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[UK] Self-diagnosed (pre)diabetic. Should I self-medicate?

Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by s_irvine, Jan 2, 2017.

  1. s_irvine

    s_irvine · Newbie

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    Background (feel free to skip to the discussion. TL;DR I wonder if I am prediabetic):

    For the past several months I've been dealing with growing fatigue and mental cloudiness that became especially intolerable after eating.

    Initially I attributed this to my awfully fragmented, poor quality of sleep (haven't had more than five hours of unbroken sleep in over 16 months), but I eventually noticed a trend: meals higher in carbohydrates resulted in greater fatigue, sometimes accompanied by a headache and dry eyes.

    This led me to suspect diabetes and so I set about obtaining the necessary equipment to carry out some tests.

    Test results & analysis (all measurements are in mmol/l)

    I began with a fairly typical breakfast (single slice of whole wheat bread (16g carbs), toasted, with butter liberally spread and a cup of tea with milk and no sugar)
    Fasting: 5.5
    30 minutes: 9.3
    60 minutes: 9.4
    120 minutes: 7.4
    180 minutes: 6.5
    240 minutes: 6.2

    The next day I carried out a test more representative of an oral glucose tolerance test by consuming 50g of white bread
    Fasting: 5.4
    30 minutes: 10.3
    60 minutes: 10.2
    120 minutes: 8.6
    180 minutes: 7.5
    240 minutes: 6.6

    I've conducted a number of tests in addition to those above, and each one has yielded similar readings. In other words, these are not aberrant results.

    According to the conservative criteria pronounced by the WHO and other health authorities, I have impaired glucose tolerance and am therefore prediabetic. However, I recognize that these are somewhat arbitrary ranges, often selected for administrative convenience rather than to reflect true pathology. For this reason, I decided to consult the medical literature to discover exactly how abnormal these glucose levels are.

    The three studies I looked at all equipped healthy, non-diabetic populations with continuous glucose monitors and all reported similar findings. Plasma glucose levels rarely exceeded 7.8mmol/l and they were no higher than 6.7mmol/l for 95% of the day.

    So, by these real-world measurements, my glucose levels are far outside 'normal' ranges.

    Discussion

    My question is, since I'm not quite a full-fledged diabetic and my fasting levels are still narrowly below what is deemed impaired, is it even worth visiting a GP? I don't have much faith in the local provision of public healthcare here in mid wales. I'll have to wait a minimum of two weeks to even see a physician, and I doubt they will even entertain the idea that a 27-year-old with a BMI of less than 18 could have diabetes. And yes, I know it's probably not healthy to be underweight, but it's hard to gain weight when you know eating any sizeable quantity of carbohydrates is going to make you feel lousy.

    Given the lack of risk factors (not overweight, relatively young, no family history) it's quite possible that I have some form of autoimmune-mediated insulin disorder. In which case, I suppose it's just a matter of waiting for my endogenous glucose regulation to deteriorate to a point where the disease is unmistakable.

    Thoughts?

    Edited by a mod
     
    #1 s_irvine, Jan 2, 2017 at 3:30 PM
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 2, 2017
  2. Squire Fulwood

    Squire Fulwood Type 2 · Expert

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    There is a conundrum here which other people have reported. Treating yourself first and then taking it to a doctor might mean that you present without any symptoms. If you wish to be diagnosed for any reason then it might be a good idea to see a doctor first. You have plenty of time to do that since if you have Type 2 diabetes it progresses slowly. If you have Type 1 then you would probably already be in hospital.

    Very few, if any, of us with Type 2 can eat bread and expect a good result without some sort of rationing of it or changing to a low carb kind of bread.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  3. azure

    azure Type 1 · Expert

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    @s_irvine Here are the diagnostic criteria for diabetes:

    https://www.diabetes.org.uk/Profess...itoring/New_diagnostic_criteria_for_diabetes/

    No one here can diagnose you so if you have health concerns it would be worth visiting a doctor and having the appropriate tests done.

    Your results aren't 'far outside normal range'. Some people do go higher after meals even though they don't have diabetes.

    Do you have Type 2 in your family? Is there any reason why you're concerned about diabetes?

    Headaches and dry eyes wouldn't be common symptoms of diabetes.
     
  4. azure

    azure Type 1 · Expert

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    You could also ask for some more general health tests to make sure there's no other reason for your symptoms.

    Yes, a BMI of less than 18 is underweight so it may be worth ruling out digestive issues, thyroid issues, etc
     
  5. azure

    azure Type 1 · Expert

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    Have you had/got anything that might have caused stress in your life? Stress can often cause slightly higher blood sugars.

    And, if you're female, so can hormones - that is, both monthly hormones and hormones related to pregnancy, etc
     
  6. Home testing meters are only accurate to +/- 15% (I read on here) therefore are not ideal for self-diagnosis.

    My opinion is you should see a doctor for a professional appraisal. Good luck.
     
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  7. Johnjoe13

    Johnjoe13 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hello and welcome, you should really visit your G.P and ask for a Hb1Ac test and tell him or her how you have been feeling. Leaving it or trying to self medicate not a good idea. And when you make your appointment tell them why, if they won't give you an urgent appointment then to to a walk in center and get them to look at you.

    Edited by a mod
     
    #7 Johnjoe13, Jan 2, 2017 at 3:50 PM
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 2, 2017
  8. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Oracle

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    Phone the surgery and book yourself in for an HbA1c blood test. The nurse will take your bloods and you will get the results in a few days. If they indicate diabetes then you should get to see someone if not then that's one thing you can tick off the list. I'm pretty sure I didn't see the doc before having my first one in fact I have only seen the diabetes overseer at my local practice once (an appointment) which I instigated. The nurses seem to deal with Type 2's for the most part (although not always very effectively).
     
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  9. britishpub

    britishpub Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Yes, you should be able to get a blood test "on demand", I can at my surgery anyway.

    I can't imagine why you would want to self diagnose anything when getting a proper diagnosis is so easy.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  10. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Moderator
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    I agree with all the above - Get thee to a doc.

    Hope you find the answers you are looking for, and please come back and tell us how it goes?
    Whatever the result, you will find plenty of helpful support on the forum.
     
  11. s_irvine

    s_irvine · Newbie

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    I appreciate everyone's responses, but I really don't see any reason to visit a doctor. An HbA1c test is unlikely to be informative, since I eat fairly infrequently and my fasting levels aren't particularly elevated. I've made a number of sanity checks with my meter and I'm confident that it's adequately accurate. I've compared myself to 100+ healthy subjects through a survey of the literature and my postprandial levels are markedly higher than all of them; that's conclusive enough for me that my glucose regulation is somehow compromised.

    What I would like to ask, however, is whether anyone else experiences and recognizes the symptoms I describe when their blood glucose spikes, namely, the mental fogginess, tiredness and an almost intangible 'weight' or pressure on my mind.

    I only experience these unpleasant feelings following the consumption of carbohydrates, particularly when they're from high-glycemic sources such as potatoes and bread, and the severity corresponds to the degree to which I become hyperglycemic.
     
  12. azure

    azure Type 1 · Expert

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    Only a doctor can diagnose you @s_irvine Theres no reason to think an HbA1C will be inaccurate :)

    Just to reassure you, non-diabetics can spike up to 10+ after eating on occasions. That's why the diagnostic criteria mentions a blood sugar above 11.1.

    If you're not keen on a blood test, how about an oral glucose tolerance test? That can be done at your surgery :)
     
  13. ickihun

    ickihun Type 2 · Master

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    See a GP who can test you by medical measurements of nows standards.
    I wish my gp in 70s did. I could be in a better healthier position now. Why rebuff the help available when it does save lifes?
     
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