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Hi. I'm new here.

Discussion in 'Prediabetes' started by Susanne_M, Oct 15, 2017.

  1. Susanne_M

    Susanne_M Prediabetes · Member

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    I was diagnosed as pre diabetic mid August via a telephone appointment with a GP I hadn't met as my own GP was away.
    I had requested the bloodtest myself as I had severe itching and pins and needles in my feet and calves, apart from the usual frequent trips to the loo. Having been on steroids for an autoimmune illness for several years, I knew diabetes was a risk. My reading was 44.
    The GP suggested I try the Low GI diet and it has certainly worked with weight loss, having lost close to a stone in 2 months. Being on steroids and being too unwell to do much exercise had made my weight rocket way above my normal healthy weight.
    I was told I wouldn't be tested again for a year which I find incredible. That means I could possibly become diabetic without knowing it.
    So, is it worth me buying a monitor and testing my blood sugar levels myself? It's all new to me and I really don't want to add to my existing medical conditions.
     
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  2. Guzzler

    Guzzler Type 2 · Master

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    Yes, it is certainly worth buying a meter. I shall tag @daisy1 who will post invaluable info for all those newly diagnosed. Welcome to the forum. When you start testing with your meter you should test before the first bite of food then test two hours after your first bite. The difference should be no more than 2mmol ideally less than that. Good luck.
     
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  3. Squire Fulwood

    Squire Fulwood Type 2 · Expert

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    I agree that you should get a meter. I nearly said buy a meter, which you can, but since the TEE2 is free it's another option. When/if you get it you can put it to good use sorting out your blood glucose levels. You can get advice from this site on the best way to proceed.
     
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  4. pleinster

    pleinster Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi. As others have said..yup, get a meter. I was diagnosed with Steroid Induced Diabetes (Type 2) a couple of years ago. I was also warned of the risk but it was part of my anti-rejection treatment following a transplant (and still is..at a much reduced dose). are you still on steroids and if so can they be reduced as they will still cause spikes in the blood sugar ? I would advise you to keep a note of your meter readings and the food you eat in between readings..that is what really let me see what was having most impact. I would add that my levels are now well pretty much under control without meds (which I was on initially) because I reduced my carbohydrate intake dramatically (like many on this site). Medical staff never tell you that carbohydrates effectively turn to sugar in the blood...but the evidence is in the meter readings. Anyway...good luck...I'd say get informed and stay ahead of it.
     
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  5. AM1874

    AM1874 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @Susanne_M .. and welcome
    You have certainly made a good move coming here and the key point to take on board is that managing and controlling your diabetes or prediabetes through diet, exercise 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 4-5 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 ..

    I see that @Guzzler has already tagged @ daisy1 for you and I suggest that you read up on the valuable information that she will soon be sending you you. You might also find the discussion on the Low Carb Diet forum helpful .. together with 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

    As others have advised above it is a priority that you get yourself a test meter and, for this, the following websites might help:
    https://homehealth-uk.com/product-category/blood-glucose/
    (or telephone: 01923 711511)
    for the SD Codefree meter, which costs £12.98 or:
    http://spirit-healthcare.co.uk/product/tee2-blood-glucose-meter/
    (or telephone: 0116 2865000)
    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.

    The cost of testing comes down to the ongoing charges for test strips and lancets.
    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 £29.49
    10 packs x 50 use code: 975833 .. cost is £58.98
    For the TEE 2, the strips are £7.75 for a pack of 50 .. but there are no discount codes currently available
    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 bulk discount on strips for the SD Codefree, you need to complete the order (check the boxes to confirm that you are diabetic and the number of packs that you want). Then click on view basket and on the left hand side of the window you will see two boxes .. Coupon Code and Apply Coupon. Enter the relevant discount code in the first box and then click the Apply Coupon box. This applies the discount and adjusts the price .. and finally, you then proceed to checkout

    It's important that you test in conjunction with what you are eating. You may have heard the phrase "eating to your meter" which, for me, means that I'm testing 4-5 times a day .. I take my fasting BG first thing in the morning to check that it hasn't shot up overnight, then I test immediately before meals and two hours afterwards. This enables me to monitor trends in my blood glucose levels over time and to check which (if any) foods give me "spikes". More importantly, I now know what my levels are .. and I can manage them

    Hope this helps
     
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    #5 AM1874, Oct 15, 2017 at 5:41 PM
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2017
  6. Susanne_M

    Susanne_M Prediabetes · Member

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    Thank you. Yes, I'm still on steroids, but am very gradually tapering down, and nowhere near the high doses I was on and will hopefully be able to continue the taper.
     
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  7. Susanne_M

    Susanne_M Prediabetes · Member

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    Thank you everyone for your replies. I'm going to look into the various meters and the overall cost.
     
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  8. daisy1

    daisy1 Type 2 · Legend

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    @Susanne_M

    Hello Susanne and welcome to the Forum :) Here is the Basic Information we give to new members and I hope you will find it useful, in addition to the advice other members have given 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 250,000 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.
     
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  9. Freema

    Freema Type 2 · Expert

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  10. pleinster

    pleinster Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi. I'm tagging @AM1874 because he has some very good info on relatively inexpensive good quality meters...and his comments always seem to me to be extremely balanced and highly informative in general.
     
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  11. Alison Campbell

    Alison Campbell Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the forum @Susanne_M and well done on the weight loss and diet changes which I hope has improved your symptoms

    I only get annual tests as well but if I'm unwell or get further symptoms I can book an appointment.

    I see @AM1874 has already posted the meters that are popular on the forum and I think it is definately a good idea to get one. Lot of us with pre d about these days so feel free to ask any questions.
     
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  12. Resurgam

    Resurgam Type 2 (in remission!) · Expert

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    I have found that I don't need to test now - almost a year from diagnosis. Having tried just about all the foods I might eat after a few months it was not necessary to keep on testing.
    I was a full blown diabetic but after 6 months had dropped my blood test results to normal. I just tested my blood and got 4.8 mmol/l so I think that I have suppressed my diabetes symptoms and don't have much to worry about for the future.
    My next blood test is scheduled for next April, around my birthday, which means that I would be untested for nine months if I did not have my own meter. I suspect that not being in the diabetic range means we are simply not on the radar.
     
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  13. Susanne_M

    Susanne_M Prediabetes · Member

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    I was trying to thank AM1874 directly on the post, but it apparently "contained spam or other unsuitable comments". I'm sure it didn't! Thank you for the really helpful information.
     
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  14. Alison Campbell

    Alison Campbell Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi, yes new members can't post web links for the first few posts as an anti spam measure so if you included @AM1874 post in your reply it would most probably stop the post. I think that is right @DCUKMod ?
     
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  15. Guzzler

    Guzzler Type 2 · Master

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    Have a look at the Codefree meter, the strips are not too exorbitant and mine has given me no problems at all.
     
  16. pleinster

    pleinster Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Ah...sorry @AM1874 ... I never looked back over the responses...dummy ! Thanks, @Alison Campbell for being more attentive.
     
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