Q. Several years ago my HbA1c test was 5.39. A recent test indicated it has ticked up to 6.0. My medical provider wants to retest it in 6 months. If the retest does not show a reduction, he is suggesting diabetes medication.
I am averse to taking prescription medications that have the potential to cause pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer. I understand that might be a risk with some of the newer diabetes drugs.
Is there a natural way to lower my HbA1c using dietary supplements? I’d really appreciate your guidance.
A. Glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) is a measure doctors use to assess average blood sugar over the prior three months. At under 5.6, your previous result was normal; your current level of 6 puts you in the prediabetic range.
Luckily, there is a good deal that you can do to get your blood sugar back under control naturally. Coffee, cinnamon, dark chocolate, stevia, vitamin D, exercise and a low-carb diet can all be helpful. To learn more about the details of these and many other non-drug approaches to blood sugar control we offer our book, Best Choices From The People’s Pharmacy (online at www.PeoplesPharmacy.com).
Metformin, an older drug that lowers blood sugar, may also reduce the risk of common cancers. Some newer drugs such as Byetta, Januvia, Onglyza, Tradjenta and Victoza have been linked to pancreatitis, but the risk remains controversial.