1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Get the Diabetes Forum App for your phone - available on iOS and Android.
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Guest, we'd love to know what you think about the forum! Take the Diabetes Forum Survey 2019 »
    Dismiss Notice
  4. Diabetes Forum should not be used in an emergency and does not replace your healthcare professional relationship. Posts can be seen by the public.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community »

Very Fed-up and Puzzled Newby

Discussion in 'Greetings and Introductions' started by pacesmh, Dec 5, 2016.

  1. pacesmh

    pacesmh Type 2 · Newbie

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    I am a pensioner with a complicated health history who has struggled, for the last fifty years, to maintain the semblance of a normal life. But, I had my independence. I could at least look after myself.
    Pre-summer 2015, I had been dealing with a very abnormal thyroid function diagnosed over forty years ago, and the symptoms of ME. I had never felt the need for a diagnosis. My daughter and granddaughter are both sufferers and my symptoms were recognised by our local ME nurse, and other sufferers, as typical. I also have Meniere's Disease which can affect balance and hearing but those symptoms usually diminish over the years, and those attacks are nothing like what I am experiencing now. Over many years I did notice that cutting out sugar did increase my energy levels slightly, but my CRAVING for sugar always won over my reluctance to eat sweet things. I am not now, and have never been overweight!!! Anyway, about three years ago my energy levels began to seriously deteriorate. That was the only change in my symptoms, and I found that by first cutting out bread, then later potatoes I could return to my usual low-energy self.
    That brings me to that terrible summer, last year. I began to experience what I can only describe at its worst, like becoming drunk on food. Twenty or so minutes after eating I would feel really ill, lose the ability to focus my eyes, then either become unconscious or fall asleep, I can't work out which as I live on my own, then wake up in a stupor, with a complete loss of balance to crawl to bed. Sometimes, during a bad attack I would be able to hear the television, but neither understand what was being said nor open my eyes. There doesn't seem to be rhyme nor reason to it. It can happen with a meal of carbohydrate + protein. It can happen just eating protein. It is not always as bad as this. Sometimes I just fall asleep but feel ill before and after. I also have days when I have no reaction at all But like 'The Mummy', IT returns. I certainly feel a lot better when I fast. However, even during this time I no longer have the energy to look after myself, nor the balance to walk without an aid. It took five months for me to see an endocrinologist, and four months for a diagnosis. She tested my adrenals. She even tested whether my gut bacteria were producing alcohol. Former 'Fine', latter 'No'. My thyroid levels required being slightly increased, but the glucose tolerance test, which was normal at the beginning, produced a level of 11.3mmol/L with no evidence of the sugar dropping to cause hypoglycaemia and therefore she diagnosed early diabetes to be treated by diet. She says that she does not know what is causing my symptoms!!! My GP tells me that no further specialist tests can be carried out without going through her, and she wouldn't see me again as my GP had requested she do. It might be relevant to mention that I had a bad reaction to the glucose drink. The nurse rushed to get the doctor, but she was too busy to see me!!!
    I accept the diagnosis, but as I have no signs of increased thirst or an increased need to urinate, (I do occasionally have the very dry mouth) I have to wonder if my symptoms bear any relation to those experienced by other diabetics? And any suggestions of a way forward would be gratefully accepted. I also wonder whether there is a cap related to age on the amount spent on an NHS patient. My thyroid medication is very expensive.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  2. Liam1955

    Liam1955 Type 2 · Master

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    @pacesmh - Hello :). I will tag @daisy1 who will provide you with some basic information, have a good read and ask any questions you may have.
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  3. Clivethedrive

    Clivethedrive Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Hi @pacesmh,sorry to hear your not so good throughout your appointment with your Doctor...were your blood sugar levels taken?it would be very useful to get a printout of your blood test results and from these we can get a better idea of where your bs levels are at,most people here use a meter so as to know what spikes their blood sugars,this involves testing am before your feet hit the floor,then before meal and again 2 hrs after ,this will give a very good indication of the foods that we can eat,the codefree meter and strips is the cheapest .in my case ,i was getting up frequently to wee,and very thirsty.
    Welcome to the forum ,keep posting and asking questions,the posters here are very helpful and caring,clive
  4. daisy1

    daisy1 Type 2 · Legend
    Staff Member Retired Moderator

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:

    Hello Pacesmh and welcome to the forum :) Here is the information we give to new members and I hope you will find it interesting and useful. It contains a lot of info about carbs and levels and a link to the Low Carb Program which you could join. Ask as many questions as you want 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 well over 220,000 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 free 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.
  5. Resurgam

    Resurgam Type 2 (in remission!) · Expert

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    I had none of the classic symptoms of diabetes, but I ate low carb for decades, which might have kept me in a prediabetic state for a long time. I do feel better now that I have been low carbing for a couple of weeks, and my meter tells me that I am very sensitive to carbs now. I suspect that I'll have to be living off salads for some time - but at least I will be living - the way some people I know go on you'd think that the sole aim in life is to eat sugary things and get drunk every night.
    • Like Like x 2
  6. Freema

    Freema Type 2 · Expert

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    welcome pacesmh :)

    many type 2 diabetics do not have any idea that they are diabetic when first diagnosed, and when it comes to the reasons of getting diabetes, it can be ones food style, it can be evironmental, it can be from a totally sedentary lifestyle, it can be inherited tendency from ones family, and it can be from no obvious reason and it can actually also hit people who have never been overweight...

    If one has thyroid problems it is statistically more easy to end up diabetic, if too low in thyroid hormons all the cells in ones body acts to slow and one gets affected in a very bad way metabolically speaking,

    if none thyroid hormons at all one ends up extremely obese, diabetic and mentally retarded and dies.

    if one is too high , every cell is effected too, one do maybe use more of some trace minerals and minerals and vitamins , but which is sometimes hard to say, but the Whole body is exhausted , the liver works overtime , which all in all also can lead to diabetes

    so finding the optimal and adequate level is actually very essential. I would supplement with vitamin b12 as it has helped my thyroid hormons work better I think

    we don´t have to have any obvious signs to be diabetic... and of cause most of us hope it is a mistake when first diagnosed...
    I didn´t know I was diabetic when diagnosed it didn´t even cross my mind...

    well the best advice it to understand that eating as a diabetic is totally different as it used to be, and that it usually will be that for the rest of ones life... maybe think like one has joined a totally other tribe of people with totally other kinds of foods and preferences..

    and learn to love long walks after eating... this will prolong ones life, or do at least do some sport fitness or gym ... get some kind of moving into almost every day in ones life...

    and by the way it can be rather inspirering to cook the low carb foods with all its thousand kinds of salats and funny fat kinds of cakes and very different kind of breads and treats

    change fruits to berries ... and by the way high colesterol in blood is probably made by mainly carbs... or just by ones body no matter what one eat.. when one is low in thyroid hormons is is also quite normal to have raised cholesterol
    • Like Like x 2
    #6 Freema, Dec 5, 2016 at 4:52 PM
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2016
  7. Tabbyjoolz

    Tabbyjoolz Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Your symptoms ring some bells. When I look back at how I felt just before diagnosis, I was pretty much in a fog and wanting to curl up and go to sleep, particularly after meals. I went on holiday to Iceland and an "easy" 4km walk almost did me in. I felt so unwell. I nodded off on the journey back to where we were staying and once, back, crawled off to sleep for four hours.

    I did get thirsty though. I would panic if I didn't have water on me, or if I wasn't any where near a tap. Before that walk in Iceland, I was filling up my water bottle and asked my husband if he was going to do the same. "Oh, it's OK, I'll share yours," he said. I insisted he take his own as I was terrified of being stuck in the middle of nowhere with nothing to drink.
    • Like Like x 1
  • Meet the Community

    Find support, connect with others, ask questions and share your experiences with people with diabetes, their carers and family.

    Did you know: 7 out of 10 people improve their understanding of diabetes within 6 months of being a Diabetes Forum member. Get the Diabetes Forum App and stay connected on iOS and Android

    Grab the app!
  • Tweet with us

  • Like us on Facebook