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Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by JillyBoo, Aug 7, 2012.

  1. JillyBoo

    JillyBoo · Newbie

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    Hi Everyone,

    I've just being diagnoised with Type 2 which is being treated with 4 Metformin tablets (2000mg) per day. I've also been told I have an underactive thyroid, another 3 tablets, Levothyroxine (75mg) per day AND high chlosterol, ANOTHER tablet, Simvastatin (40mg) per day. :thumbdown:

    I've been given an information booklet which gives varying information all the way through. No monitor to test my bloods (which apparently I should be doing). I don't know a Hypo from a Hyper which is a good thing as I wouldn't know what to do anyway if I experienced one!

    Quite frankly I feel so alone and know nothing about these conditions, apart from keep taking the tablets. The internet is a good source of information but again it varys so much!

    Any help or advice would be gratefully appreciated as my GP and 'diabetic' nurse have said don't worry and come back in six months!

    Feeling like life is over...... :cry:

    Sorry to be on such a 'downer' and ranting especially on my first post!

    Take care,

    JillyBoo. x
  2. Elc1112

    Elc1112 · Well-Known Member

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    I bet nearly every diabetic on here can understand how you feel right now!

    I'm type 1, so the way I control my blood sugars will be very different to you.

    First things first, low carb diets are pretty popular with diabetics. They help to keep your blood sugars stable and can help with weight loss. They're pretty easy to follow, too. Alternatively, some people go for the low GI diets. Foods that have a low GI will release sugar more slowly and, as a result, are less likely to cause spikes in blood sugar. Neither diet is right for everybody, so it's up to you to pick the one that works beat for you.

    With regards to the meter, I'd be tempted to buy one from the Internet or somewhere like Boots. You at least then have peace of mind that your sugars are within the target range etc. you should aim for levels between 4 and 7.5, ideally around 5-6. If your sugars are below 4 then this is a hypo. Symptoms vary from person to person. I tend to get quite dizzy, black dots in from of my eyes, cold sweats, pins and needles. My hypo awareness is generally very good. By this I mean that I notice the symptoms of a hypo easily and usually before my sugars drop below 3.5. It might take you a while to work out what your symptoms are, but you'll get there. If your sugars are low you will need to treat with some sugar. I tend to use Lucozade (half a bottle or so) or Dextrose tablets.

    There has been quite a lot of hype recently about the Newcastle diet. This is where you restrict your calories to 800 a day or less. There is a weight loss group on this forum where you can get more info. It's pretty hardcore and definitely not for everyone! It has, however, been shown to help with diabetes control and even 'cure' type 2 diabetes in some patients.

    I can completely understand why you feel overwhelmed, but there is good news. Diabetes can be controlled and easily managed. Sure, it will take a bit of time to get your head around things, but there are plenty of people who manage just fine and I am sure you will do.

    If you're type 2 then it is really important to control your diet to make sure you keep your sugars stable. The metformin will help, but you need to put the work in too. If you keep your levels under control then you will have a much better chance of avoiding all the nasty diabetic complications.

    I hope this helps a little. If you're really worried then I would push to get an appointment, even if it's just over the phone, with your GP or DSN.

    Good luck with it all. Feel free to ask any questions. There are loads of people of here who can offer good advice. Try not to panic too much and I hope you don't rattle too much with all those tablets! ;)

    Take care,
    Em x
  3. daisy1

    daisy1 Type 2 · Legend

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    Hi JillyBoo and welcome to the forum :)
    Here is the advice which we give to new members and I am sure you will find it helpful. Ask all the questions as you like as there is always someone here who can give you an answer.


    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 30,000 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

    Another option is to replace ‘white carbohydrates’ (such as white bread, white rice, white flour etc) with whole grain varieties. The idea behind having whole grain varieties is that the carbohydrates get broken down slower than the white varieties –and these are said to have a lower glycaemic index.
    http://www.diabetes.co.uk/food/diabetes ... rains.html

    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

    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.

    Please sign our e-petition for free testing for all type 2's; here's the link:

    Do get your friends and colleagues to sign as well.
  4. Ann19

    Ann19 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi JillyBoo :wave:

    Ask any question's and somebody will answer you, lot's of us know how you feel just now!

  5. Anonymous

    Anonymous · Guest

    Hello Jilly and welcome to the forum.

    I know, you'd rather not have to be here, but the diagnosis is a good thing really. This condition does its worst damage without you noticing, so now you know you can take steps and deal with it.

    Read through Daisy's advice carefully. You do need to get yourself a meter and start testing. Many many people on here don't get meters from their GP. By all means complain and argue this with him/her, but in the meantime there are cheaper meters available (SD Codefree is probably the cheapest). Many of us use a low carb diet to control things, others use portion control, others still rely on their medication.

    So get reading and don't be afraid to ask questions. Your life is not over but you need to take the diagnosis seriously. We're a friendly bunch and we've all be where you are now.

  6. xyzzy

    xyzzy Other · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Jilly and welcome to the forum.

    I must say I'm pretty shocked at your doctor and DSN's casual attitude to your diagnosis but don't worry you've find the right place :)

    I was diagnosed in December last year and using the advice I found on this site I got my blood sugar levels back to normal within around a couple of months or so and I have also normalised my cholesterol levels and blood pressure as well. I have now lost over 3 stone in weight too. My doctor is very pleased how I am getting on and has advised me to keep doing what I have been doing since it's obviously working really well. Not a cure as I still have to be very careful what I eat but I feel loads better than I did.

    Diet wise its really easy. Just drastically cut down or better cut out all things with plain sugar, so biscuits, cakes, sugar in tea and coffee, pure fruit juices, non diet versions of soft drinks. Next and really importantly try halving starchy foods like rice, pasta, potatoes, bread, cereals and any other flour based products. Replace what's now missing with extra meat, fish, eggs, cheese and especially vegetables. Vegetables that grow above ground are best although most of us find carrots fine. Things like yoghurt are fine as is a small amount of fresh fruit. I find the ones that end in "berry" are the best. If you don't mind artificial sweeteners things like Diet Coke are fine to drink. On the starchy foods that are left swap try brown basmati rice instead of white and brown or tri-colour pasta. The bread that most recommend is actually Bergen soya bread but some do ok with wholemeal as well.

    The above diet is close to one you would be one recommended to try by the Swedish Health service. It was introduced in that country last year and the American health service and several other countries health services recommend something very similar for Type 2 diabetics. In the UK the diet guidelines are now over 30 years old and are only gradually being updated. As the UK is lagging behind you may find what I and other forum members recommend is different to what your are told is a good diet for you follow.

    I see your doctor is one who does not believe in testing and test strips which is a shame as most forum members think it is very important especially in the first few months. It's a bit of a post code lottery and we find the progressive surgeries are pro testing and others anti. If you can't persuade the surgery to supply some then just ask and many members will give you advice where to get one.

    The reason testing is important is you should try and keep your blood sugars below 8ish two hours after eating any meal. Above the 8 value is where the dangers of complications do begin to occur according to diabetic experts. So if you can't test how will you now if what you are eating is keeping you safe? The problem is every diabetic is different so my earlier advice to halve starchy foods is just a rough guide. You may find you need to eat less than half (like me) or that you can eat more than half like others.

    As you get into it all and read around the forum you may see people talking about carb counting. If you want to understand what that is just ask. It is a powerful weapon that a diabetic can use to control their condition and one that many of us use to great effect.

    Good luck and keep asking questions.



    PS Here's two good links about what's good to eat.

    First is the lady doctor who's low carb / low GI recommendations seem to form the basis of what's recommended in Sweden


    Second is a good beginners guide to low carb regimes that are excellent for reducing blood sugar levels and losing weight.

  7. JillyBoo

    JillyBoo · Newbie

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    Thank you all so much. Loads of reading to do but at least now I've got information :thumbup:

    Thanks again.

    Jilly. x
  8. Sparklygal

    Sparklygal · Active Member

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    Hey Jilly, welcome to the site. I know how you feel, at the back of my mind I knew a diagnosis could be on the cards at some point for me as my mum is type 1 but I still had a shock when diagnosed in 05. You'll get lots of help and support on here. All the best. :D
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