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Struggling to get my head around it

Discussion in 'Newly Diagnosed' started by carlio_fandango, May 9, 2014.

  1. carlio_fandango

    carlio_fandango Type 2 · Newbie

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    Hi everyone..

    Just found out a week ago I have Type 2 diabetes and still struggling a bit to get my head around it all ..

    It came completely out of the blue I must admit.. I only went to see the Doc for a suspected water infection.. Even the doctor thought it was that, until my blood test results came back.. I am not sure what my results were as I was in a bit of shock when he was telling me.. Pretty sure he said the blood test was '19' and the test I did in the surgery using a handheld monitor was just under '10'.. Not sure if that means anything to anyone though... :)

    Anyway.. It's been a week now.. I am on 500mg metformin twice a day, and am booked in to see the nurse at my surgery next Wednesday...

    I have already cut sweets, pop, crisps etc from my diet completely, but am really struggling on what I can actually eat.. The more I read on the internet etc the more the information seems to contradict each other...

    The NHS says to eat carbs, but loads of places say not to.. Home made fruit smoothies for breakfast.. The same..

    The more I read the more confusing it all gets.. So much so I have pretty much just eaten veg and salad for the last week now.
  2. Andy12345

    Andy12345 Type 2 · Expert

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    Hi, Welcome :)

    Have a read of the forum posts you will learn loads, its all a bit hard to take it all in at first but dont worry it gets easier with time so dont panic

    cut down on carbs is good advice, the nhs is wrong, but thats yet another opinion :)

    check out www.dietdoctor.com that site will explain the carbs issue

    bet of luck, ask any questions you like
  3. Totto

    Totto Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Get a bg monitor. If you aren't given one on prescription, buy one. The test strips are usually expensive but there are different makes. Look around here as there are several threads on that subject. You will need to test. I threatened not to eat a carb ever again before I was given a meter, only bacon, eggs and butter. This scared my DSN to give me one!

    There are some good diabetes sites and lots of good advice for diet. My favourites are http://www.phlaunt.com/diabetes/index.php, a mine of information, and http://www.dietdoctor.com/ where I take my dietary advice from.
  4. Daibell

    Daibell LADA · Master

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    Hi and welcome. When the NHS and Diabetes UK (not this website) says to have lots of carbs and points to the Eat Well Plate you follow that advice at your peril. With a meter you will soon find that carbs are the bad guys and not the fats, so cut the carbs down and don't worry too much about fats. Protein and veg are good. BTW fruit smoothies are not good. Fruit is already a bit sugar heavy and mashing it up breaks down the cells and can cause a real sugar high. Go for the real solid fruit and preferably berries. Avoid bananas.
  5. AndyH71

    AndyH71 Type 2 · Member

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    Hi and welcome from me too.
    I was recently diagnosed T2 as well, about 6 weeks ago now, as a result of a statutory medical when the doctor swore when he saw my urine test result!
    Anyway, I went through the same, not knowing what to eat. Sometimes I would walk into the kitchen to prepare tea and be still trying to decide what to cook an hour later!
    Follow the links provided above, there are some great recipes on there and you will get used to it.
    It started on a low carb diet which is almost a no carb diet now, just by following three simple rules..

    1. No wheat derived food stuffs- no bread or anything made from flour.
    2. No vegtables that grow underground - potatoes, parsnips, carrots etc.
    3. No obvious sugar- No ice cream, jam, sugary drinks etc

    Its not a hard and fast rule and I limit the 'tropical and citrus' fruits to one or two a day and to be honest I still eat too much chocolate (only the 70% cocoa and above now though) and ive lost two inches off my waist line and nearly a stone in weight since starting this regime about 5 weeks ago.
    Theres some that would say its a bit too simplified but Im using it as a starting point. My DBN says im eating too much dairy products but im rarely hungry, can and do eat as much meat, salad, eggs, mushrooms, cheese, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, nuts, butternut squash etc as I want. That said, im eating less now than ever, this stuff really fills you up and you soon just do smaller portions for yourself.
    Ive been testing too and on 500mg metformin twice a day have gone from mid 20's every time to a regular 6.5-8.5. Theres a bit more to do with that I feel but ive not had my first DB review yet so might get my dosage modified yet.
    Anyway, what I was going to say was I feel better now than I have done in years. More energy, now on regular 5 mile + walks with dog, have better mood most of the time and all the annoying high BG side effects that Ive had for years and not realised the cause of, have cleared up.
    Ive more energy, sleep better, have better concentration, look forward to exercise, all of which have been complete reversals from pre diagnosis.

    Good luck with everything and you can ask anything on here, everyone is really nice!

    Sent from the Diabetes Forum App
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  6. this is too difficult

    this is too difficult Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    You will find many stories about peoples doctors being gobsmacked by the reduction in their HbA1c result. I was one of them. Most seem to achieve this by drastically reducing carbs, and using a Meter to test before and after meals to find which foods cause you to spike.
    #6 this is too difficult, May 10, 2014 at 2:28 PM
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2014
  7. Mazzer

    Mazzer Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Carlio, welcome to the Forum. There is a lot to learn, but just take it in small steps, once you get over the initial shock of being diagnosed you will soon pick up lots of information and tips on how to manage your bg. There is a lot of conflicting advice out there, get yourself a meter (most on here get the code free from Amazon as the strips are a lot cheaper than other makes). It is unlikely that you will be given a meter by your doc, as they do not give them to T2 diabetics. The NHS advise to eat carbs at every meal and don't bother to test, but if you want to get your bg under control, cut the carbs and test your bloods before food and 2 hours after, so that you know what food you can eat and what you need to avoid. Everyone is different, which is why it is so important to test regardless of what your doc says. This Forum is great, there are a lot of very knowledgeable people on here and their advice is brilliant.

    My bg is now much lower and as yet I still have not had any dietary advice from my doc. I am due for my second HBa1c test in a couple of weeks time since diagnosis 3 months ago, if it wasn't for this site god knows where I would be, I feel much better than I have for ages and have lost 2 stone in weight.

    There are lots of lovely people here to help you along the way, so ask any questions.

    Good luck

  8. daisy1

    daisy1 Type 2 · Legend

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    Hi Carlio and welcome to the forum:)

    Here is the information we give to new members and I hope you will find it useful. Ask as many questions as you need to and someone will be able to help.


    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 nearly 100,000 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

    Another option is to replace ‘white carbohydrates’ (such as white bread, white rice, white flour etc) with whole grain varieties. The idea behind having whole grain varieties is that the carbohydrates get broken down slower than the white varieties –and these are said to have a lower glycaemic index.

    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

    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 bloodglucose 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.
  9. Debmcgee

    Debmcgee Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    I agree with all of the above. Low carb is the way forward and makes complete sense when you read up on it.

    I never thought I'd quit carbs but I have and if I can do it, so can anyone!

    Patrick holford's low GL diet cookbook is pretty good for ideas.

    Best of luck

    Sent from the Diabetes Forum App
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