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Help me understand

Discussion in 'Diabetes Discussions' started by Dawn3750, Dec 5, 2018.

  1. Dawn3750

    Dawn3750 · Member

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    I’ve just been diagnosed with type 2. My HBa1c was 11.1.. so I’m on metformin..trying to get my head round all this.. however on the finger prick machine, my level was 15.1. Today that is down to 7.3.. that’s in 3 days.. is this good or bad?
     
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  2. Oldvatr

    Oldvatr Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi, I am going to tag @daisy1 to get you the beginners starter info which may help. Your HbA1c ssems to be in a different unit system than I get mine in so I assume it is %. Are you UK based? Certainly a spot check meter reading of 15 or so seems elevated, but a reading of 7,5 is good, assuming again the units are UK mmol/l. The starter pack contains a lot of useful info, as does the main site homepage.
     
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  3. sally and james

    sally and james Family member · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @Dawn3750 That is good!
    So, let's start with the HbA1c. That is a sort of average of your blood sugar levels over the past three months. If you had one done tomorrow, it would be about the same, but if you have one done in three months time, hopefully, it will be down.
    The finger prick test is the amount of sugar in your blood stream, in that particular finger at that moment. It will vary considerably according to what you have eaten and a number of other factors (wellness, stress, exercise). The metformin will only have a limited affect on these numbers and takes a while to build up in your body. Taking a tablet now, won't affect blood sugar levels in an hour's time!

    I'm going to tag @daisy1 for you. She has a very good post, which will appear here a little later on, with lots of info for newbies. Welcome, by the way, and do keep asking questions.
    Sally
     
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  4. Dawn3750

    Dawn3750 · Member

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    Thank you
     
  5. Dawn3750

    Dawn3750 · Member

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    I’m based. That’s the only figure I know at the moment ..
     
  6. Alison Campbell

    Alison Campbell Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Dawn welcome to the forum, I'm tagging @daisy1 for her new member post to be added to this thread you have started. Her post will provide blood glucose ranges for different times.

    The blood glucose machine and HBA1C use different measurements plus the HBA1C covers the past 12 weeks ish where as when you test at home it tells you what your level is in that drop of blood, that second.

    With home testing with a blood glucsoe machine timing is important for example first thing. premeal and a set time post meal. Random tests are not comparable and so can't be considered improved or not.

    Lots of great information to read on the main website attached to this forum starting here https://www.diabetes.co.uk/newly-diagnosed-with-type2-diabetes.html

    We are a friendly lot so feel free to read around the forum and ask questions.
     
  7. Dawn3750

    Dawn3750 · Member

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    Sorry based in UK
     
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  8. librarising

    librarising LADA · Well-Known Member

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    An HbA1c of 11.1 relates to an AVERAGE blood sugar level of 15.1, so your HbA1c will reduce.
    https://www.diabetes.co.uk/hba1c-to-blood-sugar-level-converter.html
    Well done on the progress !
    Geoff
     
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  9. neithskye

    neithskye Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I was diagnosed in July with an A1C of 11.8%. My blood glucose steadily decreased but I'd get a lot of spikes. 14.2 one day then 9.8 then back up again. My profile picture is my three-month graph. It wasn't a smooth decrease but spiky as heck.
     
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  10. JoKalsbeek

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

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    As others already explained, your HbA1c is an average of 3 months, and the finger prick is what your blood glucose is doing right that moment. If you're randomly testing, it's not telling you all that much though (though that 7 is good news). Your blood glucose continuously varies throughout the day. The thing is to keep those variations small, and relatively low. If you want to know what's going on with your bloodglucose, there are a few times a day that really tell you what's what. Quite a few people here start with a fasting blood glucose: checking where it's at right when waking. Keep in mind there exists such a thing as dawn phenomenon: your numbers may be high in the morning because your liver helpfully dumps glucose into your bloodstream to give you energy to start the day. So don't be too alarmed if your numbers seem extra high in the morning. That's normal, and especially when you've just been diagnosed, likely to be relatively high. it's the last number to go down. Then there's testing before a meal, and 2 hours after the first bite. Ideally, you don't go up more than 2.0 mmol/l from before and after the meal. If it goes higher, the meal you ate contained more carbohydrates than your body could process back out. (Practically all carbs turn to glucose once ingested, so that's not just sugars, but fructose and starches too). This is why the bulk of T2's here eat Low Carb/High Fat or even keto (VERY low carb). It's a way to get bloodsugars under control, quite frequently without additional medication, tackle fatty liver disease, lower cholesterol and weight. (And as it happens, it worked miracles for my foodintolerances as well.). Then, to get back to the subject of testing, there's the option to test before going to bed. To me, the most useful tests are the meal-oriented ones, but it's a personal choice whether to do all tests, some or none... Though the more information you have, the better. If you want to help yourself and your doctor get some insight in what your bloodglucose is doing, test your little heart out and write down what you ate. A food diary can make a whole lot a lot clearer in a short period of time.

    For now, a quick rundown of carby foods: Potatoes, bread, pasta, rice, fruit (except for berries, avocado and tomatoes), cereal and such.

    Low carb food items that won't spike you: Eggs, meat, fish, above ground veggies/leafy greens, extra dark chocolate (85% and up), butter, cheese, double cream, full fat greek yoghurt, mushrooms, olives, capers, that sort of good stuff.

    Check dietdoctor.com if you want to know more about the whole carb thing, or read the books by Dr. Jason Fung. I've found both to be very helpful.

    You'll be okay. It's a LOT to have to wrap your head around, I know... Our cat already had diabetes so I didn't come to the table empty handed, and still I was in a spin when I found out about the T2. If you're starting from scratch it is mind blowing. Just know you don't have to grasp everything entirely yesterday: you have time to get this figured out. Learn about T2 as much as you can, and about YOUR T2 especially, as we're all different. Ask for print outs of your testresults, so you know what's going on, and rest assured.... This can be handled. Takes some getting used to, but... It's entirely do-able. You're not doomed or anything. (Though right now it may feel like it. You'll be okay. Honest.).

    Good luck,
    Jo
     
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  11. briped

    briped Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Sorry if I'm derailing the thread, but how did you find out?
     
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  12. JoKalsbeek

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

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    He had pancreatitis, so that came up in the tests, when they checked whether his pancreas did anything after that... And it didn't. (Night is a T3c).
     
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  13. JoKalsbeek

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

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    (He was staying at the vet's at the time as an in-patient)
     
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  14. jjraak

    jjraak Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi dawn.

    Welcome alongside.

    great news on the lower numbers, well done.
     
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  15. daisy1

    daisy1 Type 2 · Legend
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    @Dawn3750
    Hello Dawn 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 help.

    BASIC INFORMATION FOR NEW MEMBERS

    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 235,000 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 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. Most of these are 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.
     
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