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I think I may be diabetic

Discussion in 'Prediabetes' started by Muddles, Feb 10, 2016.

  1. Muddles

    Muddles Prediabetes · Member

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    Hello everyone!

    I've had diabetic blood tests for some years, and they've always been clear. I moved to where i live now in 2014 and not had one from the current surgery.

    2 weeks ago I had a really serious reaction to a drug the doctor gave me for 'depression'. I'd had 4 bereavements last year one after the other and had been feeling very low, so the doctor put me on a high dose of antidepressant. Half an hour after taking the first tablet I had to dial 999.

    The paramedic arrived and took my BP which was 180/100, then took the blood sugar finger test, he took it 3 times to make sure and it read 16 to 18. I'd eaten my dinner previous to taking the tablet and had a large helping of rice pudding with a huge dollop of homemade strawberry jam and if that doesn't put your blood sugar up nothing will. lol

    The paramedic studied the leaflet inside the antidepressant box and said I was suffering from most of the side effects stated. He also said I was the second lady he'd seen that day suffering the same side effects with the same drug and the same dose, except the other lady had also been paralyzed down one side, thankfully it hadn't done that to me.

    He said to contact my doctor in the morning but if I felt worse during the night to dial 999 again. By then, which was an hour after he arrived, I was feeling a tiny bit better, in that the side effects were now coming over me in waves, nausea and dizziness.

    In the morning I made an appointment to see the doctor. I had my BP checked and it was then 164/80, but they didn't check my blood sugar level. Instead they made an appointment to have a full blood panel done the following day.

    I'd not eaten that morning when I arrived for the blood tests. I had my BP checked again and it was 160/84.

    I saw the doctor last week for the results of the blood tests and my thyroid level was slightly high. The doctor said it should be between 12 and 35 and mine was 10. So he's put me on 50mcg of Levothyroxine which is the synthetic thyroxine. He said I shouldnt get any reactions to it as it was a hormone that occurs naturally in the body. And he was right. I'm fine on the tablets.

    He said my blood sugar level was slightly high, and wants to see me on 15th March to have both the thyroid and blood sugar blood tests done again. I asked what the result of the blood sugar test was and he said 57%. I've since checked and think that's about 9. So quite high, as the doctor said they prefer it up to 42%.

    He said if my blood sugar was between 16 and 18 when the paramedic took it then I am definately diabetic, however, I've never had any symptoms and I was perfectly ok until the drug reaction, so I am assuming the high reading is due to the drug in my system.

    He said we won't know until the second HBA1c test is done in March, when they will know the drug that caused all the problems is totally out of my system.

    The only history of diabetes in my family was my uncle and my late brother, no-one else had it. I eat a low fat low sugar diet and have for most of my life as I have a shrivelled gall bladder and it plays up if I eat fatty foods. But since the bereavements last year I haven't done any exercise as such, and must get back into walking more.

    So mine is a bit of a puzzle. Am I prediabetic, not diabetic at all, or a full blown type 2 diabetic?

    Is it worth me getting a meter and test papers and checking myself until I go for the next HBA1c test?

    I don't want to frighten myself unnecessarily. But I have been watching more closely what I eat since the results came through.

    I may add I don't have any symptoms whatsoever to point to me having diabetes, no tiredness, no nausea, etc.
     
    #1 Muddles, Feb 10, 2016 at 1:50 PM
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 10, 2016
  2. Diakat

    Diakat Type 1 · Moderator
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    We can't help with diagnosis here, but hope you get a clear answer soon. You day low sugar diet but what about carbs? Rice, pasta, bread, cereal? Have you been drinking more fluid or dropping weight?
     
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  3. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Legend

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    If that 57% you are referring to was an HbA1c test, that is indicating you have diabetes. It isn't 57% by the way, it is simply 57. The HbA1c tests give a sort of average of your blood sugar over the previous 2 to 3 months. Anything above 42 is diabetic. It is normal to have a second HbA1c just to confirm matters. Try not to worry. Have a good read round these forums and make some plans about tweaking your diet, remembering that carbs are the problem for diabetics, not fats or salt.

    Yes, do get a meter. Testing before you eat and a couple of hurs later will show you what that meal has done to your levels, so if necessary you can amend it next time by cutting certain things out or seriously reducing portions.
     
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  4. Muddles

    Muddles Prediabetes · Member

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    Thanks for your replies.

    Diakat I don't eat too many carbs, mainly 2 slices of wholemeal Allinsons bread toasted with butter (I used to use Clover but it's processed so cut it out and replaced with butter).

    Bluetit yes it was an HbA1c test

    What concerns me is, the tests were done 48hrs after the drug reaction which raised everything from BP to blood sugar. Is there any chance I may not be diebetic and it's just the drug reaction caused the sugar glucose to rise?

    I dont have any symptoms whatsoever, no thirst, no weight loss nothing.
     
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    #4 Muddles, Feb 10, 2016 at 5:01 PM
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 10, 2016
  5. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Legend

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    As I mentioned above, an HbA1c test looks at your red blood cells and calculates an average of sorts of how much glucose has attached itself to them over their life-time. As red blood cells live approximately 3 months, it gives a sort of average of your glucose levels over the past 2 to 3 months, weighted towards the last 3 or 4 weeks. Your drug reaction certainly will have affected any finger prick testing at the time and also any a fasting blood glucose test as they are just snap shots of what was there at the time, but the reaction won't have had any significant effect on the Hba1c.

    An HbA1c of 57 isn't drastic and unlikely to have given you symptoms. Many type 2s are symptomless on diagnosis. Your BS levels have to be quite high before they appear. I've never ever had any symptoms.
     
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  6. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse · Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to nitpick but the HbA1c does have units - millimoles per mole (mmol/mol). I think it's important to quote the units as when someone writes something like 57, I'm never sure if they have missed out a decimal point and actually mean 5.7%. If people write 57 mmol/mol then it's clear which measurement system is being used.
     
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  7. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Legend

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    Point taken
     
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  8. Muddles

    Muddles Prediabetes · Member

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    Thank you so much Bluetit for explaining eveything so easily for me.

    So I can assume I am diabetic then, and will probably have to control it by diet. I'm hoping it's gone down considerably by 15th March.

    Do you think there's any chance it will have gone to or below 42 by careful diet changes or is that wishful thinking. Sorry for all the questions. And if it does does that mean I am pre-diabetic and will still have to control the blood glucose by diet for the rest of my life?

    Thanks for the advice regards Carbs. I don't eat too many and will cut out the 2 slices of wholemeal toast for breakfast now. I don't eat much bread at all, perhaps a loaf a week sometimes less. I do eat a few crackers in and out as a snack sometimes. Never eat cakes or biscuits, never have.

    So I'm guessing I got diabetes from being overweight when I gave up smoking and less exercise since I retired. pffft
     
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  9. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Legend

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    There is no harm in assuming you are diabetic until your next HbA1c. If you start a suitable diet right now and add a little exercise to your daily routine (doesn't have to be much) you have every chance of lowering your last HbA1c. Whether you are diabetic or pre-diabetic doesn't make much difference in reality. It's just a label.

    I'll tag @daisy1 to come along with the advice for new members.

    Do get a meter. This will help you with finding the right diet for you. You may be one of the lucky ones that can manage the odd slice of bread. You may not. Your meter will tell you. A meter is essential. Many of us here use the Codefree because the strips are the cheapest going, and you will need a lot of strips to begin with. Have a look here.

    http://homehealth-uk.com/all-products/sd-codefree-test-strips-to-be-used-only-with-the-sd-monitor/

    http://homehealth-uk.com/product-category/blood-glucose/blood-glucose-monitor/

    If you buy in bulk there is a generous discount.
    5 packs 264086
    10 packs 975833

    Other meters are available, of course, but don't be fooled by free meters on offer, it s the cost of the strips that is important. Once you get a meter, start keeping a food diary and record your levels against the food eaten. Patterns will emerge telling you which are your danger foods that need cutting out or reducing in quantity.

    Good luck :)
     
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  10. Muddles

    Muddles Prediabetes · Member

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    Thank you so much. You have made me feel much more cheerful. Will check out the meters now. Thank you for the links.

    Looking at the Codefree monitor it says you can choose which you want, I don't have a clue which one I'd want to be honest. The one that reads 6.0 upwards I think I'd understand better but don't know which one that would be.

     
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    #10 Muddles, Feb 11, 2016 at 10:34 AM
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 11, 2016
  11. slip

    slip Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    you'd want the mmol/l version.

    Wishing you well.
     
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  12. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Legend

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    Yes, the mmol/l version is the one for people in the UK. The mg/dl is for folk in America and a few other places where they use different measurement units.
     
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  13. Mike d

    Mike d Type 2 · Expert

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    Good luck with all that you do, but those losses can certainly be a factor. Stress and worries do influence blood sugars.
     
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  14. daisy1

    daisy1 Type 2 · Legend
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    @Muddles

    Hello Muddles and welcome to the forum :) You have had some really good advice above. Here is the information we give to new members and I hope you will find it useful. Ask more questions 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 over 150,000 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-and-whole-grains.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

    LOW CARB PROGRAM:
    http://www.diabetes.co.uk/low carb program


    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 bloodglucose 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.
     
  15. Muddles

    Muddles Prediabetes · Member

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    Well I ordered the monitor above on Thursday and rang them to check it could be delivered next day delivery as i live in Cornwall and the girl said that wasn't a problem and it would be delivered Friday. So I put the order through and paid the £6.99 for nxt day delivery.

    It never arrived. I stayed in all day and no-one came. I was so mad. I tried to ring Homehealth today but they don't work w/ends. They also don't give you any tracking information when things are being sent via courier, nor do they tell you who the courier is. So I couldn't even get in touch with the courier to find out what had gone wrong.

    Not impressed at all. I think Homehealth need to check up on the courier they use because it's not doing them any favours using such an unreliable one.
     
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  16. zand

    zand Type 2 · Expert

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    I have the same problem with courier firms too. They often say there's something wrong with the address when they simply just don't bother to try to deliver it. Very frustrating.
     
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  17. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Legend

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    I'm sorry you have had this problem. I have been using Codefree for 18 or more months and have never had any delivery problems. I also find them an extremely excellent company to deal with. Their communication is very good. All emails have been responded to quickly and in a friendly manner.
     
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  18. Muddles

    Muddles Prediabetes · Member

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    My monitor and other bits arrived this morning quite early, the driver said they had only just received the parcel overnight. Homehealth say the parcel was despatched the same day I ordered, and it was for some unknown reason held up at the couriers hub before despatching it to the Truro depot.

    Anyway it's here, and I'm quite pleased with it. Not used it yet, as it says it has to be 'primed' with some liquid before use to check its working properly and it should be carried out by a health professional, so I'll take it with me Wednesday when I go for my second HBA1c test, for the nurse to do. I've set it up in every other way, with date/alarms etc.

    Yes Zand, I often get problems with some couriers here, the property was only built in 2014, and if people put the postcode into their satnavs it takes them to a totally different location about 10 miles away. So I always explain this if I can to whoever I'm buying goods from if they're delivered by courier. Although now, most companies have updated their satnav databases.

    I've been struggling finding things to eat, I've cut out pasta, rice and bread, and just ordered my online groceries with ASDA and ordered some Burgens bread after reading on here it's very good. I have plain oatmeal biscuits and crackers but not sure if I should eat those and if so how many are permitted.

    It's quite confusing at the moment.

    I've also bought a blood pressure monitor because my BP keeps going up sky high and then back to normal, probably due to anxiety attacks about havng diabetes. I've always suffered with them but been able to control them for the last few years, but struggling a bit now with the impending diabetes diagnosis. The first HBA1c test showed thyroid problems so I'm now on tablets for that and also tablets for high BP.

    I felt fine until I had the drug allergy/reaction to that anti depressant a couple of weeks ago, now I feel like death warmed up, and it's brought all these things to the surface. Sorry for the rant lol
     
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  19. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Legend

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    I didn't have to have my Codefree meters primed with some solution, and I've had 2 meters from them. Is this something new? I just set mine up and off I went. I also don't recall anyone else on here having to do this.

    Once you get going with your meter it will tell you whether you can eat crackers or oatmeal biscuits, and indeed Burgen bread, or how many of them at once. We all react differently to the same foods. You will have to spend time and a lot of testing experimenting with all this.

    .
     
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  20. ladybird64

    ladybird64 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Muddles, just a thought but something stood out to me in your initial post. I understand about the reaction to the SSRI, but you mentioned that you had eaten rice pudding with jam before the test was done. Do you think there is any chance that you could have had any trace of this, especially the jam, on your fingers when the test was taken? Reason for asking, that would give a totally false reading because of the sugar on your fingers..
    And not saying you eat with your fingers by the way, but know it's easy when making puds to lick sticky fingers when finished lol.
    What I will say, as a fellow anxiety sufferer (not health or diabetes related) is that a definitive diagnosis is just words, a label. Tablets can help a little, but the best control comes from eating a better diet, with fewer carbs - it is possible to live a happy life with diabetes but it does require commitment:)
     
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