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After meal levels and neuropathy question

Discussion in 'Type 2 Diabetes' started by Jolegra, Jan 31, 2017.

  1. Jolegra

    Jolegra Type 2 · Member

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    Hi all.

    I have been a lurker for a while diagnosed type 2 in nov 16. I am 43 and in Australia. I have a couple of questions.

    I am a bit confused as to what levels should be after meals as on the Australian Diabetes sites it says aim for between 6 and 10 mmol 2 hours after meals. But i was of the belief that levels should be under 8.5 after meals. Most of the time after meals i am under 10mmol, occasionally i have been as high as 13mmol. My question is what should type 2's aim for 2 hours after meals to be under 10mmol or under that.

    Also i did have a test a couple years back which didn't indicate Diabetes but i am not sure if i was pre-diabetic as doc didn't tell me the number. As i said, i was diagnosed in Nov last year ( i believe i have been Diabetic for at least a year pre diagnosis) but before that i have had sore feet which i brought up to doc who didn't seem concerned.

    I have symptoms ranging from numb patches on toes. Sensation like freezing cold feet put in hot water (hard to describe), stabbing pains and sort of tingling feeling, also extremely sensitive. Left foot worse than right but it has started on the right as well. It seems worse when sugar is higher. I know you cant diagnose this but can anyone tell me if this sounds like neuropathy? If so, i thought it took years for complications to arise? Excluding that i might have been pre-diabetic (i assume doc would have said) for a few years. Is it a common thing to develop neuropathy within a year of having Diabetes?

    Thanks in advance :)
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  2. Confucius

    Confucius Prediabetes · Member

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    @Jolegra Tingling feet, restless legs, etc. are symptoms of neuropathy. That said, neuropathy can be caused by a number of diseases, like thyroid issues. I am not sure how long after being diabetic neuropathy symptoms like these would develop. But I exactly went to see my doctor as these symptoms alerted me something was wrong and my fasting blood sugar at the time was 6.65 mmol. After three weeks of diet change, they are no longer there. So I guess maybe different individuals develop symptoms differently.

    As for blood sugar levels to aim for, this page may provide you with more information:

  3. chalup

    chalup Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I personally aim to be below 7.8 at all times. That is the level at which some studies have shown damage to begin. Others may disagree.

    Welcome to the forum. I am going to tag @daisy1 to send you some info that is given to new members. It will be well worth your time to read it thoroughly and follow the links.
  4. Squire Fulwood

    Squire Fulwood Type 2 · Expert

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    The recommended levels may differ according to which country you live in. In the UK the official recommendation is to be below 8.5 two hours after eating. I am unable to say what evidence supports that recommendation and I suspect it is a judgement call from someone experienced in treating diabetes.

    Individuals on this site often make up their own targets and they are probably more valid than a one size fits all target. I have seen posts from people who just lower the target to 7.5, some who try not to raise more than 2mmol 2 hours after eating and one or two who like the before and after readings to be similar.

    So, the recommended levels can be taken as a guide rather than a law and you can set your own targets.
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  5. MaxRebo001

    MaxRebo001 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I used to follow NHS guidelines both for levels and diet, it was incredibly difficult to keep levels within thier limits with the diet, I was on metformin at the time and lofe was hell, i have since gone low carb and i do my best to keep within 5-6 as i have retinopathy and doing my best to ensure that doesn't progress.

    The good news is my eyesight now appears to be improving and i'm reasonably sure thats down to keeping my levels under tighter control than what guidelines suggest.
  6. Jolegra

    Jolegra Type 2 · Member

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    Thank you all for replying. It is much appreciated.
  7. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Moderator
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    Hi and welcome.

    It is difficult for any of us to give definitive answers on your questions, unfortunately. The problem is that we all have different rates at which neuropathy develops.

    I have seen posts on here from people who have developed it while pre-diabetic, and others who were diabetic for years before diagnosis, so they were untreated - and got the complications. Then there are others who have been diabetic for years, yet who don't yet have any sign of complications.

    A lot seems to depend on how high the blood glucose has been going, and for how long. (my own experience is that I get the odd stabbing pain in my instep when my blood glucose has been rising and falling too fast for several days - holidays, or xmas eating - but the pain disappears when I keep my blood glucose steady. But that is very mild compared with what many other people experience, so I can't really give you much advice from a personal perspective)

    Your description sounds like what people describe as neuropathy pain, but the same symptoms do crop up with other conditions (including Vitamin B12 deficiency) so without tests no one can be definitive, not even your doctor.

    I am sorry to be so vague, but I can point you in a few directions that may help:
    - there is a website called www.bloodsugar101.com that has some excellent information for type 2s. it explains why and how the complications like neuropathy develop, and how to prevent them getting worse (basically by keeping blood glucose under damaging levels)
    - there is a book by Dr Bernstein called The Diabetes Solution. In it he describes his lifelong journey as a type 1 diabetic, and how managed to halt and then reverse a number of diabetic complications using dietary control and medication. The same things can be used by type 2s, to achieve the same result.
    - have a forum search for alph-lipoic acid (ALA) because some people are using it as a supplement and finding that it helps with neuropathy pain.
    - have a google for 'pernicious anaemia' and Vitamin B12 deficiency. Some posters have been diagnosed with neuropathy, only to discover later that the problem was B12 all along. We don't have to be diabetic to get low on B12.

    Hope that helps.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  8. daisy1

    daisy1 Type 2 · Legend
    Retired Moderator

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    Hello Jolegra 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 147,000 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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