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Coming out of denial.

Discussion in 'Newly Diagnosed' started by MarkCass75, Nov 21, 2013.

  1. MarkCass75

    MarkCass75 · Member

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    Hi there, just found this forum. My name is Mark.

    I have put this in the newly diagnosed section, because basically after 3 months of being diagnosed it has suddenly hit home that I have diabetes. If you say it fast, then it doesn't seem real, and up to yet there had been no physical problems as a result of it. Seems hard to understand, even though deep down I knew I was doing damage to myself by eating the wrong things.

    I haven't just completely ignored it, I have changed my eating habits, but I have to admit I have still eaten some of the things I shouldn't be eating, and I know I shouldn't be too.

    I am type 2, and diet controlled (for now at least) I have to say the information that was given me by the nurse wasn't all that great. She gave me a leaflet with some advice on, which basically said I should eat breads and pasta's as usual, which goes against a lot of what I have read. I really do want to get my act together and try and sort this out now, but in all honesty, so much advice flying around out there, don't know where to start, or what to believe.

    My eye test came back as fine a couple of months back, so that was great news, so I really want to control this as much as I possibly can. The past few weeks I have had a numbness in 3 fingers on my right hand, and a few of my toes are sore I also have a little scab on my ankle which I have no idea where it came from, it's not getting any bigger, but it doesn't seem to be healing. All of these are a worry with diabetes, off to the docs to get it all checked out tomorrow.

    Any advice would be welcome

    Thanks Mark

    P.S

    I have been given no information, or any way of testing my blood sugars, is this normal ?
     
  2. dawnmc

    dawnmc Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Afraid it is normal. I can't imagine been given bad news these days without the internet. I think they assume that's where we all go to get better advice.
    This site is good for info.
    Have a look at Jenny Rhuls site 'blood sugar 101'. Its a big site full of great information. Particularly about low carbing, carbs turn to sugar. You will be surprised what you can eat. No junk from now on, no processed food.
    Meters you can get free usually from the manufacturer, have a look on Ebay or Amazon for strips.
     
  3. daisy1

    daisy1 Type 2 · Legend
    Retired Moderator

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    Hi Mark and welcome to the forum :)

    Here is the information we give to new members and I hope you will find it useful. Ask lots of questions and someone will come along and help.


    BASIC INFORMATION FOR NEWLY DIAGNOSED DIABETICS

    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 70,000 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. Yorksman

    Yorksman Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Sadly, most of what you write is normal.

    You've started off correctly by avoiding some of the more obvious foods, presumably the very sugary ones, and by trying to get yourself informed.

    The best way to learn is to assume nothing and test everything. Getting your own meter is a big step in the right direction. Cheapest is the SD Codefree, which apparantly reads a little higher than most or something like the GlucoRx which is still at the cheaper end of the meter scale but more expensive than the SD in terms of the cost of strips.

    Avoid all white bread, white flour products, pasta, white rice and mashed potato. Start eating brown rice, wholewheat pasta, rye bread, boiled potatoes, pulses, beans, pearl barley, porridge, ie all the more complex carbs, at first in small quantities and test before and two hours after every meal. In time, over the weeks, you will get some idea of what does work and what doesn't work for you. Bread is the biggest problem because what you get is rarely what is described. A Waitrose wholemeal loaf for example only contains 6% wholegrain flour.

    Much of what you describe as conflicting advice is really because different people react in different ways to different foods so it is best for you to learn what works for you and that means testing.

    Cutting out the obvious sugary foods is a big help, cutting out the white or refined carbs is another big step and limiting portions of the more complex carbs is also very helpful. These will all directly affect your carbohydrate intake and digestion. Weight loss will help your insulin sensitivity as will exercise. Becoming more active provides a big benefit in this respect because of the way the hormones and subsequent production of various enzymes helps your blood lipids. If you get all 3 right and lose enough weight, potentially you can reverse the progression and even if you can't, you can slow it down. Some people report managing it for decades.
     
  5. Thommothebear

    Thommothebear Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Mark. One step you can take is to log everything you eat, noting the carb, fat and protein contents - there are free online tools such as myfitnesspal.com which make this very easy - you just plug your foods in and it works out everything else. These tools are mostly designed for those who exercise and or diet, but they are equally useful for those who need to track their carb or sugar intake (in my view carb is more important). Once you get a meter you can test before eating and then again 2 hours later to see exactly what foods and carb levels affect your blood glucose levels.

    I found that by logging I realised I was actually overeating, and that a lot of foods which are classed as low fat are much higher in carbs than I realised. Changing to low carb high fat has led me to lose weight while still eating enough to rarely feel hungry, and also lowered both my blood glucose and cholesterol levels. While everyone is different, you will find a lot of people here have reported good results from this type of diet. There are also some who have achieved similar results from a calorie restricted low fat diet, there is no one-size-fits-all solution it seems, but there will be a solution for you, you just need to find it. Remember though that you need to find something that is sustainable, good control requires a lifestyle change rather than a diet.

    You will find load of help here, this is a brilliant site and some fantastic people.


    Sent from a melting iceberg. help!!!
     
  6. MarkCass75

    MarkCass75 · Member

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    Thanks for the advice everyone.

    I already I have an account on my fitness pal. From a while back when I was making an attempt to lose some weight. I'm 15 and a half stone, so quite a bit over weight, so I have some way to go with that. The diet took a bit of a back seat because I quit smoking, which is obviously a great health benefit, but it came at a cost of eating more, but hey, I have to deal with all of this. I am 38 soon, but I have 2 young boys 1 and 3 who need me around for sometime yet. I have so much I want to do with them, that is what I am going to use as my motivation. I'm not scared of dying in itself, I am scared of dying before my job as a parent is done though, in fact it scares me to death (no pun intended)


    In order of how I intend to go about putting things right.

    * Get a tester - Can do this today, local chemist stocks them, will nip down and get one.

    * Log eating - Start using myfitnesspal. I assume most of the foods logged on there have the correct values for carbs etc ? or close to it, providing I get the right weights/quantity of foods I am eating.

    * Exercise. - Have already started this, and am enjoying it. So far Swimming twice a week, exercise bike 15-30 mins daily. Walk the kids to school and back instead of car. The occasional stroll just for the hell of it. I intend on joining the gym, more for the cardio side of it than building muscles, but if I get ripped in the process I wont complain :)


    Few questions if anyone can answer.

    *Why are boiled potatoes more acceptable than mash (providing I don't add butter and milk etc ?)
    *I was told by the nurse to drink skimmed milk, I currently drink semi skimmed (in tea, coffee) is semi fine or not ?
    * Talking of tea and coffee, are they generally acceptable, or can they cause problems, I like my coffee a lot, I also use sweetners, which I also have no idea if they are acceptable, or just slightly better than sugar?

    Also, it seems as though fruit really isn't that good for you because of the carbs and sugars. I like my blackberries, raspberries etc, do I really have to ditch those ? They became a good replacement for my weakness (crisps)

    Thanks again for all of the advice.
     
  7. Yorksman

    Yorksman Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    The blood sugar levels of diabetics take longer to return to normal than non diabetics. The average level over time is higher and this is what is damaging. One way to avoid damage is to keep the levels low by avoiding certain foods, another is to eat foods which take longer to digest and so the starches are released into the system more slowly and what insulin you do produce has longer to work on it. This is why wholegrains such as brown rice tend to be more beneficial. They are more difficult to break down.

    Mashing potatoes is a mechanical process which starts breaking down the structure of the potatoes and starts to release the starches before you put it into your mouth. Heating, adding water and mashing is a process called saccharification and is what you do when you are making potato vodka. Here you are releasing the starch so its sugars can be turned into alcohol. You can't make potato vodka out of boiled potatoes.

    There is a system of gauging how quickly sugars are released called glycaemic index. Depending on what kind of potato and how ripe it is, a yellowish fairly hard boiled potato might have a GI of 50 whereas a fluffy white potato well mashed might be 75. 50 is the top end of the lowish GI foods and so to begin with, you should limit the quantity that you eat. This is another way to keep the BG levels down. I started with 3 small new potatoes. I now eat about 5 or 6 depending on what else I have.

    There are plenty of starches around which have lower GIs. Have a look at this list, http://www.weightlossresources.co.uk/di ... tables.htm

    It is only a rough guide because ripeness and variety all play a part. That's why testing is always advised.
     
  8. Yorksman

    Yorksman Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Raspberries, blackberries, blueberries etc are OK, just be a little cautious and test. In general though, as a rough guide, northern european fruits including apples, pears and plums are OK. Southern european fruits, including oranges and grapes will be more difficult for you and tropical fruits such as pineapples and bananas are high in sugars.

    Carbs is a meaningless term really because there are so many types. A tree is packed with carbohydrates but even if you ate a whole one, it wouldn't affect your BG levels. The carbs are cellulose based and we can't digest it, unlike a cow, which can. People do eat bread made from tree bark but it is mostly a famine food. It fills the belly but provides virtually no nutrition. Straw and hay too are full of cellulose, but we haven't eaten that sort of stuff since we used to live in trees and eat leaves and our appendix is much smaller than it used to be. The carbs that we do digest are many, monosaccharides, disaccharides, polysaccharides. Oligosacchradides, found in pulses, are strictly speaking not digested by enzymes but are broken down in the intestine by bacteria, hence they give you flatulence. They are low GI foods though.
     
  9. Carbdodger

    Carbdodger · Well-Known Member

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    Hello MarkCass75
    Good to hear that you are trying to get to grips with diabetes. Nasty thing but we can control it.
    I've quit potatoes completely replacing them with things like celeriac and swede which are much lower in carbs.
    Why not try cream instead of milk in your coffee? Also the less fat there is in milk the higher the carbs (marginally). Don't be scared of good fats if you manage to low carb. Sweetner is fine although some will say it tricks your brain into craving more sweet things. Can't say that's true here but maybe work out for yourself?
    I found once I switched to a low carb diet (around 30g a day) it wasn't long that ailments that I'd had for a while started to disappear. These included numbness in hands and feet, skin infections, blurry eyes, tiredness, depression, headaches.
    Cd
     
  10. MarkCass75

    MarkCass75 · Member

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    Thanks for that post, kind of gives me some hope. I like my coffee, but can't stand it unsweetened I have no idea why, because I actually don't really like anything else sweet. It is more the savoury stuff that has done me over the years, crisps etc, I have knocked them on the head obviously now.

    So cream is better than milk? great !
     
  11. 2131tom

    2131tom Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I've had a breadmaker for a long time now and it lets me decide what ingredients I want to use (usually 50% wholemeal /50% white flour for a decent wholemeal loaf that's not too leaden) - it's worth looking at for those who still feel able to eat bread. It'll do a very passable ryebread too.

    On another tack, I found it useful to record my readings. The basic MySugr programme is free to download and use and lets you record and analyse your results. It suits me, but there are others around.

    I'll not repeat what's already been said and no doubt others will give you their thoughts and experiences, but I have found that drinking a lot more water during the day helps a lot with the hunger pangs, as well as having other significant benefits too.

    Non-salted nuts are good to snack on and I've also taken to having those small tins of oily fish (pilchards, sardines, mackerel) 3/4 times a week, with a couple of Ryvita, as one of my small meals.
     
  12. Yorksman

    Yorksman Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    That's the advice of the real bread campaign, 'if you want wholemeal bread, you are safer making your own'. It is good fun too.
     
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