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Diagnosed today, question about diet/pills

Discussion in 'Newly Diagnosed' started by Blossom1977, Jul 27, 2017.

  1. Blossom1977

    Blossom1977 Type 2 · Member

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    I've had two blood tests and today my doctor said I am diabetic. I said I would like to try and control by diet alone, she didn't seem keen. But agreed to let me try for two months. I have an appointment with diabetic nurse in a weeks time.
    My test results are as follows
    plasma glucose level (fasting) was 10.7
    (Non fasting was 14.4)
    So my question is. Do you think it is wise to try and control with diet alone at this stage. Or should I be tackling this with diet and pills. (Diabetic pills/medicine)
    Many thanks
     
    #1 Blossom1977, Jul 27, 2017 at 12:32 AM
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2017
  2. Guzzler

    Guzzler Type 2 · Master

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    Hi there and welcome, I'm tagging @daisy1 for you as she will come along and give you all the basics on Diabetes.
    Until then, a few more details would help as per your well being. I have no idea what, if any, adverse effect diet pills would have on blood glucose levels but if you browse the forum you will see lots of members have lost weight on LCHF (Low Carb, High fat) diet and excercise. This is not the only method that members have used but in my own case I lost a stone in the first month on this diet and lowered my bg levels.
    Ask questions and make use of the search function, help and advice is right here.
     
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  3. Blossom1977

    Blossom1977 Type 2 · Member

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    Thanks for your reply and well done on your weight loss!
    I didn't explain myself properly.
    I meant. Is it wise to try and control with diet alone. Or should I take diabetes medine and diet.
    Also Incase it helps, this was also mentioned in my fasting blood test results Haemoglobin A1c level - IFCC standardised 78 mmol/mol
     
  4. CherryAA

    CherryAA Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hii Blossom, I was diagnosed at 92 Hba1C. -" fasting glucose 18.4!)

    I refused meds, went on a strict low carb diet immediately ( 30 g max) - dramatic improvement in weeks, not had to deal with any side effects from drugs . Personal view would be you probably don't need the drugs IF you can amend the diet and lose weight if that's necessary . In practice if the diet alone doesn't work I doubt it matters too much if you delay the drugs while you give it a try. If you start with the drugs immediately then you won't know what was the drug effect and what was the diet effect.

    You can see my results in my signature. I have been strict low carb and diet though and I have now lost nearly 30 kg . Its hard work but worth it!
     
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  5. Blossom1977

    Blossom1977 Type 2 · Member

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    Hi cherry, thanks for your reply.
    Well done on your weight loss and getting your glucose levels down!
    My doctor had a bit of an attitude when I suggested trying dieting first. So I was worried that I was putting my health at risk if I didn't take medication straight away. Put you have put my mind at rest, I'm definately going to try the diet first. I am determined to make it work (and prove my doctor wrong lol)
     
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  6. pleinster

    pleinster Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi. I completely get where you are coming from. Firstly, I would say that we do all differ as individuals but we can also have a lot in common..enough to at least express our opinions and to share experiences so you can weigh them up and decide on your own approach. I had levels similar to yours on diagnosis (like many)..in fact my first test was up above 20mmols. I was placed on Gliclazide and advised to "eat healthily". Honestly, had I known then what I know now I would have chosen to try control through diet alone initially because that is what I ended up doing a couple of months later with greater success than on the Gliclazide (even when it was doubled). One reason, I think it is advisable to try diet alone first (and for me, and many others here, that meant a low carb diet) is that if you then record your levels (ie. the readings from your self testing meter...which is a fantastic tool whatever you are told by the NHS about not needing one) before and about 2 hours after eating...and the food you are eating without the added impact of meds, you will soon understand from the patterns you find what is increasing your blood sugar (and generally, it's carbohydrates)..whereas with pills too it is impossible to judge the extent to which you are able to control things purely by diet. Does that make sense? Anyway, in brief - yes...it make total sense for a Type 2 to try changes to lifestyle and/or
    diet first to see what that achieves. I hope it works out for you. Personally, I have not been back on meds since making the decision around 2 years ago and my control id pretty good as you will see from the HbA1c test results below in my "signature". others may disagree...depends what you are after really...but your levels are not crazy high and you can always get around to the pills if it isn't working out for you. Good luck.
     
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  7. Blossom1977

    Blossom1977 Type 2 · Member

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    Hi contralto, I could well have been a diabetic for a while as I havnt had a blood test for a good two years. Thank you for your diet advice. Doesn't look to bad at all and definately doable! I'm going to give it my best shot. It's been a wake up call for sure and definat lay time to do something about my weigh etc
     
  8. Blossom1977

    Blossom1977 Type 2 · Member

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    Thank you so much for taking time to reply to my message. It's good to hear your experience. It's made me decide to go down the diet route and hopefully not have to take any meds. Time to get healthy, been a wake up call for sure! I will buy blood glucose machine tomorrow, so I can monitor as well. Thank you again xxx
     
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  9. Phoenix55

    Phoenix55 Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the forum @Blossom1977 do get yourself a meter and plenty of the strips that go with it (they are the on-going expense) check out the shop here and others online, as a diagnosed diabetic you do not have to pay VAT on them and it helps with the expense. I keep a simple spreadsheet of what I have eaten and my blood glucose levels through the day, exercise taken and sundry other things (moods, colds etc.) Initially it was a bit of a bind filling it in but it was worth it. We all react to various foods differently and by testing twice I soon found what I could no longer tolerate. It also helped me with keeping an exercise regime going, I chose to walk briskly initially for half an hour but building up to over an hour. There are even some on line exercise walks that you can find on youtube which are fun on days when it is wet. It was useful to note my basic measurements and weight once week.
    Be prepared for your weekly shop to take twice as long as normal for a couple of weeks while you read all the small print. Try to keep the carbohydrate figure under ten for 100g. Forget the 'free from' aisle, it is expensive for what it is, and most of it is still not suitable for diabetics and be careful of some meats and smoked foods, sometimes they have had sugar added to them as part of the processing. My biggest disappointment was finding that smoked salmon had sugar added to it! My meter told me that. Untreated oily fish, meats, cheeses, olives and above ground vegetables are a good start, but I have a varied diet including seasonal berries, cream, sugar free jelly and even occasional pieces of high % chocolate. I lost 2 stone at about a pound a week and the weight has stayed off for over a year. It has been an excuse to buy a new wardrobe and to recycle some old favourites that I had abandoned because they no longer fitted. Now my weight and my blood glucose has stabilised, I am also fitter than I was and no medication, no diet clubs and no gym fees. I can still go out with friends for a meal but I am careful about what I choose from the menu. It is a steep learning curve but worth it in the long run.
     
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  10. AM1874

    AM1874 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @Blossom1977 .. and welcome
    Whether or not you decide on taking meds .. some folk do, some don't .. you have certainly made a good move coming here. Since joining this forum, the folks here have given me so much info, advice and support that I am now much more confident about the journey ahead. So ask your questions and be assured that you will receive the answers that you need. It can all seem uphill to start with but, in my experience, it gets easier .. very quickly.

    You have already made a positive start in dealing with your diagnosis .. but the key point to take on board is that managing and controlling your diabetes (or pre-diabetes) through exercise, diet and testing your Blood Glucose seems to be the best way forward for many people. For me, committing to an LCHF (Low Carb High Fat) lifestyle and testing 3-5 times a day seems to be working and you'll find that there is a wealth of info, relevant advice and positive support about LCHF on the forum ..

    You have already had a lot of good advice about diet above and I see that @Guzzler has already tagged @ daisy1 for you .. I suggest that you read up on the Low Carb Program in the information that she will soon be sending you. You might also find the discussion on the Low Carb Diet forum helpful .. and the following Diet Doctor websites which will give you all the info that you need on what and what not to eat ...
    Low Carb Intro and Information and Low Carbs in 60 Seconds

    It is a top priority that you get yourself a test meter and, for this, the following websites might help:
    https://homehealth-uk.com/product-category/blood-glucose/
    for the SD Codefree meter, which costs £12.98 or:
    http://spirit-healthcare.co.uk/product/tee2-blood-glucose-meter/
    who distribute the TEE 2 meter, which is free.
    I have both which I alternate for comparative purposes and I have never found any significant difference between them.

    Unless you are prescribed test strips by your doctor (unlikely), the costs of testing comes down to the ongoing charges for test strips and lancets. Make sure that you tick the appropriate box on the on-line order form and you won't pay VAT on your meter or strips.
    For the SD Codefree, the strips are £7.69 for a pack of 50 and there are discount codes available for bulk purchases:
    5 packs x 50 use code: 264086 .. cost is £38.45
    10 packs x 50 use code: 975833 .. cost is £76.90
    For the TEE 2, the strips are £7.75 for a pack of 50 .. but there are no discount codes currently available

    I'm testing 3-5 times a day which works out at around £10 to £12 per month for either of the two packages above but, more importantly, I now know what my BG levels are .. and I can now manage them

    Hope this helps
     
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  11. CherryAA

    CherryAA Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Doctors, like all of us, are trained "TO DO " something, so if you say no its the same as " shunning them" I doubt it a deliberate attitude but a normal human emotion. At the same time most doctors are aware that most diets don't work and most patients don't stick to them. In part that is because most people try to follow the normal guidelines - low fat foods which is extremely hard especially when the high blood sugars will give you terrible food cravings. That goes away on an LCHF diet.

    I relaxed my diet quite a lot for a month and put 6 kg on as a result - ( mainly water weight - ie carbs attract water so 1 kg of additional weight from carbs adds 4 kg of water.) I then put myself on a fast/ very low calorie/very low carb diet - Iv'e been on it for 5 days so far and lost 4.8 kg - i..e that additional water has pretty much disappeared again as quickly as it arrived- that has NEVER happened to me before with a traditional low fat diet .

    You will have fun experimenting and if you are anything like me and many of us here, you will soon start to feel better than you have done in along time .
     
  12. daisy1

    daisy1 Type 2 · Legend
    Retired Moderator

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    @Blossom1977

    Hello Blossom and welcome to the Forum :) Here is the Basic Information we give to new members and I hope it will be useful to you. 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 245,000 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.
     
  13. leslie10152

    leslie10152 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I say go for it, give yourself a chance.
     
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  14. Art Of Flowers

    Art Of Flowers I reversed my Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    If you go low carb straight away, you should be able to reduce blood sugars very quickly. See www.dietdoctor.com for advice on low carb recipes and what foods are best to eat.

    Get a blood glucose meter and check daily to begin with. Check before and 2hrs after meals to see which foods to avoid. Basically cut out breakfast cereals, bread, potatoes, rice and pasta. Also avoid fruit juice and fruit such as bananas and grapes.

    Drugs like metformin only reduce blood sugars by a small amount. A low carb diet is much more effective. By eating low carb I have reduced my HbA1C from 99 to 44 in just over 6 months. Intermittent fasting is also useful in reducing blood glucose levels. See dietdoctor.com for details on intermittent fasting. I watched Jason Fung's fasting video course before starting intermittent fasting.
     
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  15. kokhongw

    kokhongw I reversed my Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    My endocrinologist had the same attitude even after I had managed to lower my glucose to normal levels :D There is the mindset that it is unsustainable...that was almost 2 years ago...

    In addition to all the good advice given...you can check out this link...
    http://www.diabetes.co.uk/reversing-diabetes.html

    Still if you should find it a struggle to maintain good glucose without medication, do not be too worried about being on medication or insulin. We should do what is necessary to reduce our risks of diabetes complications.
     
  16. BarbaraG

    BarbaraG Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Back in the mists of time when I was diagnosed (1998) with a fasting reading of 11.1, everyone was told to try diet first. It was two years before I started on meds.

    But I firmly believe that was because the diet hey advised me to follow was low fat.

    I adopted very low carb a year ago. My HbA1C went from 62 to 40 in 3 months, and will be even lower now, as my BG's now are pretty close to normal. At least, they are as long as I stay very low carb. When I was on holiday a few weeks ago, I went off the rails, and by the time I came home my BG was up in the teens.

    People will tell you it's about losing weight.... and certainly losing weight makes a huge difference. BUT the amount of carb you take in makes a bigger difference. It took a few days for my BG to go from essentially normal to frankly diabetic. And four days back on very low carb for it to go back to normal.

    If I were heavier.... if, for instance, I regained the 4 stone I've lost since going low carb - my BG's would be higher. But that's a slow, long-term effect. Drop the carbs, and your BG will improve very rapidly. Keep the carbs low, you will lose weight if you need to, and they will gradually improve further.
     
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  17. Blossom1977

    Blossom1977 Type 2 · Member

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    Wow!!! The support from everyone in this forum is amazing!
    You have all given me a big confidence boost, knowing I'm not alone and the wealth of advice is amazing!
    I have made notes of everything everyone has said. I will buy a blood glucose machine today and I'm actually looking forward to the low carb diet, I'm up for the challenge and know I can do it
    Thank you xxx
     
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  18. Resurgam

    Resurgam Type 2 (in remission!) · Expert

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    I was put straight onto Metformin and Atorvastatin and now I can attribute my normal readings to the thought that I might have to go back onto them - I have already had an appointment with a doctor who tried to persuade me to go back on statins.
    No mention of my getting down to the normal range in the diabetes tests, just 'we want our diabetics to be below 5' - that is total cholesterol.
    I was so miserable on the tablets, felt so ill, and my memory is so bad - particularly for words, which as I have always been a singer is rather a disaster as I need to read the words now.
    The most galling thing is that the low carb way of eating is great and very effective, so I never needed to have those terrible weeks, plus I have always low carbed but been persuaded that it was bad for me - I'd been trying a cholesterol lowering diet for almost two years before diagnosis.
    If you miss something so much that you are tempted to go off plan, look for low carb alternatives, as there are some excellent and really clever recipes around.
     
  19. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Guru

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    I just want to say hello and welcome.
    You have had very good advice and nothing much I can add.
    Giving diet a try first is a reasonable plan, and if it doesn't work by your next blood test, you can always change your mind.
     
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  20. Sam50

    Sam50 Don't have diabetes · Well-Known Member

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    Hello there- my Hubby was diagnosed T2 about 5 weeks ago and although he has been given a prescription for Metformin he isn't yet taking them. He is following the low carb diet and exercising and wanting to lower his BG without meds. His HBA1C was 98 (about 11 on the 'new' scale) but he immediately bought a BG monitor and has seen his fasting blood glucose drop from 17.8 to 13 in the first few weeks. He was only testing once a week as I was waiting for more test strips (!) so I am encouraging him to do so more frequently. He has also lost over a half a stone in the 2 weeks that he has been following the low carb diet so I would definitely say give dieting a try and see if you can avoid the meds.

    He'll use them if he has to but I think you can get control without-plenty of evidence that it works here on the forum-good luck :)
     
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