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Symptoms, Advice

Discussion in 'Prediabetes' started by Marcus1234, Jun 7, 2018.

  1. Marcus1234

    Marcus1234 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi, I am new to the forum and feel I need some advice.
    I am a 50 year old male and early last year I was told I am in the prediabetes stage. I have not had another blood test since because I also suffer with a condition called health anxiety. For most people going to the doctors is not an issue, however for me, it is the worst thing I can imagine and I will not go. People reading this may think grow up, grow a pair and get to the doctors, but I cant.
    My father had type 2 diabetes and suffered with it for many years and managed to control it well until the last few years of his life.
    Over the last 6-8 months I have started feeling extremely exhausted and drained, I have no get up and go and my daily routine is being affected due to the extreme tiredness.
    Over the last 6 weeks I have also noticed that when I eat I start to feel dizzy and light headed, it affects my vision, my speech (getting words mixed up) and can last for 1-2 hours. This is becoming more frequent. My urine is constantly dark and when I did a self urine test, the only raised indicator was glucose.
    Does anyone else in the prediabetes stage suffer like me?
     
  2. ThePenguinPimp

    ThePenguinPimp Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    It must be really awful to suffer with that condition.. having had diabetes for 30 years and many complications I am so used to hospitals its just an everyday thing now for me.. You have said you won't go to the doctor and I don't want to say that's fine as the symptoms could also be from something that a doctor could at least rule out for you.

    However, I hope that some simple advice on the diabetes side of things may help your situation. You should buy a finger prick blood testing kit and start testing your blood. Start testing your sugar level at different times of the day and when you feel particularly bad or good and see if your blood sugars are correspondingly high or low.

    If they are too high the first thing to do is reduce the amount of carbohydrate you are consuming. Do not just read the 'sugars' tab on the front of packaging (see my petition under lol but that's not why I'm responding) look at the carbs and work out how many you are consuming in that portion. Everyone is different so can consume different amounts of carbohydrates before it becomes a problem. But if your blood sugars are too high then reduce the carbs until they are not.
     
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  3. Squire Fulwood

    Squire Fulwood Type 2 · Expert

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    Being dizzy and light headed could be caused by many things but since you associate it with eating it is an indicator.

    Sugar in your urine is not a good sign and should really be taken to a doctor for his consideration but since you won't do that I question why you are seeking advice if you are not going to take it.
     
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  4. Alison Campbell

    Alison Campbell Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Marcus

    Welcome to the forum. I'm tagging @daisy1 for a new member advice post.

    Can I ask what was your HBA1C when diagnosed with prediabetes? You can hopefully see my results in my signature.

    I get sleepy, tired when I eat too much sugar or carbs in a meal. If urine tests are showing glucose that is not good and needing some changes to keep you healthy. You should be sent for annual blood tests, have you been sent a letter?

    Please seek help for your health anxiety if you can. In most areas of the UK you do not need a doctor's referal.

    Each of us are at different stages and prediabetes affects us all differently. I do not experience the same symptoms. Lots of good information here https://www.diabetes.co.uk/pre-diabetes.html
     
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  5. Marcus1234

    Marcus1234 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your reply.

    Yes it is extremely difficult. I thought I would have got better and wiser with age, however this is not the case. I have not had any get up and go in me for months now, there is so much I want to do but do not have the energy anymore.
    It may seem pathetic but when I last had a blood test 16 months ago, I became that worried about the results, that I was vomiting. It was horrible waiting for the results, the results came back raised cholesterol and prediabetes.
    I have found that my light headed dizziness usually comes on worse after lunch and evening meal, this seems to happen more when I am at work. When at home it does not seem as noticeable. I have also read that type 2 diabetes can cause bleeding gums, over the last 6 months my gums have been bleeding more than normal, I have always had bad gum disease though so do not think it is linked.
    I have looked at your petition and signed it, I did not think you was replying so I would sign lol.

    Can you recommend a blood sugar kit that I can buy?
     
  6. Marcus1234

    Marcus1234 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your reply.

    When you live with health anxiety you seek advice from forum users, web pages, books etc on conditions that relate to your symptoms. Going to the doctor is what 95% of the population do, however I cannot.
     
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  7. NicoleC1971

    NicoleC1971 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Given your concerns could a nurse or doctor come out to you? Your symptoms could be signs of a progression into diabetes but until you get a blood test (HBA1c) done to confirm your 3 month blood sugar averages, you will not know and the fear and anxiety will grow out of all proportion because it is the unknown. When you know what you are dealing with you can take some simple dietary steps to feeling better and may never need to take meds or see a doctor given that you can buy blood testing kits and a blood pressure monitor to keep an eye on yourself but it does seem clear that you need to speak to one and find a way to get some bloods sent in.
     
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  8. Antje77

    Antje77 LADA · Well-Known Member

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    Is there something we can help you with to make it possible for you to go see your gp? If you're showing sugar in your urine you likely need some treatment.
    Wish you all the best with trying to find a way to speak to your doctor. Good luck!
     
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  9. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 · Guru

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    The most popular meters for self funding T2's are the Codefree and the Tee2 because the strips are much cheaper than other meters, and you need a lot of strips. You can't buy them in pharmacies.

    Try here for the Codefree meter
    http://homehealth-uk.com/product-category/blood-glucose/blood-glucose-monitor/

    and here for the extra strips
    http://homehealth-uk.com/all-products/sd-codefree-test-strips-to-be-used-only-with-the-sd-monitor/

    There are discount codes if you buy in bulk. (applied at the check out stage)
    5 packs 264086
    10 packs 975833

    The Tee2 is here and the meter is free.

    http://spirit-healthcare.co.uk/product-category/shop/tee2/

    Don’t forget to check the box that you have diabetes so you can buy VAT free. (for either meter)
     
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  10. daisy1

    daisy1 Type 2 · Legend
    Staff Member Retired Moderator

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    @Marcus1234

    Hello Marcus and welcome to the Forum :) Here is the Basic 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 help.


    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 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.
     
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  11. Jenny15

    Jenny15 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @Marcus1234

    I can understand your fear of going to the doctor and how real that is for you. If you could get some treatment or at least support with your health anxiety disorder then that may allow you to get the minimum contact needed with doctors to get your symptoms under control. Are you able to use the phone to access services designed for people with this disorder. There probably are doctors out there willing to go the extra mile for you if they can.

    You may need blood testing and medication that only a doctor can provide, and only after meeting with you face to face.

    I am happy to consider any info you can provide on what it is that you fear, and to help you brainstorm some possible solutions. Is it fear of being told bad news? Fear of being forcibly treated? Fear of needles or blood?

    Many people have similar issues to a greater or lesser degree and there are success stories out there.

    Home blood testing will be very helpful for you, and dietary changes alone can work for many people. However, there is a point at which people need medical checks, to prevent them getting to a stage where only a doctor can help. Prediabetes increases the chance of getting diabetes, which is a more major illness than I originally thought it was.
     
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  12. Jenny15

    Jenny15 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi again @Marcus1234

    You mentioned gum disease. I had gum disease before I developed diabetes, and diabetes made it worse. I struggle to keep it under control because I find any dental treatment, including the regular cleaning needed, very painful. They now inject anaesthetic around my whole mouth before cleaning my teeth. Reducing blood sugar helps stop gum disease getting worse. The fear for me is that one by one my teeth will fall out, if my gum disease gets worse. Dentist carried-out cleaning can help by removing plaque under the gumline where it is doing damage. It's the only way to do that. Here is some info about gum disease from forum members:
    https://www.diabetes.co.uk/forum/th...st-had-told-me-more-about-gum-disease.149488/
     
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  13. Marcus1234

    Marcus1234 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Thank you all for your replies and the links to prediabetes etc.
    I have been trying to reply all night but have been denied because it says my replies are spam. This is the first time since yesterday that I have been able to post back.
    I am currently waiting to see a specialist who can help me with my health anxiety. I am hoping that will be a way forward to getting me to the doctor and then myself back to full health. My main health issue is being told I have something terminal, this is not something that just happened overnight, it is something I have lived with for 30 years, the outcomes of health anxiety have caused me break down in relationships to isolating myself from friends and family and becoming withdrawn in my work and personal life.
    My immediate step is to buy a glucose test monitor and start monitoring my blood sugars daily. Once my monitor arrives I will start posting my readings.
    Thanks again to everyone for your support and replies, I really appreciate it.
     
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  14. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Moderator
    Staff Member

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    Hi and welcome @Marcus1234

    I expect that your posts were rejected as Spam because you were inserting quotes. The forum has a safety feature preventing new members from putting links, quotes and potential advertising into their posts.

    Once the member has posted enough to show they are not a spammer or an automated bot trying to advertise, then they can quote without a problem.

    Regarding your health anxiety, are you OK talking to medical staff on the phone? Lots of UK doctors now offer phone consults, whether with the doc or a nurse. If this option was available you could discuss your situation with the knowledge no one is going to approach you with a needle.

    Another option is that you could pick up and drop off a urine sample vial without going further than the reception desk.

    Hope that helps.
     
  15. Jenny15

    Jenny15 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Good to hear. It may be worth contacting the specialist's office to speak to a nurse about your symptoms of high blood sugar, so they can bring your first appointment forward as much as possible.
     
  16. Marcus1234

    Marcus1234 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I have telephoned the specialist office today and explained what has been going on and was informed that there was a long waiting list and they will do there best to bring my appointment forward. The specialist I will be seeing is a CBT (Cognitive behavioral therapy) who specializes in changing the way you think. Hope this is a blessing and he/she can switch my thoughts and help me over come my health anxiety.
     
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  17. Jenny15

    Jenny15 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Good to hear you are getting a blood glucose meter and have let the specialist's office know about what's happening. Hopefully they will see the connection between helping you asap and helping you get your BG levels down asap.

    I have struggled with anxiety all my life and it has gotten worse as I've had medical care for various things. I'm OK with going to a GP's surgery but I don't like being in hospital at all. Of course no one does, but I find it harder than most.

    If you feel comfortable talking here about your fear of being told you have something terminal that's OK, if not, that's also OK. It is one of the types of health anxiety that many people struggle with.

    I need to read more about it so I can understand it better (I would like to be told if I was ill so I could start working on feeling better and so on... I realize not everyone has that view of it though.)

    I once explained to a psychologist my extreme fear of driving my car, and his response was unhelpful. At the time, I was terrified of being involved in a crash caused by someone else, and being injured and taken to hospital. Low probability, high impact, which is typical of a health anxiety fear.

    He told me my fear was irrational. Well duh, I already knew that, lol. Telling me it was irrational wasn't going to help me overcome it. When you have an anxiety disorder you often know in your head that your fear is irrational, but that doesn't change the fact that when you think about doing the thing you fear, you break out in a cold sweat, have heart palpitations and may even pass out.

    Eventually somehow the fear went away and I started driving again. I was lucky. Other fears remain, and luckily they are not about anything I need to do, day to day.

    Cognitive behavioural therapy with a skilled therapist has one of the best records of success out of the therapies available. That's why the NHS funds it.

    Good luck and please keep us posted, especially when your BG test kit arrives.
     
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  18. Marcus1234

    Marcus1234 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    You sound like you have had an equally rough time and spent some time in hospital. This forum has been really supportive and I am actually feeling slightly better since joining yesterday.
    I've ordered my BG kit and it should arrive next week, I'm somewhat nervous about using it, not because of the needle to draw blood, but of the fact that it may lead to a doctors appointment, that will be the big challenge.
    I was reflecting last night on all the kind replies I got and what had brought me to this stage in my life of writing to a forum because I cannot go to the doctor.
    When I was a young teenager 13 I was a little tear away and was sent to an approved school for 6 months. During my time there I got really bad toothache and had to have 4 teeth removed, only had toothache in one. The way the dentist removed my teeth was somewhat brutal with little if any anesthetic. The pain was unbearable and I suffered for months afterwards.
    Jumping forward to many years later I got toothache again and was in agony, I would not go to the dentist and was almost crying with pain. Eventually the pain became unbearable and I had no choice but to go. The dentist had his assistant hold my arms so he could look in my mouth. 5 mins later he said "all done" when I asked him what he did, he said removed 1 tooth. I felt nothing, no pain at all. Since that day I have never had a problem visiting the dentist.
    I am going to share this with the CBT specialist.
     
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  19. Jenny15

    Jenny15 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Always remember that testing your blood at home does not force you to see a GP, you still have a choice about what you want to do. And there are other ways to take the next step that don't involve triggering your fears by going to a GP's office.

    I'm so sorry to hear about the dental experience you had as a child. I'm 49 and I remember they didn't give local anaesthetic when doing fillings until I was about 15. As a result, millions of people fear the dentist in adulthood.

    Pulling teeth without adequate anaesthesia is an awful thing to do any time, but especially with a child and with 4 teeth. I had my wisdom teeth removed under general anaesthesia and still had days of severe pain afterwards. The mouth is very sensitive, and we are all different.

    It's usually impossible to remedy the case years later, but you might (might) be entitled to financial compensation that would fund private psychological therapy. Even if not, there are still ways you can heal from this legitimate trauma and its effects.

    I had a hospital experience as a child that I won't describe for now, that started off my health anxiety, which was only added to by other incidents later. Compensation or resolution is impossible for me but I have taken hold of my choices in how I deal with these things and that has made my life better in itself.

    I have found that treating my issues as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been useful for finding articles and books that help me understand them. It's also a quick way to tell new health care providers to be aware of it when they see me.

    PTSD is so common in the general population and I find it has way less stigma than other mental health issues. Because a person can get it from events beyond their control: medical mistake, car crash, sexual or other assault, military service, work-related, etc etc. People with little understanding of or empathy for mental health issues can comprehend that a person might be "normal" then have an event that gives them PTSD. Whereas if you say you have depression or OCD, they stigmatise you.

    And PTSD doesn't have to be from one life-threatening event anymore. It can be from less severe events as a series over time, eg a survivor of domestic verbal abuse, or watching a loved one struggle with a serious illness, even if they get better. People focus on the person with the illness and overlook the effect it has on their spouse/parent/child.

    When you were 13 you were unable to say no to the dentist before he started the procedure or during it. Now that you are an adult, you can say no at any time.

    You can ask for more information, pain relief, or anything you reasonably need to get through it. You can say no to any treatment option, test, or appointment and you don't have to give a reason. I think in future they will have been told about your fears and they will be giving you what you need anyway. You can even get it printed on a medic alert bracelet.

    Medical training and guidelines teach doctors, dentists, nurses and others that a person must have adequate pain relief, or being able to do the procedure safely is at risk. They are also taught about the psychological impact. Almost every doctor these days would rather give enough pain relief than have the person suffer unnecessarily, and potentially have them deteriorate during the procedure. I like to joke with them that it means less paperwork, which lightens the mood for everyone.

    I'm pleased to hear that you are finding it helpful to discuss things here. I have found online forums so helpful over the years, too.
     
  20. Marcus1234

    Marcus1234 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I've just turned 50 and really thought I would get more care free as I got older, however it seems to be the opposite. The dentist incident is one of many things that happened to me and probably to a lot of other people too.
    You have had your reasons to cause you health anxiety with hospitals etc, People go to hospital for care and treatment, yet the amount of medical mistakes that occur are becoming more frequent. Everybody knows someone who has a story to tell about misdiagnosis or given the wrong medication etc, this in turn causes people (me being one of them) to lose faith in our national health service. Yet on the other side of the coin the NHS do an excellent job of caring for people, working long hours and giving 100% commitment. However there is always the reality of "what if's". What if they give me the wrong meds, treatment, bloods, chemo, etc etc etc. the list is endless. I think it is a credit to you that you have been able to find articles and books that help you understand what is going on and you have dealt with this head on.
    What I find really difficult besides the health anxiety is the excessive tiredness, I work full time and when I get home all I want to do is sleep, when I get my days off all I do is sleep. It is like the get up and go as been taken away.
    My BG test kit arrives next week and I will start getting some readings of what is happening with my blood sugars.
    I did a urine test last night on one of the test strips, all was ok apart from glucose again which read 100 (5.5) which is slightly over the normal range. So there is glucose in my urine but not excessive amounts. From reading further there should be no trace of glucose at all in the urine.
     
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