Diabetes tips

5 tips for overcoming your A1C plateau

July 16, 2024

“I thought it was something that I would never be able to do, but I think that really taking a more aggressive approach or being more aware and being more present in my activities and my actions, and especially in what I put in my mouth, I think got me from the 14 to the 7.9. I plateaued there because I'm not perfect.”

On an episode of the Reclaim Your Rise podcast, Lauren sat down with Kaycee, who is 43 years old, has had T1D for 21 years, and is the mom of two young boys. Kaycee graduated from the Decide and Conquer Group Coaching Program in 2022.

Kaycee shares her story of hitting her rock bottom with her diabetes, which included two hospital visits and being in a diabetic coma for 3 days.

She worked on her own to lower her A1C from a 14 to the 7.9, but eventually she felt like she was hitting a block and couldn't make more progress on her own.

“I felt that I understand the book, the big picture, but there were puzzle pieces that were still missing, and those were the things that I was not connecting together to make it work for me. I needed to become aware of those gaps in order for me to be able to get through that threshold and then do better.”

Here are some of the things that helped Kaycee break through her A1C plateau and enter the next phase of her T1D transformation:

  1. Recognizing patterns, not ignoring them, and having the tools to take action. She shared, “I would always bottom out between 2:30 and 4pm every day” and it took her a while to figure this out and make a change.
  2. Lowering her threshold for what she accepts or feels good about. Kaycee made the mental shift of “Yes, I'm no longer in the 400s and I'm paying attention, but I can do better.”
  3. Understanding the role that hormones play on a daily and monthly basis. Kaycee dove into the details of the dawn phenomenon and her menstrual cycle to understand that she has different insulin needs at different times of the day and month.
  4. Advocating for herself with her health care team. Kaycee was picking up on her own patterns and seeing what needed adjusting so that she could bring it to her doctor’s attention and partner with her in making changes to her rates and ratios.
  5. Finding community. Kaycee’s immediate reaction after the first Decide and Conquer Group Coaching call was the overwhelming feeling of “I am not alone.” She got so much of having a group of people who “have walked in your shoes before” to bounce ideas off of, talk through challenges, learn from, and celebrate with. She still keeps in touch with the other members of her DCB cohort and cherishes these special connections she’s made.

Kaycee’s biggest takeaway from her journey of lowering her A1C from 14 to a 7.9, then overcoming her plateau with continued progress? It was harder not paying attention and being blindsided by her blood sugars. “Knowing is half the battle. It's such a cliche, but it is absolutely true. You don't know what's behind door three. You're anxious, but once you open the door and you figure it out, then anxiety goes away, right? Yes. It is work and it is hard, but once you keep doing it, it gets easier because you've done the work before.

She encourages anyone else who’s struggling on their T1D journey to remember “you have to go through the hard part so that it gets easier.”

Need support breaking through your plateau? Learn more about our group coaching program for T1D women HERE.

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