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  1. Another great result HbA1c at 4.9 - my Dr thought it was now too low, but I convinced her it was perfect. I'm 63 years old, I've been type 2 for almost 20 years, but 18 months ago I was started on Insulin and things got better immediately (still taking metformin, but just this week in consultation with my Dr I have reduced the dose by half).

    I saw the Low Carb stuff that was on the Diabetes site, I looked and watched, and felt that this was something that could work for me too; So for several months now (at least 6) I've been trying to cut down on carbs, I can't cut them out completely but if I tell the truth there are some that I'm not really that bothered about. Potatoes I do miss, especially new potatoes, rice and pasta I'm not too bothered about but I do occasionally have a very small portion; I might have one slice of Pizza very occasionally but bread is what I miss the most. Currently I live near Frankfurt, Germany, and anyone who knows Germans know that the German people love bread, all shapes, sizes, colours, textures, with nuts, with seeds, with both, with neither, different grains, etc. all of which taste absolutely fabulous. I do still have one brown roll (30g carbs) for my lunch each working day and this doesn't seem to give me any big spikes when I test 2 hours later. I used to have two rolls but I've found out that 60g carbs for one meal is far too many so I substituted the second roll for a small piece of chicken breast, a piece of pork, or some other meats that might frighten some people because of their fat content (Spam, Corned beef, 2 (British) sausages, and occasionally a slab (I mean slice) of some strong British cheddar cheese). If I am completely honest I feel great!

    Besides my BG readings being great I feel great all round. I also try to go for a walk or cycle every day, at least 30 minutes, sometimes 1 hour, but rarely more than that unless I'm out on some kind of 'expedition' which I did a week or so ago, 8 miles walking in the forest at night with a group of about 15 kids 12-18 year olds (their idea, I was just the guide/walk leader). I don't go to the gym (tried that, didn't work for me) and I'm not really a fan of swimming, I like water but more for messing around in rather than for serious swimming.

    I've been losing some weight, right now I'm hovering at only just above 14 stones (196 lbs or 89kg) but can't quite seem to get it to drop below the magical 13 stone xx lbs marker on the scales! I'm somewhat happy that it isn't going up and hopefully given time it will still drop if I can keep up all the good work - any suggestions or ideas for me?

    I should say that I have cut out everything related to flour/sugar: biscuits, cakes, sweets (I do occasionally partake of sugar free varieties like Werther's Originals, but I don't want to get hooked on sweets in general). I do like chocolate but try to restrict this to a couple of squares of dark chocolate a day from Lindt (under 50g carbs in a 100g bar, but I only eat 2 squares so that's about 10g of carbs each time. I do like snacking on nuts but wonder if this should include salted peanuts.

    Drink - I don't drink any alcohol (by choice) or tea or coffee (not a fan and never have been of hot drinks) in the past I was a very big fruit juice drinker (why not it's healthy isn't it???). Never really been a fan of 'pop' Cola etc. so I now restrict myself to plain old tap water, keep it in the fridge so it feels refreshing; I don't see the point of buying bottled water, though I do buy some 330ml or 500ml bottles from time to time so that I can have a new fresh handy size bottle and recycle the old one.

    Feet - still suffering from some neuropathy, this is almost depressing, I've read stuff about it and it seems to be bad news, there doesn't seem to be a cure so the 'treatment' if that's the right word to use is to keep the BG levels under control so that it doesn't get worse, or maybe it will slow down the process. Right now I know I've lost some feeling, my toes feel like they are 'asleep' I can touch them and know I have feeling there but it isn't right.

    Enough for now, I hope that anyone who reads this will be inspired to try a little harder to be a little better and avoid long term complications. If you have any ides that will help me further, or encourage me in my endeavors to be more healthy in general please feel free to comment.
  2. HbA1c 5.0
    Insulin and tablets - with dietary changes.

    Well that's another great result, that's a 4.9 and a 5.0 in the last 6 months - all the hard work is definitely paying off.
    I'm still struggling with the foods I eat, I've cut down on a lot of carbs, I used to have 2 bowls of cereal in the morning, now I have a selection of cheese, cold meat, eggs, tomato, cucumber (in fact a 'continental' style breakfast without bread, or yogurt) followed by 1 weetabix biscuit and full fat milk. Some days when I've got a little more time before work I might do a couple of rashers of bacon with scrambled egg, and if supplies are available I might treat myself to a couple of British sausages (I live in Germany at the present time and I just can't quite get to grips with German sausages, an odd one here and there at a festival (without the roll of course) is OK, but more than that I can't take). Lunch time is my biggest downfall, we only get 30 minutes for lunch and if I take any more than that I have to work longer, so I've been having two brown rolls at 30g carbs each, but I think that's too many so I've just this week cut it down to one and trying out a selection of cold meats and a slab (sorry I mean slice) of British cheddar cheese (while stocks lasts). Gone almost completely from my diet are bread, potatoes, rice and pasta and I don't really miss them too much, I do have the occasional item, but if I do it is a very small portion, for example 1 new potato the size of an egg (or smaller) doesn't seem to make my readings spike, or a small handful of pasta occasionally seems to be OK.
    What next?
    I need to lose weight, I've been in Germany for 4 years and during that time I've had a couple of short Hospital stays (not linked to the Diabetes) and had some sick leave from work and I have lost over 2 stones, but I would like to lose at least another half-stone. I'm 63, average height at about 5' 10" and currently I weigh just over 14 stone. My target for the next 6-12 months would be to get down to where I can maintain my weight at a little less than 13 1/2 stone.
    The other item that bothers me is my feet. I have lost some feeling in my toes, it isn't bad but it is enough to make me think long and hard about what I want for my future. I really don't know what to do about it, can I do anything about it? I keep researching the Internet but there's nothing to give me a lot of hope, except if I get my blood sugar levels under control, and keep them there, I might be lucky in that it doesn't get any worse. I am exercising several times a week, mostly walking or cycling, though I have to say getting in 10,000 steps a day is a huge challenge as I work in an office and so don't really get much 'exercise' during the day, I don't think that trips to the printer or water cooler really count for very much.
    I would like to retire soon and return to the UK, but I want to return as healthy as possible, I don't want the neuropathy to get worse, I want to be able to have many years ahead of me with as good health as possible. I should add here that the German health care system is fairly expensive but it is good, with fairly short waiting times, so I have no complaints at all. We have specialist Diabetic Dr's and I see mine every 3 months regular as clockwork, the nurse does the blood fingerprint test, and a second test into another device and by the time I see the Dr he has my blood readings as at now, and the HbA1c reading. I was interested in how accurate the HbA1c reading would be because as you know in the UK it takes a week to get results of any blood test but some weeks ago I had a blood test at my own regular Dr's (and the results 24 hours later) and that reading was the same. We do have to pay for prescriptions including diabetes supplies, but today I collected my supplies for the next 3 months and it cost me about £25 for my insulin and related supplies.

    Thanks for reading!
  3. Had a surprise last week... went to the Dr for results of blood tests, including vitamin B12 & D (both a a bit on the low low side), and my HBA1c was 4.9! The best I've ever had, and I'm trying hard to keep it that way. I've been T2 for over 15 years (on tablets) but on insulin for just over 12 months and it was a bit of a wake up call!!!!

    Over the last 6 months I've given up as much carbohydrate as possible without being stupid, lunch time is difficult so weekdays I usually have 2 brown rolls (30g carbs each) but I've now virtually given up potatoes too, and I can't remember the last time I had rice or pasta, but I did have 1/4 of a Pizza the other week and my readings afterwards seemed to be OK (at least no big spike, which must be OK). Breakfast is difficult, I used to have two med/large bowls of breakfast cereals because it was quick and easy but I'm currently living in Germany so I've been trying the typical 'German' breakfast of cheese, meats, cucumber, egg, tomato, but no bread (which is difficult as I don't feel full afterwards). I've mostly avoided the fruit and yogurt in the mornings because of the carbs and natural sugars. Most mornings I also have one very small bowl of cereal because I just can't give it up. On the subject of giving things up of course I've given up Jaffa cakes, Chocolate digestives, custard creams, pasties, sausage rolls, pork pies, doughnuts and all cakes and sweets, though I do allow myself a couple of squares of 70% dark chocolate most days (2 squares = 8g carb/sugar).

    Right now I do feel quite good, the main problem I have is neuropathy in my toes and I really don't know what to do, except to keep my blood sugar levels as low and as stable as possible... anyone any suggestions?

  4. Hello fellow Diabetics... this sounds like an AA acknowledgement! I am a 62 year old male and I've been a type 2 diabetic for at least 15 years. I suspect that I was in a pre-diabetic state for many years previous to the 'official diagnosis'. Mostly the treatment I've received over the years has been metformin and for most of the time my HBA1c has been under 6.0 however about 18 months ago my HBA1c (which had been slowly increasing over the years) suddenly hit 9.0 twice in a row and so I started on insulin injections 3 times a day before meals, and one injection at night just before bed. I also have high blood pressure which I take tablets for but it is mostly under control, I take a daily asprin (heart trouble in the family) and I take a daily Statin tablet.

    About a year ago just as I started on the insulin I became aware that my feet were feeling 'strange', I couldn't properly describe how they felt but at different times they were uncomfortably hot, then cold, my heel could be freezing cold but the ball of my foot and my toes were very hot. The underneath of my toes feel like they are 'asleep' and anytime now should be tingling as they 'wake up' but they don't wake up. In bed I don't know what to do with my feet, I can't stand the weight of the bed clothes on my feet, feet inside the bed, feet outside the bed, wearing socks, not wearing socks, change half way through the night etc.

    A few months ago I was driving home (fortunately I have an automatic) and all of a sudden I had the most excruciating stabbing pain underneath my left big toe. It was like somebody had taken a red hot needle (the size of a knitting needle) and stabbed me when I wasn't prepared for it. The pain was incredible, it was lucky that I was driving an automatic and didn't need my left foot because I don't know how I would have been able to continue driving at that point. I was in quite severe pain, and my foot was hot and very uncomfortable for about 24 hours afterwards, the only relief I could get was by gently rubbing/massaging my toe and foot.

    I don't know if all of this adequately describes to anyone else how my feet feel, I find it difficult, even to get these things through to my Dr. (I'm in Germany by the way and don't speak any German but my Dr does pretty good with English).

    Why all this rambling? I want help and advice from the diabetic community who knows and understands these things, and has probably experienced all of this for themselves. As I've discussed this with my Dr she gave me B12 tablets for about 4 months, I've stopped these at the present time as my B12 levels seem to be OK but a bit towards the low end of 'normal'. I then started on Gabapentin 100mg a couple of months ago but this has been increased to 300mg daily. As it is winter I now also take vitamin D daily and expect to do so until about April. In many ways my feet do feel a little better but still not right.

    I want to know what everyone else does about exercise, or what advice I can get about the right type of exercise for my feet in particular. I work in an office so apart from the occasional visits to other people, or a trip to the printer I don't really get too much exercise during the day, its even a short distance to the car park so I don't get any exercise there either. I like cycling and I know that's good for the heart and circulation. I like walking and I've recently started walking for up to an hour a day after work and before my evening meal. A good portion of these walks are uphill so it really gets the heart and blood pumping and I have to say that in general I have recently felt a lot better about my feet but they are still 'not right'.

    Any help or suggestions?

    Thanks for reading.
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