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Diagnosed with high HBA1C

Discussion in 'Newly Diagnosed' started by Edsarge, Nov 6, 2017.

  1. Edsarge

    Edsarge Prediabetes · Member

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    Hi everyone,

    Just want to ask quick question from experts here. I just been recently diagnosed by my doctor as someone who is on a prediabetic stage for having a 7.02% HBA1C. Of course, I feel down and shocked that at an early age of 30's I already got this diagnosis.

    However, when I search some information in the net, a 7.02% HBA1C is already at a diabetic stage and not prediabetic. So I am now confused on which to believe. Of course I would love to learn that I am still in a prediabetic stage rather than already on a diabetic stage, but I need to make sure my real status so that I can have right medications or precautions for my health.

    Thanks!
     
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  2. Grateful

    Grateful Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Welcome! I will tag @daisy1 who can provide a useful blurb for newcomers.

    More information on HbA1c here: http://www.diabetes.co.uk/what-is-hba1c.html.

    Here in America, a 7% level would indicate diabetes (not pre-diabetes). Same in the UK.

    Did the doctors say whether you are Type 1 or Type 2 diabetic? (Edited to add: Presumably not, since they are calling it pre-diabetes!)

    Did they prescribe meds or say they would do so? Give any diet advice?

    It is normal to be shocked. You have come to the right place.
     
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  3. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 · Oracle

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    Hello and welcome,

    Yes, with an HbA1c of 7% you are well inside the diabetic range I'm afraid.

    Have a good read round, and take heart that this condition can be controlled and even put in remission with a bit of effort and a lot of knowledge. :)
     
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  4. Art Of Flowers

    Art Of Flowers Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Over 6.5% is in the diabetic range, but 7% is only just diabetic. If you have type 2 diabetes then you should be able to reduce your blood sugars by avoiding high carb food. Consider getting a blood glucose meter and testing which foods spike your blood sugar. Usually it is best to cut back on breakfast cereals, bread, potatoes rice and pasta. Avoid fruit juice and high sugar fruit such as bananas and grapes.
     
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  5. 2Much_SugarShan

    2Much_SugarShan Type 2 · Member

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    Hi Edsarge,

    I was officially diagnosed as diabetic after three consecutive HbA1c tests over 48 within 3 months. My GP explained the percentage measurements as a way of assessing damage done to the body by raised blood sugar levels above a certain number (say, 7.0%).

    I don't know how your doctor crunches the numbers - so to speak - but that's how it was explained to me. It was a horrible shock to be told that I was classed as diabetic with a figure of 6.8%.

    Hope that I haven't confused you further. The forum is definitely the place to get the right answers.
     
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  6. daisy1

    daisy1 Type 2 · Guru
    Staff Member Retired Moderator

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    @Edsarge

    Hello Edsarge and welcome to the Forum :) Here is the Basic Information we give to new members and I hope you will find it useful. Ask as many questions as you need to and someone will help.


    BASIC INFORMATION FOR NEWLY DIAGNOSED DIABETICS

    Diabetes is the general term to describe people who have blood that is sweeter than normal. A number of different types of diabetes exist.

    A diagnosis of diabetes tends to be a big shock for most of us. It’s far from the end of the world though and on this forum you'll find well over 250,000 people who are demonstrating this.

    On the forum we have found that with the number of new people being diagnosed with diabetes each day, sometimes the NHS is not being able to give all the advice it would perhaps like to deliver - particularly with regards to people with type 2 diabetes.

    The role of carbohydrate

    Carbohydrates are a factor in diabetes because they ultimately break down into sugar (glucose) within our blood. We then need enough insulin to either convert the blood sugar into energy for our body, or to store the blood sugar as body fat.

    If the amount of carbohydrate we take in is more than our body’s own (or injected) insulin can cope with, then our blood sugar will rise.

    The bad news

    Research indicates that raised blood sugar levels over a period of years can lead to organ damage, commonly referred to as diabetic complications.

    The good news

    People on the forum here have shown that there is plenty of opportunity to keep blood sugar levels from going too high. It’s a daily task but it’s within our reach and it’s well worth the effort.

    Controlling your carbs

    The info below is primarily aimed at people with type 2 diabetes, however, it may also be of benefit for other types of diabetes as well.

    There are two approaches to controlling your carbs:
    • Reduce your carbohydrate intake
    • Choose ‘better’ carbohydrates
    Reduce your carbohydrates

    A large number of people on this forum have chosen to reduce the amount of carbohydrates they eat as they have found this to be an effective way of improving (lowering) their blood sugar levels.

    The carbohydrates which tend to have the most pronounced effect on blood sugar levels tend to be starchy carbohydrates such as rice, pasta, bread, potatoes and similar root vegetables, flour based products (pastry, cakes, biscuits, battered food etc) and certain fruits.

    Choosing better carbohydrates

    The low glycaemic index diet is often favoured by healthcare professionals but some people with diabetes find that low GI does not help their blood sugar enough and may wish to cut out these foods altogether.

    Read more on carbohydrates and diabetes.

    Over 145,000 people have taken part in the Low Carb Program - a free 10 week structured education course that is helping people lose weight and reduce medication dependency by explaining the science behind carbs, insulin and GI.

    Eating what works for you

    Different people respond differently to different types of food. What works for one person may not work so well for another. The best way to see which foods are working for you is to test your blood sugar with a glucose meter.

    To be able to see what effect a particular type of food or meal has on your blood sugar is to do a test before the meal and then test after the meal. A test 2 hours after the meal gives a good idea of how your body has reacted to the meal.

    The blood sugar ranges recommended by NICE are as follows:

    Blood glucose ranges for type 2 diabetes
    • Before meals: 4 to 7 mmol/l
    • 2 hours after meals: under 8.5 mmol/l
    Blood glucose ranges for type 1 diabetes (adults)
    • Before meals: 4 to 7 mmol/l
    • 2 hours after meals: under 9 mmol/l
    Blood glucose ranges for type 1 diabetes (children)
    • Before meals: 4 to 8 mmol/l
    • 2 hours after meals: under 10 mmol/l
    However, those that are able to, may wish to keep blood sugar levels below the NICE after meal targets.

    Access to blood glucose test strips

    The NICE guidelines suggest that people newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes should be offered:

    • structured education to every person and/or their carer at and around the time of diagnosis, with annual reinforcement and review
    • self-monitoring of plasma glucose to a person newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes only as an integral part of his or her self-management education

    Therefore both structured education and self-monitoring of blood glucose should be offered to people with type 2 diabetes. Read more on getting access to blood glucose testing supplies.

    You may also be interested to read questions to ask at a diabetic clinic.

    Note: This post has been edited from Sue/Ken's post to include up to date information.

    Take part in Diabetes.co.uk digital education programs and improve your understanding. They're all free.
    • Low Carb Program - it's made front-page news of the New Scientist and The Times. Developed with 20,000 people with type 2 diabetes; 96% of people who take part recommend it... find out why
    • Hypo Program - improve your understanding of hypos. There's a version for people with diabetes, parents/guardians of children with type 1, children with type 1 diabetes, teachers and HCPs.
     
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  7. Resurgam

    Resurgam Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I was really lucky as I dropped from 91 to 41 - that is 10.5 to 5.9 in just six months by eating low carb foods.
    For some people changing their diet is a struggle, but I really prefer the foods I am eating now to the things to lower cholesterol diet I was prescribed.
     
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  8. Daibell

    Daibell Type 1.5 · Expert

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    Hi. Yes, 7% is in the diabetic range so I don't understand the GP saying you are only pre-diabetic. Keep the carbs down and get a glucose meter. If you are slim ask the GP next time to consider the tests for T1 if the BS doesn't go down.
     
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  9. Edsarge

    Edsarge Prediabetes · Member

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    Hello everyone,

    I really appreciate all your answers and explanation. I am really shocked and probably still in denial since I have not experienced any symptoms of diabetes. My GP prescribed Metformin to be taken twice daily and regular exercise, that's all. He even told me that I can avoid taking Metformin altogether if I can promise that I will not drink sodas and other sweetened drinks. However there is one question that I forgot to asked. Is diabetes condition still reversible? I mean, I can probably lower my HBA1C through diet and exercise, but would I still be considered diabetic?

    Thanks, you all have been helpful.
     
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  10. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 · Oracle

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    Not everyone experiences symptoms. My HbA1c was the same as yours when I was diagnosed. I had no symptoms at all. It was discovered on a routine health check. Medication was never mentioned to me as I was given 3 months to reduce my levels by diet. I managed this. It is nearly 4 years since I was diagnosed and I have never had any medication. It is perfectly possible to control this disease, and even go in to remission. Metformin will only help to a limited extent. Diet is the key, and that means a lot more than cutting out sodas and sugar!
     
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  11. Edsarge

    Edsarge Prediabetes · Member

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    Thanks Bluetit1802 for that information. I am still at lost on what diet should I follow. Generally people are advising to eat low carb diet but for someone who is carefree and does not care about diet for so many years, I don't know what to do. Your story have given me hope that I can still reverse this through diet only. So I will probably try your method of not taking any meds but do it through diet only.
     
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  12. Grateful

    Grateful Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I agree with @Daibell. If you are in your 30s (early 30s?) and with your HbA1c in the diabetes range, there is a possibility that you might have Type 1 diabetes (rather than the much more common Type 2). This is important because the treatment and long-range management are quite different. It might be worth asking your doctors about this.

    But assuming you have Type 2, with an HbA1c of 7% and already taking Metformin, you have a good opportunity of bringing down your HbA1c to pre-diabetic or non-diabetic levels with the right diet. Exercise helps too, but diet is key.

    Many forum members who have similar "numbers" to yours have had good success with a low-carbohydrate diet. (I am one of them. Take a look at my signature below.) I am very surprised that your doctor apparently gave no dietary advice, however I think you should consider giving it a go, if your medical circumstances permit. It does not work for everyone, but in my opinion is worth a try.

    Some of us did it using diet/exercise only and without Metformin or other drugs. Others found that they could eliminate or reduce the drugs eventually, with the right diet. We are all different and, to a large extent, it is up to you. (This is a bit different from a lot of other diseases where there is not much you can do for yourself and depend largely on "medical treatment").

    The "low-carb" method may get some pushback from your doctor, unfortunately. This website is a good place to become informed about the alternatives.

    Once again, welcome.
     
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  13. Edsarge

    Edsarge Prediabetes · Member

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    Thanks Grateful, you have given useful information. Yes I am in my mid 30s, however, again my doctor did not specify if I am a type 1 or 2 diabetes. I have not taken any meds yet and I am planning to see another doctor about my condition and clear things up. I am probably in the very early stage of being diabetic since I just recalled that my last year's blood chem showed that all of my sugar levels are well within range. Do you have any useful links that I can read about low carb diet?

    Thank you.
     
  14. Grateful

    Grateful Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    The info provided above by @daisy1 is a good start. If you go to the home page of this website (rather than the forum) you will find more. There is also a separate sub-forum here, devoted to low-carb, where we swap recipes and suggestions. Other useful sub-fora are the "Diabetes Discussions," "Ask a Question" and "Type 2 Diabetes" sub-fora. Take a look around. This is a complex and rich website -- which makes sense because diabetes is a complex, chronic and (unfortunately) nasty disease.

    Having said all of that, when I was diagnosed I had no idea this website or forum existed. But I stumbled on what was a key resource for me in "reversing" my Type 2 diabetes (T2D): https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb.

    You will get lots of advice, much of it good, but often confusing and even conflicting. These are early days. Just shout when you have questions!
     
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  15. Edsarge

    Edsarge Prediabetes · Member

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    Thanks Grateful for your useful link. I have been reading the site you recommended and it made me feel better that I can really manage this disease. Also grateful that there are a lot people here ready to answer questions from newly diagnosed like me.

    I have been reviewing my test and now I know why my doctor classified me as a prediabetic patient. On my other test on FBS I was only 6.47 mmol/L which is a prediabetic stage. I also read the reliability on test between HBA1C and FBS and accordingly the two are related but FBS is kind of more accurate than HBA1C.

    Your recommendation on dietdoctor is really helping me on figuring out how to do the low carb diet. I am slowly understanding how it works and now planning on how to implement the recommended foods to take for someone like me.

    Your a big help!
     
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  16. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 · Oracle

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    Not quite. The FBS is very unreliable and is no longer used for a diagnosis of diabetes because of this.. It is just a snapshot of your level at the time of the test, which could be high or low depending on many factors. My surgery no longer does this test. The HbA1c has its faults but is the test used for diagnosis (there are other tests that some doctors use such as the Oral Glucose Tolerance Test). If the HbA1c is borderline within the diabetic range, a second test should be carried out to confirm the result. You should have been offered a second test.
     
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  17. ringi

    ringi Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Your GPs advice not to have any drinks with suger in them is VERY senible, this includes fruit juice as well as coke etc. You would not have 20 spoons of suger, but often a drink will have more then 20 spoons of suger in it. Type2 is too much suger in the blood, the first test to reversal to not to add more suger to your body.

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  18. Edsarge

    Edsarge Prediabetes · Member

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    Thanks Bluetit1802 for clearing that up. I am planning to see another doctor and probably would take a second test just to clear things up.
     
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  19. Edsarge

    Edsarge Prediabetes · Member

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    Thanks Rigi, I have totally eliminated sugary drinks in my diet, I have not had any soda or fruit juices for the past few days. I even stopped putting sugar in my coffee, one of my favorite. I am starting to get used to drinking only black coffee.
     
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  20. Edsarge

    Edsarge Prediabetes · Member

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    Wow, congratulations. I wish I can do the same. Is the readings you mentioned an HBA1C test? Where did you get your low carb diet menus?
     
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