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Newly diagnosed & a bit confused

Discussion in 'Newly Diagnosed' started by SarahEN, Aug 15, 2019 at 9:53 AM.

  1. SarahEN

    SarahEN · Member

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    Hi. I was recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. My HC1A level was 53, which i think is high but not really high? I only found out as a result of the over 40 health check they do (1st time something lime the has been useful!)

    My GP was very helpful. She suggested the blood sugar diet, put me on Metformin (which I happily seem to be avoiding the side effects so far on) & said that there was lots of new evidence to suggest you can reverse it if you go on meds early to give your pancreas a break & lose 10% of your body weight quickly.

    She also referred me to a new service in my area called BeatDiabetes.

    In the last 6 weeks I have followed the 800 cal blood sugar diet 95% of the time, & the rest I've eaten a few more calories, but stuck to the principles. I've lost 8kg so far, need to lose 3 more to get to 10%.

    Of I went to the BeatDiabetes clinic a week or so ago. It was at best a complete waste of time, but more than that it was so completely contradictory to the GP advice.

    Firstly, the HCA running the appointment said she didn't think is should he on meds with a HC1A count of 53. She also said the blood sugar diet was unsustainable & unproven?!

    So, I inclined to continue to follow the advice of the medical professional with 7 years of training rather than that from a HCA, but it is really really worrying to get such conflicting advice. Is this normal?

    Also - of I can reverse this what is the long term diet I need to follow. My husband & I are among to thailand in a year which I cam see being a problem consdiering how much of their food has sugar, noodles & rice in it.

    Thanks
    Sarah
     
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  2. jennyholding

    jennyholding · Newbie

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    Your blood sugar is high, but not dreadful. You shoukd aim to be 48 or below. You have done well to loose the weight you have. Take the advice of your GP and don't go back for another session of contradictory advice. It is not helpful to you.
    A low carb diet has helped you and will help you, but I am afraid it is not a cure. Your blood sugar will increase when you increase carbs. That is not to say you cant enjoy celebrations, you just have to remain sensible. You have to consider it a lifestyle change if you have diabetes. It is your "medicine". Going to Thaland will be a test, but not impossible. You will be able to make food choices which help you remain healthy. Best of luck. Keep going.
     
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  3. MeiChanski

    MeiChanski Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hello, 53 mmol isn't too high but compared to 42 and under, (42 and under is non diabetic, I think?) it seems tad high.
    I don't have much to add but most T2s have been following either LCHF - low carb high fat or keto, so not much focus on being calorie deficient. There has been many stories among health professionals on the care of T2 diabetes, most deny LCHF or keto would work or be sustainable long term. However they have been able to reverse their diabetes into non diabetic levels and lost weight.
    As for Thailand, yes their street food, puddings and drinks are carb heavy. However they eat a lot of pork and eggs and you can swap their rice and noodles for more of their salad, minus the dressing. Thai curries should be fine, oh just talking about thai food is making me drool.
    Bear in mind that everyone is different, some do tolerate more carbs than others, obviously you have to test your glucose to find out and some can't tolerate any. There are a few moderate carbers out there who are doing just fine.
     
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    #3 MeiChanski, Aug 15, 2019 at 10:08 AM
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2019 at 12:26 PM
  4. JoKalsbeek

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

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    Hi Sarah, and welcome,

    Conflicting advice... We all had to deal with that. Mostly because usually, GP's and diabetes nurses aren't up-to-date on recent studies and trials, and I'm surprised your GP came up with Mosleys diet! That's forward thinking! Then there's a lot of information on the internet from experts and T2's alike, plus a load of snake-oil sellers, that directly contradict one another. So the thing that'll cut through all the chaos is getting a meter. It won't try to sell you anything, convince you of anything, doesn't have ulterior motives... It'll just let you know whether what you're doing is working for you. So that'd be a good first step: get a glucose meter and buy some test strips in bulk. Test before a meal and 2 hours after the first bite. You don't want to see a rise bigger than 2.0 mmol/l. Stay under that and you're on the right track.

    A few things to touch on: The blood sugar diet is one that lasts 8 weeks. With the severe restriction of calories you lose a lot of weight, fast. The things that are important here: It's a crash diet and it lasts 8 weeks. Crash. Eight weeks. It's not meant for the long term, because if you continue on for longer you become deficient in vitamins, minerals, and will enter starvation mode, which means all sorts of trouble. Abdominal fat does indeed influence your insulin resistance/sensitivity, so getting rid of that will help, yes. But after the diet you will still have to follow another diet to sustain the new weight and keep your blood sugars under control. One that IS sustainable, because well, you have an impaired metabolic system for the rest of your life, and even with visceral fat gone, you're just predisposed to being unable to process carbohydrates. (As they turn to blood glucose once ingested. Not just the sugars, but starches too.). If you went back to eating the way you did, you'd be right back where you started. So changes will have to be made, alas.

    So, a HbA1c of 53. That's not particularly high, you're just a few points into the diabetic range, and that means with just a few changes in your diet you can drop back down. (Most likely the leaflet that came with the metformin says you should try a diet for 3 months and THEN start metformin if it doesn't work sufficiently. I think that's what the HCA was referring to. Its a bit early to go with metformin straight off, but then, almost all doctors do that, so it's not out of the ordinary.) We have people come in here with a HbA1c of 100+, and they too reverse their T2 in months. "Reversal" meaning that, though still a T2, their blood sugars are in the normal range, they can drop all diabetes medication (and often statins too), and suffer no complication nor progression of the condition. Once a T2, always a T2, but you can be a well-controlled one. And yes, through diet. That'd be either Low Carb/High Fat or the more extreme version of that, Keto. I started with LCHF three years back, and progressed to Keto with Intermittent Fasting about a year ago because it suited my life better, among other things. My HbA1C hovers between 33 and 35, solidly in the normal range. If you're interested, here's my quick-start guide https://www.diabetes.co.uk/forum/blog-entry/the-nutritional-thingy.2330/ , and I can wholeheartedly recommend Dr. Jason Fung's The Diabetes Code if you want more in -depth info on how diabetes works and how you can stop it in its tracks. And it's not a dry read, that helps. :) Also, Dietdoctor.com is absolutely fantastic with a lot of free information, and diabetes.co.uk, is this forum's website (NOT .org!!!). It's a lot to learn, but as you're going with the Blood Sugar Diet for the time being, you have time to read up on what comes next to get this thing licked. You're taking the right steps and you're being proactive. Keep at it.

    I know, in Thailand it's all noodles and rice all the time it seems, but they have excellent meats and veggies, loads of eggs... You'll have options.

    Good luck!
    Jo
     
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  5. SarahEN

    SarahEN · Member

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    Thanks both. I just realised the number of typos in my original post! Apologies. The one that a difference is that I am going to be in Thailand full time in a year as we are moving there. I guess I will need to avoid Mango sticky rice . Thankfully we are moving to the north where there is less reliance on noddles.

    So, it seems long term to keep my blood sugar in the normal range I will need to keep to a relatively low carb, high protein diet? Which is fine for me - I feel better for it so I can follow that.

    If I can't get off the Metformin prior to moving does anyone know how easy it is to obtain in Thailand? Its been my experience that its easy to get pretty much anything there except malaria tablets but don't want to assume!

    Whilst I remember I have had endless suggestions to intermittently fast & not eat before midday. Does anyone actually do this when on medication? I would very much like to avoid the well known side effects of metformin & taking them on an empty stomach seems to be at best unwise!.
     
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  6. Resurgam

    Resurgam Type 2 (in remission!) · Expert

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    I was very ill on Metformin and only felt a lot better after throwing it away. It did not change my blood glucose levels. In the instructions it says Metformin is to be taken with food - so no food no tablet would seem to be indicated by that alone.
    My Hba1c was far higher than yours and I had no difficulty in dropping to non diabetic levels just on diet.
    I found that I got best results for blood glucose levels eating when I got up and again in the evening, about 12 hours between meals, as my BG level just kept on rising until I ate. It is easy to spot how you work best if you have a meter for guidance.
     
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  7. EllieM

    EllieM Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Metformin has been around for a very long time and if your gastric system can tolerate it it probably won't do you any harm. (I had no qualms about takung it for a couple of years when on a double blind trial to see if it would help T1 diabetics.) It's also a standby drug for PCOS sufferers, so its side effects are well documented and understood.

    I'd be very surprised if it wasn't easy to obtain in Thailand, just because it's such a common drug and the first line in T2 treatment. But honestly, it does far less than diet, and I suspect that if you keep your carbs down you won't need it in just a few months. 53 is a very moderate hba1c. As a T1 of 49 years I have mostly/often run much higher than that, and I've still got all my fingers, toes, eyes, kidneys etc...

    Good luck, and enjoy your future trip to Thailand.
     
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  8. JoKalsbeek

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

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    Hi again,

    Metformin, well... Considering your numbers aren't horribly high, I do think you'll be in a pretty good range soon. Odds are you can leave the metformin behind before long, so if you give that a go before moving to Thailand and discuss going off it with your doc here, that might save you a lot of trouble. And if you're not going keto, (where you need to stay in ketosis, so no cheats), you can have the sticky rice, as long as it's an exception, and a very small portion, or share one with your partner, even better. If it's not your main meal but something as an aside, for taste rather than hunger, it's easier not to over eat. Say once a month or once every two weeks, depending on what your meters says about it. And if you can take a walk after, that'd be good. I mean, I'm doing keto, I don't usually "do" cheats. But I can have a bite of my husband's cupcake or brownie without going over my daily carb limit. It only happens once a month, maybe twice, and a bite, maybe two, won't do much harm, though it can kick start carb cravings... So it's up to you to see what you can deal with: It just depends on how your body responds. I wouldn't usually say all this, but your HbA1c is just in the diabetic range... You can be a little less rigorous, I think... Though many'll probably disagree.

    In any case, as long as you're on metformin, take it with your meals. If that means skipping it in the morning, but taking it at lunch, or dinner even... You can. Just don't take it on an empty stomach, that'd be misery. But I have a feeling if you go low carb, and maybe even toss IF into the mix (and yes, i do that too, just now having my lunch/breakfast salad and it's 13:30 here), you won't be on the Met for much longer.
     
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  9. HSSS

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

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    I was diagnosed at 55mmol and have never had metformin and neither have many others at a level around yours,and even much higher. Whilst your dr seems more up to date than many it is common not to have any meds for the first 3 months whilst diet is tried first. Metformin only has a small effect anyway as it’s meant to be used WITH diet not instead of.

    So yes with your weight loss on the temporary 8 week blood diet, maintenance and probably further weight loss on low carb I’d say you’d easily be able to come off metformin well before Thailand if you want to. (Or even discuss it with dr at first 3 month review assuming your hb1ac has fallen)
     
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    #9 HSSS, Aug 15, 2019 at 1:03 PM
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2019 at 4:45 PM
  10. Pauline_333

    Pauline_333 Prediabetes · Newbie

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    Hi I’m also newly diagnosed with score of 53. Just wondering what the blood sugar diet is please? No advice on diet given from diabetic nurse. I have been offered metformin but reluctant to start on medication.
     
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  11. Daphne917

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

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    @SarahEN welcome to the forum. I’ve tagged @DCUKMod as I believe she spends some time each year in the part of the world that you are moving to (apologies if I’ve got my geography wrong!) so may be able to give you some pointers. I have maintained my hba1c at non diabetic levels for approx 6 years on a lowish carb diet of between 100-130g per day although on occasions it has been higher! Have you got a blood glucose monitor so that you can see what affect different foods have on your blood sugars as you will soon learn what you can or should not eat.
     
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  12. SarahEN

    SarahEN · Member

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    Hi Pauline

    If you google blood sugar diet you can find the site (i would post it but for some reason it won't let me!)

    There is also a book you can buy which talks you through it & a recipe book.

    The basic principles are for 8 weeks eat 800 calories a day, avoid simple carbs, even the wholewheat versions. Have a very small amount of legumes (lentils, beans) and quinoa. Eat lots of green leafy veg & a very small amount of fruit. Oil, nuts & seeds are all fine in moderation. Full fat diary is also good in moderation.

    If you still have weight to lose after 8 weeks you stop counting calories 5 days a week, but obviously keep to the basic principles. 2 days a week you do 800 cals a week. Its known as the 5:2 diet.

    Once at your goal weight you maintain both your heathly weight & blood sugar levels by sticking to the principles of avoiding simple carbs & eating high protein & healthy fats.

    Its a bit of a mindset change if like me you've done every low fat diet going over the years & have been told that less than 1200 cals is starvation mode & you won't lose weight.

    I should stress I'm only 7 weeks in so I haven't had a HC1A retest yet - i have no idea if my blood sugar levels are down yet. I do know.I have lost more weight than I ever have in such a short time period & i feel a million times better.

    My GP seems to be quite well informed on the new research & had actually tried the diet herself. She also got both her pre diabetic parents to follow it & they both dropped back into the normal range.

    But, don't do it without researching, there are certain medical conditions that exclude you from being able to do it.

    Good luck
     
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  13. JoKalsbeek

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

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    The Blood Sugar diet is Mosley's diet, and it is geared toward rapid weight loss, focussing more on calories than carbs. (Carbs is what we can't handle, as T2's.) It's a crash diet though, so not intended for anything longer than the perscribed 8 weeks. Anything beyond that would be damaging to your health. After that though, you'd still have to go for a low carb/ high fat diet to control blood sugars, otherwise the weight would pile back onand your blodsugars go back up, and LCHF is actually sustainable for life. With a HbA1c of 53 I think Mosley's diet might be a bit overkill for you, you're just in the diabetic range. (If it were higher, I'd say go for it, but then I'd still recommend a ketogenic diet before Mosleys... Because that too, is sustainable for life.). In any case... If you're interested in diets, https://www.diabetes.co.uk/forum/blog-entry/the-nutritional-thingy.2330/ might help you along a bit, as would dietdoctor.com and Dr. jason Fung's The Diabetes Code.
    Good luck!
    Jo
     
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  14. JoKalsbeek

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

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    You can't post links yet because you're relatively new. A lot of spam bots log in once, post a link, and leave, and this is a way to weed them, and any snake-oil sellers, out. No worries, the option to post a link will open up to you soon!
     
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  15. SarahEN

    SarahEN · Member

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    Ah that makes complete sense! Thx
     
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  16. SarahEN

    SarahEN · Member

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    Thank you so much. It is my biggest concern tbh as I do not want to eat western food in thailand - far too expensive on a backpacker budget.

    I orderes a BG monitor yesterday. I hadn't even considered getting one until it was kindly suggested on here.
     
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  17. SarahEN

    SarahEN · Member

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    Also Pauline. I forgot to add - I found 800 cals very difficult to do at first & the first few weeks were very tough. I nearly gave up 5 times a day & was grumpy alot of the time. I don't follow it every day & if I feel like i need more food I eat it - i just eat different things now. No point in being miserable
     
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  18. Daphne917

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

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    @SarahEN and @Pauline_333 a very low cal diet doesn’t suit everyone - I went on one a number of years ago when low cal drinks were considered the easiest way to lose weight and I managed to lose about 7lb in 2 months and made myself ill in the process because my metabolism went into starvation mode and began shutting down my body - my GP sent me home with instructions to have a good meal, eat sensibly and sent me to an endocrinologist.
     
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  19. SarahEN

    SarahEN · Member

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    Absolutely. Peoples bodies react differently.i remember all my friends having great success on WW, but I just gained weight on it.
     
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  20. DCUKMod

    DCUKMod I reversed my Type 2 · Expert
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    Sarah - As mentioned, I spent a couple of months in Thailand earlier this year (and we are intending to go again in a few months time. There's so much to do, see and enjoy).

    Like you, I was a bit concerned about how I'd do, bearing in mind we intended to eat out almost ever night, and would there for be selecting things I wouldn't necessarily have eaten before, nor would I have too many clues what would likely be in whatever I chose.

    Actually, I was fine. Because I had eaten more fruit whilst away - I was a bit concerned where my bloods would be going, but I actually returned my best ever A1c over there at 27.

    Please don't think that meant I just ate anything and everything. I didn't. I still avoided the noodles, rice and obviously sweet dishes. As you likely know, the Thai way of eating is everyone orders, all the food is served onto the middle of the table, with everyone then tucking in.

    After a while, in our favourite places, they would become familiar with what we liked and how we ate (1 rice dish between 2 - whether or not I had any). We ate some fab food.

    Vis-a-vis your Metformin. Metformin is an over the counter medication in Thailand, so you will have no issues acquiring it, if you are still taking it. If you are still taking it, then some experimentation is in your future, if you fancy some IF or such.

    Not everyone experiences gastric issues, and if you are finding you are only eating later in the days, say, then you could probably time your meds accordingly.

    Metformin doesn't work per dose. It works by building up a therapeutic dose in your system, so exact timing is usually less important for most. Of course, there will be some who are very sensitive to it.

    Sarah, it's a sad fact that many, many Asian people also live with diabetes. That doesn't mean you'll see loads and loads of things like low carb cakes or whatever, but acquiring supplies will not be difficult, and blood testing for A1cs and the like is very cheap too. For example, a random blood glucose test (Veinous blood) is 50BHT (c£1.25) and an HbA1c is 350BHT (c£8.75), so you shouldn't feel stranded.

    If you have other queries, I'll help where I can, but for sure, I'm no expert in Thai living.

    When I was looking for some information I found the ThaiVisa forum to be very helpful. There are ex-pats of all shapes, sizes, nationalities, short stayers, long stayers and so on. Maybe have a look on there, if you're not already familiar with it.

    Where are you going to be based?
     
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