How to Improve Your A1C with Dexcom G7
The goal of diabetes management is to help you feel your best more often while helping to reduce the risks of complications. Measuring your A1C is one of the ways your doctor monitors how well your treatment plan is working. At home, individuals living with type 1 diabetes (T1D), or type 2 diabetes (T2D) can use diabetes technology like a continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system to keep an eye on their glucose levels.
Those living with diabetes may be working toward lowering or maintaining their A1C based on the advice of their doctor and diabetes care team. Learning more about the way A1C works and how technology like CGM systems can support your diabetes management and empower you to reach your target A1C.
What is A1C?
An A1C test, also known as an HbA1C test, is a blood test that measures your average blood sugar levels over the previous three months.1 The sugar in our blood, also known as glucose, comes from the foods and drinks we consume. Through digestion, glucose enters our bloodstream so that it can be used as fuel in the body.1 When glucose is absorbed into the blood, some of it attaches to hemoglobin, a type of protein in red blood cells that gives them their colour. Red blood cells live for about three months, so the amount of glucose that’s found on hemoglobin when you get an A1C test reveals the average level of glucose that’s been present in the blood over that period of time. 2
Diabetes Canada generally recommends that most adult individuals living with diabetes aim for an A1C at or below 7.0%. 1 You should work with your doctor to determine a target that’s right for you. Keeping A1C at the recommended level decreases the risk of diabetes complications such as nerve damage and issues with the heart.4
A1C vs. Time in Range
A1C is the standard clinical metric for assessing glucose control, with a test done once every three months. However, it may not provide the most detailed picture of your glucose management or help you understand your glucose patterns on a day-to-day basis. This is because A1C is a snapshot of how much glucose is attached to your hemoglobin and can only show your average glucose levels. It can’t show you how often and how long you experience highs and lows.
Another way to check in on your glucose management outside the clinic is to track Time in Range (TIR) with a CGM system. TIR is a measurement of the average amount of time you spend within your target glucose range over a specified period. Viewing your TIR with a CGM system gives you a better idea of what helps keep you in range and how often you’re experiencing HYPOglycemia, low blood sugar, or HYPERglycemia, high blood sugar.
One way to think about the difference is to think about measuring glucose levels the way we track the weather. A1C is a 3-month average, which you could think of as a bit like average yearly snowfall. After totalling all of the daily measurements of how deep the snow is, at the end of the year, the average snowfall in your town might be 300 cm. This number can’t tell you which days got heavy snow and which days were 38°C and sunny. If the average goes up to 350 cm, you’ll know that it was snowier, but you won’t know if you got more snow in January or September (or if there was a random snowstorm in May). More specific weather data shows how many days out of the year it snowed and how much it snowed each day. This is similar to TIR, which reveals when and how often you’re in range, high, and low across a time period that you select.
Diabetes Canada generally recommends a target glucose range between 3.9 mmol/L and 10.0 mmol/L.4 Diabetes Canada also suggests that individuals living with diabetes aim to spend 70% of their time within their target glucose range, which is roughly equivalent to a 7.0% A1C. 2 Increasing TIR can help you lower your A1C as every 10% increase in TIR can create a 0.5 % reduction in A1C. 4,5 It’s important to work with your doctor to determine personalized goals for your target glucose range and TIR.
How the Dexcom G7 CGM System Can Help You Lower Your A1C
There are many different factors that can influence your glucose levels, such as sleep, stress, hormonal changes, and even the weather.2 It’s not always easy to tell what’s causing changes in your glucose throughout the day. One of the ways to get insight into what’s affecting your glucose is to use a CGM system like the Dexcom G7 Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) System. Individuals who previously used a blood glucose meter (BGM) to monitor their glucose levels can improve their A1C and spend more time in range by switching to CGM. Dexcom G7 has been clinically proven to increase TIR, reduce A1C, and decrease hypoglycemia.7-12 In addition to the healthy habits that can help you lower your A1C, here are just a few of the ways Dexcom G7 can help you reach your glucose management goals.
Use Dexcom G7 to Be Proactive About Glucose Management
Studies show that when people have real-time glucose tracking with CGM, they are more likely to make effective glucose management decisions.7-12 Dexcom G7 can give you insight into where your glucose levels have been and where they are going so that you can take proactive action to manage them.
The Dexcom G7 CGM System is made up of a wearable device with a sensor that’s inserted just below the skin, eliminating the need for routine finger sticks.* The integrated transmitter can send glucose readings to your compatible smart device or receiver up to every five minutes. You can view your glucose levels at a glance using the easy-to-understand graph and colourful glucose arrows that show you whether your glucose is trending up or down and how quickly it’s changing.
With continuous glucose data, Dexcom G7 can provide alerts that can prompt you to take action and reduce the time you spend experiencing lows. These alerts may help those who don’t always feel the symptoms of a low take action to prevent them. They can also help you reduce the risk of experiencing lows while you’re asleep. Dexcom G7 alerts include:
  • The predictive Urgent Low Soon Alert that can let you know up to 20 minutes before a serious low below 3.1 mmol/L.
  • The Urgent Low Alert that can notify you the moment you drop below 3.1 mmol/L.
  • Customizable alerts for high glucose to let you know when you go above your target range.
Real-time glucose tracking and proactive alerts can empower you to take steps to stay in your target range in the moment. You can use the glucose readings from Dexcom G7 to help you make diabetes treatment decisions such as insulin dosing.* You can also use it to check on your glucose before and after you eat a meal or monitor your glucose when you’re exercising.
Seamlessly Share Glucose Data with Your Diabetes Care Team
With more glucose data, you and your diabetes care team can spot patterns in your glucose readings that reveal opportunities to improve your diabetes care plan. Dexcom CGM can be used with Dexcom Clarity to provide a view into past glucose readings over days, weeks, months, and even years. Within Dexcom Clarity, you’ll find in-depth reports and insights about your readings. It provides several helpful metrics, including TIR, average glucose levels, and an estimation of your A1C for the time period you select. With this information, you’re empowered to make adjustments to your diabetes self-care routines and habits to support your glucose management goals.
Before you make any changes, it’s important to talk with your doctor. Dexcom Clarity can help you have more meaningful conversations with your diabetes care team about your treatment plan. With Dexcom Clarity, you can share your glucose data and reports directly with your doctor and diabetes care team. Having more glucose data on hand can make it a little easier to discuss how your diabetes management plan is working for you at your regular check-ups.
Track Your Progress and Celebrate Success
Managing diabetes is an extremely challenging job. Acknowledging the hard work you’re putting in can help keep you motivated. With diabetes technology like Dexcom G7, it’s easier to see how far you’ve come. The Dexcom G7 app has an integrated Dexcom Clarity card below the real-time glucose graph that can show you glucose insights from up to the last 90 days. The Dexcom Clarity card shows metrics including TIR and average glucose at a glance, so that you can keep an eye on your progress and celebrate wins whenever they happen.
Additionally, you can use the Overview report in Dexcom Clarity to check on your Best Glucose Day, which is the day within the selected time frame that you spent the most time in your target glucose range. Every Best Glucose Day is an opportunity to congratulate yourself!
Explore How Dexcom G7 Fits into Your Diabetes Management Plan
Managing your glucose to achieve your A1C goals is a 24/7 job that can feel overwhelming. Dexcom G7 makes it a little easier to see what’s going on with your glucose. With glucose readings in the palm of your hand, you can get some extra confidence and peace of mind knowing that you can keep an eye on your levels and take action when they change.
  • See how Dexcom G7 works
The information in this article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or health care provider with any questions you may have.
* Fingersticks required for diabetes treatment decisions if symptoms or expectations do not match readings.
† For a list of compatible smart devices, please visit dexcom.com/compatibility.
1 All About Your A1C. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Reviewed September 30, 2022. Accessed December 13, 2023. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/managing/managing-blood-sugar/a1c.html.
2 Hantzidiamantis PJ, et al. Physiology, Glucose. StatPearls Publishing. Updated September 19, 2022. Accessed December 13, 2023. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK545201/.
3 Eyth E, Naik Rl. Hemoglobin A1C. StatPearls Publishing. Updated March 13, 2023. Accessed December 13, 2023. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK549816/.
4 Imran AS, et al. Diabetes Canada 2018 Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Prevention and Management of Diabetes in Canada: Targets for Glycemic Control. Can J Diabetes. 2018:42(S42–S46). doi:10.1016/j.jcjd.2017.10.030
5 Cheng AYY, et al. Diabetes Canada 2018 Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Prevention and Management of Diabetes in Canada: Blood Glucose Monitoring in Adults and Children with Diabetes: Update 2021. Can J Diabetes. 2021;45(7):580-587. doi:10.1016/j.jcjd.2021.07.003
6 Brown A. 42 Factors That Affect Blood Glucose?! A Surprising Update. diaTribe Foundation. Updated September 29, 2022. Accessed December 19, 2023. https://diatribe.org/42-factors-affect-blood-glucose-surprising-update.
7 Beck RW, et al. Effect of Continuous Glucose Monitoring on Glycemic Control in Adults With Type 1 Diabetes Using Insulin Injections: The DIAMOND Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2017;317(4):371-378. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.19975.
8 Beck RW, et al. Continuous Glucose Monitoring Versus Usual Care in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes Receiving Multiple Daily Insulin Injections: A Randomized Trial. Ann Intern Med. 2017;167(6):365-374. doi:10.7326/M16-2855.
9 Martens T, et al. Effect of Continuous Glucose Monitoring on Glycemic Control in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes Treated With Basal Insulin: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2021;325(22):2262-2272. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.7444
10 Laffel LM, et al. Effect of Continuous Glucose Monitoring on Glycemic Control in Adolescents and Young Adults With Type 1 Diabetes: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2020;323(23):2388-2396. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.6940.
11 Welsh JB, et al. Comparisons of Fifth-, Sixth-, and Seventh-Generation Continuous Glucose Monitoring Systems. J Diabetes Sci Technol. Published online June 13, 2022. doi:10.1177/19322968221099879.
12 Heinemann L, et al. Real-time continuous glucose monitoring in adults with type 1 diabetes and impaired hypoglycaemia awareness or severe hypoglycaemia treated with multiple daily insulin injections (HypoDE): a multicentre, randomised controlled trial. Lancet. 2018;391(10128):1367-1377. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(18)30297-6.

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