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High Stress Levels

Discussion in 'Type 2 Diabetes' started by Maddyiow, Jul 5, 2018.

  1. Maddyiow

    Maddyiow · Newbie

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    I’m a type 2 Diabetic and I am trying really hard to get my levels down. Last week they were at 28.7! They are now yo-yoing between 17-20! I am regularly taking my meds and on a low GI Vegi almost almost Diet. I walk everywhere but have tons of stress in my life. I am at my wits end with these high readings and I just do t know what to do. Could the stress and my back pain be spiking my levels? It’s gett me so low and depressed. Help!
     
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  2. SockFiddler

    SockFiddler Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @Maddyiow and welcome to the forum. The first thing I'm going to do is tag in @daisy1 who has a welcome pack filled with loads of super-useful advice and information.

    Can I ask some basic questions so that people can get more of a feel for your situation?

    How often - and when - are you testing? What does a typical day's food look like for you? What medications are you taking? What was your last Hba1C?

    Pain and stress will certainly increase your BG levels, but (not being an expert, just speaking from experience) nowhere near that high. For example, my BG through the day is generally a stable 5.4 - 5.8, but on days when I'm in a lot of pain or there's something serious going on, it'll "spike" to, maybe, 6.5 - 7.0.

    Your BG level suggests that your body is flooded with sugars that it just can't cope with. While I appreciate there's a lot of advice out there and you've taken steps that you probably thought were going to help you, the important thing is to know that "Low GI" is not the same thing as "Low Carb".

    Low GI is, generally speaking, the same amount of starch and sugars, but they just get digested over a longer period of time. Low carb is exactly that - a much lower total amount of starch for your body to cope with at all. We T2Ds need to worry less about the speed our bodies deal with carbs, but that we're making them deal with them at all.

    Of course, I have no real idea what you're eating yet, but right out of the gate, I'd guess it's stuff like wholegrain bread, brown rice and wholemeal pasta, jacket potatoes (skin on),and fruits like bananas, apples and so on. All of these are considered, by modern standards, to be "healthy" foods. But, to a T2, they're all potentially lethal.

    I'm aware that my last paragraph could well have you staring at the screen now and tearfully demanding what on Earth you CAN eat. But don't despair. Every single one of us here arrived on these boards in need of answers, support and better control over our diabetes. You're at the start of a journey, and those BG levels you're hoping for really are within reach.

    My immediate advice to you is to keep posting, reading, asking questions here. Have a look around - we've all kinds of good stuff going on, from recipes to people posting their success stories. Also, consider starting a food diary where you eat normally, but log everything you eat and drink for a week along with the total carbs it contained (regardless of GI) and what your BG levels were upon waking, before eating and 2 hours after eating.

    When you've got a better picture of your testing routine and what and when you eat, you'll be in a far more powerful position to understand what you need to change. My guess is that, like everyone else in the country, you have a "healthy" breakfast of cereal or toast and juice, a mid-morning cuppa, an early lunch of a homemade pasta salad or sandwich followed by fruit, another cuppa and a snack in the afternoon and then a big evening meal. Which is all we're told to eat to stay healthy. The trouble is, if you like a biscuit and a spoonful of sugar in your tea and fruit between meals, you're literally loading your body with carbs non-stop, all day, never giving it the chance to clear them before the next lot arrives.

    Of course, I could (and often am!) be wildly off the mark. Which means a food diary will help even more. (But they only work if you're honest - you don't have to show anyone, though).

    Do try not to panic, though - deep breaths, literally concentrating on making your body relax part by part and telling yourself that you've taken a really strong, positive step in coming here and asking for support will all help. Stress is dangerous to a T2D, but you'll be really surprised how quickly you'll be seeing results once you've given yourself time to breathe, look around and consider your relationship with food and the type of foods you eat.

    Much love to you - keep posting!

    Sock xx

    Edited: Typos
     
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    #2 SockFiddler, Jul 5, 2018 at 9:12 AM
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2018
  3. Guzzler

    Guzzler Type 2 · Master

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    What she ^^^ said.

    Welcome to the forum.
     
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  4. SockFiddler

    SockFiddler Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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  5. Maddyiow

    Maddyiow · Newbie

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    Hi thanks so much so much advice. I am having a low carb diet and have been on that for about 6 months although I have fallen off the wagon more than once or twice!!!!
    My daily diet is 2 slices of whole meal toast or porridge with blueberries. Lunch is homemade veggie soup or a salad with meat or cheese. Supper is spaghetti Bol made with Quorn carrots celery onions garlic No tomatoes so true Italian style whole pasta or gluten free! I don’t drink or smoke. And I walk everywhere so that’s why I just don’t get the high levels!
     
  6. xfieldok

    xfieldok Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Lose the toast porridge and pasta.
     
  7. Deleted Account

    Deleted Account · Guest

    There are many things which affect our BG and we are all different so react differently to different things.
    Our BG may be affected by food, drink (especially alcohol), exercise, stress, illness, pain, drugs, time of day, month, year, weather, temperature, ...
    So, yes your BG could be affected by your high stress and back pain.

    The other respondents have mentioned ways your food choices can reduce your BG.
    If you can find ways to reduce your stress it will help more than just your diabetes.
    I realise that is so much easier to write than do but it would certainly help to unwind at times.
     
  8. SockFiddler

    SockFiddler Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    The devil is in the details, Maddy!

    Thanks for replying so fast! Not to nag, but could you answer the questions at the top of my post there, just to give us all a specific idea of your situation - thanks :)

    I'm a devil for claiming my meal was healthy right up to the moment I write down everything I put on it. Then I see that the low-far French Dressing I used was full of sugar to improve the taste, and corn flour to make it goopy. Or that my delicious slow-cooker casserole was ludicrously good for me until I consider the sweet potatoes, carrots and parsnips I loaded it with for flavour.

    Bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, any veg that grows underground, shop-bought tomato puree, pretty much any ready-made sauce, fruit... it's all carbs. I know, it's awful to see the food for what it contains, especially when you thought you already made loads of positive changes, but the fact is, what you're eating isn't working for your body at the moment.

    A typical day of food for me will be:

    (if I have breakfast - I only do 3 times a week) full-fat, unsweetened yogurt with some berries.

    An undressed salad (or lime juice and walnut oil, if I'm feeling like I need a little more interest), mostly leaves, with a little cucumber, spring onion and a sliced pepper with home-made Coronation Chicken or tuna mayo.

    A handful of peanuts, a little packet of pork scratchings or a peperami for a snack.

    Maybe 3 pork loin steaks with roasted veg (normally a courgette, an onion, another pepper) or a couple of bags of microwave veg from the freezer.

    If I'm up late and feel like a snack, I'll have some mange tout with a bit of onion and garlic dip.

    This is a typical, lazy, "I can't be bothered to cook" kind of day of food which I can prepare without thinking much about it, that I don't count carbs for, that I don't need to worry about. I've had my diagnosis for just over a year, and spent months keeping a diary and counting the carbs in everything I ate to get to this point - which sounds like hard work, but, actually I found it both interesting and empowering.

    A year in, and I'm confidently able to meal plan without using a food diary, though if I'm cooking for friends I will still plan out what's on the menu and tot up the total carbs per portion. My last Hba1c was 42 (the magic number!) but I can very clearly remember staring at the "What did you eat today?" thread and gasping at how little people were surviving on and feeling absolutely helpless when it came to my own diet.

    Small steps, lots of questions and some experimentation. You're going to be fine <3
     
  9. xfieldok

    xfieldok Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    We are all different. You may be able to tolerate something that I can't. We have to find our own way.

    If you test before and after meals, if the second reading is over 2, then the meal had too many carbs or the portion was too large.

    Download the mySugr app and record your numbers and food including portion size. You can record other information as well.
     
  10. daisy1

    daisy1 Type 2 · Legend

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    @Maddyiow

    Hello Maddyiow and welcome to the Forum :) Here is the Basic Information we give to new members and I hope you will find it both interesting and 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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