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How long have I been Type 2?

Discussion in 'Type 2 Diabetes' started by TooManyCrisps, Jun 10, 2016.

  1. TooManyCrisps

    TooManyCrisps Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I was diagnosed T2 on New Years Eve, so just under 6 months ago. I didn't have any symptoms, although I was looking out for them as I had had gestational diabetes 17 years earlier and knew I was at high risk. My HBA1C was 97, which (to me) suggests that it hadn't come on suddenly but had developed over a number of years.

    I'm concerned about how long I might have had T2 without knowing. I did ask my GP about 5 years ago if I should have an annual BS check given my gestational diabetes, but she said that was pointless unless I developed symptoms, which I never did - my T2 was picked up in a random blood test as part of a "well woman" check and then confirmed with the HBA1C test.

    Luckily all my diabetes checks - feet, kidney, eyes etc have come back clear, and my HBA1C after 3 months had dropped to 49, and hopefully will have dropped further at my next check, but I still worry that I have damaged my body in the period when I didn't know I was diabetic. I did have an operation under GA 3 years ago and had a number of pre-op blood tests, but don't know if they routinely test for sugars in the pre-op tests? If they do, then that would suggest my sugar levels were ok then and that my diabetes developed after that point.

    I know that no-one can definitively tell me how long I have had this disease, but it would be interesting to know what sort of damage I might have incurred in the period of not-knowing. I would be relieved f it was only a year rather than, say, 5 years! I also wish I'd insisted that I had an annual BS test for the last few years, so any rise in BS could have been picked up. It seems crazy that the NHS won't do this for someone who is clearly at high risk of developing a disease - prevention is better than cure, isn't it?
     
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  2. Lamont D

    Lamont D Reactive hypoglycemia · Master

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    Most GPs only look at blood glucose levels.
    Quite a few diabetics have problems from high insulin levels as well as insulin resistance.
    This can build up over many years and lead to obesity and obviously diabetes.
    There are many types of metabolic and endocrine problems.
    And there are many ways of getting them as well.
    That's why you read a lot of posts saying that we are all different.
    And you have to find your own way of getting control.

    I don't think that you will find an answer!

    I've often wondered why and when my endocrine system decided to stop being normal(ish) and flood my system with too much insulin.
     
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  3. satkins

    satkins Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Not sure about you but I think I've been diabetic for about 5 years but inly diagnosed a few months ago. I say this because about 5 years ago i started gaining weight. Also found that certain foods started giving me cramps but not sure if thats a symptom. And other type 2 symptoms that I just ignored. Luckly my eye doctor says my eyes are fine so far. Haven't seen a foot doctor yet. At least I know now and can work on it.

    Sent from my SM-N910W8 using Diabetes.co.uk Forum mobile app
     
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  4. 13lizanne

    13lizanne Type 2 · Expert

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    I can only tell you about myself @TooManyCrisps I can remember having hot flushes during the night (not menopause) which would wake me up feeling decidedly odd for about 4,-6 months before the other symptoms appeared I.e weeing, excessive thirst, blurred vision, extreme tiredness, hair thinning. I went to doc and was diagnosed with an HbA1c of 96 so I reckon I had been diabetic for approx 6 months, however, I had been slowly gaining weight and feeling not quite 100% for a few years. The thing is our BG levels have to be high for a long time before damage is done and if the levels were really high we would know because we would feel ill, that's why I reckon only 6 months at high levels for me. I hope that this ramble makes sense to you and helps a bit. Take care xxxx
     
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  5. TooManyCrisps

    TooManyCrisps Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @13lizanne, that is extremely helpful thank you. I didn't have the weeing, thirst etc but I have been very tired for years, which I put down to working full time, having teenagers and doing lots of other activities. But when I think about it, I had felt less than right since last summer, without being able to put my finger on it. I was very stressed as I was having to cover a colleagues long term sick leave and was working stupid hours, so put it down to that, but it might have been the T2 starting to manifest itself. I have been a yoyo dieter ever since the kids were born so can't go by the weight thing. I was quite overweight though (BMI of 29.9 so almost clinically obese at diagnosis, I've since lost about 15 kilos). I also did have the odd hot flush upon waking, which i thought was possibly the start of the menopause even though I have had no other symptoms (I'm the right age, 49). And thinking about it, I haven't had one of those since I started LCHF eating.

    I know that I will never really know the answer, but if I thought there was a possibility of only being T2 for say less than a year prior to diagnosis rather than, say, 5 years, it would make me feel better. Illogical, I know but I'm frightened tat I might have really caused some damage I don't yet know about. You've made me feel much better!
     
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  6. TooManyCrisps

    TooManyCrisps Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks @Atkins. I hope your foot check is ok. Don't know if cramp after food is a symptom.. I certainly didn't have any of the well-known symptoms.
     
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  7. satkins

    satkins Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I don't really have any foot issues. Well except for when I tuck it under a leg when sitting. That can put it to sleep.

    Just wanted to note that i did have signs of diabetes when I look back at the last few years. Also have to admit that i hadnt seen a doctor for at least 15 years. It was an infection that got me to the doctor. Then he gave we a physical with full blood work. I'm so happy I went to the doctor and found out how sick I really am (that is a bit of sarcasm if you can't tell).

    Sent from my SM-N910W8 using Diabetes.co.uk Forum mobile app
     
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  8. ickihun

    ickihun Type 2 · Master

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    @TooManyCrisps I had symptoms when I was 6yr old. Nearly 40yrs ago. I was diagnosed 14yrs ago.
    Now. Yes we are all different but I do declare I've had 'remission' and high blood glucose too.
    My saving grace was trials with metformin for pcos. After stopping metformin for fertility I may have started with uncontrolled diabetes.
    As a young adult I suffered bell's palsy which could be a link but no diabetic diagnosis.
    As a teenager I did my own version of newcastle diet and IF. Nearly anorexic thou.
    The moral of my story is thrush has been my biggest complication with high blood pressure. Both of which are under control.
    I'm thankful my eyes and feet checks come back clear.
    I think I've done well on nearly 40yrs of type 2 diabetes. ;)

    If you had to guess would you guess 5yrs you've had it?
     
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  9. JohnEGreen

    JohnEGreen Other · Master

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    About 3 years ago I think, I mentioned to my neurologist that I was losing sensation in my feet and hands he checked me over and agreed I had some form of neuropathy and ordered blood tests including Hb1Ac which was 54 normal according to my GP when he was informed of this in may 2015 I requested when other bloods where being taken for neurologist another Hb1Ac this time 64 then I registered with new GP and was diagnosed last December I suppose as complications take some while to develop and I also have retinopathy and damaged kidneys I must have been diabetic at least four to five or more years at a guess.
     
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  10. TooManyCrisps

    TooManyCrisps Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    hi @ickihun
    I really don't know. No symptoms, so nothing to indicate when it started. I've struggled with my weight on and off since the children were born (youngest is now 18). There have been periods where my weight was fine but then it would creep up, then I would lose again and so I yo-yo'd along for 17 years. As I had diabetes in my second pregnancy, and my dad is T2, I was waiting for it to happen but stupidly thought I'd know when it started. So I could have had it for years, and when I went for my retinopathy exam I was petrified, and so relieved to find it was clear.

    I definitely had major stress last year - I was asked to manage a team (colleague went off on long-term sick leave) in an unfamiliar area (practice-wise, not geographically!) and one team member who thought they should have been asked to manage the team made my life extremely unpleasant for a while. I was working stupidly log hours, grabbing food on the go, and my weight crept up from "a bit overweight" to "very overweight/borderline obese". So maybe that was the final straw for a condition that was waiting to happen anyway?

    I wasn't surprised particularly (upset, but not surprised) to be diagnosed T2 but I was taken aback at how high the reading was (97). Which made me think it had probably developed a while ago.

    Interesting that you can identify that you had symptoms age 6! That is a very long time ago. You must be relieved your feet and eyes are ok.
     
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  11. Lamont D

    Lamont D Reactive hypoglycemia · Master

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    I can relate to a lot of your working history and not knowing what the hell I was doing to myself.
    I was team leader on a really busy production line, grabbing a quick bite here and there, lots of stress and fatigue, working shifts etc. And definitely not healthy eating for me even when I was told to diet, of course it was the eat well plate!

    I think when I retired from the factory nearly ten years ago, my symptoms was at a point I didn't know or the doctors were telling me as if I was T2, so I was constantly returning to my surgery and getting fobbed off.

    When you are in a stressful job and your blood glucose is fluctuating or you have an imbalance in your hormones particularly insulin, this can lead to anxiety and other hidden symptoms that are not indicative of a condition relative to diabetes.

    Lots of people are obese because of the lack of understanding how our working lives and lifestyles are integral in harming our health!
     
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  12. ickihun

    ickihun Type 2 · Master

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    I am. I put it down to nearly having an eating disorder and then married to a professional footballer so we gym'd and jogged everyday. Then metformin for pcos. 2 pregnancies on insulin has exhorbitated insulin resistance. On insulin for life now. The best I can hope for is to lose weight safely. Reducing my insulin need. I have been offered 'the op' but scared in case I make my health worse in the long run so declined. Other than which I'm all dieted out!
     
  13. AndBreathe

    AndBreathe I reversed my Type 2 · Expert
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    Shortly after diagnosis I pondered as you are doing now for all of 5 minutes. Trust me, it's not that I didn't or don't care. I was totally asymptomatic with, but diagnosed following a routine test, "whilst I was attending the surgery for something else. I was bewildered.

    To be honest the reason I pondered so briefly was that whenever I metaphorically "flipped the switch", there was absolute nothing I could do to change it or to prevent it having happened. The only thing I could do was work on the future, to make it better than it could have been.

    I urge you to forget about worrying about when you tripped your own personal switch. Life is too short, and tends to be too busy to invest in something guaranteeing no return for that investment. Look to the future, and do what you can to influence how it turns out.

    You'll be fine. :)
     
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  14. magsiesss

    magsiesss Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I agree with this this totally.

    Life is too short to worry about "what if's" ... What's done is done and you CAN deal with the issues you have now, worrying about what caused them will not really help you or make you feel better.

    Look to see what you can do about making you feel better, both physically and mentally and really enjoy life.

    x
     
  15. Lamont D

    Lamont D Reactive hypoglycemia · Master

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    I do totally agree with this!
    And I myself have moved on, there was no choice!

    However, high levels of stress and anxiety, your head won't let you!
    You have to get yourself distressed and overcome your anxiety.
    And that is not easy.

    If like me, a lifestyle change, a change to low carb if you can, will help tremendously!.
     
  16. ickihun

    ickihun Type 2 · Master

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    I am. However being investigated for a heart problem now as having breathlessness in most things. My pelvis/back pain problem is not resolved yet. I feel once they've help with whatever is wrong there I'll be able to exercise again (swimming and walking).
    How have you been, I haven't seen you around.
     
  17. JohnEGreen

    JohnEGreen Other · Master

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    To me it matters I was not asymptomatic on diagnosis I had a complete set of complications how much damage had been done by those complications depends a great deal on how long they had been festering, unknown to me and also has a bearing on how long it may take to undo that damage if I can at all.

    It was two years from when it became obvious to me that I was diabetic and informed my GP of that and finally being diagnosed by another doctor. Not only did I inform my GP but so did my neurologist who had ordered blood tests.
     
  18. Resurgam

    Resurgam Type 2 (in remission!) · Expert

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    I think I have been prediabetic or diabetic for a long time, but I ate low carb - was never given a blood test even though my diabetic grandmother was on all my notes, I developed pre eclampsia when ordered to 'eat normally' during my second pregnancy.
    I don't get glucose in my urine - I was given some sticks to test with and every time it is negative. I bought some a couple of decades ago and they were always negative as well. I had always struggled with my weight until I found low carb was the way to go - back in the 1970s. I could not discus it with my doctors as they were always so against it - never thought that I might have a problem with eating carbs due to something seriously wrong - even with the pre eclampsia.
    If I had not put on so much weight on a cholesterol lowering diet for over a year I might still be undiagnosed.
     
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  19. serenity648

    serenity648 · Guest

    I think my pre-diabetes or insulin resistance started 20 years ago, when I went on antidepressants and, for the first time in my life, gained weight. Previously I had always been within or under the recommended weight for my height. I continued to gain about 2lbs a month for the whole time I was on anti-depressants, even though I wasnt eating more. My doctor said I was comfort eating due to my depression, but I know I wasnt.

    I came off them for 3 years, my weight stabilised. Then I went on them again for 2 years, and gained weight again.

    I think the seroxat (paxil, paroxetine) did something to my metabolism.
     
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