1. Get the Diabetes Forum App for your phone - available on iOS and Android.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Guest, we'd love to know what you think about the forum! Take the Diabetes Forum Survey 2020 »
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Diabetes Forum should not be used in an emergency and does not replace your healthcare professional relationship. Posts can be seen by the public.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community »

New diagnosis, no meds prescribed yet. (sorry, long)

Discussion in 'Newly Diagnosed' started by atfsgeoff, Jan 22, 2020.

  1. atfsgeoff

    atfsgeoff · Member

    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    So I'm a 6'1" 35 year old who was, at least in my own mind, in excellent health until about September of last year, when I started getting random stabbing chest pains. Went to ER, they checked me out and say they couldn't find anything wrong besides very high blood pressure (200/130). Got checked out by my primary care physician who prescribed me some lisinopril for the BP, told me to come back in 3 months for a followup. Fast forward to early December when I got the chest pains again (they had mostly subsided), got put on hydrochlorothiazide in addition to the licinopril for bringing my BP down further, as it was still around 150/120.

    At this point I signed up on my health network's website to look at my own test results, including blood tests. The blood test from late September, and the one from early December showed my blood glucose level at 133 and 134 mg/dl, respectively. This is considered just below the pre-diabetic cutoff but only if you've eaten recently, which is probably why it didn't throw any red flags. But I know that both times I had my blood drawn, I had not eaten for at least 12 hours.

    So I called up my doctor to have an A1C test done. Lo and behold, 7.7%.

    Up until this point I had been eating one big meal per day for a couple years, around 2500-3000 calories, loaded with untold numbers of carbs and sugars. It worked great for me, was convenient, kept my energy levels up throughout the day even when going on long (40+ mile) bike rides, etc.

    But now with this diagnosis, the doctor said to change my diet and see if we can control my blood sugar levels without medication. I'm freaking out because for all I know, I could have had this very high blood sugar average for years and caused permanent organ damage. But at least according to the several marker tests they've done, my heart is fine, and I don't seemingly have any problems peeing, etc.

    Anyway, at this point (2 weeks ago) I was around 195 lbs and feeling pretty good physically, aside from the random chest pain that's still undiagnosed (having a cardiac stress test done next week). I immediately cut down massively on my food intake and have tried splitting my meals up into two per day, about 6 - 8 hours apart. I'm trying really hard to avoid carbs but still eating about 40 - 60 grams per day, which I'm sure is probably about 1/6th of what I had been eating.

    My doctor did not tell me to get a glucose monitor, but I did anyway despite being deathly afraid of needle sticks. I have been forcing myself to check my glucose levels before and after meals, experimenting with exercise and its effects on my levels. Every time I check it, I feel like I'm dying, I hate it so much.

    So far the absolute highest number I've gotten on my glucometer (a ReliOn Prime) was 180 mg/dL, taken just 5 minutes after I got back from a vigorous half hour, 2 mile walk, about an hour after I ate a peanut butter sandwich (one slice whole wheat bread folded in half) and an orange. I didn't yet know that I should have waited a little while after exercising to test, because moderate to intense exercise can raise blood glucose temporarily.

    Most of my readings have been between 100 and 140 mg/dL, before and after meals. I've found that exercising an hour after a meal does bring the level down from near 140 to around 110-115. But to my dismay, I checked my level this morning after a 12 hour fast and it was back up to 123 from a 110 last night, 2.5 hours after a meal and an hour after an hour-long, 4 mile walk. So my body is increasing my blood glucose level on its own, without any food intake whatsoever, in a resting/sleeping state.

    Just as importantly, on this new diet I am tired all the time. I get light-headed whenever I stand up, sometimes to the brink of passing out (though I haven't actually passed out yet thankfully). My BP has gone down to an average of 100/60. I feel miserably exhausted throughout the day, and it takes all the energy I can muster just to finish my walk after a meal. I've lost 5 lbs over 10 days (down to 190 lbs now). I know this is not sustainable, but I'm terrified of doing (more) damage to my body by eating more and raising my glucose level.

    On the plus side, many people on my mom's side of the family have had type 2 for decades and they mostly manage it with just metformin, which is probably in my future as well. None of them have needed insulin injections, which would devastate me if I needed them due to my fear of needles. And internally I know I'm already keeping my levels significantly below the 7.7% or ~174mg/dL average that my last A1C test revealed. But is it enough? Is it sustainable? I don't know if I can keep living with multiple finger sticks every day, every meal, and forcing myself to exercise to exhaustion after each meal.

    Thanks for reading my probably-too-long first post. I just needed to vent, I feel like my whole world is crashing down around me.
     
    • Hug Hug x 2
    • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
  2. xfieldok

    xfieldok Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,621
    Likes Received:
    2,002
    Trophy Points:
    178
    You are bout to be swamped with information, I can't link it on my phone. Where do you live , I am assuming USA if you are measuring in mg.?
     
  3. NitinHP

    NitinHP · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    141
    Trophy Points:
    33
    I was in a similar place, not long ago.

    You have already made a massive step in joining this forum.

    I am very much still in the learning stage, although my time here has been nothing short of amazing.

    Ask questions!

    I can relate to a lot of what you have written and feel safe in the knowledge that your journey begins here.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  4. xfieldok

    xfieldok Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,621
    Likes Received:
    2,002
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Just looked at hydrochlorothiazide, it can raise BP in people with diabetes, might be worth asking your doctor if there is an alternative.

    Just a note, it makes no difference whether or not you fasted before an HbA1c, it gives an average over the last 12 weeks or so.

    Ignore fasting numbers for now, they will be affected by the dawn phenomanon, Concentrate on the numbers before you eat and two hours after the first bite. In the UK we would be looking for a rise of no more than 2, in the USA 36.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  5. atfsgeoff

    atfsgeoff · Member

    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    For me, fasting numbers are pretty much the same as the numbers right before I eat.
     
  6. xfieldok

    xfieldok Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,621
    Likes Received:
    2,002
    Trophy Points:
    178
    How are your numbers before and after you eat?
     
  7. atfsgeoff

    atfsgeoff · Member

    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    before I eat, about 110-125. If I don't exercise, my levels 2.5 hours after a meal are around 140 to 150. If I DO exercise, those numbers come down to 110-120.

    *mg/dL
     
  8. xfieldok

    xfieldok Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,621
    Likes Received:
    2,002
    Trophy Points:
    178
    What do you eat in a typical day?
     
  9. jjraak

    jjraak Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,860
    Likes Received:
    6,647
    Trophy Points:
    198
    @atfsgeoff .

    welcome to the forum.
    not easy, but take a moment......

    pretty similar to how i found out..seriously worrying chect pain..
    doctors appointment.

    heart ok..but you got T2..:wideyed:

    and eating Low carb has got ALL my blood works into much better order then they were
    before i got diagnosed and was eating 'healthy' foods...yeah i know..suckered by what they told me was 'healthy'.


    so, if you ARE testing, then you can find foods that are safe to eat
    ( but DO test as we are all different in how we respond to food)

    so safe foods, as in those that don't cause big spikes.

    Greek yogurt is good.
    add in some blueberries.

    deli meats will help fill you up.
    chicken, steak, meats, sausages (95%+)
    as much salad as you can stomach.(.lettuce leaves etc)
    boiled eggs are good..in fact eggs work well to fill us however they are cooked.

    many drink coffee, but with a dollop of double cream in.

    avoid..breads, pastas, potatoes, rice..of any sort for now, until you know what your HBA1c is and feel more settled in how your going to go about this.

    all the foods above, go against what we all have been told over the years, so do read up, take note of what others have done
    remember the advice on here isn't some third party who read it..it's from real live victims of the same disease, finding a way to get to the best health they can..
    and that starts by cutting back the carbs.

    On the exercise front..i get it..
    but IF your don't have the energy to do exercise (and doing it until youir exhausted can't be good for you at the moment, )
    then don't do so much.

    the REAL benefits come from changing the diet, then losing weight, (which tends to follow on a low carb diet) then meds, then exercise, imo.

    but like i say i get it..you want to stay healthy, but maybe just for now cut back a little and give yourself a moment to take stock and see where you go from here over the next few days etc.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
  10. xfieldok

    xfieldok Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,621
    Likes Received:
    2,002
    Trophy Points:
    178
    You might want to consider a Freestyle Libre. It does have its limitations. There is around a 20 minute time lag from the time you scan, it is notoriously inaccurate for readings under 4. You can scan with your phone if you have the right software. You can read up about it on the Abbot's website.

    https://www.freestylelibre.us/
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Resurgam

    Resurgam Type 2 (in remission!) · Expert

    Messages:
    7,178
    Likes Received:
    4,499
    Trophy Points:
    198
    I noticed that your meal was carbs on carbs, followed by carbs - I think you might have got the usual advice about what is a healthy diet. and it will make you feel pretty dreadful and not fuel exercise.
    My meals are based on meat fish eggs and cheese.
    Breakfast might be steak and mushrooms courgette (zucchini) and sweet pepper, all fried gently in a little light olive oil, along with a coffee and cream. I can then go all day without eating. In the evening I might have a salad, a large one, and frozen berries with cream.
    My limit for the day is 40 gm of carbs and it seems to be giving me lots of energy, enough to go back to work, and I am just on the top end of normal test results.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  12. atfsgeoff

    atfsgeoff · Member

    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Thanks for the advice guys. I'm gonna try to incorporate more meat, eggs and dairy into my diet to offset my current massive calorie deficiency which is probably what's making me so tired and fatigued, but only after I lose another 10 lbs. I'd like to get to 180 lbs before stabilizing.

    I also learned that my body can accomodate at least some sweets. I ate a handful of dark chocolate covered peanuts yesterday evening with the rest of my meal, before my exercise routine and an hour after my exercise (2.5 hours after eating), my level was still in the 125mg/dL area so pretty good. I think the key there is that I HAVE to get my metabolism going after eating any sweets so it can burn off the excess glucose.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  13. 12oz sirloin

    12oz sirloin Type 2 · Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    23
    I know everybody is different, so I can only speak personally. Why wait to go low carb? You may find that if you swap out some carbs, the weight might just be even easier to lose. Plus I find that moderate/high carb does contribute to tiredness and fatigue, as others have said above.

    Whichever way you go, good luck. It can be done.
     
  14. TriciaWs

    TriciaWs Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    462
    Likes Received:
    275
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Many of us find the Dawn Phenomenon is the last thing to go down into normal levels, so the advice to concentrate on before and 2 hours after meals make sense when adjusting carbs.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. TriciaWs

    TriciaWs Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    462
    Likes Received:
    275
    Trophy Points:
    123
    It is possible to maintain weight while low carb, just check you are eating enough protein and then up your healthy fats a bit.
    I've heard of several professional athletes who are low carb, eg some cyclists.
     
  16. atfsgeoff

    atfsgeoff · Member

    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    I didn't wait, I'm already on low carb.

    Today has been just dreadful. This morning I had a cardiac stress test, which thankfully turned up perfectly normal, but that 10 minutes of strenuous running completely wiped me out and I've been super fatigued and borderline exhausted all day since. I ate a salad with a bit of cheese and chicken, along with half a cup of mixed nuts, did not help my energy level at all.

    My body aches all over, and it takes conscious effort just to keep my arms raised or walk around a bit.
     
    • Hug Hug x 1
  17. Mike D

    Mike D Type 2 · Expert

    Messages:
    7,648
    Likes Received:
    11,133
    Trophy Points:
    198
    You're obviously short of the mark on fitness ... but at least you now know your mark. Keep at it :)
     
  18. atfsgeoff

    atfsgeoff · Member

    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    I'm very fit (or at least was until recently), I was doing 40-60 mile bike rides just a couple months ago. But this diet just has me utterly drained all the time. I don't get out of breath, my muscles just scream out in protest.
     
  19. atfsgeoff

    atfsgeoff · Member

    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    On other thing I just discovered: 100% cacao bakers chocolate has very little sugar, so I've allowed myself a little nibble of that. :)
     
  20. VashtiB

    VashtiB Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    491
    Likes Received:
    281
    Trophy Points:
    103
    Hello and welcome to the site

    You will find a lot of useful information here.

    I understand how it can be horrible to keep testing your blood sugar levels but that does drop off after a while.

    You have made a great start! I found it took quite a while before my energy levels came back up doing LCHF- others found it very differently. On your exercise levels I think it may take a while - one thing you should check whether you are having enough fat. It took me quite a while to get my head around increasing the fat I ate after so many years being told fat it bad.

    Anyway- great start- good luck and welcome
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  • Meet the Community

    Find support, connect with others, ask questions and share your experiences with people with diabetes, their carers and family.

    Did you know: 7 out of 10 people improve their understanding of diabetes within 6 months of being a Diabetes Forum member. Get the Diabetes Forum App and stay connected on iOS and Android

    Grab the app!
  • Tweet with us

  • Like us on Facebook