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Diabetes and Long Covid

Discussion in 'Type 2 Diabetes' started by IJessWonder, Feb 24, 2022.

  1. IJessWonder

    IJessWonder · Member

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    Hi, I’m new to the forums. I was diagnosed T2D in October 2019 when my A1C was 5.4, I was never put on any medication and tried to changed my diet and lifestyle before my next review appointment which never happened because of lockdown. I did get my A1c checked again in July 2020 and it had gone up to 5.7.

    Fast forward to October 2020, I started a new weight management program which began well but in January 2021 I caught Covid and haven’t been the same since. Whilst I have lost 17kgs since Oct 21, blood tests in January 2022 found that I have a severe vitamin D deficiency, my thyroid levels are too low and my A1c is now 89. The numbers all changed and I don’t really understand it. What I do know is that my diabetes is now considered uncontrolled. I have a review booked for next week but I just really need some advice, I guess? I feel like such a newbie and I guess I am.

    I’ve been struggling for the past year with fatigue, shortness of breath, brain fog, memory issues, noise sensitivity, pain, daily headaches - none of which I had before Covid. I spoke with a Consultant of Occupational Medicine the other day who suggested that possibly my Long Covid symptoms had been getting better (which they had been though they were still bad) but my diabetes was getting worse and it’s sort of clashed and they are masking each other.

    Has anyone else struggled with Long Covid and with controlling their diabetes? How did you deal with it?
     
    • Hug Hug x 4
  2. EllieM

    EllieM Type 1 · Moderator
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    Welcome to the forums @IJessWonder . I'm sorry you're having these issues.

    I assume you mean 54, that's firmly diabetic but at the relatively low end?

    There are quite a few threads about long covid from both T1s and T2s. Hopefully some members will give you feedback soon.
     
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  3. IJessWonder

    IJessWonder · Member

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    Thanks

    no, I mean 5.4 - when I was diagnosed I was given it like that. When I was given number recently, I was told 89 and told that the numbers were given differently now. I also double checked the numbers with the dr because I didn’t understand the difference.

    i was diagnosed after two fasting blood glucose tests - i had actually went to my doctor after I’d had a breakdown at work whilst on a 13-day period which was extremely unusual for me and eventually came away with a T2D diagnosis *shrug*
     
  4. Goonergal

    Goonergal Type 2 · Master

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    Hi @IJessWonder and welcome.

    The A1C of 5.4 would equate to 36 in the other way of recording and wouldn’t be regarded as diabetic. However 89 most certainly would.

    I have type 2 (has been in remission for a while) and also have long covid (original Covid was in March 2020). Until recently I hadn’t had any significant fluctuations in blood glucose, although it has been a bit more variable throughout. Just recently it’s been sky high on occasion without any real cause, and trending higher in general. I have had a couple of periods of not eating as well as I might, so I’m now doubled down so I can see more clearly what might be going on.
     
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  5. IJessWonder

    IJessWonder · Member

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    Because I was sort of left to it myself, I obviously ended up researching T2D a lot and wondered why I was given a diagnosis if my A1c was normal? It caused me so much stress. I did NOT take it well because I didn’t have any of the symptoms that I was reading about - my dr didn’t even tell me what a fasting blood test was for in the first place - thankfully I’d remembered she’d even asked for that in the first place or I would have eaten before I went for the test. I had the symptoms of anaemia, not diabetes so I was confused as all hell.

    I’m not denying it’s diabetes now but it would have saved me a lot of stress back then if someone had actually explained my a1c was within normal levels but they didn’t. They just spoke about lowering it even further.
     
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  6. ianf0ster

    ianf0ster Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @IJessWonder I think we are all struggling to understand a reading of 5.4. The current way of measuring HbA1C (the standard test for diabetes in the UK) is in mmol and a reading of 42 is the lowest for 'pre-diabetic' or 'at risk of diabetes' and a reading of 48 is the lowest for actual diabetes. the way it used to be measured was in percent (%) and so as has been mentioned, a old style reading of 5.4% would be 36 in the new measurements and this is plainly not even bordering 'pre-diabetic'.
    So I can only assume that somebody quoted the wrong number.

    However a reading of 80 is certainly well into the diabetic range and so certainly needs some action to reduce it.
    The are some things in your control which can affect Blood Glucose and in the longer term the HbA1C (which is similar to a 3 month average) and some things which are completely out of your control.
    The following are among the things which can or do increase Blood Glucose numbers:
    1. Carbohydrates in the diet
    2. Illness or injury
    3. Stress
    4. Lack of sleep
    5. Medications particularly steroids and statins.
    6. Too little (or sometimes too much of too vigorous) exercise.
     
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  7. IJessWonder

    IJessWonder · Member

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    I have a review next week, it’s something I’m going to be checking again because I want to know if I’ve made a mistake or why they did this.

    Thank you. That’s really helpful information for me.
    It probably all contributes right now unfortunately. Since I found out the number, I have been trying to change things because I’ve had issues with eating (getting distracted/forgetting to) due to memory issues and lack of appetite. I know I don’t eat enough through the day. My stress levels have probably increased and my sleep is definitely worse. I tried to pick up a bit on doing more exercise (walking) which is difficult enough as it is anyway and picked up a cold which has floored me for over a week now :(
     
  8. Dandelade

    Dandelade · Well-Known Member

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    Hi IJessWonder,

    I’m sorry you’re having such a hard time at the moment. I’m just commenting to say I thought I had long COVID and a lot of the same symptoms you’ve listed, actually turned out to be hypothyroid, which I’m medicated for now and feel a lot better.

    It might turn out to be different for yourself but I would definitely ask the gp for more information regarding your thyroid as well as the high blood glucose readings. On the low side isn’t very specific! Is it low free t4, low t3, under range? A high over range TSH? If the answer to any of those questions are yes then you may need to start thyroid replacement known as levothyroxine. It’s a long road but one you can totally recover from.

    Incidentally, the blood sugar control and thyroid are linked. Once my medication for thyroid was sorted the blood sugar control got a lot better (not completely gone but massively helped).

    In the meantime, the best thing that helped me, as others have said, is a lower carb diet.
     
  9. IJessWonder

    IJessWonder · Member

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    Thank you.

    Sorry I wasn’t more specific. I had my thyroid removed 9 years ago so I am hypothyroid. It was under control as least as far as last May (2021) after finally getting my meds right the year before. I’ve had problems taking them in the past (I wouldn’t realise I wasn’t and then I would be feeling like rubbish (c.rap is censored?) and my mum would ask if I had and then I’d twig) - which is the first question the nurse asked me when they talked to me about it. I’ve been religious these days about taking them as well. I’m pretty familiar with how it feels when I’m not getting enough - this doesn’t feel like that at all.

    My Dr said my levels were “sub-optimal”. My meds were upped slightly to fix it. It was just rather disappointing after finally getting them sorted.

    Thank you for explaining that blood sugar control and thyroid are linked. I didn’t know that.
     
  10. Dandelade

    Dandelade · Well-Known Member

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    Ah ok well glad you’re being treated for it anyway!I hope you find some answers.
     
  11. Mr_Pot

    Mr_Pot Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @IJessWonder, If you haven't already done so, I suggest you register with your doctor for on-line results or at least get them to give you a print out. This avoids any doubt about test result figures and their units.
     
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