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Newly Diagnosed, trying LCHF and exercise.

Discussion in 'Newly Diagnosed' started by AllieRainbow, May 6, 2018.

  1. AllieRainbow

    AllieRainbow Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hello, I am Allie, and I was diagnosed with T2 on 27th April 2018. I am very overweight, with most of the fat around my stomach, so if I only looked at the arms and legs I could kid myself that I was OK. That changed when we got wardrobes with mirrored doors.

    I asked my Doctor for blood tests for diabetes because I had been feeling completely exhausted for several weeks after a period of huge stress in January and February this year. I was so tired I was unable to get up with the alarm in the morning and often not getting up until mid afternoon. I was also getting up multiple times during the night to pee, and suffering from a high degree of brain fog, to the point where I found it hard to concentrate and think clearly at all. My writing has been getting nowhere for months due to having a fuzzy brain, which is totally unlike me.

    The HbA1c came back as 82, which shocked me, but I suppose did not surprise me after months of appalling stress, poor diet, hardly any sleep and no exercise at all. I had already changed my diet massively a couple of weeks before diagnosis, resulting in the exhaustion completely disappearing, along with the brain fog. After researching here and on other sites, I decided to try tuning up the diet to a LCHF one and increase the exercise once I had been given the blood test results and a diagnosis.

    My energy levels have increased again, and I am doing intermittent fasting - with 16 hours between my early evening meals and breakfast, two meals a day and no snacking between meals. My weight is dropping fairly quickly, and I am not feeling hungry between meals and managing the fasts well. My mood has generally become a lot more stable, and I am feeling less stressed that I was a month or two ago, even with this diagnosis - possibly because it explains why I have been feeling so terrible, and hopefully as a result of my blood sugar improving. I am getting another HbA1c test in a couple of months, so we will see then if my lifestyle changes are having the desired effect.

    As a result of the changes to my diet and lifestyle I feel like I am more myself than I have been in ages. I may even be able to start writing again, once I have got to grips with all the changes I am making in order to avoid the complications of diabetes and become as healthy as I can be. I haven't seen the middle of a healthy BMI for around 30 years, but I am determined to get there.

    I have just got a blood glucose monitor, and will start testing tomorrow to fine tune things and get feedback on my food choices. I was surprised and disappointed when my Diabetic Nurse told me that I would not be getting a monitor on the NHS, and there was no point to testing blood glucose as I was not a Type 1. I am not taking that advice.

    The Doctor has prescribed Metformin, but I am very reluctant to take medication as I am extremely motivated to get my weight down considerably and exercise in order to improve things. Looking at some of the side effects that some people have reported on Metformin, I was concerned that it could actually derail my efforts to gain control by following a LCHF diet and exercising. My symptoms have already improved enormously with making lifestyle changes. I declined to accept the prescription until I have talked to my Doctor in person in a couple of weeks, having dropped what should be around 8-10 kilos since I asked for the blood tests on the 16th April. I am already 6.7 kilos down so far, and building muscle.

    What I am looking for is some encouragement and support as I am still reeling slightly.
     
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  2. CL_in_NZ

    CL_in_NZ I reversed my Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    You are doing everything right. The hard part will be waiting for results but sounds like they will be coming!
     
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  3. Goonergal

    Goonergal Type 2 · Moderator
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    Hi @AllieRainbow and welcome to the forum.

    Sounds like you have made a great start and are doing all the right things. You might not need it, given everything you’ve posted, but will tag @daisy1 for an introductory information pack.

    This forum is great so do ask as many questions as you like.
     
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  4. EllieM

    EllieM Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    87 in US units is 4.7 in English ones, and is an extremely normal reading which does not in itself suggest diabetes.
     
  5. Guzzler

    Guzzler Type 2 · Master

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    82 is about 9.5
     
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  6. daisy1

    daisy1 Type 2 · Legend
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    @AllieRainbow

    Hello Allie and welcome to the Forum :) Here is the Basic Information we give to new members and I hope you will find it useful and interesting. Ask as many questions as you like and someone will help.


    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 well over 235,000 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.
    Take part in Diabetes.co.uk digital education programs and improve your understanding. Most of these are free.

    • Low Carb Program - it's made front-page news of the New Scientist and The Times. Developed with 20,000 people with type 2 diabetes; 96% of people who take part recommend it... find out why

    • Hypo Program - improve your understanding of hypos. There's a version for people with diabetes, parents/guardians of children with type 1, children with type 1 diabetes, teachers and HCPs.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  7. Guzzler

    Guzzler Type 2 · Master

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    You sound as though you have hit the ground running, well done. In my opinion diet is 90% key to improvement regarding Type 2 Diabetes and you're already addressing yours so I expect that you will be pleasantly surprised when you get the results of your next HbA1c. Keep reading and learning and asking questions, it's all good.
     
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  8. rab5

    rab5 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    What an excellent post . Well done you!
     
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  9. EllieM

    EllieM Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    You're right, I think I responded to the wrong thread. I was looking up a blood sugar of 87 instead of a hbA1C of 82. My apologies to the OP. (And as a side note, I really wish we could just have one set of units for measuring HbA1C and blood sugars, I for one am sick of converting between all the different measurements.) Now to find the thread I actually meant to post that in. :)
     
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  10. Guzzler

    Guzzler Type 2 · Master

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    I agree, I think WHO should decide on one measurement system to simplify things but then, whoever heard of a committee making a common sense decision:)
     
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  11. AllieRainbow

    AllieRainbow Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Thank you everyone!

    I am getting to grips with the blood glucose monitor today. I have done a fasting reading this morning and then one before my first meal. I have to wait two hours to do the post prandial test, I think. What should I be looking for with this? I presume I should be looking at trends over time rather than worrying too much about individual readings unless they are very high or very low?
     
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  12. Rachox

    Rachox Type 2 (in remission!) · Moderator
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    You’re doing well already Alli. I was diagnosed nearly a year ago and have implemented low carb eating and self monitoring plus I do take Metformin, I’m one of the lucky ones who can tolerate it well. I’ve lost over 5 1/2 stone and got my HbA1cs down to non diabetic numbers, due to the advice and support here. You’ve definitely come to the right place. Keep up the good work!
     
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  13. Rachox

    Rachox Type 2 (in remission!) · Moderator
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    Here’s a guide: https://www.diabetes.co.uk/diabetes_care/blood-sugar-level-ranges.html
    A lot of us test at two hours after the first bite of the meal and look for the level to have returned to the pre meal reading, but at the very least no more than 2 above the pre meal reading.

    Edit cos I pressed enter too soon! :wideyed:
     
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  14. Terrytiddy

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

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    Welcome @AllieRainbow You have certainly joined the right group. From what you have said you are doing well just need a little fine tuning and you will be sorted. Does take a little while but with your determination and the help from this group you will get there.:)
     
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  15. AllieRainbow

    AllieRainbow Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Thank you @Rachox !

    I have set up a spreadsheet for tracking the BG readings. I only have two entries in it so far - but in a couple of weeks hopefully will have a better picture of where I am seeing spikes and how well I am controlling BG.

    I am already on a site where I have tools for my food diary and nutrition, and peer support for losing weight, so I am not finding it hard to change things with the diet to exclude the processed carbs - I am getting around 98g of carbs on average over the last week since I fine tuned the diet, but that includes two days where the carbs were nearer to the 175g mark. I have looked at what I ate on those days and they are anomalous to my usual food choices. On Thursday I had a really horrendously stressful day and used a ready meal instead of cooking from scratch due to time constraints and stress, although I had a lot of veggies with it, and then a hot chocolate at bedtime as I was having trouble sleeping and needed to turn my brain off. I will explore other ways of dealing with the stress that don't cause issues. Saturday involved a trip to the sea and a battered fish, away from my usual food diary tools.

    I think it was all about balance - getting things right maybe 80% of the time and realising that you are unlikely to be perfect - too much dwelling on what is not optimal can result in everything falling apart - I tend to evaluate and move on, developing better strategies - it is also very helpful to keep a daily journal alongside the food diary to see if there are links between mood and what you are eating - and when you are eating.

    I lost around 5 stone four years ago and everything fell apart after that, leading to the weight going back on. That is not going to happen this time as I have rather different motivation now.
     
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  16. Smallbrit

    Smallbrit Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    You're definitely on the right track - and it is all doable, I promise! A spreadsheet with foods tracked as well as BG readings will really help to work out what affects you and what doesn''t - and will often give surprising results about foods.

    I went from 76 HBA1C by diet alone (I had tried exercise alone, but that only dropped me from 89 to 76) to 48 in three months by following a low carb diet. I suspect I can't take metformin due to possibly related hearing loss issues, but it wasn't actually offered by my GP anyway - he seemed to think a drop from 89 to 76 was a good start and to continue what I was doing. But I actually had no idea what I was doing at that point! And then I got a blood glucose monitor....
     
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  17. Resurgam

    Resurgam Type 2 (in remission!) · Expert

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    The reason to test is to find out those meals which elevate BG levels - most start off testing just before the meal and then two hours later, and change what they eat if it is an increase of over 2 whole numbers.
    I stopped the pre meal testing once I got down to post meal levels of 8, and I eat at about 12 hour intervals as I found that fasting caused my BG to go up all morning and then crash mid afternoon. I need two meals a day, but that stopped weightloss - I reasoned that it was because my insulin resistance was dropping, as it became so easy to regain weight.
    I really need to avoid all high carb foods, not for BG reasons but for weight control. I have dropped my maximum carbs from 50 gm per day to 40 gm - you can see why I have always had a battle with doctors who tell me that it is impossible for me to put on weight on their diet sheet printouts which work for everybody if only they stick to them. Yeah - right.
    I reacted very badly to the Metformin and statin I was prescribed - if you do get the side effects then any sort of exercise or exertion is just about impossible, so if you can get away with not taking them I do urge you to do so. It was a huge encouragement to stick to the low carbing - I was on a cholesterol lowering diet for almost two years, which did not work, so it meant a total change to what I was eating to go back to low carb.
     
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