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New Here and Very Frightened

Discussion in 'Greetings and Introductions' started by Stitch626, Jan 6, 2016.

  1. Stitch626

    Stitch626 Type 2 · Member

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    Hello everyone. I have only just been diagnosed with diabetes type 2 (just after Christmas) and I am really frightened as to what's going to happen to me. I have not been given medication for it as am hoping to go the diet and exercise route. I have a diabetes nurse at my surgery who I've seen twice so far. However reading up about the complications I'm now absolutely scared silly thinking of all the things that can happen. Any advice on anything would be really appreciated. Thank you in advance :)
     
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  2. daisy1

    daisy1 Type 2 · Legend

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    @Stitch626

    Hello and welcome to the forum :) You can help yourself to minimise complications by cutting down the carbs in your diet in order to reduce your blood sugar levels. If you haven't already got a testing kit try and get one from your health team, or else fund it yourself unfortunately. Testing before and 2 hours after meals will help you to see which foods are OK for you and which are not. Exercise is good. Here is the information we give to new members and I hope this will be helpful to you, especially with regard to diet. Ask as many questions as you want and someone will be able to reply to you.

    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.
     
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  3. Southbeds

    Southbeds Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I reduced my BG to normal numbers by going on a low carb diet and buying a meter .no drugs and very little exercise,
     
  4. copey399

    copey399 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    hi @Stitch626 Don't be scared. It isn't that bad. x I went into denial at first and did nothing about it for ages until I found this forum and saw how others were coping and reversing it in some cases. The fact that you've not been put straight on meds and advised diet and exercise means it's not too bad at the moment and if you follow all the good advice on here you can make a difference. xxx
     
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  5. dunelm

    dunelm Type 2 (in remission!) · Expert

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    Hi @Stitch626 and welcome to the forum.
    I was diagnosed at the end of April 2015 and have since then dropped from 102kg to 85kg using diet and walking every day.

    My suggestions are to go through all the stuff that daisy1 has outlined for you above and then find out about Low Carb High Fat (LCHF) dieting as well as what happens if you fast for a while.

    There are no hard and fast rules here apart from reducing your daily intake of carbohydrate (a fancy word for sugar). Additionally I find that if it does not look like the thing you want to eat then it probably isn't: chicken breast looks like chicken (good) but chicken nuggets don't (yuk).

    Once you have started reducing carbs and cutting out processed stuff you will find a routine that works for you.
     
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  6. pleinster

    pleinster Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Stitch...I totally get the fear part on initial diagnosis..and I'm not saying it's not a negative thing, but..I actually feel healthier since diagnosed after my transplant (my treatment included a steroid which brought on the diabetes)...as I am eating less carbs, less sugar and less rubbish my body just didn't need. I took a wee while to figure things out and get in control of my blood sugar. it's like everything else we suddenly have to do in life that we have no prior knowledge of...once we inform ourselves, we have much more power. All the horror storied leave us thinking..omg..I'm going to be blind and have no feet! Nah! To hell with that! If we ignore everything and go into denial maybe...but I have no intention of any of that stuff getting even close to happening, and there's a hell of a lot of people who don't wind up facing those complications..because they take control.

    So, as people have advised - check out the site, the low carb stuff etc. You'll have too much to take in at the minute but when you have time...read what I've written below...it may help you shape an approach...it's all about diet and recording results. Once you're doing that...you'll be way way less worried. Any questions...don't hesitate to ask.

    Read this stuff when you have time..I don't want to swamp you with opinion! But, I have, eh?

    It's tough at first to know what the hell to eat. First up - do you have a meter? It's important to test regularly...more than the doctors advise (they don't want us getting stressed by readings). I strongly advise you keep a diary of what you eat and when, and that you record readings before eating and 2.5 hours after eating. That way you will quickly figure out what works. The post meal reading should be very similar to the premeal; if not the grub has too many carbs in it. There are other opinions, obviously, but I'd definitely say NO bread, pasta, rice or spuds...no biccies, no cakes...etc. No cereal - it's brutal! The good news you can eat some fruit and plenty of veg! The problem is only with high or "simple" carb foods as carbs turn into sugar in the blood and have the same impact as sugar. I am on a very low carb diet, and that is working (as you can see from my "signature" below).

    I eat: slices of smoked cheese (no carbs at all) and dried bacon slices for brekkie; boiled eggs of omelettes are good too.The odd fry up is fine. I often have 5 or 6 strawberries with an avocado and mayo for lunch.. For dinner, I eat steak, bacon, pork, chicken, 90% meat sausages, or fish (without batter). Salmon and tuna are good for you. All low or complex carb veg is ok. As a rule, if veg grows above ground its cool. I eat broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, lettuce, cabbage etc. Note that asparagus can lower the blood sugar level a bit. I even have a beer with dinner. Red wine works for some people. Coffee and tea are fine - avoid too much milk. Check the labels for what's in every 100g -.if the carbs are 10g or less per 100g - it's low carb....enjoy it! As an afterthought - I allow myself an ice lolly after dinner if my pre-meal level is ok (ok..so its 2 lollies!). Explore the low carb info on this site. Good luck.

    Paul
     
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  7. zacthedog

    zacthedog Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hello from a fellow newbie, fun isn't it? no not really, please don't worry, i am looking at it as a way of getting healthier and fitter, and hopefully in a year or two go down the route of beating it, but i know there are no garentees, i have heard horror stories (my wife late father, doulble amputee and so on) but time have changed and a lot more is known, use it to look at your life and improve your fitness and all the added benefits that go along with it, i ahve said before on this forum, my dad had heart health problems and died of a heart attack, and i was following the same path, eating the wrong food, smoking, not so much drink, diabetes has given me the opertunity to right my wrongs and follow a path that many on here seem to do and do well.
    Lets stick together and fight for a long and happy life.
     
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  8. Prem51

    Prem51 Type 2 · Expert

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    Hi @Stitch626 and welcome to the forum. I think we were all scared when we first got that diagnosis, I certainly was. Coming on this forum has helped me to come to terms with it. There is a lot of good advice and support on here.

    You can avoid complications by getting your HbA1c down. Do you know what your HbA1c reading was? If not you need to find out from your GP or DN so you know where you are starting from and how you are progressing.
     
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  9. Patricia21

    Patricia21 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hello I was very scared at first,but soon got my BG down with sensible eating,I dont call it diet as it sounds like starvation,but its now a way of life and I am never hungry.
    All the best ,dont be scared.
     
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  10. Stitch626

    Stitch626 Type 2 · Member

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    Thank you all for the advice. I haven't been told my HbA1c in fact I don't know what it means either! I don't have a blood test meter yet. The diabetic nurse said I wouldn't need one when I first saw her but I'll ask whether it is possible to get one next time I'm there. Your help and advice is very much appreciated thank you :)
     
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  11. CathyN

    CathyN Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hello!! Just think of it this way - it's fabulous that you know about your diabetes - knowledge is power. Getting to grips with the changes you may have to make to stay healthy will be a challenge, but you are in the right place. There is so much help, support and advice here.
    Your HbA1c is a test you may have several times a year at first. A blood test that gives an average Blood Sugar reading for the last three(? Help???) months - someone will correct me if I'm wrong. Anyway, it gives an idea of your over all control and indicates whether or not you need to be diet/exercise controlled or medicated.
    Many diabetic nurses will suggest that you don't need a BG testing meter and might offer you little testing sticks to pee on instead. These measure BG - but the meter option will help you to understand more fully the highs and lows you get and how they relate to what you're eating and what you're doing. Trouble is, most health authorities do not supply meters and test strips to Type 2 people - so you will probably need to pop to the chemist and buy the kit.
    Don't be frightened. There is so much you can do to help yourself. Just keep asking questions.
    CathyN
     
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  12. pleinster

    pleinster Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. I do think some medical centres and teams hesitate to give out meters but this worth pushing for one. The more you can demonstrate you want to be in control of your situation the more they may consider giving in. I see meters and self testing as essential...how else can we identify what particular foods are having the best/worst impact on us? Some people seem content to leave it all to the professionals...but, that means relying on HbA1c tests every now and then before we know what's happening. I'm not one of these people - I want to be informed and I want to have as much control as I can of what happens to my body!
    Stitch - an HbA1c is a test of the blood looking for the average sugar level over the last 3 months..and its accurate..more so that the meter readings we do at home...but I want to know how I'm doing day-to-day so nothing creeps up on me, and I can adapt and alter my diet to respond to what is happening...and it works. The specialist I just saw completely supported my low carb diet, my self testing and my approach. The thing with these HbA1c tests is...we might wait ages for them. Some might be every 6 months. As I am a transplant patient and see a renal team at regular clinics,I have had three in a three month period...and each one has shown improvement that could only have happened as a result of my self-testing and the subsequent understanding of my situation. Anyway...blah blah....check the links below for a better quick visual understanding of the stuff you need to know regardiing what the levels mean, and how an HbA1c result is converted to the usual meter readings.
    http://www.diabetes.co.uk/blood-sugar-converter.html
    http://www.diabetes.co.uk/hba1c-to-blood-sugar-level-converter.html

    My advice is it pays to get your head round it early.
     
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  13. Prem51

    Prem51 Type 2 · Expert

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    HbA1c reading is your blood glucose level over the last 3 months ( because it takes about 12 weeks for sugars to pass through your body I think).
    Below 42 you are normal (non-diabetic).
    Between 42-47 you are pre-diabetic.
    at 48 or above you are diabetic.
     
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  14. Stitch626

    Stitch626 Type 2 · Member

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    Thank you I shall ask the nurse on Tuesday. I feel a little better now I'm getting my head around it all. So much to learn and take on!!!

    Edit - just found it on a sheet the nurse gave me! It is 6.5
     
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    #14 Stitch626, Jan 8, 2016 at 11:02 AM
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 8, 2016
  15. Stitch626

    Stitch626 Type 2 · Member

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    Hi Prem51
    I've got my HbA1c reading now - it's 6.5. Is that bad?
     
  16. pleinster

    pleinster Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Stitch. 6.5 equates to an IFCC reading of 48; that's an average reading of 7.8mmols over the last 3 months...a wee bit high but nowhere near insane. You are diabetic, but can certainly get that level right down with diet. You want to aim at less than 6.0, an IFCC of 42, that's an average of 7.0mmols. I was at 7.1 and I'm now down to 6.1 (purely through low carb diet). You'll get used to the figures...look at those people post in their "signature" footnotes. 6.5 is NOT so bad, but pick away at it and get it down. good luck.
     
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  17. Prem51

    Prem51 Type 2 · Expert

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    No it's quite low. You are only just on the diabetic range. The bad news is that you will always be diabetic now. The good news is that you should be able to bring your reading down to pre-diabetic or non diabetic relatively easily by controlling your blood sugars.
    I was diagnosed with an HbA1c of 49 (8.0) but brought it down to 44 (7.5) by my 3 month retest by following a LCHF diet, and exercise. Six months after diagnosis I am now averaging around 5.8 a day.
    If you read the threads on here a lot of forum members have brought down their BG levels by following a LCHF approach to eating.
     
  18. dbr10

    dbr10 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    No. Not too bad. You can improve it by cutting out bread, pasta, potato and grains; and eating bacon, eggs, chicken, cheese, salads etc. Download the Carbs and Cals App for the carb content of different foods. Avoid the bad ones. And DO get a meter. If the Doctor won't supply one, buy one yourself. No way to properly control your BG levels without one. The SD Codefree meter is available from Amazon and from Home Health UK. Good luck.
     
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  19. KittyKatty

    KittyKatty Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Stitch. I don't want to prejudice your faith in your Diabetic Nurse but I wouldn't follow her advice on the blood monitor. I think in the early days you need to test religiously pre and post meal so you know exactly what spikes your blood. It's your pancreas and your health and you have to know what kind of foods are good and bad for you. Ignorance is not bliss in the case of diabetics. Becoming ill and then seeing the DN for aftercare is silly; just try to avoid the illness from high carbs in the first place!

    If your blood readings are high after a meal, don't panic. Start walking. I do that and see my BG come right down by the most simple of exercise!

    I know it's difficult and very scary. I was like you 18 months ago. Thanks to the help from posters here, I've been "normal" blood for the past year and off medication. I have a feeling if I'd followed my DN's advice, I'd still be confused and anxious.
     
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    #19 KittyKatty, Jan 17, 2016 at 1:49 PM
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 17, 2016
  20. amgrundy

    amgrundy Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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