really rough in itself, but it is all much worse if you and your family aren't covered by some sort of medical insurance. I'm lucky enough to be Canadian, and also have extended coverage through work. My average 150 dollar trip to the pharmacy usually only costs me about 3 dollars out of pocket. Insurance takes a lot of the worry out of life.

Today has been my first day of my new schedule. After starting my morning at over 19 mmol/L, my sugars have been at worst 7.2 all day. To put how bad it has been going as of late, I have felt hypoglycemic all day.

My best advice is to give yourself a day or two to think through what your problems are, and ask for advice from your care provider as far as what you need. Come up with a plan that will work for you, and do everything you can to stick to it. It is a difficult thing to do, however complications will ruin your life. My mother had lost her leg from the knee down, and I am expecting that my digestive problems are a result of my poor control.

If you would like to use someone as a "sounding board", or you just need to vent about how tough things are, feel free to leave me a message anytime. I'm planning on being here quite a bit from here on in :-)

jayabee52 2014-04-27 00:16:39 -0500 Report

Howdy Wraith,

In answering another post Rachel put up on sport, I guessed that she was Canadian also. She said she was practicing hockey, so most likely she is from CA as well.
Since you plan on sticking around on DC, you might find this converter tool useful to convert our USA based mg/dl measures to mmol/l and vice versa. May I suggest bookmarking this link so you have it readily available.

God's best to you and yours


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