Utterly Lost

Carbalicious

Newbie
Messages
1
Type of diabetes
Type 2
Treatment type
Tablets (oral)
Strictly speaking I am not newly diagnosed. I had my initial T2 diagnosis two and a half years ago with a HBA1C just over 100. I was of course immediately put on a diet of tablets to control my T2, high blood pressure and cholesterol. I immediately dived into some fairly dramatic lifestyle changes and starved myself of many of things I enjoyed and relied upon to support my mental well being.

12 months on, almost to the day, and I found myself having a particularly hard time. A combination of an incredibly stressful job and some challenges at home that I was ill equipped to deal with meant that in order to "take back control" over some aspects of my life I decided to bury my head in the sand and stop all medication. A form of self-harm now that I look at it. Over the last few months in particular I've become very aware of the symptoms, particularly with my vision, and so I bit the bullet and went back to the doctors last week.

Sure enough before the day was out I had an urgent call from the doctor advising that my HBA1c was reading 108 and that I was at immediate risk. Back on the medication but also filled with dread over what I need to do to really attack this and make sustainable and positive change.

I love bread. I love pasta. I love ***** sweets!

I hate salad.

Above all else I hate the thought that decisions that I consciously made could so dramatically impact those people that I care about. I am genuinely scared as to what comes next if I fail to get hold of this.

So I'm back on the pills and made a commitment to myself to make use of my expensive and up to now wasted gym membership. But I've lots of questions and not many answers.

1. Low carb diet - Are there any recommended resources or apps that can help with meal planning etc? What about Hello Fresh etc, healthy or just a gimmick? Better than fast food for sure!
2. CGM - Would this open a window into what's actually going on? Do they hurt to apply or make sleeping uncomfortable and difficult?
3. Are there any support groups beyond this forum?
4. How extreme do my changes need to be? Are the days of the odd treat (clearly not scarce enough currently) consigned to the past?
5. Healthy snacks - What are my options - I'm not even sure if I can substitute the bars of chocolate with oranges or bananas... Fruit can't be bad for me surely!

I'm 48 and don't want to hit my 50's with a stroke on the horizon.
 

Marikev

Member
Messages
21
Type of diabetes
Type 1
Treatment type
Insulin
Strictly speaking I am not newly diagnosed. I had my initial T2 diagnosis two and a half years ago with a HBA1C just over 100. I was of course immediately put on a diet of tablets to control my T2, high blood pressure and cholesterol. I immediately dived into some fairly dramatic lifestyle changes and starved myself of many of things I enjoyed and relied upon to support my mental well being.

12 months on, almost to the day, and I found myself having a particularly hard time. A combination of an incredibly stressful job and some challenges at home that I was ill equipped to deal with meant that in order to "take back control" over some aspects of my life I decided to bury my head in the sand and stop all medication. A form of self-harm now that I look at it. Over the last few months in particular I've become very aware of the symptoms, particularly with my vision, and so I bit the bullet and went back to the doctors last week.

Sure enough before the day was out I had an urgent call from the doctor advising that my HBA1c was reading 108 and that I was at immediate risk. Back on the medication but also filled with dread over what I need to do to really attack this and make sustainable and positive change.

I love bread. I love pasta. I love ***** sweets!

I hate salad.

Above all else I hate the thought that decisions that I consciously made could so dramatically impact those people that I care about. I am genuinely scared as to what comes next if I fail to get hold of this.

So I'm back on the pills and made a commitment to myself to make use of my expensive and up to now wasted gym membership. But I've lots of questions and not many answers.

1. Low carb diet - Are there any recommended resources or apps that can help with meal planning etc? What about Hello Fresh etc, healthy or just a gimmick? Better than fast food for sure!
2. CGM - Would this open a window into what's actually going on? Do they hurt to apply or make sleeping uncomfortable and difficult?
3. Are there any support groups beyond this forum?
4. How extreme do my changes need to be? Are the days of the odd treat (clearly not scarce enough currently) consigned to the past?
5. Healthy snacks - What are my options - I'm not even sure if I can substitute the bars of chocolate with oranges or bananas... Fruit can't be bad for me surely!

I'm 48 and don't want to hit my 50's with a stroke on the horizon.
Don’t try and change everything all at once. Undertake an exercise routine you can stick to.. a little bit a couple of times a week is still better than no exercise. Just small changes to your diet can have an effect. Find out about carbohydrate values in your favourite foods and maybe adjust to bread with less carbs and more fibre and whole meal pasta?
Find some You tube videos about eating for a diabetic diet, fruit is generally not good, not in large quantities at least. I now often share a whole banana , they don’t keep for later very well! Fibre is your friend !
Using a CGM for a while might be a good idea, so you can see what raises and lowers your blood sugar level. They don’t hurt to apply and don’t bother you while you‘re sleeping. Certainly less painful than finger sticks. I understand if you are in the UK you can send for a free sample? But you can self fund if you can’t get them prescribed. Expensive? But probably on a par with gym membership. You’ve done the hardest bit by going back to the doctor.
all the best.
 
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Antje77

Oracle
Retired Moderator
Messages
19,578
Type of diabetes
LADA
Treatment type
Insulin
Hi @Carbalicious , welcome to the forum.

I'm sorry to hear you're struggling, well done on finding the courage to start working on your diabetes again!

As for your questions, lets see...
1. Low carb diet - Are there any recommended resources or apps that can help with meal planning etc? What about Hello Fresh etc, healthy or just a gimmick? Better than fast food for sure!
I don't use apps or Hello Fresh and such, so no help on that.
Instead, I always have plenty of veg and meats in the house to choose from, and there are always different types of cheese, and eggs, and cream in my fridge.
As for better than fast food, depends. A burger without the bun or a kebab without the bread won't raise your blood glucose by much, whereas a so called healthy meal of lean chicken, brown rice and veggies will. So with diabetes I'd choose the fast food without the bread/fries any day over a 'healty' meal according to the eatwell plate.

2. CGM - Would this open a window into what's actually going on? Do they hurt to apply or make sleeping uncomfortable and difficult?
Yes, it can give you lots of insight on how different foods affect you.
No, they don't hurt and I don't feel the sensor no matter if I'm asleep or awake.
A free 2 week sample can be ordered here: https://www.freestyle.abbott/uk-en/getting-started/sampling.html
Do use a fingerprick now and again to check against the sensor, sensors aren't as accurate as a fingerprick, but they are perfect to see trends.
4. How extreme do my changes need to be? Are the days of the odd treat (clearly not scarce enough currently) consigned to the past?
We're all different, there is no predicting how many carbs your body can handle, and changes need to be sustainable, no use going all out for 6 weeks only to give up again.
There are lots of possibilities for treats that won't mess with your BG too!
5. Healthy snacks - What are my options - I'm not even sure if I can substitute the bars of chocolate with oranges or bananas... Fruit can't be bad for me surely!
It's all about the carbs, of which fruit has quite a lot.
But what about pork scratchings (I like to dip them in aioli), bacon and eggs, cheese, eggs and mayo, nuts, homemade cheese crisps (just grate some cheese on a baking sheet in a thin layer and pop into the microwave for a couple of inutes - they should be very crispy when cooled), cherry tomatoes, rolled up slices of ham and cheese, strawberries and cream?

I think you'll kike to have a read of this, written by one of our members: https://josekalsbeek.blogspot.com/2019/11/the-nutritional-thingy.html
And perhaps you'll like this thread as well, where we share what we've eaten, it may give you some ideas: https://www.diabetes.co.uk/forum/threads/what-have-you-eaten-today-low-carb-forum.75781/page-3126

Are you on medication which can cause hypos, like gliclazide?
If so, be careful lowering your carbs and always have some quick acting glucose and a glucose meter on hand.
 

TheSecretCarbAddict

Well-Known Member
Messages
146
Type of diabetes
Type 2
Treatment type
Tablets (oral)
Hi @Carbalicious, welcome to the forum. I'm on a very similar journey right now - I recently posted an update o this here: https://www.diabetes.co.uk/forum/index.php?threads/203806/. There is quite a bit to get your head around, and some advice already given above should get you stared.

One thing I struggled with is my addiction to refined carbs. Once I realised it is an addiction, that immediately gave me quite a few tools to help me tackle this. For me, it is abstinence rather than moderation that works the best, and low carb is a good vehicle for this. Check out resources that https://phcuk.org/ provide. They do provide support groups as well as a programme available through some GPs - there might be something available local to you.

Also check out https://lowcarbfreshwell.com/. They have a useful app, and I believe run a Facebook community open to all.

As it was mentioned before, don't try to tackle too much at once, I've found that diet (not just eating, but also using fasting) has made a massive difference already. I can add in other areas later when I feel ready.

Also, there is a lot of evidence starting to emerge around the benefits of low carb and ketogenic diets for mental wellbeing.
 

HairySmurf

Well-Known Member
Messages
144
Type of diabetes
Type 2
Treatment type
Tablets (oral)
1. Low carb diet - Are there any recommended resources or apps that can help with meal planning etc? What about Hello Fresh etc, healthy or just a gimmick? Better than fast food for sure!
2. CGM - Would this open a window into what's actually going on? Do they hurt to apply or make sleeping uncomfortable and difficult?
3. Are there any support groups beyond this forum?
4. How extreme do my changes need to be? Are the days of the odd treat (clearly not scarce enough currently) consigned to the past?
5. Healthy snacks - What are my options - I'm not even sure if I can substitute the bars of chocolate with oranges or bananas... Fruit can't be bad for me surely!
Hi and welcome :)

1: For moderate carb meal ideas this site has a few pointers: Link Many on this forum probably wouldn't rate that site as 'properly' low-carb (because it's not) though this thread on this forum is full of ideas: Link Anything associated with a keto diet is extremely low-carb, and the internet is littered with information on keto. I don't know anything about Hello Fresh but I've never seen reference to it as a good source of low-carb meals or info.
2: CGMs are fantastic but expensive. Painless in my experience and you forget you're wearing it. You'd get great data about your response to different foods and meals from a CGM, though a finger-prick blood glucose meter that has cheap test strips would tell you enough to inform you on how you're doing and make decisions about foods. Test first thing in the morning before eating to see your fasting blood glucose level. Test just before meals and 2 hours later and you get a snapshot of how that meal has affected your blood glucose level - a repeatable test you can use to compare different meals and foods.
3: Not familiar with any support groups - maybe something in your local area?
4: Big results require big changes, though you might be surprised by how easy some changes are after a time. A treat for me right now is some strong (85%) dark chocolate, some nuts, and a bottle of dry white wine - hits the spot and does hardly anything to my blood glucose levels. The response to different foods is highly specific to the individual though. I'll never again eat pizza unfortunately (well, maybe a few slices once a year) but a kebab (or two) is entirely fine so long as I don't eat much of the bread ;)
5: Nuts are fine for me though your experience may be different. Fruit, unfortunately, can be bad for you, bananas in particular. Fruit is high in sugar. I do eat fruit, but sparingly - a clementine orange or a little apple with breakfast. Berries are good in small amounts.

With all of that said, if you have weight to lose, significant weight loss can be a game-changer, particularly if the weight is lost as soon as possible after diagnosis. I can safely eat foods now after losing 4 stone quickly that were decidedly unsafe for me a few months ago. A low carb diet will very often lead to weight loss - protein and fat are fantastic for helping you feel full and suppressing hunger for a long time - so low carb is a great option for many people. If there's one thing I should have done differently it's that I should have started eating low-carb breakfasts sooner. An omelette, or some Greek yogurt with berries, instead of toast or a bagel or whatever, sets a person up for lower blood glucose levels for much of the rest of the day - and you actually feel less hungry. Who'd have thunk it ;)

Very best of luck!
 

Lamont D

Oracle
Messages
16,113
Type of diabetes
Reactive hypoglycemia
Treatment type
I do not have diabetes
If you are not into doing the gym routine etc.
And like me, strenuous exercise is too much for you.
Then walking has so many benefits.
Best bit of advice I'd received, to go for a walk fifteen minutes after food for at least fifteen minutes. Longer if you enjoy it. And this gets you into fresh air, away from the food in your fridge and cupboards.
Eat less, smaller portions, fewer snacks, all lower carbs, and the advice that @Antje77 has given will help with your questions.
Keep asking and take on board that the help you need is here.
 

mouseee

Well-Known Member
Messages
712
I hate salad too! I pretend to like it and I've had salads I've enjoyed but a plate of cold green stuff isn't my thing.
I have found recipes for lovely salads but then don't have the enthusiasm to make them.
I have used both Hello Fresh and gousto in the past and they definitely helped with avoiding junk or processed food and would be a good place to start if you need it. Lots of the meals are quite carby which is why I stopped them as i realised I need to drop carbs again as my hba1c got up into the 60s.
I used to chop and prep all the veg when it arrived so I just had to cook them on the day. I loved all the little extras like a dressing or sprinkly garnishes.
This time round, I've gone low carb but not as extreme. I couldn't sustain keto level carbs and cracked. Now I'm allowing myself a biscuit, or a few crisps or something like that if I fancy it. I even had an afternoon tea with friends. I took my lunchbox and cut all the sandwiches in half so I only ate half. I saved half my scone by squashing clotted cream (the only bit I could really have!) Into the tiny jam jar to take home. Did the same with the cakes. Then ate the remainder over the next couple of days ably aided by my husband.
Those occasional treats have kept me going. My bg seems to be going down and the weight is falling off again.
I'm determined that I'll sustain it this time.
You seem to be doing all the right things. I'd stick around here too, the support and advice is so important and when I've stopped dropping in that's when I faltered more.
 

jpscloud

Well-Known Member
Messages
879
Type of diabetes
Type 2
Treatment type
Tablets (oral)
Hello and welcome :)

I have a long history of relapses but have found that during periods of success with low carb and intermittent fasting my health improves dramatically. I'm not proud of relapsing but I'm honest and up front about it here on the forums.

So my main message is, even if you find you're slipping off the wagon from time to time, you can still make great improvements if you dust yourself off and get back to it.

Whatever you choose to do it probably is best to get into it gradually, as others have said. I would suggest avoiding any manufactured low carb snacks or prepared foods, because they can lead to over consumption and might have unhealthy ingredients - having said that many low carbers do use them and are able to moderate their intake very well.

Monitoring is a fantastic tool to motivate yourself when going low carb - if you can afford a CGM that is definitely best but I use a fingerprick monitor with a phone app and that works really well for me.

I find these forums are the best support group, there are many long-standing members whose insights and advice are invaluable - and they are always there with encouragement if you need it.

Wishing you the best of luck and every success!
 

RayCox

Well-Known Member
Messages
54
Type of diabetes
Type 2
Treatment type
Tablets (oral)
Hallo fresh are not low carb .
There are very nice.