1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Get the Diabetes Forum App for your phone - available on iOS and Android.
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Guest, we'd love to know what you think about the forum! Take the Diabetes Forum Survey 2019 »
    Dismiss Notice
  4. Diabetes Forum should not be used in an emergency and does not replace your healthcare professional relationship. Posts can be seen by the public.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community »

Feeling a bit overwhelmed

Discussion in 'Prediabetes' started by PamJHS, Jun 17, 2019.

  1. PamJHS

    PamJHS Prediabetes · Active Member

    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    29
    Trophy Points:
    38
    I had my diagnosis of T2 diabetes and raised cholesterol over the phone three weeks ago. I was a bit confused about whether the diagnosis was T2 or pre-diabetes, and I wasn't given any numbers at that stage, just told I needed to take statins and cut carbs for three months to see if I could bring my blood sugar down.

    On Friday I went in to see the GP about repeat prescription for statins, and he told me I was right on the borderline between prediabetes and T2 diabetes, which is obviously why I was picking up a bit of a mixed message on the phone. Obviously, this makes no difference to the recommendation to cut carbs and lose weight, and he's referred me to Desmond, but I've no idea when that appointment will come through. He asked me if I was testing my levels and I told him the testing kit I'd ordered had just arrived.

    I need to get to grips with the testing routine, but what with dietary changes, worrying about weight loss, and trying to understand the instructions, I just feel as if I'm in a huge mental fog about everything.

    Just looking for a bit of reassurance really - does it get easier?​
     
    • Hug Hug x 6
  2. DawnOfTheZed

    DawnOfTheZed · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    111
    Likes Received:
    66
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Firstly big hug!
    It's a shock to many of us but hopefully you'll get to grips with it v soon. Kudos to your surgery for saying cut the carbs - many are still using the 'Eatwell' message which isn't right for T2D. Have a read round the forum and hopefully a mod will come by soon to point you at the newbie info (see their signatures, I believe) which may help you.
    Mental fog is actually a common symptom of diabetes, so try not to worry about that too much. If you cut down your carbs you should find the fog lifting in a few days/weeks. If you find your blood glucose readings don't go down despite restricting your carb intake, please go back to your surgery to get confirmation of your diagnosis. Sorry you're having to join the club but you've made a great start to understand it all, interest in an ed course, getting a monitor, and having a clued up surgery (that last bit is luck, but still helpful to you). Best wishes
     
    • Like Like x 4
  3. Mike D

    Mike D Type 2 · Expert

    Messages:
    7,439
    Likes Received:
    11,083
    Trophy Points:
    198
    IMO, rule 1. NO to statins
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. PamJHS

    PamJHS Prediabetes · Active Member

    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    29
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Could you expand on that, please? The phone call I got made it sound really urgent that I should start on them immediately, to avoid serious problems. So it never occurred to me to question it.
     
  5. Sapien

    Sapien Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    140
    Likes Received:
    44
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Statin use, especially at high dose, can increase the risk of developing diabetes (or worsen existing diabetes).

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/29139315/

    Statins are most appropriately used to reduce arterial inflammation which is driven by chronically high insulin levels and high blood glucose levels, as well as for excessively high cholesterol. (Kind of a catch-22 - the effect they have on the liver can increase blood sugar, but they can help some with the inflammation caused by the high blood sugar). Statins also seem to stabilize existing arterial plaque.

    I have read of one study that shows that statins can protect against worsening of diabetic retinopathy.

    https://www.endocrineweb.com/amp/61438

    I would suggest asking why the statin was prescribed. Diabetes by itself doesn’t make sense as the only reason. In my opinion, statins are far overprescribed but still can have net benefits if used for the right reason.

    It is best to get blood sugar back to normal with diet and exercise.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. JoKalsbeek

    JoKalsbeek Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,585
    Likes Received:
    2,198
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Hi @PamJHS,

    Yes, it does get easier. If you're hovering between Prediabetes and T2, your levels aren't hopelessly bad, and with low carb/high fat you'll get them down into the normal range soon. So breathe. It's funny your practice is up-to-date on carb restriction though, but still perscribed a statin first thing. (They do tend to raise bloodsugarlevels, and in some, cause T2 to begin with.). At least they got half of it right, which is more than most do. ;)

    Anyway, yes, you'll be okay. You're not doomed and you're not going to get masses of complications, if you get your diet straight. There's a quick-start-guide in my signature for The Nutritional Thingy, which might help, but this forum's website, the Diabetes Code by Dr Jason Fung and dietdoctor.com are all really good when it comes to information, easing of minds and such.

    You'll be fine. It's just an adjustment in how you eat and you'll see the numbers drop. (Be sure to get a meter! It's not just a great way to see where you're at, it'll also give you some hope when you see the changes you're making are working !)

    Hugs, and welcome,
    Jo
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Winner Winner x 1
  7. Mike D

    Mike D Type 2 · Expert

    Messages:
    7,439
    Likes Received:
    11,083
    Trophy Points:
    198
    There's a thread not far below yours titled "Cholesterol and statins" @PamJHS

    Please read it. You will be convinced.

    Mike
     
    • Useful Useful x 1
  8. Prem51

    Prem51 Type 2 · Expert

    Messages:
    6,361
    Likes Received:
    18,044
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Welcome to the forum @PamJHS. It is a shock when you are first told you are pre-diabetic or diabetic. But at least you were told. Many of us weren't told when we were pre-diabetic, but only when we became fully diabetic. Knowing you are pre-diabetic means you can take action now to avoid becoming fully diabetic.

    Well done on getting a blood glucose meter, which will mean you can find out which foods raise your blood glucose, and you can monitor your levels between HbA1c tests.

    You should ask your gp surgery for a printout of your HbA1c test results. Your test results should also be available online, but you have to request access from the surgery. The full test results will give you a lot of useful information. As well as your bg figure, it will also show your cholesterol figures, including the breakdown of the component parts which are more important than the total figure.

    It is all a lot to get your head around and will take time to get to grips with but you will get a lot of advice and support on here.
    Have a read around the forum and ask any questions you want to.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  9. Japes

    Japes LADA · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,150
    Likes Received:
    2,653
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Welcome @PamJHS

    Yes, it can and does get easier. It's also a marathon, rather than quickly sorted, however much you'd (and I'd've) loved that.

    Also sounds as if it's been caught early enough for diet to make a difference and if your surgery is encouraging that, it's great.

    Statins - I've always been borderline for cholesterol and always refused them, so far. There is a lower target for those with diabetes and my GP and I discuss it at every review, having agreed we disagree!

    Brain/mental fog definitely is part of it, (though I'm great at thinking of loads of reasons why my brain is not functioning well until I see the readings.) There's so much information around it can add to the overwhelm. (Plus, a lot of mis-information.)

    Originally I concentrated most on cutting carbs, which certainly helped a lot both with blood sugars and initial weight-loss. (There's a longer story, but I won't add to the overload of information.)
     
    • Like Like x 2
  10. PamJHS

    PamJHS Prediabetes · Active Member

    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    29
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Thanks for the reassurance, Jo. I've been nagged about my weight for the last few years whenever I've had a medical appointment about anything else, as it's been going slowly up as a result of various illnesses and conditions that have reduced my mobility, including arthritis in the hip. The previous dieting advice I received from the GP who suggested getting a blood testing kit was to count calories and ignore everything else - the example he gave was 'Say you have 1400 calories a day. You can eat 1400 calories-worth of chocolate, as long as you stop eating for the day afterwards' - which I though t was spectacularly bad advice! I've been told to cut carbohydrates by hospital doctors before now, but with no clear instructions about how to do that. The Eatwell Plate was also described to me in my first conversation about diabetes. So there's some good advice mixed in with some unhelpful advice, and by the time I get to see the diabetes nurse, the 3 months I've been given to lower my blood glucose levels without meds will probably be more or less up!
     
  11. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Guru

    Messages:
    24,548
    Likes Received:
    30,273
    Trophy Points:
    298
    Use your glucose meter to tell you instantly what your food choices have done to your levels. This will help you decide how many carbs your body can tolerate. Test immediately before you eat and again an hours and 2 hours after first bite. Look at the difference from before to the 2 hour mark. Any rise should be as small as possible, and definitely under 2mmol/l. Preferably a lot less. More than 2mmol/l there were too many carbs in your meal. If you also keep a food diary (including portion sizes) and record your levels alongside you will be able to see patterns appearing. This will give you the chance to tweak your meals accordingly.

    The main culprits in raising blood sugar levels are potatoes, rice, pasta, bread, pastry, anything made with ordinary flour, and fruit. (In addition of course to sugar)

    Have a look at this site for some excellent advice and some lovely recipes
    https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/60-seconds
    https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/foods#foodlist
    https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/foods#foodtoavoid

    Do ask for the print outs of your blood test results. Apart from glucose, you need to know what your cholesterol and lipids were (HDL, LDL, and triglycerides) so you can make some decisions about the statins. We can help you with all these results if you don't understand them. You are entitled to the print outs.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Informative Informative x 1
  12. PamJHS

    PamJHS Prediabetes · Active Member

    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    29
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Thank you, Bluetit, that's really helpful. I've spent an hour working out how to use the test strips today, using the test solution, so tomorrow I'm ready to take the plunge with starting to test my blood.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  13. Daphne917

    Daphne917 Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,485
    Likes Received:
    7,318
    Trophy Points:
    198
    @PamJHS please research statins before taking them as they can cause other issues. I was diagnosed with an hba1c of 48 and prescribed statins ‘because all diabetics should take them’ but within 6 months my hba1c had risen to 54. I came off them a month later because of other side effects and within 6 months my Hba1c had dropped 11 points to 43 and my blood glucose has been in normal figures for the last 5 years. I have now been classed as statin intolerant by my GP.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. PamJHS

    PamJHS Prediabetes · Active Member

    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    29
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Thanks, @Daphne917. I'll certainly get straight back to the GP if my readings go up rather than down. I'm dealing with 2 GPs on this - the one who rang me initially, who said my cholesterol was very high and panicked me into thinking I was in danger of an immediate heart attack if I didn't get on statins straight away - and the one I saw this week, who gave me the numbers and said my cholesterol wasn't too bad and I was on the cusp of diabetes rather than solidly diagnosed with T2. This is partly where the overwhelm is coming from. If I know what I'm dealing with, I'm happy to get on with it, but it seems to be a bit less clearcut than it first appeared. Sounds like I need to push myself to get on with the testing so I know what's going on.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  15. jjraak

    jjraak Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,077
    Likes Received:
    5,057
    Trophy Points:
    198
    hi @PamJHS

    yep, it's a shock.
    yep, it does get easier.

    AND you've already learnt a valuable lesson.

    We all THINK our doctors are the font of knowledge about all things medicinal,
    but sadly the truth is they are not, ..Master in some, yes,
    but sometimes more of a jack of all trades, knowing a little bit about everything.

    We..Me N You and all the other members on here, spend many, many hours swotting up on T2D, because it's personal to us,
    just so WE are fully aware of what we can and can't do to help ourselves.

    No disrespect to the medical profession, but very few can match us for that 24/7 upto date current thinking about this illness.
    Take heed of what the doctors say, then go away and dissect it, ask questions, see for yourself IF it makes sense and is helpful for YOU.
    Some times the advice is just plain bad, sadly.


    @Japes nailed the early days..just check and cut the carbs.
    ( you be amazed when you look back over your previous diet just how MANY carbs you consumed in a day,
    i know i was horrified.)

    i forgot all about the sugars the red yellow and green light, ...now i just look at the carbs.

    Take care.
     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Winner Winner x 1
  16. PamJHS

    PamJHS Prediabetes · Active Member

    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    29
    Trophy Points:
    38
    @jjraak - I've always been willing to question medical orthodoxy, I just feel I have so much to learn! Which is where these forums are going to help!
     
    • Winner Winner x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Pinkorchid

    Pinkorchid Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,880
    Likes Received:
    1,939
    Trophy Points:
    198
    As someone else said listen to what your doctor is saying about things including the statins then decide for yourself what you think is best for you to do we can't advise about medication because we are not qualified to do so
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  18. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Guru

    Messages:
    24,548
    Likes Received:
    30,273
    Trophy Points:
    298
    Have you contacted the surgery to ask for print outs of your test results? Knowing all these figures will remove a lot of your confusion.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  19. PamJHS

    PamJHS Prediabetes · Active Member

    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    29
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Yes, I saw a GP on Friday who went through it all with me and printed it off. Unfortunately, knowing the numbers is only the first bit - and I’m a long way at the moment from the right food choices being obvious or easy. Plus the timetable for blood testing wasn’t at all obvious until someone on here wrote it all out for me. I need to take on a lot of information in a short time!
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Hug Hug x 2
  20. Pinkorchid

    Pinkorchid Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,880
    Likes Received:
    1,939
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Don't try and take it all in at once just take it one thing at a time. If you decide to do low carb high fat then lowering or stopping the starchy carbs like bread, pasta, rice and potatoes is a good start and it may be all you need to do so see how it goes. It is not good to make to many changes to quickly your body will adapt to the new diet far better if you do things slowly
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Useful Useful x 1
  21. Gran25

    Gran25 Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    95
    Trophy Points:
    78
    It is overwhelming to start with isn't it? What really helped me was a statement to the effect of "If you cut out Grains , Potatoes & Sugar you are about 90 % there". Those are pretty good odds and an achievable goal. I also like that the initials GPS indicates a tool that helps you find your way. The other 10% will come in time.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  • Meet the Community

    Find support, connect with others, ask questions and share your experiences with people with diabetes, their carers and family.

    Did you know: 7 out of 10 people improve their understanding of diabetes within 6 months of being a Diabetes Forum member. Get the Diabetes Forum App and stay connected on iOS and Android

    Grab the app!
  • Tweet with us

  • Like us on Facebook