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
  4. Guest, stay home, stay safe, save the NHS. Stay up to date with information about keeping yourself and people around you safe here and GOV.UK: Coronavirus (COVID-19). Think you have symptoms? NHS 111 service is available here.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community »

New T2, surprised, shocked and really annoyed

Discussion in 'Newly Diagnosed' started by nomorepies, Jan 31, 2020.

  1. nomorepies

    nomorepies Type 2 · Active Member

    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    23
    I was diagnosed this week after having two blood tests last week - first came back at 73, the next was 76. I'm 47, male, 15 stone (210 lbs/95kg), BMI about 29.4. No history of diabetes in the family. I only went for tests because my wife thought I should get a general checkup, although I was prediabetic a couple of years ago. I have a pretty sedentary job and commute by car. I've been put on Metformin, which I've started today. I was very reluctant at first because I didn't want to be on long-term meds but after researching it a bit I was reassured that it's a helper, not a permanent treatment and has a range of benefits.

    I'm vegetarian, sliding into vegan recently - eggs are my last thing. My wife's diet is wholefood plant-based so no oils, refined or processed foods etc and wholegrain pasta, rice, bread. I mostly eat what she eats because I cook most of the time, so lots of veggies and legumes (beans, lentils etc). Problem is that (until last week) I also ate a fair amount of rubbish like sweets, chocolate, crisps and a few meals at the work restaurant. I grazed a lot. I also drank, having a couple of glasses of wine + spirits nearly every night and more at weekends.

    As of the first test result last week I've started intermittent fasting (16:8), no snacking, no booze, no refined sugar, no crisps. I've also started making sure I get at least 10,000 steps in per day and I've stopped using the lift at work, taking the stairs and making small changes like using the toilets a couple of floors up from me. I've gone with intermittent fasting because I love a lot of the other benefits it brings, and it's easy to manage. I'm not counting calories at the moment but I have in the past and I'm pretty sure I'm under 1500 per day. I've been reading the Evidence-based nutrition guidelines for the prevention and management of diabetes from Diabetes UK (I can't post a link) which seems to say that losing weight through reducing energy in and increasing energy out is the best way to reverse T2 according to current data.

    I'm really annoyed that this is happening to me, although I know I've made a lot of bad food choice over the years. I want to get it into remission. I hate medical stuff. I need to lose about 28 lbs/11kg and want to do it in the next 3 months, then keep it off.

    So I've got a few questions really:
    • I know how to eat 'clean' in a vegan/veggie stylee, but how does this translate into diabetes-land? Should I be reducing my legumes and adding more soya?
    • Do people find it useful to monitor their glucose, and if so what's a good device in the UK? My GP said not to bother when I asked but I'd like to know I'm on the right track.
    • How are people finding Metformin?
    • Anything else I should know?
    Sorry about the wall of text, it's just really blindsided me.
     
  2. HSSS

    HSSS Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,562
    Likes Received:
    2,250
    Trophy Points:
    198
    There’s a vegetarian section (where the vegans also contribute) on here that might help https://www.diabetes.co.uk/forum/category/vegetarian-diet-forum.71/

    ultimately as a type 2 it’s all about carbs. We cannot process them properly and actually most of the latest research shows the best way to manage/reverse/put into remission is to cut an awful lot of them out. If you don’t eat them they can’t damage you. Doing so brings blood glucose into line, allows weight loss once your body is no longer flooded with the fat storing and saving hormone insulin, and will help reverse any fatty liver that frequently comes alongside type 2. Allowing the internal organs to shed their fat allows them to work more efficiently for a lot of people. So yes weight loss helps but weight loss from around the internal organs specifically.

    The difficulty you’ll face is as a vegetarian it’s easy to turn to carb heavy foods or to go hungry avoiding them. Fats will become your friend as they don’t spike blood glucose and protein doesn’t for most type 2 or very little. So it will limit your food choices even more than you have currently elected to do. Keeping the eggs will help a lot though, as would cheese and other dairy.


    There’s lots of links that can be provided about the science behind what I’ve said - just read around or ask. There is a school of thought that vegan and very low fat might work but the evidence doesn’t seem strong to me but it’s worth you looking that up too and forming your own opinion. Then there’s also the very low calorie stuff it sounds like you’ve heard about (Newcastle diet is one of these). It’s a short term very low cal effort designed to drop significant weight , including from around the organs. To me sounds like starvation and torture and lots of hunger when the same thing can be done much more pleasantly low carb.

    The other .org website is renowned on here for not advocating the most up to date info with regards to low carb. The American diabetes association have just this month advocated low carb as showing the most evidence for improvements in type 2. I’m sure other countries will be following suit in the near future.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  3. lessci

    lessci Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    729
    Likes Received:
    646
    Trophy Points:
    133
    I can't comment of Vegan but main of us find a Low Carbohydrate, Healthy Fat (LCHF) diet is the best way to control our diabetes, this means no grains, potatoes, rice, pasta, minimal root veg, and pulses plenty of healthy fats (no seed oils or hydrogenated fats such as margarine) and a moderate amount of protein, I understand that Vegan low carb is possible, but difficult, vegetarian is easier as cheese, eggs and double cream are a mainstay of even those of us who are omnivores and carnivores. a Blood Glucose monitor is a must, how do you know how a food affects your BG if you can test? It's like driving a car with no speedo, then complained when you get points for being over the speed limit. If your self funding 2 to look at are the Tee2 or CodeFree, the expense is the testing strips and both are reasonable (and I believe offer bulk buy discounts) and don't forget to tick the I'm a diabetic box as you get them VAT free. I've not had problems with Metformin, but they can cause toilet problems for some, there is a Slow release version if this happens to you, but sometimes even this doesn't help and alternative medications can be used. You can put your Diabetes into remission, there are many on the forum who have, finally remenber that this is a marathon, not a sprint and you will have good days and bad days. We're all there for each other, even if you only need to vent or rant
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  4. HSSS

    HSSS Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,562
    Likes Received:
    2,250
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Addressing your specific questions clean is good. But grains of any sort whole brown or any other type are still carbs and cause most of us a problem. Legumes and beans are and issue for most too although generally not quite so bad as grains. Personally i have issues about soya (and hormone disruption) that are unrelated to diabetes so won’t comment about that.

    Undoubtedly get a meter and test before and after meals. That is pretty much the only way you will know what each food does to your body. You will get some surprises for sure.

    Metformin upsets some tummies. Some get used to it, other find the slow release better, some just don’t tolerate it. It’s suck it and see I’m afraid. It doesn’t do a huge amount though diet will be the biggest factor. Metformin limits the liver dumps but doesn’t act on what you eat. Exercise is obviously healthy and will help for sure, but still not instead of food choices, rather an as well sort of thing.

    Most of us don’t count calories as we are not test tubes but multi system complex beings and there’s a lot of assumptions about metabolism in the calorie theory that just don’t work for diabetes. Chocolate can be enjoyable I’d you switch to dark and get as high % as you can bear 85% and up is ideal. It gets easier as you lose your sweet tooth, I promise. Alcohol within reason is still ok. Spirits and non carb/sugar mixers, dry reds and white wines are ok. Beer and cider are carb laden.

    Grazing is not ideal. Sticking to filling meals and then allowing insulin to drop right off between them is much better, so the intermittent fasting is excellent.

    Fruit is dodgy, regardless of the glucose in it, the fructose can only be dealt with and excess stored in the liver contributing to fatty liver issues. Stick with berries.


    It’s a lot at the start but it gets easier and becomes a new normal.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Guru

    Messages:
    24,981
    Likes Received:
    30,502
    Trophy Points:
    298
    Hello and welcome,

    You could do well to read round this forum. It may be that your wholegrain products will have to go or be severely reduced along with the pies. They are very carb heavy. All carbs, whether wholegrain or white convert to sugar once in the body, and they will raise your blood sugar levels.

    The good news is that red wine and spirits (with sugar free mixers) are on the list of things you can have but always in moderation as they are fattening! The alcohol to avoid are the sweet wines, beers, lagers and ciders.

    Do have a good read round and look in the vegetarian section.

    And yes .... you need a meter. I will tag @Rachox who has the latest information on some meters.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. TriciaWs

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

    Messages:
    605
    Likes Received:
    356
    Trophy Points:
    123
    I tried eating vegan for a few days when a family member was staying with me, but found it very difficult to stay under my carb allowance. I ended up eating a lot of green veg and cauliflower rice to fill up, but was very low on protein. Hopefully you can do better but please check your carbs vs blood glucose carefully.

    I'm not heavily into meat and fish but I eat more cheese, double cream, yogurt and eggs then I used to before diagnosis. However, I did switch some of my cow's milk to a low carb coconut milk, or cashew milk when it's on offer.

    I'd have struggled to manage my diabetes without drugs if I hadn't self-funded a meter. I tested before and 2 hours after every meal at first, then whenever I ate food I hadn't already checked. I still test one day a week.
    We all have quirks, for instance I found the 'same' amount of carbs in strawberries (according to nutrition sites) spiked me more than raspberries or blueberries and that more than 30g of carbs in a single meal was too much.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. Resurgam

    Resurgam Type 2 (in remission!) · Expert

    Messages:
    7,938
    Likes Received:
    4,814
    Trophy Points:
    198
    There is high cocoa chocolate which is lower in carbs than the sugary stuff, so it is not the chocolate but what is added to it which is the problem.
    Not eating meat or fish must make it difficult to deal with type two - I really enjoy the salad and veges I eat every day, but I can only manage 40 gm of carbs a day, equal to 200 calories, so I need sources of protein and fat to make up the shortfall.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. nomorepies

    nomorepies Type 2 · Active Member

    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    23
    Thanks so much for your replies, everyone. I know there was a lot of information that I could've got from reading the forum, and I will read the forum! I needed a bit of a vent and a shout, and I do feel better for it :)

    I'll get a testing kit and start getting some baseline stats about my tolerances. I've been reading Dr Fung's Complete Fasting book which advocates LCHF for diabetes, but as many of you point out it's very difficult on a plant-based diet. I need to have a read and a think about what direction to go in - hopefully I'll be able to tolerate at least some legumes.

    Good to know that booze is manageable, although I did need to get a grip of it anyway. I also make bad food decisions after a few drinks. I'm feeling good about my eating this week because I'm enjoying intermittent fasting and feeling in control, but I need to look at what's happening to my blood sugar. Obviously any changes I make to my diet need to be sustainable long term.

    So thanks, I really appreciate your advice and patience.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Hug Hug x 2
  9. nomorepies

    nomorepies Type 2 · Active Member

    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    23
    I'm OK without sweet stuff at the moment to be honest - I knew it wasn't doing me any good and I'm enjoying being in control at the moment.
    I was pescatarian until quite recently. I might have to reincorporate some salmon into my diet. Hopefully I'll be OK with hummus of some kind, which with avocado will let me get non-carby calories in.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. nomorepies

    nomorepies Type 2 · Active Member

    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    23
    I've been off milk for quite a while now and actually prefer oat milk...I think soya will be better for carbs though.
     
  11. nomorepies

    nomorepies Type 2 · Active Member

    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    23
    Yeah, there's a whole lot of learning to be done. I'm going to get a meter and see what I need to avoid the most, but I've dropped the grains. I was surprised to see that legumes aren't my friend any more, and I'll be interested to see how the meter reacts to them. I've been eating a lot more than I used to in the last year or so, since we got an Instant Pot and could use dried beans without having to soak them. In fact I have them with pretty much every meal.

    I'll be interested to read more about diabetes and diet. I liked the report on the other site because it's very conservative - everything is backed up with references and caveats, and it grades the quality of the recommendations according to the research it's based on. It seems to be based on a load of meta-reviews of data, which I like. I completely take your point though about ignoring new science.
     
  12. Rachox

    Rachox Type 2 (in remission!) · Moderator
    Staff Member

    Messages:
    11,146
    Likes Received:
    14,181
    Trophy Points:
    298
    Hi @nomorepies , thanks for the tag @Bluetit1802

    Here’s some info on UK meters, and to be clear I have no commercial connections with any of the companies mentioned. For a meter with cheap strips go for the Tee2 + found here:

    http://spirit-healthcare.co.uk/product/tee2-plus-blood-glucose-meter/ with the strips found here:

    http://spirit-healthcare.co.uk/product/tee2-testing-strips/


    With more expensive strips is the Caresens Dual which I currently use, this one has the advantage of glucose and ketone testing in one machine, it’s to be found here:

    https://shop.spirit-health.co.uk/collections/caresens-dual


    And to be totally transparent I used to use the SD Code Free from Home Health which has the cheapest strips available. However I found it to be becoming less and less reliable. Here it is for anyone wanting to give it a go, just bear in mind it seems they are replacing it with the Navii, details below.

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

    and here for the extra strips

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

    There are discount codes if you buy in bulk.

    5 packs 264086

    10 packs 975833


    Home Health have recently bought out this one too, but I haven’t heard any reviews yet, links to strips and the meter:

    https://homehealth-uk.com/all-products/glucose-navii-blood-glucose-test-strips-50-strip-pack/


    https://homehealth-uk.com/all-products/gluconavii-blood-sugar-meter-glucose-monitor-starter-kit/


    Don’t forget to check the box that you have diabetes so you can buy VAT free. (for all meters and strips)
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  13. VashtiB

    VashtiB Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    835
    Likes Received:
    454
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Hello and welcome,

    You've already ben given some great advice and some information about meters.

    Once you have a meter you can start testing to see the effect of different foods on your blood sugar level. I personally would have loved to be able to continue to be able to eat carbs- the reality for me is that very low carbs brought my HbA1c into the normal range really quickly. The tests for me are better than any science theories. I did science at university and the thing I learned is that theories are only good if the evidence supports them. Our bodies are complex things and some of us tolerate some types of carbs better than others. The only way to find out what food suits your body is to test. Intermittent fasting will help as well of course.

    I think that it would be harder as a vegan but I'm sure it can be done. Good luck.
     
  14. Scimama

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

    Messages:
    930
    Likes Received:
    1,909
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Hi and welcome to the forum. You have a lot of information already, but the most important is eat to your meter. We are all individual and react differently to foods and carb amount.
    it is possible to follow a low carb diet and be vegan. Low carb protein sources include tofu. Have a look at the diet doctor website for ideas of vegan meals that are low carb. There are also visual guides to carb content in veg, fruit, etc
    being vegetarian and including dairy is much easier and if you eat eggs it is significantly easier.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Oracle

    Messages:
    16,602
    Likes Received:
    11,404
    Trophy Points:
    298
    The main problem with meta analyses is the underlying studies.. I'm afraid GIGO (garbage in garbage out) still counts no matter how many studies are included. Most nutrition studies are based on Food frequency questionnaires which are notoriously unreliable too.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. HSSS

    HSSS Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,562
    Likes Received:
    2,250
    Trophy Points:
    198
    I went very low carb hoping legumes would be in my near future. I like them far more than any of the other cabs I now forgo. My oh is vegetarian/pescatarian so it would make life much easier. Sadly it is not to be, almost 2 yrs down the line - according to my meter.

    What I say is make your choices based on studies of ALL sides of any argument and balanced with your ethics, not fashion or tabloid morality. Then do your best to make it as healthy as possible for all essential nutrients whatever that choice is, and do it with evidence relevant to your body (the meter! And as full a blood panel as you are able to get).
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. Walking Girl

    Walking Girl Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    314
    Likes Received:
    210
    Trophy Points:
    63
    welcome to the forum. I’m also vegetarian, but like you was eating a less than stellar diet, and I was obese on diagnosis.

    I’ve gone nearly all plant based now, with an occasional Greek yogurt. Beans and lentils are a main-stay of my diet. Low-glycemic/ high fiber does wonders for me. You might enjoy reading about Dr. Furhman’s plan. It’s a cheap kindle book. Plant based, lots of beans/legumes, vegetables, nuts/seeds. It’s the way I eat now daily. BMI is now holding around 22, plenty of exercise and a healthy diet. A1c’s have all been high 4 or low 5% since adopting my new diet.
     
    • Winner Winner x 2
  18. nomorepies

    nomorepies Type 2 · Active Member

    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    23
    Thanks so much for taking the time to do that - I'll go for the Tee2+.
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  19. nomorepies

    nomorepies Type 2 · Active Member

    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    23
    Yup, I'm looking forward to seeing what foods surprise me, in a geeky way :)
     
  20. nomorepies

    nomorepies Type 2 · Active Member

    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    23
    I agree, I think a lot of the confusion over health issues can be blamed on competing studies of wildly varying quality. I just liked how this paper graded their evidence by study quality, with high scores given to those from randomised controlled trials. The proof for me is going to be in what works for me though.
     
  • 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