1. Get the Diabetes Forum App for your phone - available on iOS and Android.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Guest, we'd love to know what you think about the forum! Take the Diabetes Forum Survey 2021 »
    Dismiss Notice
  3. 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
  4. Guest, stay home, stay safe, save the NHS. Stay up to date with information about keeping yourself and people around you safe here and GOV.UK: Coronavirus (COVID-19). Think you have symptoms? NHS 111 service is available here.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community »

Yet another hospital food horror story

Discussion in 'Diabetes Discussions' started by JohnEGreen, Dec 3, 2018.

  1. Jim Lahey

    Jim Lahey I reversed my Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,615
    Likes Received:
    3,458
    Trophy Points:
    198
    This subject crossed my mind recently as I wondered what I’d eat if I ever had an extended stay in hospital. I reckon I’d have to go on hunger strike. Even the stuff that I could pick the bones out of will doubtless have been cooked in seed oils.

    Really though, the NHS is never going to offer a diabetic menu, simply because it would be an admission that their current dietary advice for diabetics is a work of fiction. They assert that we should eat exactly the same as everyone else - a “balanced” healthy diet based on grains and starch.

    Offering an alternative on a hospital menu would open the flood gates for lawsuits from everyone who’s had their feet amputated. Not gonna happen. I’ll just be getting visitors to smuggle in blocks of grass-fed butter :D
     
    • Like Like x 2
  2. Bittern

    Bittern Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    222
    Likes Received:
    130
    Trophy Points:
    103
    I was recently hospitalised for surgery, the food was awful so I fasted, which caused nursing staff some concern bless them. I lost 2kg, including the bits chopped out, it has stayed off so far, reduced my fasting blood glucose and blood pressure. So treated in this way hospital food can be of benefit. I intermittent fast as part of my regimen so it was not a great hardship.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
  3. DavidGrahamJones

    DavidGrahamJones Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,259
    Likes Received:
    2,101
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Can I change it to mainly a diet of choice.

    My use of the word intolerance, which I googled "an inability to eat a food or take a drug without adverse effects" implies necessity.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. Rachox

    Rachox Type 2 (in remission!) · Moderator
    Staff Member

    Messages:
    12,288
    Likes Received:
    15,851
    Trophy Points:
    298
    I think, yes you can pick a decent amount of food from that list if you’re low carb. The problem is that if you’re there for more than one meal you end up picking the same for every meal. I was in hospital for three days last December and ended up with an omelette with salad or veg for every lunch and dinner. Oh and don’t get me started on breakfast choices :banghead:
     
    • Hug Hug x 1
  5. Daphne917

    Daphne917 Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,147
    Likes Received:
    7,888
    Trophy Points:
    198
    I’ve had 2 stays in hospital this year and had meat and veg for lunch and sugar free jelly and salad with cheese and crackers for tea. I’m lucky in that I can tolerate a few more carbs than most diabetics so lunch and tea didn’t cause too many issues but even I struggled with breakfast which was a choice of porridge, cereals, yoghurt or toast. In the end I had a yoghurt and a slice of toast. That said all of the food was very tasty!!
     
  6. JohnEGreen

    JohnEGreen Other · Master

    Messages:
    11,357
    Likes Received:
    22,440
    Trophy Points:
    298
    The pity of it is that when they gave her the meal after two mouthfuls of rhubarb crumble her reaction was extreme nausea and vomiting so they left her a slice of dry toast in case she felt hungry later I think the true tragedy of the situation was felt by my daughter when the lady grabbed her hand and whispered to her please help me I need help. What do you do.

    Also a few weeks previous to this her husband had been unable to wake her totally unresponsive when the ambulance came medics injected insulin then tested bloods and then had to give her glucose to get her levels back up. So she is still recovering from that a very complex and confusing situation.

    I think I'm maybe reacting to the whole situation, and not being entirely rational.

    But as they do cater for other dietary needs I think they should also cater for those who choose low carb after all vegan is as has been said mainstream but a personal choice not normally a necessity.

    Also if a patient needs to reduce blood sugars in order that an operation can be carried out to feed them a diet high in carbohydrates seems a little counter productive.
     
    • Hug Hug x 3
  7. LooperCat

    LooperCat Type 1 · Expert

    Messages:
    5,219
    Likes Received:
    7,628
    Trophy Points:
    198
    There are. But they’re too high in fast carbs for me. No modern insulin can match the spikes I’d get from all the potatoes and bread on offer, so I’d go massively high, and then hypo as the insulin was peaking after the carbs had gone from my system. That’s why I eat low carb even as a type one, the timings of it all just don’t work out. Even more so in a hospital environment as you don’t know exactly when you’d get food, making it impossible to dose in advance (30-45 minutes) in attempt to get the insulin at its peak as the food arrives. I’ve learned from pretty miserable experience on that one!
     
    • Hug Hug x 3
  8. Flora123

    Flora123 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,073
    Likes Received:
    608
    Trophy Points:
    173
    The ham salad, mixed veg and cheese and (leave the) biscuits is what I’d order. If you scribble in no ham then you have a veg option. They are usually brilliant at noting your written in requests
     
    #28 Flora123, Dec 3, 2018 at 6:59 PM
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
  9. Guzzler

    Guzzler Type 2 · Master

    Messages:
    10,578
    Likes Received:
    6,974
    Trophy Points:
    278
    And wouldn't raised bg levels affect recovery time, too?
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  10. EllieM

    EllieM Type 1 · Moderator
    Staff Member

    Messages:
    3,987
    Likes Received:
    2,117
    Trophy Points:
    198
    The NHS wards I've been to ( as patient and visitor) had fridges so that you can put your own food in. When I was in hospital for extended periods when pregnant (my kids are in their twenties) they had a small kitchen set aside and told me to help myself whenever I felt like it. But I dread going to hospital when I get old and frail, because I do not trust a general ward to cope with my T1 needs (I'm in NZ now but I assume the same principles will apply to hospital stays).

    6 years ago in the UK my T1 mother was in a recovery ward after 10 days in intensive care with multiple organ failure. She was too weak to do her own injections but was recovering. Unfortunately as she recovered her insulin needs went down, and she started to get serious hypos. It was the weekend and the nurses couldn't find a doctor to authorise a reduction in her MDI doses, but told her she could choose to refuse either her lantus or her humalog. As I remember she refused the humalog, because she couldn't manage much food and wouldn't be able to eat enough to cover the humalog spike in insulin. Needless to say, the next day the diabetic doctor in charge grovelled to her and told the nurses to give her the insulin she wanted, but that was too late in my opinion. BTW, intensive care were wonderful, it was the general ward that frankly couldn't cope with T1.
     
    • Hug Hug x 3
  11. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Legend

    Messages:
    25,123
    Likes Received:
    30,609
    Trophy Points:
    298
    Yes, I was given the use of a fridge to put my own food in as long as the containers were labelled with my name, so that was good. I got a bit fed up of boiled eggs, cherry toms, burgen bread and yogurts though.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. JohnEGreen

    JohnEGreen Other · Master

    Messages:
    11,357
    Likes Received:
    22,440
    Trophy Points:
    298
    Yes that would be one of my choices but there are salads and there are salads some salads are not as low in carbs as you may think.

    Mind you the staff were not heartless they did say after leaving the toast that later on they would bring her a sandwich if she was still hungry and better able to eat.
     
  13. Kailee56

    Kailee56 LADA · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    183
    Likes Received:
    134
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Would have gone with omelette and mixed veggies with butter until I saw the renal restriction.

    Maybe small cheese, no bread, with veggies and butter?

    Not much of an appropriate selection. Really sad. Wait, not even a salad selection!?

    Next option is fasting. Get the butter to add to coffee, if it’s actually butter.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. JohnEGreen

    JohnEGreen Other · Master

    Messages:
    11,357
    Likes Received:
    22,440
    Trophy Points:
    298
    An update on the lady in question sadly a she recently passed due to untreatable pancreatic cancer which had spread. to other organs.
     
    • Hug Hug x 5
  15. Flora123

    Flora123 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,073
    Likes Received:
    608
    Trophy Points:
    173
    So very sorry to hear that. My thoughts are with her family ... very sad indeed x
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  16. Concordjan

    Concordjan Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    233
    Likes Received:
    235
    Trophy Points:
    83
    In hospital at the moment, had a gynae op yesterday. Roast chicken for evening meal, first food all day. Said no potato so got very small piece of chicken and some broccoli. This morning breakfast choices toast, cereal or porridge. Said I follow a low carb diet and no sugar. Was offered diabetic jam, low fat yoghurt (11.3 grams sugar) or a banana! Hopefully going home today.
     
    • Hug Hug x 5
  17. DavidGrahamJones

    DavidGrahamJones Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,259
    Likes Received:
    2,101
    Trophy Points:
    178
    I wish you a speedy recovery and I hope you enjoy your first "proper" meal. My last stay in hospital left me thinking "why can they cater for so many types of food intolerance except for carbohydrate. Maybe I'm missing something?
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Hug Hug x 1
  18. Mr_Pot

    Mr_Pot Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,195
    Likes Received:
    1,925
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Officially carb intolerance isn't a thing.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  19. JohnEGreen

    JohnEGreen Other · Master

    Messages:
    11,357
    Likes Received:
    22,440
    Trophy Points:
    298
    Patients should get a choice from a varied menu - including meals suitable for religious needs according to the health minister.

    So it might work if you state you can not eat carbohydrates due to them being prohibited by your religious beliefs.

    State your religion as the church of the low carbers or some such.

    Deuteronomy 12:20
    “When the Lord your God enlarges your territory, as he has promised you, and you say, ‘I will eat meat,’ because you crave meat, you may eat meat whenever you desire.”
     
    • Like Like x 4
    • Funny Funny x 2
    #39 JohnEGreen, Nov 21, 2019 at 9:45 AM
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2019
  20. Tophat1900

    Tophat1900 Type 3c · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,410
    Likes Received:
    1,362
    Trophy Points:
    178
    You can't get to the hospital cafeteria?

    I can usually get a hot roast meal there, along with cheese and other low carb options.

    Good luck getting home today.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  • 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