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Just diagnosed and trying to come to terms

Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by Horwendil, Jan 12, 2009.

  1. Horwendil

    Horwendil · Member

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    Hi all, have been lurking for the weekend but feel I need to post as everyone seems so understanding.
    I was borderline last year and seemed to be doing ok, still overweight but soldiering on. Had a bad chest infection over Christmas and the doc gaves me antibiotics which was too small a dose and did nothing. Last monday another doc put me on steroids (turned out to be insufficient dose as well) but peak flow got worse. Emergency appointment on thursday morning and put on nebulizer then blood/glucose level taken - 18.6 and that was fasted. They say that steroids can push you over the edge and since then I have been put on 1 x 500 Metformen, still on steroids and specific antibiotics, chest gradually getting better but have kept a chart of blood glucose readings since friday. very sporadic and doesn't seem to be correlant to meals all the time. Lowest I've had 10.3, highest 23.7. This weekend I suffered blurred vision and of course that sent me into a complete panic. Been to docs and opticians today, possibly cause is steroids raising pressure around eye as there is no damge to eyes, thank God. I am due to see dietician again, but as my levels are constantly high -today, after breakfast 14.3 (2hrs) and then before lunch 18.2 (!!??) what is the best sort of thing to eat when I get hungry and my levels are high ?
    Sorry for the long post, but needed to tell someone how I am feeling, which frankly is scared/shocked, as I have now got to come to terms with the fact that this is for life.
     
  2. HLW

    HLW Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Infections, illlnesses, stress, etc all can raise blood sugar levels so try not to panic, your blood sugar levels might improve as you get better. I definatly notice symptoms of high blood sugar if I have an infection or a virus or have stress due to exams etc (tiredness, thirst) - I assume it's high blood sugar though I've got no way to test it myself.

    That's a low dose of metformin, so if your blood sugar doesn't drop the dose of that can be increased. Are you doing ok with the side effects? (digestive problems) If not, ask them to put you on the slow release version (metformin SR). They don't prescribe that to start with because it's more expensive (to the NHS, not to you).

    Do you want ideas for snacks or meals? Try asking on the low carb forum, there's a thread on there with recipes too. I'm sure someone else will able to be more helpful than me about food, I really hate cooking.

    Hopefully you will find these forums useful!
     
  3. sugarless sue

    sugarless sue · Master

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    Welcome to the forum Horwendil,sorry you are having such a tough time of it just now.yes the steroids will put up your blood sugar levels but your levels are very high even for steroids.Can you give us some idea of what you eat so that we can help you with your diet? Generally all diabetics need to reduce the amount of carbohydrate they eat.As well as the sugars you also need to reduce your intake of the starchy foods such as bread,potatoes ,rice and pasta.These all contribute to raising your blood sugars as starchy carbs convert 100% into glucose in the body.
     
  4. Horwendil

    Horwendil · Member

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    Hi HLW and sugarlesssue, and thanks for the replies. Not had too much on the way of digestion problems, and as for food so far, I have the calorie, carb and fat bible and have been referring to that so choosing foods with as little carbohydrates as possible, such as sardines or tuna, an omelet the saturday, grilled salmon fillet with 1 boiled potata and 1 carrot on sunday and generally two slices wholemeal toast for breakfast. I've stopped anything sugary, obviously,
    but my readings don't seem to tie in with the food. Should exercise raise the levels, or lower them?
    I have an appointment for tomorrow so thanks for the tip and I'll ask about raising the Metformen dose.
    It's really good to know that there is the support on here, it makes me feel not quite so alone in this.

    sadly, sue, I love cooking, but am going to have to do it without the sort of ingredients I used to use.
     
  5. graham64

    graham64 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Howard,
    Like you I had a chest infection over Christmas and was put on antibiotics and a 6 day course of steroids. This played havoc with my BG, whilst I did not reach the numbers you quoted I had readings of 16+. A few days after finishing the steroids my levels dropped down to normal, hopefully when you finish your course of steroids you will get you BG numbers down too.

    Regards Graham
     
  6. sugarless sue

    sugarless sue · Master

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    No you are not alone ,we've all been there!!Exercise can raise Blood sugar levels as the liver dumps glucose into the system for the energy.That's why it's important to eat regular meals,the body is fed and doesn't feel the need to suddenly dump glucose into the system.As HLW said maybe worth going up a dose of Metformin to get your levels down.they will probably stay high till you are off the steroids but they definitely need to come down ASAP.
     
  7. Horwendil

    Horwendil · Member

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    Last dose of steroids tomorrow morning, so hopefully things will start to drop to a more maneagable level within a day or so, but will definately ask the doc about the dosage. Will have to try and get into a better routine - first day back at work tomorrow, but will have to take it easy as I feel so tired when the level is high, appointment in afternoon, so will know more after that.
     
  8. sugarless sue

    sugarless sue · Master

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    I hope it does drop down quickly ,you will feel more energetic once it does.Please keep us informed ,and ,if you have any questions ,just ask.
     
  9. Trinkwasser

    Trinkwasser · Well-Known Member

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    Some people (like my mother) get high BG on steroids which is reversible. Sometimes it doesn't reverse though and pushes you over the edge into actual permanent diabetes.

    Some people are put on insulin to cover steroid courses.

    Also the infection itself will bang up your BG.

    Either way, even if your BG comes down again do treat this as a wake-up call, the earlier you can gain BG control the more likely you are to avoid or slow the progression.
     
  10. Horwendil

    Horwendil · Member

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    Well, steroids now finished, doubled the dose of metformin to 2 per day and now the before meals bg is averaging 7.8.
    Blood pressure is up, but we can get that sorted at next meeting.
    Blurred vision has cleared and feeling a lot better, but still a bit "shaky" at times. Nurse came up with an eating plan, but it really is a minefield..... low carb or balanced... still trying to decide, but certainly more aware now. Have another appointment with nurse on 29th.
    Thank you all for your support. :)
     
  11. Dennis

    Dennis Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Horwendil,
    Your blurred vision was almost certainly the result of unusually high blood sugar. When BS is running at an abnormally high level it can distort the optic lens, but it clears itself when BS is reduced. Similarly your feeling shaky could also be a reaction to the sudden drop in BS. Your body will quite quickly have becomed accustomed to the higher BS and when it drops you get an artificial hypo sensation, even though you are nowhere low enough to experience a true hypo.

    Now that you have experienced the effect of high blood sugar for yourself, and you know that blood sugar is created by carbohydrates, the question of whether to opt for a high-carb or reduced carb lifestyle is a bit of a no-brainer isn't it?
     
  12. Horwendil

    Horwendil · Member

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    Thanks Dennis, for a very clear explanation of what had happened.
    Although I personally favour a low carb diet, I have got quite a lot of weight to lose so I will
    have to keep an eye on the fats.
    Any advice on how many grams of carbs hsould be allowed per day on a low carb diet, please ?
     
  13. chocoholic

    chocoholic · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Horwendil,
    I'm sure steroid use had a hand in me becoming diabetic too and it was hard to take that onboard but now you have your diagnosis, you can start to get your blood glucose levels under control and your eyesight should improve considerably.
    I was lucky and did not need to lose weight BUT just cutting down on my carbs a little had me amazed at the both the speed and amount of weight lost. I did not skimp on the natural fats, as found in cheese, butter, cream etc. and yet still the weight came off. I have lost about a stone and half now and I did not feel hungry along the way. The weight loss just seemed like an added bonus to reducing the carbs a bit. I can highly recommend you try it.
    There are lots of folks on here to offer you support, so don't be shy of asking questions or just joining us for a chat. I have found just popping on the forum to chat with fellow diabetics, enormously beneficial.
    Take care. All the best, Chocoholic.
     
  14. Horwendil

    Horwendil · Member

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    Hi Chocaholic, yep, it really is a wonderful forum and medium for us diabetics. Reading through a lot of the posts brings it home that we are not alone in this, and the words of encouragement and understanding givven to me and other posters helps enormously. I do favour the low carb and am trying to eat less of them day by day, it's a learning curve of course, but the fat,carb and calorie bible is starting to get well thumbed :)
     
  15. Trinkwasser

    Trinkwasser · Well-Known Member

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    Your meter can tell you

    http://www.alt-support-diabetes.org/NewlyDiagnosed.htm

    You may be surprised what happens when you reduce the carbs to a level where your BG no longer spikes - this reduces your insulin levels and it's the insulin which is principally responsible for stashing excess glucose as body fat. Below the level where this occurs fats have much less effect than is currently thought. This is very much the direction 21st Century dietary and metabolic research is heading in.

    Plenty of this stuff is good

    http://www.diabetic-talk.org/freeveggies.htm

    a mix of fibre water and micronutrients ideal to replace carbs with
     
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