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Newly diagnosed, scared and confused

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

  1. Red_river_

    Red_river_ Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hello everyone. I was diagnosed with diabetes type 2 last week. I was fine when I got the bad news for first couple of days, but becoming more emotional and depressed. Finally I broke to tears this morning when home alone.
    I've been reading stuff in the forum to learn about diabetes and feel I understand a little. Until when I talked to two people I know who have diabetes for years, they both say it's more important to " listen" to your own body. They even say following doctor's advices make them feel worse..., that they still eat everything but just in a smaller potion. Now that makes me so confused, as I starve myself since I was told I've got diabetes , I don't dare to eat.., and don't quite know what to eat as there are carb in even fruit and vegs. Some say " don't test bg every day as that makes you more worried which in turn raises bg ", but most people in the forum say you should. I can tell when my gb drops, that is when I feel really hungry ( which happens quite often). Now I wonder if I could feel when my bg raises? What are the first things I should do? Please advice! I thank you all in advance.
     
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  2. Grateful

    Grateful Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I am tagging @daisy1 who can provide a useful blurb for newbies.

    Have you had a full consultation with your doctor since your diagnosis?

    Did s/he prescribe drugs, give diet or exercise advice?

    If you don't mind telling us, what was the result of a blood test called the HbA1c?

    It is normal to be scared, emotional and depressed. It happened to me too when I was diagnosed with Type 2 nine months ago. It was like a lightning bolt out of the blue.

    Welcome. You have come to the right place.
     
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  3. Rachox

    Rachox Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Welcome! I'm now six months from being diagnosed type 2. Once I was over the initial shock, I saw it as the proverbial kick up the bum to get healthier. I was started on Metformin tablets and tolerate them well now, after a bit of stomach upset in the early days. I wasn't advised to eat low carb by my GP or Diabetes education course, but stumbled on this forum by chance and took up a low carb life style with self monitoring (self funded). I started by eating less than 100g carbs/day to begin with and then after 6 weeks reduced it to 50-70g/day and that’s what I continue on now. The best way to see what foods suit you is to test right before a meal and then two hours after the first bite, you’re looking for a rise of no more than 2 mmol/l and to be within these recommended ranges http://www.diabetes.co.uk/diabetes_care/blood-sugar-level-ranges.html I find monitoring reassuring, I’d be more worried working blind. This has all worked for me, to date I've lost 4 stone (still more to go) and got my HbA1c (blood test for 2-3 month average blood sugar) down to a non diabetic level, all due to the fantastic support and advise I got here. Read around the Forum and I'm sure you'll find a way to do it too!
     
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  4. elmer_dinkley

    elmer_dinkley Type 2 · Member

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    I re connected to this forum 10 months after being diagnosed. One thing I have found since then is that you are now not alone. I was giving the diagnosis and a prescription stuffed in my chubby hand and pushed out the door. I have had 10 months of struggle. Doctors and diabetic nurse explained nothing and I didn't know what questions to ask. I am 4 days into a low carb diet as suggested on here and feel better that I have in months.

     
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  5. Guzzler

    Guzzler Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi there and welcome to the forum. I think that confusion is the second thing to hit people after the fear that hearing the diagnosis brings. Don't worry, you do not have to make any firm decisions at once. Take your time and read around the forum to learn about the different approaches to handling your Diabetes control. Remember that you have not been handed a death sentence and that Diabetes does not have to be the chronic disease that some people would have us beleive. Ask questions about anything and everything you might be concerned about.

    Sadly, a lot of people still think that 'portion control' is key to blood glucose control. This is mainly because these people are under the impression that weight gain is the cause of Type 2 Diabetes, it is not. Obesity is a symptom, one of many, of Diabetes. You may not be overweight but if you are the first thing to understand is that Diabetes is not your fault.
     
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  6. woodywhippet61

    woodywhippet61 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    This is what I would do.

    Get a meter and start testing so that YOU can see what your glucose levels are.
    Test immediately before eating and then again 2 hours later. This way you can see what effect the food that you have eaten has on your body. This will help you listen to your body.

    Most people on here use the code free meter because the testing strips are cheaper. If you can afford it I'd recommend the Freestyle Libre because it allows you to Test whenever you feel like it so you learn quickly about your blood glucose levels.

    You need to eat. To me low carb eating made sense so if I was you I'd start reading about it. Lots of us on here restrict the amount of carbs that we eat BUT we differ in how many carbs we eat.

    For more in depth dietary advice people on the forum will need to know what meds you are on.

    If you haven't already found her site google blood sugars 101 I found her advice/information invaluable.

    Oh and welcome to the forum.
     
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  7. daisy1

    daisy1 Type 2 · Guru
    Staff Member Retired Moderator

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    @Red_river_

    Hello 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 like 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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  8. Red_river_

    Red_river_ Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Thank you thank you everyone for your warm welcome and advices. You are all very helpful and I know I have come to the right place.

    From your advices I understand low carbs and testing bg is the way forward? Not so great as I have this fear of needle and blood.. ‍♂️.. And I love rice and pasta and white bread all high carbs food together with all sweet fruit such as banana, grape, melon.. I am not over weight my MBI is 22.6

    So far I only had a 30 minutes with a diabetic nurse, who told me I've got diabetes and told me to cut down on carbs. She suggested I should take Statin as my cholesterol is high. A fasting test showed my cholesterol 5.2 mmol/L, and my HbA1c is 6.6. My next appointment is in mid December, and I am going on a all inclusive holiday for 2 weeks.. I was so looking forward to it but not too sure now :)
    I was thinking I won't buy a meter before the holiday as I will worried too much about testing, just try to control the amount And what to eat. What if it were you?

    I will need to do some research about what type of meter to get. I had a quick look at Freestyle Libre as Woodywhippet suggested, which would be my dream, but seems after the stater kit you will need to pay fifty pounds every two weeks is that right? Then I will not be able to afford that..

    My IPad is not behaving hence I have to write numbers in words. I need to post this just in case I loose it.

    Oh, and I have a question Should I eat or snack a little through out the day or still stick with three meals? I often do not do snack, but as I have very little for main meals now should I compensate by snacks?

    Thank you.
     
  9. Red_river_

    Red_river_ Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Daisy for the very useful information. I wasn't sure what the icons mean I clicked on ❤ as in the fb but it turned out to be " friendly". :) . Not what I wanted to say:)
     
  10. Red_river_

    Red_river_ Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Thank you very much WoodyWhippet61. I will spend sometime googling blood sugars 101 as you suggested, and meter, too. Are you using the Freestyle Libre? If so could you pls let me know the cost if you don't mind?
     
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  11. Grateful

    Grateful Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Assuming that is 6.6% (there are two measurement systems for HbA1C unfortunately) your reading is only just within the diabetes range. I wish my reading had been that low at diagnosis! With determination and persistence, you may well be able to bring your blood glucose levels back down into the non-diabetic range solely with dietary changes.

    Well, I'm me and I don't use a meter (to the occasional chagrin of other forum members who gently cajole me to change my ways). It works for me. One possible strategy is to decide you will buy a meter, but only if you are unable to achieve long-term control of BG without one. In that case, give yourself until the next HbA1c test, which should come two to three months from now but possibly sooner, at your mid-December appointment. If you are then unsatisfied about the progress achieved since diagnosis, buy a meter.

    If you go the "meter-less" route you are taking a calculated risk with your own health, because you won't have detailed information on what is happening "day to day" or "food by food." The HbA1c test measure the average BG over the previous 8 to 12 weeks, but there could have been big daily or hourly spikes in BG and you won't know about them.

    I decided to take that calculated risk and it worked great for me (see signature below for details). I'm an anxious type and decided the meter would provide "way too much information" and just generally increase my anxiety on a daily level. (On the other hand, without the meter, the three-monthly HbA1c at the clinic becomes a quarterly Big Deal!) Up to you.

    My go-to snacks are nuts and olives. Initially, on the low-carb diet, you may be very hungry (this goes away after a few weeks). The snacks helped me get through that "hungry phase." Nuts, in particular, are a great hunger-breaker.

    Edited to add: Although your BMI is "normal" (like mine was at diagnosis) it is likely that you will lose weight on a low-carb diet. I have ended up on the edge of "underweight." I also lost 5 inches around my waist, which was most welcome. If you are concerned about losing too much weight, consider compensating by carefully adding fats and/or possibly by resistance exercises to add muscle.
     
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    #11 Grateful, Nov 7, 2017 at 10:52 AM
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017
  12. Prem51

    Prem51 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @Red_river_ and welcome to the forum. I went on a couple of all inclusive holidays last year and it wasn't a problem. Usually there will be a wide choice of foods available so you can avoid starchy carbs and eat protein and veggies instead. But your HbA1c isn't too high so you can probably have some carby stuff too, as long as you don't overdo it. A couple of weeks isn't going to make any difference so enjoy your holiday.

    If you are full after meals you won't feel the need to snack, but if you do stick to stuff like olives, nuts, cheese and chorizo if available. Again the odd helping of crisps won't make much difference and you are on holiday.

    Your cholesterol isn't too high at 5.2. Mine was 5.7 but I refused statins, they can raise your sugar levels and can have side effects.
    There are a lot of threads on here about cholesterol and statins. Some people take them, others refuse. Have a read around and make your own decision.
     
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  13. Red_river_

    Red_river_ Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Ah, thank you thank you you make me feel a whole lot better Prem51. Mind you the figure I gave above is result of fasting test. My normal cholesterol is 5.7 otherwise. I am not keen on any medication especially taking it for life, so I said to the nurse I would think about Statin, but Thought I would take it as she said high cholesterol + blood sugar means higher chance of complications, so Statin is advisable. Now you are saying Statin can raise blood sugar I will have to think again. Gosh this is so complicated how do I know how to get things right? Also I would have thought people with diabetic should avoid all things sweet, salty, and fat. Cheese and chorizo are quite fatty aren't they? That's why I struggle with what to eat... I was told some exercise when blood sugar is high helps so I find myself matching up and down flight of stairs for 15 minutes after a meal. Is it a right thing to do? Why do I have to feel guilty every time I eat now? Even though only a slice of apple??
     
  14. Red_river_

    Red_river_ Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Thank you so much Grateful you are most helpful! It is true I was concerned about loosing weight. I am the type that can loose weight overnight but would take years to add on a pound. I do think of going back to the gym and will do so after Christmas:)
    (I used to go to gym but gave up for a few years now). You have given me some hope that I can bring my blood sugar down, will that mean I won't be diabetic anymore? It is quite an assurance to know you are not using a meter as I am in two minds a time the moment. Thank you for pointing out pros and cons of it. I won't hurry to get one, as I won't be able to enjoy the holiday if testing myself all the time. I will wait until after my next appointment and decide then. Thanks again.
     
  15. Grateful

    Grateful Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Guilt is normal. For a while after my diagnosis, Food Was The Enemy. If it helps, take my word for it: "This too shall pass."

    Now, I am going to spook you by adding: Apple is high-carb. Fruits are OK, but (for someone like me who had a much higher HbA1c at diagnosis than yours) only when taken in extreme moderation. I am down to a few berries per day, plus a few slices of banana (very, very high-carb) with my breakfast.

    You want to take control of your diabetes and bring BG down. Fat is almost irrelevant in that battle, although eating fat may have other consequences for your health. This is a controversial subject. Many people on this forum follow a "low-carb, high-fat" strategy and you will find lots of information about that. (I use low-carb, low-fat, but it won't work for everyone.)

    Edited to add: Also, you are not overweight. So if I were you I would not obsess about eating fat.

    Yes, sweet is bad.

    Salty: well, we all need a certain amount of salt. Too much is conventionally believed to be an issue, especially with modern processed foods. But again, not specifically a diabetes thing. Hydration is also a good idea by the way, especially if you step up the exercise.

    Prepare to be Very Confused for a while. This is normal. Keep asking questions!
     
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  16. Grateful

    Grateful Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    The term we prefer here is "people with diabetes." Saying "diabetic" is sometimes thought of as a pejorative label, a bit like one might describe people as "epileptic" or an older term like "cripple." Very PC, I know, but I think it makes sense. Sometimes abbreviated on this forum as "PWD."

    Diabetes is a chronic disease. Once you have been diagnosed with it, it cannot be "cured" except maybe with extreme treatments such as bariatric surgery for desperate cases.

    That's the bad news. The good news is that if you can bring your blood glucose (BG) down to "non-diabetic" levels (in America where I live, that would be an HbA1c of below 5.7%, or 39 on the new scale) then your diabetes will be "reversed" or "in remission."

    If you can achieve that, you are dramatically less likely to suffer from the (nasty) complications of diabetes. The "catch" is that you are now embarked on a lifetime quest to keep your BG under control. If you can achieve that, diabetes just becomes a (pesky and annoying, but not particularly health-threatening) part of your life.
     
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    #16 Grateful, Nov 7, 2017 at 12:26 PM
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017
  17. Resurgam

    Resurgam Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I don't mind being diabetic - but I feel that it has done me a big favour - I can now justify eating according to Atkins, and my meter.
    There is absolutely nothing to worry about with the testing - it is a tiny tiny pinprick on your finger and a little bit of blood is put onto the tip of the testing strip, it counts down and tells you your number, and by then the blood is mostly sucked into the tiny tube in the strip and there is no more blood.
    I use a new lancet every time, for the stabber, and I can't even feel where the hole was made - I am a musician so I use all my fingertips when playing, and I never get any soreness at all.
    I am just coming to one year from diagnosis, and I have normal numbers as long as I eat the things I know are good for me - any meat or fish, shellfish, eggs cream yogurt - some cheese but not every day. Nuts in moderation and the lower carb fruits and lots of green salads, mushrooms sweet peppers, tomatoes - there are lists of suitable foods if you can find an edition of Dr Atkins New Diet Revolution on line to download for free - I use the 2002 edition - there are recipes and menus.
    When staying at a hotel I was able to indulge in all the things I could heap onto my plate for breakfast, so much I did not even stop for lunch and for dinner I had the best bits with a salad and the lowest carb option for dessert. No problem in staying low carb at all.
    My Hba1c was way higher when I was diagnosed, now I am in the normal range and so much happier with more energy and a far busier social life.
     
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  18. DCUKMod

    DCUKMod · Moderator
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    Hi Red River - It can take a little while to really get our heads around a diagnosis. When I was diagnosed, I had no symptoms, and the blood test was to check something else.

    It quickly became clear that what I ate was going to be key, as what I was told to eat, was pretty well how I had been eating pre-diagnosis. I'd never been a sweet eater, and so on.

    What I decided to do was buy myself a meter to provide me with instantaneous, personal feedback on what I was eating. I didn't fancy waiting several months to find out if I was doing OK, or not so OK. That really worked for me, and helped me, along with some great guidance and support from the forum, bring my HbA1c score down from 73 at diagnosis to 37 after 4 months. It's gone down a bit more since.

    Only you can choose your approach. Exercise is good, but how we tackle our eating tends to be the key to things; particularly if you want to minimise any medication you might take.

    Good luck with it all.
     
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  19. Red_river_

    Red_river_ Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for explaining things so clearly and in such detail, i feel like I've learned awful lots from the replies I've got. I will be more careful in choosing words I use. I should had known better..
     
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  20. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 · Oracle

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    Whether we say "diabetics" or a "person with diabetes" matters not in my world. I am a diabetic, I am also a person with diabetes. Please don't cut yourself up about it..... what on earth is the difference? None as far as I can see. Lovely to see you are learning ... keep on asking questions. :)
     
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