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blood testing

Discussion in 'Newly Diagnosed' started by Ruby Tuesday, Mar 10, 2013.

  1. Ruby Tuesday

    Ruby Tuesday · Newbie

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    I was just diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and am a bit worried about what I should be doing. i have bEen told that I should lose weight and given a leaflet but nothing else. i know that people with diabetes usually test blood regularly. Is this something that I should be doing?

    I am also worried about work as I have been feeling really ill and and am worried that I am going to struggle to do my job properly as really dizzy and tired. I am going to make the lifestyle changes suggested but this will surely take time before it has an impact on my symptoms??? I don't want to lose my job.
  2. Squire Fulwood

    Squire Fulwood Type 2 · Expert

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    Yes, absolutely. Buy a meter and test until you know what foods you can eat.
  3. daisy1

    daisy1 Type 2 · Legend

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    Hi Ruby and welcome to the forum :)

    Here is the information we give to new members which you should find helpful. Ask all the questions you like 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 30,000 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

    Another option is to replace ‘white carbohydrates’ (such as white bread, white rice, white flour etc) with whole grain varieties. The idea behind having whole grain varieties is that the carbohydrates get broken down slower than the white varieties –and these are said to have a lower glycaemic index.
    http://www.diabetes.co.uk/food/diabetes ... rains.html

    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

    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.
  4. Daibell

    Daibell LADA · Master

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    Hi. The number one priority for you all of us if the best diet. This means having a low-carb/low-GI diet and keeping portion size under control. Yes, do get hold of a meter and test your blood 2 hours after a typical meal to find out what foods affect you and roughly what your average sugar is. Once you get your weight down with the right diet, your blood sugar should rapidly drop and any diabetic symptoms should disappear. If the NHS leaflet talks about having starchy carbs with every meal then discard it and learn from this forum and others that have up to date views on the diet approach for diabetes. Set yourself a target for daily carb intake, say, 150 or 200gm/day initially and see how you do. Read the labels and beware that the food manufacturers find all sorts of ways to get carbs, including sugar into our food. Fats are OK in sensible quantity but unsaturated are best.
  5. Yorksman

    Yorksman Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Porridge is awkward for many people. It used to spike me but things are OK if I keep my portion down to 30gm dry weight and do some exercise, about 5 mins, about an hour after eating. Avoid things like white bread, pasta and white rice and try and eat wholegrain bread, wholegrain pasta and brown rice. Eat them all in moderately small proportions until you get your meter and can test before and 2 hours after to see what effect they have on you. Try and go for walks after meals, not to get fit or lose weight, just short walks to aid digestion. It releases various hormones and enzymes which act on what you have eaten. Drink plenty of water too. It's often forgotten but several people have commented on how it has made them feel better.
  6. Ruby Tuesday

    Ruby Tuesday · Newbie

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    Thank you everyone for all the tips. I had been advised to eat starchy carbs with every meal and did worry that this would not help with weightloss especially as the information did not say how much!

    it may be a silly question but will this start to make me feel better soon or will that not happen until I have shifted some weight. I feel like I am barely functioning right now due to tiredness and dizziness?
  7. Sharon68

    Sharon68 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Ruby Tuesday

    Firstly can I encourage you to speak to your Manager or even maybe HR at work, explain you have been diagnosed with Diabetes and that you hope over the coming weeks to be feeling a bit better, this will hopefully give them the opportunity to support you instead of trying to guess why you aren't working as well as you used to. They mustn't, by law discriminate against you but believe me, as an HR Manager, its so much easier to work with someone to help them in the workplace because they have let me know their illness and limits than to be trying to second guess (my crystal ball is somewhat glazed over these days :lol: ).

    With regards to the testing... do it! Its really helped me to understand what I can eat without it affecting by BG too much. I just do it twice a day, just before my main meal and then 2 hours after. Hopefully your Dr will be understanding and give you the testing strips on prescription, if not have a look round on the forum as there are a lot of posts about cheaper strips.

    If you do find a cure for the dizziness let me know! I've had it for over four months, got another couple of weeks tablets then its off to the specialist if its not better.

    Just take your time reading through the info on here, the people are great and will try to help you with any questions you may have :thumbup:
  8. annew

    annew · Well-Known Member

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    My experience is that I started very low carb - under 50 gm per day - immediately after diagnosis and can vividly remember that my tiredness went within 10 days. I'd been so tired it was very difficult to get up in the morning then usually went to sleep for 11/2 - 2 hours in the afternoon. Retired, so I can do that! The joy of waking up before the rest of the household before 7am and feeling fully awake and energetic was wonderful. Hope it happens for you.. As recommended above, get a meter, then go for it.
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