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Advice needed

Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by kycamsmum, Feb 20, 2018.

  1. kycamsmum

    kycamsmum Don't have diabetes · Newbie

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    Hey all, new here but would like to introduce myself and ask a few questions
    My name's Lisa, Basically I'm thinking I might be prediabetic, my niece was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and out of curiosity I thought I'd check my own levels.
    I have regular headaches, extremely tired (I do have a 2yr old) drinking plenty,feeling a bit sick after eating or shaky when not eaten for several hours.
    Fastings in the morning are around 5.9ish and then all seem around 9.6/10.5 after the 1-2 hours period from eating.
    And my Hbac1 (can't remember what its called) was 37 in September and this month it's now 38.
    I'm sure that's not a big number but I'm worried as its 1 higher than previous.
    I'd just like some advice from someone that may have been similar to this and if it should be anything to worry about.
    Maybe it's not a concern right now but in the near future I'm worried!
  2. Dexterdobe

    Dexterdobe Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi and welcome. I've tried to tag you to get the welcome pack, but it won't work. I'm sure one of the others will help with this.
    38 is in the non-diabetic range, so I wouldn't worry as stress raises blood glucose levels. I would pop along to see your GP though. There are lots of other tests they can do to check that all is well. On a positive note, a rising HBa1c result is a warning that you may be on a long term path to type 2 diabetes. Now is the time to improve your diet and take some exercise to keep things where they should be. I wish I had been tested when I was still in the non-diabetic range. Good luck and please don't worry.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. SockFiddler

    SockFiddler Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi and welcome!

    Firstly,let me tag in @daisy1 who has a wealth of useful info to share with you. However...

    I completely understand your concerns, particularly given your symptoms after eating or when you've not eaten for a while. You're right, it might well be to do with food - everyone gets a little shaky when they've not eaten for a while and they've been busy, particularly if they're used to carby / sugary breakfasts. There's no harm in trying to monitor what you eat a little more closely, but I'd not recommend anything drastic given you've got your hands full already!

    Your HbA1c (bear in mind my limited knowledge) is an average of what your blood glucose levels have been for roughly the last 12 weeks. Given how our diets change through the course of the year, it's not a huge surprise that your well-within normal results rose a tiny, tiny bit this month (given that your September result had all the lovely picnic and salads that we tend to reach for during the summer, and this month would have had all the indulgent, heavy foods we tend to enjoy more frequently around Xmas and New Year). For the record, an HbA1c of 42 - 47 is considered "pre-diabetic" and 48+ is the diabetic range:


    I don't believe you have anything to worry about at all. To the best of my knowledge, gestational diabetes isn't a hereditary thing (you already carried your child and, I presume, all was well?), and your niece is a distant-enough relative for her to be enjoying a very different set of hereditary genes, even if it can be passed through families.

    Honestly, I don't believe you have anything to worry about when it comes to diabetes. Headaches and tiredness could be purely down to stress and the business of chasing a toddler around 12 hours a day! We're all meant to drink at least 4 litres of water daily, regardless of diabetes or not, and if you're starving yourself through the day (skipping lunch because you don't have time, for example) and then eating a late, carby diner, you'll certainly feel tired and bloated and possibly a bit sick after.

    Please don't think I'm being dismissive of either your concerns or your symptoms: trust your HbA1c results. I believe there are some things you could look at changing, but with a toddler, it could be tricky to come up with a plan you'll consistently be able to stick to.

    But do keep asking questions if you need to - you're completely welcome here (and your niece, too!), and I'm sure other posters will be along shortly with different perspectives than mine to offer.

    Sock :)
  4. Incyb

    Incyb Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    9.6 two hours after eating seems high to me. I've never had that high since I was diagnosed, so your A1c seems weirdly low in view of that. Anyway, if you are prediabetic, or indeed if you are T2, you've come to the right place for help. You'll turn it around in no time! Best wishes.
  5. SockFiddler

    SockFiddler Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Oh1 You reminded me, Indy!

    You say you test "1-2 hours after eating" - it's recommended not to test until at least two hours after food. If you're testing a just an hour after eating then, yes, you might well get an elevated response. Do also remember that any meter you use will be accurate to within a range of +/- 15% and that the readings you get aren't not definite and final, but a guidelines to what's going on.
  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 as many questions as you want and someone will be able to 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 235,000 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 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. Most of these are 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.
  7. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse · Well-Known Member

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    All lab results have a range of error, so an HbA1c of 37 could mean a value anywhere between 35 and 39 and an HbA1c could mean a value anywhere between 36 and 40 (depending on the error range). Thus the same sample could read 37 or 38 on different test runs. In addition, there is a small physiological variation so everyone's HbA1c will vary a little from month to month. Any scientist looking at your HbA1c results will say there has been no change.
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