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Hello from China and my short story

Discussion in 'Greetings and Introductions' started by Confucius, Jan 16, 2017.

  1. Confucius

    Confucius Prediabetes · Member

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    Greetings everyone. I am from China but I studied in the UK, so I always consider it my second hometown. :)

    A few weeks ago, I started to feel really bad. Routines were the same every day, but I woke up in the morning with dry eyes and a bitter-taste mouth. After breakfast, I felt very tired and my heart was beating strangely. Then, after lunch, more pees. And then, no more sound sleep at night. Pee pee and pee. A couple weeks later, my feet and hands sometimes felt numbness and that tingling thing. I knew I had to visit a doctor.

    Overall, I'd say I'm quite fit. 1.78 meters tall with a BMI of 21. I do exercise once or twice a day with dumbbells and kettlebells. I eat lots of vegetables. I also eat one or two apples or one banana a day. I can't even imagine I could be diabetic.

    In China, we don't have GPs. We go to a hospital and bet we will have luck to have a good doctor to see our problems.

    After I spent two full days at the hospital (most time waiting for results) and many blood and urine tests, she decides I am not diabetic: Fasting blood sugar at 6.65 mmol/L and HbA1C at 5.9%. All other tests show my blood sugar is normal (but I suspect the results!!) When I suggest to her that maybe I'm prediabetic she looks puzzled. Maybe she's not trained to give advice to people developing a serious condition. No surprise to me at all. I know how our doctors work! ;)

    Anyway, I decide to take things back into my own hands and start to fight it combining lifestyle change. I bought a meter (Onetouch Ultra Easy. Unfortunately, we don't have the latest meters here) and started to monitor my blood sugar since yesterday.

    Things seem to be good (my readings are constantly between 4.4-6.2 mmol/L, until this afternoon my two-hour after lunch reading spikes to 7.5 mmol/L and spirals to 3.1 mmol/L after 30-minute exercise. I'm sure I have no hypoglycemia and I'm still full of energy. I'm also well-hydrated. So the readings lead me to think all my previous readings could be inaccurate!!!

    I searched online and found some articles saying OneTouch meters could be 30% lower than the real reading. If so, 3.1 mmol/L could be over 4 mmol/L and my previous 'normal' range of 4.4-6.2 could be 5.72-8.06 mmol/L!! That's very very scary because they are misleading me.

    Maybe I'll start a new thread in a relevant forum to ask how people interpret their meter results. But for now, if any of you have similar experiences or would like to share your insights, I'd really appreciate it. :)

    For now, I'll have to go to a Johnson & Johnson's care centre and have my meter tested or calibrated. That'll be a 10+ mile trip. In China, they don't send out free calibration fluid to end users outside Shanghai where it is based. :(
     
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  2. Robinredbreast

    Robinredbreast Type 1 · Oracle

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  3. CherryAA

    CherryAA Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Whether or not you have diabetes, the dietary information on here is sound regarding general health, so there is no reason why you cannot amend your diet in any event and looking at the various research on offer, the chances are that whatever si actually causing your symptoms, it is unlikely to get worse from eating a better, lower carb diet !
     
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  4. Confucius

    Confucius Prediabetes · Member

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    @CherryAA Thank you! I've already changed my diet as of last week when I suspected I could be diabetic. Now I probably need to go one step further and cut down the carbs and re-balance what I eat each meal. By the way, just tested again one hour after the exercise, now it reads 4.7. Accurate or not, at least it shows my 30-minute exercise cut my BS level down very much and it has lasting effects. I'm new. I need to learn many things. It's just my second day. I know there are lots of challenges to face down the road.
     
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  5. AndBreathe

    AndBreathe I reversed my Type 2 · Expert
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    @Confucius - Your blood numbers seem fine to me, and I'm a little bit confused about what you are actually striving to achieve/learn. Is there anything in your numbers, specifically, that concerns you?

    The very frustrating thing about the symptoms you have experienced is that they can occur for so many reasons; some relating to medical conditions (such as diabetes) and others just environmental/habit/other factors, like a mild infection.

    Did the Doctor at the hospital run a fairly wide, general panel of blood, including those focusing on blood glucose, or were the totally focused on blood glucose?

    When it comes to blood glucose readings; both finger prick tests and venous bloods, is that they tend to vary, day-on-day, so you will see a variation in those - especially if you are changing your diet.

    The HbA1c tends to be more static, by it's nature, as (put very simplistically) it represents the averages of your blood results over the past few weeks, by assessing the amount of sugar sticking to your red blood cells.
     
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  6. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Moderator
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    Hi and welcome!

    Armed with a meter, you are ready to tackle this thing head on! :)

    I know it is tempting to think that the precise numbers on your meter screen are very important. But the reality is that it is the trends and troughs and peaks that are important.

    So it is less important to know that your readings were 4.2 and 6.7, and it is more important to know that a particular portion size of rice or noodles raised your blood glucose by 2.7 mmol/l.

    Therefore, even if your new meter reads a bit low, it can still give you very useful information.

    Your meter will also either reassure you that you are not diabetic, or will allow you to detect any movement towards diabetes.

    Hope that made sense. And congratulations on your English. Fantastic command of the language.
     
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    #6 Brunneria, Jan 16, 2017 at 9:18 AM
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2017
  7. CherryAA

    CherryAA Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Your hospital readings are certainly nothing to panic over however take a look at this which sets out the truly "normal" goals

    https://chriskresser.com/when-your-“normal”-blood-sugar-isn’t-normal-part-2/

    Knowing what I know now, I would have wanted to start doing something about this with a hba1Cof 5.9% - today I will celebrate if I ever get an official one that low - but we all start from different places !
     
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  8. Confucius

    Confucius Prediabetes · Member

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    @AndBreathe Thank you for the information. I know what I said may sound a little bit confusing. But the hospital doesn't give a full range blood test at all. On the first day, my doctor tested my fasting blood sugar using a meter and it read 5.9 mmol/L. Then she tested my two-hour after lunch sugar level using the same meter and it reads 7.8 mmol/L. I know these are normal readings, but at the time I was already very careful with what I ate and changed a little and ate less. So she told me to eat 'normally' (meaning as before I changed my eating) for a week and test again. So on my second visit, she prescribed a fasting blood glucose test (not full range blood test) and the result is above normal at 6.65 mmol/L (normal range 3.9-6.1) but the HbA1c reading is normal at 5.9%.

    What makes me frustrated is that my doctor doesn't provide any further advice. She thinks it is OK and doesn't seem to know prediabetic. My family warn me that don't get upset if my doctor doesn't give advice. It's quite usual. But what I want is exactly advice and how I can manage it with or without medication. Now I am clueless and have to rely on myself to monitor my sugar. So what I want to learn and achieve is just a healthy diet that can keep my sugar level in proper range. So maybe in 6 months I want to test my HbA1c again and see if things change for the better. I'm now feeling a little bit exhausted.
     
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  9. Confucius

    Confucius Prediabetes · Member

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    @Brunneria Thank you for your kind words and information. I'm trying to find some pattern in my eating, exercising, etc. so I can adapt accordingly. I need to calibrate the meter at their service center later to assure myself the readings are at least consistent and predictable.

    @CherryAA Thanks for the link. I sure will check it out. I'm literally craving for knowledge right now. :)
     
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  10. Jamesuk9

    Jamesuk9 Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    You're in a similar position to me. I'm a slim 52 yr old with a BMI of 21 now but was at 25 BMI when I had a random fasting result of 6.7 and an hba1c of 5.6% during a routine screening. It's clear after buying a meter that I have issues but Investigation and speaking to my doctor tells me this is perfectly normal Dawn phenomenon and if I was diabetic the a1c would indicate it. I can be anywhere between 4.5 and 6.7 at any time of day, usually at the higher end if I have gone over 5 hours without eating. My doctor just keeps saying this is normal, the liver releases glucose as your body needs it and these numbers are within normal parameters and the longer you refrain from eating the higher it will climb. Testing after meals have shown the odd 9.5 but minutes later it can be 6.5. Again I'm told this is all normal. It would only be an issue if it was at 9.5 for hours. Constant testing has done my head in to the point that I have now stopped testing for my own sanity. I have however cleaned up my diet considerably and stopped consuming sugar, bread and potatoes in the quantities I was eating. It hasn't done a great deal for my numbers but it can only be healthy right?... I've given up trying to talk myself into a diagnosis but have learned to be more consistent with my diet and reduce portion sizes considerably. My doctor says he'll do another hba1c in 12 months and refused any further testing. I think he might be right. Health anxiety is not pleasant, I'm learning though.
     
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  11. AndBreathe

    AndBreathe I reversed my Type 2 · Expert
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    James, whilst I know you'll probably be feeling frustrated, I do agree with your Doc, saying that the sorts of numbers you discuss here are quite usual, in non-diabetic people.

    I have a theory that when our bodies are working well, we tend to go along in ranges. That might be blood glucose, blood pressure, or whatever. Our bodies like to work to and with routines, so it may well be that the blood scores you are seeing are just your range. If you are eating fewer foods that would potentially introduce additional glucose to your bloods, all it means is it will be working less hard to maintain your status quo.

    As you say; health anxiety isn't a pleasant thing, and it can get a real grip whilst we're concentrating on something else.

    Be well. :)
     
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  12. kokhongw

    kokhongw I reversed my Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    @Confucius I posted this on another thread, but this it may also be relevant here.

    The current mainstream view of T2D is very glucose centric. We are looking only at the glucose side of the problem...simply because it can be tested easily and readily.

    What most of us are not aware it that impaired fasting glucose for T2D is preceded by years of elevated insulin levels commonly due to high carbs/fructose diet. That is the key reason for the beta cells dysfunction and exhaustion by the time of T2D diagnosis.

    So while our numbers may not be clinically "diabetic", we already have impaired insulin/glucose response. The guide for clinical diagnosis is centered on the necessity for prescription medication to reduce obvious/immediate complications due to high glucose level. The mainstream approach does little to nothing for restoring the beta cells dysfunction. Understanding this will save us years of grief.

    Dr Jason Fung's recent discussion on this will give some addtional insights on why a carbs lite fats friendly approach is often effective for halting the progression of T2D, allowing some recovery. Because dietary fats requires the least insulin response.

    https://intensivedietarymanagement.com/understanding-joseph-kraft-diabetes-in-situ-t2d-24/
    [​IMG]
     
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  13. CherryAA

    CherryAA Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I would also guess the Fung's theories about the necessity for rest (fasting ) periods between meals apply equally as well to ensuring that those without diabetes do not get it, as they do to trying to improve the situation after the event.
     
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  14. Confucius

    Confucius Prediabetes · Member

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    Thank you for sharing your experience. It helps. After monitoring my sugar levels for the last three and half days frequently (fasting, before and 2 hours after each meal), I decide to stop for a few days and limit my test to 1 or 2 times a day after that. Anxiety kills!!

    I have changed my eating habits and cut back on carbs a little bit and increased healthy fats (salmon, olive oil - didn't eat them before!).

    For a period of time before I felt symptoms (frequently pees after lunch and especially during night, fast and irregular heartbeats, numb and pricking hands and feets - they come very very gradually one after another), I had been eating lots of soybeans every day as my main source of protein. I did cardio and strength exercises every day, and I thought animal proteins might not be that healthy. In retrospect, I think that might be one of the causes that led to my problems. I checked online sources and some research said soybean might suppress thyroid function and in turn affect normal functioning of insulin.

    Now I have stopped eating soybean, white rice, whole fat milk, Quaker instant oatmeal, and started eating barley, Job's tears, and adzuki bean each 1/3 mixed as my major carb intake. I think all of them are low on the glycaemic index and Job's tears may have glucose-lowering effects. I also eat raw garlic twice a day and ginger, which may also help lower blood glucose levels.

    By far, my tingling feet and and hands are much much better. They used to interfere with my sleep; they don't now. My heart felt much better too. Now I continue with exercises but cut the time to 50%.

    Before I thought I needed to see the doctor, I ordered a Yoga meditation kit (Easy Meditation for Everyone by Wai Lana) as I wanted better sleep. The delivery took 15 days (from US) and arrived yesterday. I tried it last night and this morning before getting up. I think it'll help me ease anxiety as well.
     
    #14 Confucius, Jan 18, 2017 at 3:25 AM
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2017
  15. Confucius

    Confucius Prediabetes · Member

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    @kokhongw Thank you for this information. I will read further on this topic. Currently, I'm not cutting too much carb. But gradually, I am increasing a balanced lean meat and healthy fat intake and lower the carb intake. I'll see what's the best balance of these foods for me and my daily calorie and protein needs. If, after a period of time, everything is stable, I would stick to it.
     
  16. kokhongw

    kokhongw I reversed my Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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  17. Confucius

    Confucius Prediabetes · Member

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    Thanks for the tip. Maybe I'll try some. I don't drink tea (not pu'er) because I found after drinking it I felt hungry. Maybe that's the 'hypo' thing? Maybe I should start a little pu'er and see how it fares. :)
     
  18. Freema

    Freema Type 2 · Expert

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    iregular heart beat is not a common symptom of diabetes, it could seem more like a thyroid problem or an acute stress problem that can affect the heart , but in short time that is not usually dangerous, but shortly said it could be sign of stress, and then yu should seek ways to relieve stress and avoid stress where you can . at least for some time like some months if stress is causing stress on your heart.. it can also be due to emotional stress like heartace or grief or lonelyness and alike..
     
  19. Confucius

    Confucius Prediabetes · Member

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    Thank you @Freema. I think I do have a lot of stress. Especially in the beginning when I found I had to pee a lot and lost a good night's sleep. Frustrated with more symptoms coming at me. Another thing is our environment. I work from home, and I rarely go out because of the heavy pollution on a daily basis (AQI 100+ is a good day, AQI 200-300 is usual). I have two purifiers turned on 24*7 for that very reason. I think a lot of people are stressed too, particularly those who have to go out to work. For now, my symptoms are gradually gone. But the stress is still there. I try to deal with it with meditation.
     
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