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New to diabetes 2 and the forums

Discussion in 'Newly Diagnosed' started by PamJHS, May 24, 2019.

  1. PamJHS

    PamJHS Prediabetes · Active Member

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    (New to forum - not yet fully on top of common abbreviations etc)

    I had the news that I have type 2 diabetes on Monday, in a phone call from my GP after a routine blood test to check on effects of my BP meds. She said I also have high cholesterol, and put me on statins straight away, but wants to tackle the diabetes with 3 months on a low carbohydrate diet described to me as 'half a plate of vegetables or salad, a quarter of protein and a quarter of carbohydrate'.

    She did not give me any numbers over the phone, so I guess I need to go back to find those out. She also said I'd be referred to a diabetes nurse, but have heard nothing yet.

    I've been sticking to the low carb diet OK, I've done them before for weight loss and find it OK once I get into it. The main downside for me is the caution around fruit.

    I have arthritis in my hip and am being assessed for fibromyalgia due to pain and fatigue and various other symptoms that fit the profile. Arthritis means it's very hard to get dressed, particularly bending forwards to put shoes on and do them up. I walked a lot until the onset of arthritis and fatigue, but I've put on a lot of weight since the pain and fatigue started. I'm willing to exercise, but I don't know where to start as I'm so out of condition.

    I've been reading the forums for a couple of days, and feel encouraged that so many people are managing their condition with diet. I look forward to losing some excess weight. I'm a classic yo-yo dieter, so being told by doctors to lose weight hasn't done much for my waistline in the long run, usually meaning one stone off then one and a half or two stone back on.

    Sorry this is a bit of a brain dump, just thought I would say hello.
     
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  2. Kittycat_7_

    Kittycat_7_ Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi
    Welcome to the forum
    Tagging @daisy1 for her welcome pack
    Cutting carbs will hopefully get your levels down
    I have RA and fibro, you have my sympathies
    Increasing exercise slowly will help
    Please ask any questions that you may have
    Good luck on your journey
     
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  3. KookieMunchster

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

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    Hi Pam and welcome!

    I have found that for me, loosing weight was not the motivator in getting myself on Low Carbs. I just was more concerned with lowering the levels of my blood glucose and once you educate yourself on what that means , you begin to discover just how much hidden "sugars" there are in nearly everything that's made for our modern day convenience.
    Once I managed to lower my intake of sugar and carbs, the weight just started to fall off and it wasn't just my weight either. I do love fruit and what I miss is that regularity of being able to eat it at the end of meals or at the start of the day- and some fruit I avoid all together - but when you get your bs under dietary control I think you can find out where you might be flexible in that regard. Atleast for me that meant knowing how the things I ate affected my bg. This means developing a strategy by using a glucose monitor which I think is a worthwhile investment in order to get to know yourself better.

    It's also a way of thinking that needs to change in the sense that its not about eating the right things for a little while... it's about eating the right things for your long term health and wellness.

    I wish you all the very best for all there is to come and you're in good company :)
     
  4. Resurgam

    Resurgam Type 2 (in remission!) · Expert

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    I was in a bit of a state at diagnosis - after 2 and 1/2 years of low carb eating I am in a lot better condition, able to clean the bottom of the fridge and my waist is quite a bit smaller. The plate of food described is the Eatwell plate - it will do very little to help with your blood glucose levels if most people who have tried it, and my personal experience is to be believed.
     
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  5. JoKalsbeek

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

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    Hi @PamJHS , and welcome,

    Your doc was a little bit off, it seems... You see, there are carbs in vegetables, so that makes it a bit hard. Besides, a quarter of a plate of straight carbs (and I'm kind of assuming she meant potatoes, rice, pasta or corn with the carb thing), is still rather a lot for a T2. She's right about lowering carb content, but as it's a fairly new approach (well, not exactly new, but newly endorsed by the NHS), people don't seem to be quite clear yet of what it entails exactly.

    Personally, I have rheumatism (Sjögren's), and I've found the lowering carbintake also affects my joints. Turns out, carbs are inflammatory, and cutting right down on those didn't just put my diabetes into remission, I can actually hold a hairbrush again. And I'm not limping every day anymore either. So who knows, it might be helpful with your fybro and arthritis as well. Mind you, might. No promises. Just saying it made a difference for me in other areas, so it was a bonus, besides getting my bloodsugars down and dropping my weight 25 kilo's. And should you have a flare-up in the coming weeks, you should know that if you're succeptable to muscle and joint pain, the statins for your cholesterol may be the culprit. I had to come off them right-quick myself, it was hell. Thankfully, the low carb diet also fixed my cholesterol. So, yay! (It goes up a little at first, and then usually it comes down and the ratio's are alright too, which is what you're aiming for. So try not to worry if the statins don't pan out, okay?).

    So, now what?

    You cut carbs. It all feels really overwhelming at first, but you get used to it. I do advise you to go through your pantry and fridge and check the labels. Chuck out whatever has too many of them to avoid temptation, because you'll have some cravings in the first few days. When you read the label, what you need to know is that you're looking for the carbohydrates. The "Of which sugars" is completely useless, because all carbs, basically, turn to bloodglucose. So if you're checking carb content, most people here chuck whatever is above 5 grams per 100. It's a place to start.

    Stuff T2's can't process very well: Potatoes, bread (or anything made with wheat, like wraps and such), pasta, corn, rice and most fruit. (Berries and starfruit are okay, as are tomatoes.). Steer clear of cereals. Even sugar free, as it's all oat or corn based and that's just really not helpful to your bloodsugars. So what won't spike you? Meat, fish, poultry, above-ground veggies/leafy greens, most nuts, eggs, olives, extra dark chocolate (85% Lindt is great), cheese, double/clotted cream, and guess what? bacon just became your new best friend. Yes, even with slightly upped cholesterol, because most cholesterol is made by the liver, it's not so much coming from what we eat. So a big breakfat of bacon and eggs and such is actually fine. (Yeah, was a surprise to me too).

    And get yourself a meter. Test before a meal and 2 hours after the first bite. If your bloodglucose goes up by 2.0 mmol/l, there were more carbs in the meal than you could process effectively. If you stick with that rule of thumb, your bloodsugars will come down and you're headed the right way.

    One more thing... Are you on steroids for your other ailments? Because steroids make your bloodsugars go up too. Not saying you should quit them, as if you need them, you need them, but just saying, don't panic if the bloodsugars don't come down as fast as you'd want them to. It's an uphill battle when there are co-morbidities. So don't compare your numbers to those of people who've been at it for a while. We're all different and we all have different hurdles.

    You'll be okay. It's a bit of a steep learning curve, but you'll get there.
    Jo
     
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  6. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Oracle

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    Hi Pam and welcome.. A lot of your conditions have recently been tied into a higher carbohydrate way of life so cutting those carbs way down could well be beneficial to you on many levels.
    I'm afraid your nurse and doc, whilst helpful, haven't really pointed out that for many a very low carb diet is both more beneficial and easier to follow. Check out some ketogenic food diet ideas on www.dietdoctor.com and watch your fibro, arthritis and T2 get better.
     
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  7. Daibell

    Daibell LADA · Master

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    Hi and welcome. The diet advice you have been given is half-right. Yes, low carbs is certainly the way to go but you need both proteins and fats to keep you feeling full together with veg and non-tropical fruit. Fats are not bad and in general will not cause weight or blood sugar gain. Do ask for your cholesterol test results and don't just rely on the GP saying you need statins You need to discuss your lipids ratios and not have statins because your total cholesterol is 'too high'. Some people have real problems taking statins and some like me don't and you should not be prescribed a dose that is higher than you need.
     
  8. xfieldok

    xfieldok Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Get printouts of all types your blood tests. They will help you with answers to questions you haven't thought to ask. Your HbA1c number is your starting point so far as diabetes is concerned.

    I cut out virtually all carbs when diagnosed. My primary concern was to bring down my blood sugar. It's not easy at first, I kid you not. We are so conditioned to eat carbs and low fat, LCHF or keto in my case, be prepared for everything you thought you knew about dieting to be turned on its head.

    It took me around 4 weeks to break through carb addiction. When it did it was a relevation. My hunger subsided, no inclination to snack. Weight loss was a by product. I suddenly found that I didn't need to hang on to the bannister going upstairs in case my knees buckled. It's not going to cure your OA but the weight loss will help you manage it better.

    If mobility is a problem, don't worry about it too much. If you can manage to stand, walk just a few steps and sit back down. Do this as often as you can. Increase when you feel you can.

    Spend as much time as you can reading the forum, ask as many questions as you want.

    This community is second to none for support. So, welcome to the community, you couldn't have found a better place.
     
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  9. Severe_Needle_phobia

    Severe_Needle_phobia Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @PamJHS
    warm welcome to the forum.
    I wish you well on your journey ahead .
     
  10. PamJHS

    PamJHS Prediabetes · Active Member

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    Thank you for all your answers - I was a bit dubious about the quarter of a plate of carbs myself, and to be honest if I can't have LOTS of potatoes etc, I'd rather learn to go without.

    One question - I've read a lot about monitoring blood sugar, does anyone have any advice about choosing a monitor? I'm a bit squeamish about pricking myself several times a day - is that easier than it sounds?
     
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  11. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Oracle

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    Yes its pretty painless once you get the right setting on your lancet.. and one of the more accurate yet less expensive to run meters is the Tee2 available here
    https://shop.spirit-health.co.uk/collections/tee2
    the test strips are where the costs in testing lie and these at £7.75 for 50 are fairly reasonably priced.
    Its well worth monitoring yourself so you can check out what various food types do to your blood sugars.

    I completely agree about the learning to do without ethos too.. mildly poisoned is still poisoned after all!
    Enjoy and welcome again.
     
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  12. JoKalsbeek

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

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    You get used to finger pricks really fast. Just ignore all the stock photos where people jab themselves right in the middle of their fingertip. The most sensitive part of your finger isn't the logical choice. ;) Do it to the side.
     
  13. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Guru

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    Hello and welcome,

    There is a lot of ecellent advice above, and I agree. I won't repeat at length, but:

    Ask for a print out of your blood test results. You are entitled to these. The receptionist should be able to help if you give them a ring. Anything you don't understand, ask on here.

    Buy a blood glucose meter. We will help you use it to your best advantage once you have one. It will become your best friend.

    Learn to read packaged food labels - it is the full nutrition label you need to find, and look for "total carbohydrate" ignoring any mention of sugar. Try to keep it down to certainly under 10g per 100g and preferably under 5g. (unless all you will eat is a spoonful)

    Read round the forum and also the main website from the Home page, so you can learn all you can about this condition. Ask questions.

    Good luck
     
  14. Daphne917

    Daphne917 Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @PamJHS welcome to the forum. Presumably the Dr did not give you a breakdown of your cholesterol figures. There seems to a standard line among GPs and Diabetic nurses (DN) that if you are diabetic you should take statins however they have side effects which can cause problems with some people, inc myself, so it may be an idea to research them before you take too many or even start taking them. When I was diagnosed with T2 my Hba1c was 48 which was just diabetic but within 5 months of taking statins it was 54 but came down quickly after I stopped taking them due to other side effects. I now refuse to take them when my DN tries to prescribe them at my diabetic reviews. There is an interesting thread started by @bulkbiker but I’m not good at posting links so perhaps someone can do it for me. There is a wealth of experience on the forum which you will find useful and remember we are all different.
     
  15. daisy1

    daisy1 Type 2 · Legend
    Retired Moderator

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    @PamJHS
    Hello and welcome to the Forum :) Here is the Basic Information we give to new members and I hope you will find it interesting and helpful.

    BASIC INFORMATION FOR NEW MEMBERS

    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 well over 600,000 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

    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.

    Over 145,000 people have taken part in the Low Carb Program - a 10 week structured education course that is helping people lose weight and reduce medication dependency by explaining the science behind carbs, insulin and GI.

    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 blood glucose 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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