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Not diagnosed (yet)...

Discussion in 'Newly Diagnosed' started by Jamie88, Jun 17, 2020.

  1. Jamie88

    Jamie88 Don't have diabetes · Newbie

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    Hi all.

    As the title reads, I haven't been diagnosed yet but I have blood and urine tests booked with the diabetic nurse tomorrow. I'm absolutely petrified because I feel I know what is coming!!
    I'm a 31yo male, 6"1' and thin (if you exclude the dad bod!). There is no history of diabetes in my family. I do eat a lot (and my diet is poor) and always assumed because I didn't put on weight I was fine but after reading about this that fat has to go somewhere...(!).

    I'm constantly thirsty and today alone I must have consumed a good few litres of water (I'm constantly on the toilet) but my mouth remains dry and I'm still thirsty. I've had slight thrush a few times as well. I have been really burnt out with work and feel anxious over every little thing. I couldn't sleep last night as my mouth was so dry and it has a sort've sweet feel to it. It's hard to explain. I went for a run this morning (on my very little 2 hours sleep) for the first time in ages as, due to Covid-19, I've been unable to cycle to the office. It was the only time my mouth didn't feel dry. I'm naturally a worrier which doesn't help either.

    I'm pre-empting this because I've never felt so ****** and all the symptoms align with diabetes. I'm absolutely terrified. I have a few questions;

    1) If I am diagnosed what would be the first steps? How long would it take until the dry mouth/thirst symptoms were to subside? It's so uncomfortable.
    2) Can somebody with diabetes live a normal, healthy life as somebody without it? I.e. could the life expectancy remain the same if the diabetic person manages their diet etc?
    3) How long would it take to go into remission? I don't have any weight to lose so I'm confused by how this would work?
    4) How long did it take for you to adapt to a new diet? I'm so used to eating pizza, steak, cakes etc. This would be a massive challenge for myself and my partner. We're not very good or creative at cooking. This is the thing that worries me the most.
    5) How should I feel if I am diagnosed? I'm constantly worried I'll die young etc (I hope I'm being melodramatic). Does life go on as normal except changing the diet and managing glucose levels? I'd be looking to go into remission ASAP.
    6) Once in remission, how likely is it for the diabetes to return?
    7) Are there any changes for holidays, driving etc?

    Apologies for the long message. I'm just expecting to be diagnosed and I'm panicking enormously. I guess I'm trying to plan for it so I'm not caught cold.

    Thanks all,
    Jamie
     
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  2. urbanracer

    urbanracer Type 1 · Moderator
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    Hi and welcome to the forums,

    1) 'If' you have diabetes it will depend on the type. Type 1 and you get insulin injections to take home, Type 2 and you'll get a lecture about lifetsyle and maybe some pills.
    2) Sir Steven Redgrave the olympic rower is a Type 2 diabetic, Theresa May is a Type 1 diabetic. How normal do you want to be?
    3) Type 1 is for life (due to limits of current medical understanding), type 2 may be able to go into remisssion in a few months.
    4) I still eat Pizza, Steak and cake, injectable insulin allows you to do this. For Type 2 diabetes it may be more desirable to cut down on carbohydrate, but steak is still cool.
    5) Many diabetics lead long happy lives.
    6) That's up to you and adherence to any lifetstyle choices you make.
    7) Driving will be affected if you're given insulin, you have to tell DVLA and there are some basic rules to adhere to. Same applies to some T2 medications called Sulphonylureas (marketed as Gliclazide) but the most common drug Metformin will not be of interest to DVLA.

    Relax, stress raises cortisol levels and increased glucose levels. Come back to us when you have a diagnosis - good luck!
     
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    #2 urbanracer, Jun 17, 2020 at 5:47 PM
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2020
  3. JoKalsbeek

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

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    Hello Jamie,

    10 The first steps depend wholly on your results and your practice. In all likelyhood you'll be offered, IF you are indeed diabetic and a type 2, metformin and statins. Do not rely on metformin to fix your blood sugars, because it won't. It might make a dent, but that's all. Statins can actually raise blood sugars and are usually given as a preventative measure. Refuse them if you feel comfortable doing so, if not, try 'em and see whether they suit you. Your choice. If type 1, it is a whole different ballgame with an endo, and diabetic team, all in all you'd get more support from what I understand. And you'd be put on insulin.
    2) Yes, you can have a normal, reasonably healthy life. If T2, a change in diet will make one heck of a difference in life expectancy and quality of life. If T1, learning how to properly inject and not ignoring the condition (diabetic burn-out happens, after all) would mean doing well too.
    3) If T2, remission is a debatable term. If you are diabetic, you are diabetic for life. But you can be well controlled, medication and complication free.
    4) I took to it pretty quick, (few weeks) but in stages. I needed a little time to work out what worked best for me. I ended up going from LCHF to full keto. It was easier for me and agrees with me thusfar. Mind you, you can expect something called carb- or keto flu, which will pass in a week or two. Also, your vision might change for a while, as your brain's been compensating for the glucose in your eyes, distorting your vision. If you can't see a hand in front of your eyes for a while, that's a good sign, as your eyes are going back to their normal state.
    5) How should you feel? There's no rulebook! ;) But most people go through the 5 stages of grief, over the loss of their health and the future they thought was going to happen and is turning out differently. Quite a few of us cried often, had nightmares, and were in denial. Barganing, anger etc came long too... And eventually, acceptance. Thing is, most of us were diagnosed without prior knowledge of there being some hope for T2's. We're not doomed to die without legs and going blind. We can actually change our fates and control this condition. That is, I have to admit, very, very empowering. I have a bunch of conditions and none of them is as easily managed as my T2. And if you're a T1, learn to inject for what you eat and you should be able to eat anything. And quite a few T1's are bona fide globe trotters, so going abroad shouldn't be an issue either.
    6) See 3: if a diabetic, always a diabetic. Sorry. My blood sugars have been in the normal range for almost 4 years now. But I am still a T2.
    7) Depends on your medication. If you have insulin or gliclazide etc, the DVLA (I think that's what it's called, I'm Dutch) will want to know, and so will your insurer. If you're on diet-only, or take metformin, no issues. Far as travel goes, just make sure you have papers showing the medication you're on so you can get them through customs and possibly get more on location.

    You're asking all the right questions. One thing though: Steak is NOT a thing of the past. better yet, there's a diet that goes further than Keto, the carnivore diet, and that'd be practically all steak, all the time. ;) https://josekalsbeek.blogspot.com/2019/11/the-nutritional-thingy.html <-- have a read on low carb eating, and everything I wish someone'd told me when i was first diagnosed.

    Good luck!
    Jo
     
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  4. Grant_Vicat

    Grant_Vicat Don't have diabetes · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @Jamie88 Won't bore you to death, but I survived 54 years of Type 1 on a carbohydrate and insulin controlled regime and 7 years with someone else's kidney and pancreas. Life is great. Even better for newcomers now. Hope all goes well.
     
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    #4 Grant_Vicat, Jun 17, 2020 at 7:38 PM
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2020
  5. Daibell

    Daibell LADA · Master

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    Hi. From what you say you are most likely to be T1 (LADA). You need the two tests for T1 i.e. GAD and C-Peptide. You are likely to need to go on to insulin. This is a nuisance and for life but it's not a -problem and does provide almost complete control. Your life can be normal as long as you test and inject several times day. It soon becomes routine but to be fair it is always on your mind. At least diabetes is controllable. There are so many conditions that aren't such as my wife's stage 5 CKD that is life-threatening so diabetes isn't the worst.
     
  6. MarkMunday

    MarkMunday Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    If blood glucose is in fact high, the first step is to identify what type of diabetes it is. They do this with an antibody test. If the result is positive it is type one or more likely LADA (the adult onset subtype). With Type 1 blood glucose can only be lowered to near normal levels with insulin and it never goes away.

    If the antibody test result is negative, it is most likely Type 2. Remission is achievable through diet and exercise, although insulin often eventually becomes necessary. Both Typ1 and Type 2 take some getting-used-to but neither of them preclude living a normal life.
     
  7. Jamie88

    Jamie88 Don't have diabetes · Newbie

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    Thank you all for your knowledge and kind words! I'm very scared right now.

    I had my blood test yesterday and urine taken also and the nurse told me to ring back Monday or Tuesday for the results. I think the anxiety is what's really getting me worked up.

    The night before last I actually slept well and yesterday I felt better than normal (I didn't feel constantly thirsty all day etc but still felt tired and a bit woozy at times). However, last night I slept terribly and must have been on the toilet about 5-6 times during the night. I also noticed a slight itch at the tip of my genital region.

    I also made the nurse aware I worry about everything and nothing is ever 'good enough' and she recommended I speak to a doctor who specialises in this area.

    I'm distraught and want to cry because these symptoms match diabetes. My partner thinks it's nothing but everything aligns with diabetes. I'm scared I won't be able to lead a normal life again. I won't be able to drink beer anymore, go out socialising, have takeaways etc. I'm scared of waking up one morning next week knowing I have to completely change the diet. It won't be a subtle change but a complete overhaul in what I eat on a daily basis for life.

    How do people deal with that? Literally your world is turned upside down in 5 mins when the doctor says you have diabetes. I'm really scared I've always been healthy and relatively fit and could eat what I want. Also I'd have to tell people I have a lifelong disease and I know that seems like a superficial thing to judge but it worries me I'd be treated differently.

    My mum has IBS, Crohn's, Fibromyalgia and a few others so I wonder if perhaps it could be somewhat genetic? She isn't diabetic as far as I am aware though. She's really been through the ringer with hospitals during her life and I don't want that to be me.

    I'm sorry if this sounds selfish, I'm just really struggling to accept the very strong possibility that I may be diabetic. A lifelong condition that I'll have to battle daily and won't be able to do the same things again like have beers with friends, cocktails/pizza etc on holiday etc. We genuinely rarely have time to cook and to think that I'll have to do that daily with a new diet (I'm a rubbish cook!) is going to be a really difficult routine to follow.

    I'm sorry if this hasn't come across well. I'm just mortified at the outcome and it feels like the symptoms can't be anything else.
     
  8. JoKalsbeek

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

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    Don't worry so much about offending people. What you're feeling right now is perfectly normal. I'm no kitchen princess, and having to make multiple meals (baking eggs for myself for instance) seemed halfway daunting. Seemed a lot of effort. But it's not, really... And I have to say, the things I eat now are markedly tastier than what i used to eat. There's lots of complex recipes online to choose from, but I keep it stupidly simple most of the time. Meat or poultry in pan. Take meat out, (unless it's ground beef or chopped pork something, then it stays in) put cauliflower rice and bacon in, toss in some cheese, couple of herbs, done. Anything else we eat is just variations on that theme. (Could be spinach or broccoli or.... Different herbs/spices, whatever.). I keep it as simple as I can because sometimes when my husband comes home and he starts talking at me about his day while I'm trying to cook and the cats what their kibble and and and, I just get overwhelmed. So forget complicated meals and just go for the easy stuff. As for take-out, yeah, sorry. But you can still get kabobs, gyros and the like. Just have it with a helping of salad rather than a wrap or pita or similar. Peking duck without the sauce? Anyway, there are work-arounds... Also, beer, there is low carb beer out there, just have to find them. (And stuff like wodka, martini's and scotch is still on. Rum and diet coke sound okay?). Nuts are good too, and a pub's bag of pork scratching...

    The itchy bit may be thrush; cut down on the carbs right now and starve them of food (High blood sugars, IF you have those at all, will feed the infection.), and get yourself some canesten cream. For your partner too, or you're likely to re-infect.

    I didn't ask for rheumatism, heart murmur, Hashimoto's, migraines, PCOS, BPD, PTSD, IBS and a bunch of other things with abbreviations. They were thrust upon me and I dealt with them after some grief and frustration at diagnosis in the first place. Admittedly, all I knew about diabetes was downright horrific, so that hit me harder than the prospect of the same chronic pain my mum's in with her rheumatism. How do we do it? We just do, because what is the alternative? Roll over and die? None of us actually wanted this! We were all you at one point. You're not offending anybody because what you're feeling is not unique, we've been there! It is a diagnosis that leaves you reeling. I did the shocked crying, the bargaining, went through the anger, depression, denial and eventually, yeah, acceptance. Which became a lot easier when I figured out I had some say in this condition. I have a hand in the menu of every Christmas or Easter celebration I attend (lots of meat, veggies, fish eggs and poultry), and it's usually the kind of thing people like to eat anyway. So I avoid the spuds and french baguettes, I get to eat along with all the other stuff! When we order food I have more of the mains and less of the sides, unless it's salad of course. You won't have to live on cardboard.

    As for whether you'll have to cook, well... Medication is an option. (Metformin won't put a dent in, that'd probably require gliclazide and eventually insulin) But it will mean progression of this condition, not altering your diet. You have choices, but they're not especially pretty ones. And that's all assuming you're a T2. If you're a T1 it's insulin (and eating whatever you wish). And hey, you're not diagnosed yet, so who knows, you might not be diabetic at all.

    You choose whether or not to tell people. If you're not on any medcs that can cause hypo's, you don't have to say anything to a soul. And saying you're trying out a "high protein diet to build more muscle" for instance, is maybe more socially acceptable in your group of friends, I dunno. There are people who lie about their condition. i shouted it from the rooftops, as in my family, food is love and their idea of love is poisonous to me, so yeah... I made sure everyone knew and I make no secret out of it. Never have. But that was my choice, might not be yours. And keep in mind it's a genetic condition eh.... If someone tries to lay blame anywhere, tell them that you didn't pick your genes. (And think about whether a true friend would be supportive while you're going through this, or not.)

    You make it work. Somehow. And whether that's through diet, through diet in combination with medication, medication only or insulin, or something else entirely as it may still not be any kind of diabetes....!? You will find your way in this. None us us went "Oh, right, yeah, I'll have diabetes then, thanks" as we were never given an option. This is just the way things are, and as time passes, it'll get incorporated into your life. If there's anything to incorporate to begin with. Don't get ahead of yourself, take a breath and just go with it. And if your test results go the wrong way, get yourself a meter, regardless of what anyone says, and see what your bloods are doing. It's the first step in staying on top of this. Help yourself. And we'll help you help yourself.

    Breathe. You'll be okay.
     
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  9. MarkMunday

    MarkMunday Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    If it is T1 diabetes, you will still be able to eat normally and dose insulin accordingly. Reducing carbs makes it easier but you can decide how far you want to go with that. T2 requires more adaptation, but getting used to the new normal is very doable. Having drinks with friends and socialising doesn't have to end. There is just a new consideration. It is a bit like starting a relationship.
     
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  10. toddy35

    toddy35 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Your initial reactions are entirely normal and part of the process of change. Everyone who experiences significant change experiences this, particularly if they perceive the change as negative. Have a look at the change curve, you're just at the start and wherever you are it's ok and however long it takes you to accommodate this change is ok too.
    I was diagnosed three weeks ago, yes there's a lot to get your head around but you don't need to absorb it immediately. There's great advice on here but you will find the way that works for you. You're the expert in your life.
    You are anticipating a daily battle but that really is just where you head is at right now, it doesn't need to be that way. Be kind to your self.
     
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  11. Jamie88

    Jamie88 Don't have diabetes · Newbie

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    Thank you all for your kind words. I really appreciate it.

    I phoned the doctors and everything came back fine (thyroid, hbac1 etc) so naturally I'm incredibly relieved as I've been crying most of the day. I'm lacking electrolytes, some vitamins and nutrients and have slightly high cholesterol (poor lockdown diet and the GP is the same). I clearly have some major anxiety and I am starting therapy on this. I've been working ridiculous hours (and at weekends), not eating well, barely sleeping and combined with the lockdown has made me feel like absolute dirt. I'm changing my diet significantly from today.

    Thank you all for being so lovely and kind. I need to tackle my mental demons.
     
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  12. urbanracer

    urbanracer Type 1 · Moderator
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    Glad you're OK, be kind to yourself.
     
  13. HSSS

    HSSS Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Great news. These strange times are stressful for many of us. Be kind to yourself.

    Out of curiosity changing diet how? Real food, not processed, and less sugar and not quite so many carbs makes most people feel better in lots of ways. Most low fat food is very processed and full of chemicals and to be avoided, real natural fats are better than the fake ones. Just eat real food, that is close to the way nature made it as possible, as much as you can (nights out excepted maybe)
     
  14. Jamie88

    Jamie88 Don't have diabetes · Newbie

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    That's exactly it. No more frozen pizzas or other processed rubbish. I'm going to try more natural and fresh ingredients and have given myself a task of cooking three different dishes per week. I'm by no means a good cook(!) but it'll help promote a more balanced diet. At the very least I need to forge some sort of routine that I can sustain and try not to deviate from that. I used to make some lovely "healthy" (apple juice aside!) smoothies which consisted of spinach/kale, apple juice and bananas so that'll be coming back as well. I need to look after myself better.
     
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