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Advice needed please

Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by mum2one, Sep 3, 2017.

  1. mum2one

    mum2one Type 2 · Newbie

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    Hi everyone, I'm hoping to get some help please.

    I was diagnosed with Type 2 last year along with an underactive thyroid. My thyroid has been stable for many years and I haven't needed to take any meds for all of that time. I had radioactive iodine treatment 15 years ago and have been well until last year.

    I'm currently on Metformin SR twice a day and thyroxine once a day, 75mg as well as Atorvastin.

    For the best part of this year I've been so poorly, first with Pneumonia twice, and more recently a painful abscess that had to be drained by the hospital. I developed Sepsis and cellulitis so was kept in for a few days. Once I was discharged I started to get pain near the abscess. Because it was constantly draining and I couldn't leave the house the GP agreed that I should have a district nurse visit for a few days which went on for 8 weeks as another abscess did come up so all in all I was on antibiotics for nearly 2 months.

    When I was in hospital they done my blood sugars which were 13. I don't really understand much but knew that was very high. Considering I hadn't eaten for the best part of 2 days beforehand due to feeling so ill.

    I've been told by the diabetic nurse that I don't need to test my bloods so refused to give me a glucose meter.

    I drink decaf tea, with skimmed milk. I don't drink any juice or fizzy drinks just loads of bottled water. I have vegetarian stir fries, with wholegrain rice. My appetite isn't that good but the weight worries me, due to mobility problems it's hard to exercise like I used to, I was always on the go.

    I'm constantly drained, feeling tired and extremely thirsty. I was doing some research and am I right in thinking Metformin and Thyroxine don't mix?

    To the men, Sorry for the next bit lol

    I'm going through the peri menopause and am also suffering with hot flushes all day, everyday. Would anyone know if I can take Sage tablets with the medications that I'm on?

    Sorry for the long post. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks for reading x
    • Hug Hug x 3
  2. ziggy_w

    ziggy_w Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @mum2one,

    Welcome. There are many knowledgeable and friendly members on this forum -- I am sure some can help you with your question about thyroxine and metformin.

    I am sorry to hear that you are feeling so poorly. You have been through quite a lot lately.

    From your description of symptoms, I definitely appears as if your blood sugars are high. When was last appointment with your GP or nurse? What were your blood sugars at the time? Lowering your blood glucose will almost certainly help with your infection and probably also with your hot flashes.

    Many of us on this forum have a meter and measure blood sugars regularly in spite of what we were told by health professionals. I find that it initially it was a good way to figure out how my blood sugars were reacting to different types of food, exercise, stress and lack of sleep. Now, I mainly use it to stay on track. I will also tag @AM1874, who has great information on meters and @daisy1, who has very helpful information for newcomers.

    Personally, I have used a low carb diet to get my blood sugars under control. Exercise is helpful, but diet is probably way more important. Are you a vegetarian?

    The whole grain rice in your vegetarian stir fry probably didn't help your blood sugars. You could substitute cauliflower rice for the whole grain rice, for example, with much less impact on your blood sugars.

    Have a read around the forum and please feel free to ask any questions.
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    #2 ziggy_w, Sep 3, 2017 at 11:27 PM
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2017
  3. Guzzler

    Guzzler Type 2 · Master

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    Hello and welcome mum2one. I was diagnosed just a few months ago and I am post menopausal. From what I have learned so far. the menopause is bound to have an impact on bg to some extent in that there are so many variables that cause bg to swing. Controlling bg is your first priority, it will help in the healing process and *could* help aleviate some of the horrible symptoms of the Change.
    As daisy1 will give you more information, I will just say here that grains of any kind whether wholemeal or not are not well tolerated by most T2 diabetic people. Neither are the other carbs such as potatoes, pasta and rice.
    You have made the first step in taking control by joining this group. Stand by for lots of encouragement, information and a good few laughs along the way. It's good to see you.
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  4. AM1874

    AM1874 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @mum2one .. and welcome
    You have certainly made a good move coming here. Since joining this forum, the folks here have given me so much info, advice and support that I am now much more confident about the journey ahead. So ask your questions and be assured that you will receive the answers that you need. It can all seem uphill to start with but, in my experience, it gets easier .. very quickly.

    You will be aware that there is a lot of conflicting and sometimes confusing information around .. but the key point to take on board is that managing and controlling your diabetes (or pre-diabetes) through exercise, diet and testing your Blood Glucose seems to be the best way forward for many people. For me, committing to an LCHF (Low Carb High Fat) lifestyle and testing 3-5 times a day seems to be working and you'll find that there is a wealth of info, relevant advice and positive support about LCHF on the forum ..

    I see that @ziggy_w has already tagged @ daisy1 for you and I suggest that you read up on the valuable information that she will soon be sending you. You might also find the discussion on the Low Carb Diet forum helpful .. together with the following Diet Doctor websites, which will give you all the info that you need on what and what not to eat ...
    Low Carb Intro and Information and Low Carbs in 60 Seconds

    My advice is that you ignore your nurse (most people receive the same rubbish advice as you about testing) and get yourself a meter .. for this, the following websites might help:
    for the SD Codefree meter, which costs £12.98 or:
    who distribute the TEE 2 meter, which is free.
    I have both which I alternate for comparative purposes and I have never found any significant difference between them.

    The costs of testing comes down to the ongoing charges for test strips and lancets. Make sure that you tick the appropriate box on the on-line order form and you won't pay VAT on your meter or strips.
    For the SD Codefree, the strips are £7.69 for a pack of 50 and there are discount codes available for bulk purchases:
    5 packs x 50 use code: 264086 .. cost is £29.49
    10 packs x 50 use code: 975833 .. cost is £58.98
    For the TEE 2, the strips are £7.75 for a pack of 50 .. but there are no discount codes currently available

    I'm testing 3-5 times a day which works out at around £10 to £12 per month for either of the two packages above but, more importantly, I now know what my BG levels are .. and I can now manage them

    Hope this helps
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  5. perry1960

    perry1960 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi mum2one and welcome to the forum:)
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  6. daisy1

    daisy1 Type 2 · Legend
    Retired Moderator

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    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 more questions when you need to and someone will try and help.


    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. layladream

    layladream Type 2 · Active Member

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    Hi mum2one. I was diagnosed as type 2 a few weeks ago. I've had an under-active thyroid for donkey's years and am thyroxine. I haven't been told that metformin (I'm on 4 x 500mg per day) and thyroxine don't mix (doesn't mean they do mix, I don't know!). Now I'm used to the metformin I've stopped feeling yucky. My energy levels are way down because I'm not sleeping. If you're concerned, check with your doctor and see what they say. I don't know enough to help.
  8. Mark_1

    Mark_1 · Well-Known Member

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    The pharmacist in your local chemist will be able to tell you if they mix or not.
  9. Kentoldlady1

    Kentoldlady1 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi there. I am also t2d and hypothyroid. The autoimmune conditions affecting thyroid and diabetes are found together quite often. All 6 of my mums sister's had/have both things for many years. My mum has hypothyroidism and was recently dx as t2d . And I have quite a lot of cousins with both things as well. We must be using up quite a lot of the countries supply of levo.

    There is a problem with the combination of these 2 drugs, but it will not really affect how you feel. Metformin will artificially lower your thyroid stimulating hormone, so inblood tests your tsh will/may come back as a lower range than it would if you do not take the 2 drugs.

    This is fine if your gp is aware and willing to accept that your tsh result is not accurate. If they are unwilling to accept this then they may want to lower your dose of levo.
    I dont know of any other problems with this drug combination but that doesn't mean there aren't any.
    I have found that the lchf diet has workedvery well for me ( post menopausal ) and I feel much better.

    This forum has been such a great help. Get a meter, read about diet and good luck!
  10. Resurgam

    Resurgam Type 2 (in remission!) · Expert

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    I went through menopause when eating low carb and I could not tell you when it was - it was so uneventful I never noticed.
    You will need to organise your own meter so you can see what you can eat and keep your blood glucose levels down. Although we are told that wholemeal or brown carbs are healthy they seem to be just as bad as any other ones, at least for me, according to what I see on my meter. If you are vegetarian then you might find it a bit boring to stay low carb, but there are more options these days than a few years ago.
    I have had a failed thyroid for many years now but should not have the problem with reduced TSH as I don't take Metformin due to the side effects.
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