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Type 2 Trying to avoid medication, what should my blood sugars be?

Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by mccraith, Aug 11, 2020.

  1. mccraith

    mccraith Type 2 · Member

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    I was diagnosed T2 about six weeks ago with a HBA1C of 55. I have had to watch my weight all my life and have yoyo’d between 10 stone - 14 stone (I’m 5 foot 1 so my BMI is high). For the last three years I have stayed stable at 12 stone and actually was happy with that, having upped my exercise and able to eat pretty much what I like. So when the nurse said you should lose weight, I did not want all those feelings of guilt, deprivation, depression which I get on a diet to come back. So I initially thought I won’t take any notice and then take medication if they prescribed it. HOWEVER my father, T2 for 30 years and injecting insulin for the last 10, sat me down and said he regrets not taking it more seriously in the early days and wishes he’d tried to manage it by diet to stay off medication for as long as possible. So I bought myself a glucose monitor. My very first reading, two hours after a bowl of savoury rice which I thought was healthy, was 22 mmol. Bit of a shock. I’ve been monitoring and trying to learn what I can and can’t eat for the last month. I was trying to keep the readings under 10. They were often higher in the morning eg 9.5, then be 6-9 during the day. A birthday custard tart gave me a 12! I paid for the premium version of myNetDiary with a BG tracker which seems to recommend a max of 6.7, so since then I’ve been trying to aim to keep under 7 on a low carb diet. I think I’ve managed to stop the morning spike by eating a slice of ham or chicken as soon as I wake up. The last few mornings my readings have been the same as the night before (though I still drink a lot of water at night). Last night I had some sweet potato and went from 6.3 to 8.4 two hours after but back to 6.4 this morning.

    So this is all still very new and I have a lot to learn and experiment to see what I can/can’t eat. Question: am I doing the right things? What blood sugar levels should I be aiming for if I am not on medication and am trying to avoid it. Do people eat a small something just before bed to equalise sugar levels overnight? I haven’t been but wondered. How important is it that I lose weight as well as managing sugar levels? I have more questions, but that will do for now and I’m grateful for any advice. Thank you.
     
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  2. Resurgam

    Resurgam Type 2 (in remission!) · Expert

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    As your Hba1c is not very high you might be able to get control of your blood glucose levels just by selecting the foods which are high in carbs and halving the amount of them you eat - replacing them with something a lot lower in carbs.
    You will need to reassess what 'healthy eating' is though - it is only called that by the way, it has never been checked - and the more it is tested the more the idea of a healthy diet which is mostly carbohydrate seems to fail to give the required results.
    Rice and potato are starch - best avoided.
    I found that once I was getting under 8mmol/l at 2 hours my levels went on falling even though I was eating the same things. I had found the levels I could cope with , though it is 40 gm of carbs as a maximum these days.
    I eat twice a day, morning and evening and do not have snacks.
     
  3. ziggy_w

    ziggy_w Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the forum, @mccraith.

    You are doing really well and it seems as if your blood sugar readings are already in a good range. When will you have your next HbA1c test? (I wouldn't be surprised if it came out a lot lower than your previous one).

    I also agree with @Resurgam -- if you keep this way of eating up, your blood sugars might drop a bit more in time as your metabolism recovers.

    As to weight -- personally, I would focus on blood sugar levels -- and who knows maybe weight loss will follow automatically as it did for many of us. But even if you don't, imho normal blood sugar levels are way more important ... and constantly feeling hungry and guilty is a miserable way to live.

    Again, great that you've decided to join the forum. Welcome.
     
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    #3 ziggy_w, Aug 11, 2020 at 9:03 AM
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2020
  4. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Oracle

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    Hi and welcome @mccraith

    Many of us have found that it is possible to avoid medication by changing what we eat.
    We also found that weight loss for many comes along with controlling blood sugar levels better.

    Cut back on carbohydrates as much as you possibly can.
    That means avoiding any starchy foods like bread, pasta, potatoes as well as sweet fruits and root vegetables (some can manage a small portion).
    Instead focus on more tasty and satiating foods like meat, fish, green veg, salads and cheese and dairy. Full fat yoghurts and butter and the delights that low carb eaters can indulge in. Maybe some berries (I find raspberries have the least effect on blood sugar).
    Your HbA1c of 55 mmol/m puts you into T2 diabetes land but should be relatively easy to bring back down to normal levels especially now you're here and we can help you. We've been there and done it!
     
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  5. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Moderator
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    Hi and welcome,

    Well done for taking the bull by the horns and getting a meter - that will stand you in very good stead.
    And WELL DONE to your father for having that conversation with you. What a lovely kind thing to do. He is absolutely right. the sooner you get to grips with it, and establish a new way of eating and living, the happier and healthier your old age will be.

    The www.dietdoctor.com website is a fab resource for food ideas, recipes, and general low carb/keto info.
     
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  6. mccraith

    mccraith Type 2 · Member

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    Thanks for replying, I haven’t tried things like bread or porridge yet, mainly eating meat, cheese, veg. Once/if I can get my levels consistently down I’ll then try my favourite breakfast of boiled egg and marmite on wholemeal toast and see what it does.
     
  7. mccraith

    mccraith Type 2 · Member

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    Thanks for your advice. I’ve already had a letter to arrange my next HBA1C test but I haven’t done it yet as I want to wait a couple of months so I’ll have had three months on low carb. Hoping the result will be lower. I’ve got an eye test this Friday which will be interesting. I only found out I was T2 by accident but I could have been for years so I don’t know what damage is already done. I’ve been feeling slightly whoozy on and off for years, so I perhaps I have been pre-diabetic/diabetic for a long time and thought it was just life!
     
  8. mccraith

    mccraith Type 2 · Member

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    Thanks, that’s good news. I didn’t know where 55 was on the scale. Thanks for the help. I’ve learnt more reading posts on this forum than anywhere else.
     
  9. mccraith

    mccraith Type 2 · Member

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    Thanks. I’ll have a look at that And yes I ought to thank my father for shaking me into action!
     
  10. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Oracle

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    Mine was 87 mmol/m on diagnosis (Oct 2015).. by changing what and when I ate it was down to 36 mmol/m 3 months later (Jan 2016).
     
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  11. MrsA2

    MrsA2 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @mccraith
    I'm just a few months ahead of you and have found by concentrating on blood sugars and seeing what foods to avoid because of that,the weight has come off as a side effect with NO deprivation or depression. The only guilt has come from eating full fat foods that have been off my menu for years.!
    I lunched today on cheese, pate and cheesecake... no portion limits except my appetite.
    Its such a new way of thinking and eating that take time to get used to, but the freedom from calorie restriction is lovely, and works.
    I bought size 18 clothes in February. Yesterday I slipped into a 12 and not once have I felt deprived or depressed, just changed my choices.
    While your body adapts change snacks to nuts, olives or double cream, then after a while snacks will disappear and eating intervals grow and you will shrink
     
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  12. mccraith

    mccraith Type 2 · Member

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    Thank you! That is very positive. Please could I ask how many calories/carbs you have a day? I’ve not lost anything so far. Also a recipe for low carb cheesecake - sounds delicious!!
     
  13. MrsA2

    MrsA2 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I ignore calories totally.

    Carbs I aim for 20 g per day,, realistically its probably nearer 30 due to cheese and cream
    I do track it using carb manager ( there are other apps too)
    I prefer no or minimal sweetners but a recent site I have found has loads of good recipes. The "cheesecake" one they call "berry bake " and is listed as a breakfast, but its way too nice. It only uses 15g of sweetner
    https://www.ketofitnessclub.com/pages/free-recipe-library
     
  14. mccraith

    mccraith Type 2 · Member

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    I think I need to go lower carb. I lost a good amount on the Atkins diet a long time ago. Bit worried about cholesterol though as I’m generally 8+. Thanks for the cheesecake link, I’ll be trying that one out!
     
  15. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Oracle

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    Not sure I would be, for older women (and forgive me if you aren't one) higher cholesterol means longer life.
     
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  16. mccraith

    mccraith Type 2 · Member

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    Another thing I didn’t know! PS Well done on what you have achieved in a short space of time.
     
  17. mccraith

    mccraith Type 2 · Member

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    It’s good to know that that can be achieved. Well done!
     
  18. Lupf

    Lupf Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @mccraith welcome, you need to find out yourself what works or not. An Hb1Ac of 55 not such a bad starting point, I was over 100. People here have good experience with cutting carbs to very low levels. Measuring blood sugar levels is key to find out what is going on. If you are considering losing weight, low carbs will likely do that as fatty foods are more satiating. What works for me is intermittent fasting 5+2 and I managed to lose that excess weight (over 10 kg) with it. On fast days I eat 600 cal max (breakfast, no lunch, dinner, no snacking), so no bread. pasta, potatoes, rice, .... I found out you can eat lots of vegetables and soup and don't feel hungry, and the weight kept dropping off. With this I got my Hb1AC down to the low 40s and I am off metformin now.
     
    #18 Lupf, Aug 13, 2020 at 12:25 AM
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2020
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