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Diagnosed pre-diabetic, pretty sure I am diabetic, diet Q's?

Discussion in 'Greetings and Introductions' started by littleblueraincloud, Oct 31, 2016.

  1. littleblueraincloud

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    Greetings from rainy California! I am a woman in my early 40's with a strong family history of type I AND II diabetes, both. I guess I got double-whammied. I've had gestational diabetes in the past, but that was 20 years ago, and it went away afterwards. It also went overlooked until nearly the last week of my pregnancy.

    So I went in for my yearly check up, and the third year in a row, after a 24 hour fast (hey! I was busy! I am also not a big eater at all and am low-average weight) and for the third year, I was just one point away from being diabetic. The doctor also tested me for the genetic marker, hb1ac, which was definitely positive, and diagnosed me with pre-diabetes, which has been diagnosed in every family member who is diabetic first, more or less. She said she thought my lower weight and pretty good diet (I don't really eat much pre-processed foods or eat much in the way of unrefined carbs) was keeping it under control. She said I should exercise and keep watching it.

    I really suspect I may be diabetic though because I do get symptoms that seem like this, like insatiable thirst at times and excessive urination. Most frustratingly, I often feel tired despite sleeping well, and on these days, I invariably feel very itchy all over (hard to describe, half itchy, half tingly?) Plus sometimes I feel like I can go days without eating and don't get shaky (and other times, it is the exact opposite -- my appetite is weird). But I can't ever make it to the doctor to be tested right then since I work a lot, seven day weeks.

    I also know my blood sugar was good, really good, for like ten years at least after having my baby (now grown). Then, about five years ago, I gained a bunch of weight that no one but me cares about, when after a lifetime of being really rail thin but "right" for my bird-body (according to the doctor, not underweight, just tiny-boned), I gained enough weight, without changing my diet at all, to gain fifteen insufferable pounds that keep me out of my nice work wardrobe from "before." NOTHING seems to budge it in terms of diet, and exercise is not something I really do or have ever done. Could my blood sugar problems be causing me to not lose weight as easily as before? I used to just diet and lose if needed, took like four days, a week at the most! Now, I have tried everything from fasting to calorie restriction to no carbs (which made me feel horrible and stopped after a day or two), and I do not lose a single pound, ever.

    I'm supposed to go be rechecked next year. Is it possible that someone diagnosed pre-diabetic COULD actually be diabetic, especially if it runs in both sides of their family, in both forms? And is it possible that this could contribute to difficulty with weight loss, and if so, what is the best diet for me?

    I know some, but not all that much, about diabetes, type II.

    I believe my maternal grandmother had type I, and her sisters had type II, and of her four children, two had type II diabetes, my mother was diagnosed with pre-diabetes in the 1970's (she is very thin and tall and eats mainly salad and no sugar her entire life), and the third had type I, and my paternal grandfather had type II as did someone else, I forget who.

    Fun facts? I am a teacher. I am trying to decide on what costume to wear to class tomorrow still. I love to travel. I don't eat red meat or pork and never have but eat chicken and fish, both, especially fish, which I love. I'm a fan of reading but with so much work, including on the weekends, I never have much time to read, except student writing.

    Thank you for any thoughts you have!
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  2. Indy51

    Indy51 Type 2 · Expert

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    Hi and welcome to the forum.

    I'll tag @daisy1 as she will post some advice for newcomers for you.

    In the meantime, there are a couple of links for recommended reading in my signature below that would be good for you to review.

    The forum also has a free low carb education program that you can sign up for:
    https://www.diabetes.co.uk/lowcarb/

    A good resource for you as an American would be the Blood Sugar 101 website which has a comprehensive overview and the measurements given are in your units: http://www.phlaunt.com/diabetes/index.php

    If you don't already own one, I'd suggest you get yourself a glucometer - it's a great tool for keeping track of what is going on.

    HbA1c isn't a genetic test by the way - it's a measurement of the glycation of your red blood cells:
    http://www.diabetes.co.uk/what-is-hba1c.html
     
    • Winner Winner x 1
  3. Bowlerguy

    Bowlerguy Type 1 · Member

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    Hi, I live in California as well. (Northern) Have been diabetic for over 43 years and concur with above. Proper testing is your best bet and your doctor should be able to prescribe a tester for you to help cut costs if you have insurance. I test about 6-8 times a day and wear an insulin pump for the last 15 yrs. Your own testing is the only way to keep a handle on things. Good luck.
     
  4. Freema

    Freema Type 2 · Expert

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    Welcome here littleblueraincloud Well your eating pattern is very inconsistant and maybe put a big responsibillity on your liver producing extra glucose when you dont eat. Maybe eating more the same way and low carb every day Will help you . Yes buy a meter and use it every day in the morning and before each meal and 2 hours after it should be below 7.8 after meals if NOT change the menu
     
    • Like Like x 1
    #4 Freema, Oct 31, 2016 at 5:48 AM
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2016
  5. catapillar

    catapillar Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I wasn't aware there was an identified genetic marker for diabetes? It's not entirely clear from your post, but if you think hba1c is a genetic marker, it isn't - it's essentially an average of your blood sugar level over the past 3 months ish.

    Diagnostically, the difference between diabetes and pre diabetes is the hba1c level and this is really just an arbitrary line drawn in the sand. My understanding is that the purpose of pre diabetes as a diagnosis is to act as a warning, to give people the chance to try and halt progression to diabetes - you will receive lots of good advice on steps to take in that effort here.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. azure

    azure Type 1 · Expert

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  7. daisy1

    daisy1 Type 2 · Legend
    Retired Moderator

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    @littleblueraincloud

    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.


    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 210,000 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.
     
  8. chalup

    chalup Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi there, welcome to the forum. Daisy1 has been tagged and will send you that info soon, remembering this forum is based in the UK and running 8 hours ahead of us west coasters. (I am in Canada) There is a link to the low carb program right at the bottom of it and it is free. There is something called the keto flu which is that horrible feeling the first few days of a low carb diet. It will pass and you will find yourself feeling better than you have in a long while. Because you don't have much weight to lose you will want to make sure you eat lots of fats and protein if you decide to go this route. It is much harder for a lot of type 2 diabetics to lose weight because most of us have far too much insulin which is the fat storage hormone. If it was easy for you in the past and hard now it may be because you are now overproducing insulin. A low carb diet will help normalize this as well as your blood sugar. I hope this helps, I am not giving medical advice just my own experience with this wonderful thing called diabetes.


    Oops she popped in while I was typing :p
     
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  9. Indy51

    Indy51 Type 2 · Expert

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    Seriously? I already advised the OP in the first reply on the thread that A1c is not a genetic marker - why do you all keep repeating it?
     
  10. catapillar

    catapillar Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Sorry @Indy51 I had missed that you had covered it in your post. But all the same, no harm in repeating surely? There's often repetition on threads as people add to or reiterate points already made, or just respond on the bits that "speak" to them - seems an odd thing to take exception to :)

    Your first reply was very comprehensive and helpful, but even so I'm sure you wouldn't want to see the thread locked with no one else allowed to add their penny's worth.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Legend

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    Just as a matter of interest @littleblueraincloud what were the results of your 24 hour fast test and your HbA1c test, and how much weight do you want to lose (you say you are already low to average)? This information may help us to help you.
     
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