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HBa1c levels up during lockdown

pinkjude

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
I was diagnosed in 2018 with type 2 and my level was 54. I got it down to 42 in 12 months. When I went in November 2020 it was back to 54 . I dont take any medication but my nurse said I may have to if I can't get it under 58.
My breakfast is shredded wheat with flax seeds sprinkled over or poached egg on one slice of wholegrain bread, lunch is usually a salad with leaves/ grated carrots/cucumber/ tomatoes/peppers/ olives and then either prawns, egg, tuna, avocado, hummus. My evening meal can be panfried sea bass with salad, curry with brown rice, omelette and salad, fish cooked in a foil parcel with veg, soup such as leek and potato/ carrot and coriander/ mixed veg/ spicy chickpea. Everything is made from scratch.
My nurse said the potato in the soup was fine but swap white potatoes for sweet pots when roasting or baking. I have cut out pasta and make courgetti instead.
Desserts is fruit. I eat no cakes, sweets etc at all.
Has anyone got any ideas as to why my levels may have gone up and any help with food swaps/ recipes greatly appreciated. I don't eat any red meat but do eat fish and chicken. Thankyou
 

Fagor

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
HBA1C changes might be caused by the lockdown and associated issues, though you may not be aware of them, or has your activity altered during lockdown? That's all I can think of.

Think your meals look pretty healthy, even without quantities. Nothing stands out to me as being very carb dense. I think most of the carbs come from shredded wheat, bread, hummus, rice & fruit so may be worth watching quantities, possibly do some carb calculations for them. There may be more carbs in roasted/baked spuds but don't know how significant the difference. But if tastier, might eat more of them? I don't eat sweet pots so no advice there. Carbs in soup are probably fairly low in relation to the other foods in a meal, but if main part of meal may be more significant.

Sorry I can't help further, but hope it makes you feel better about your meals.
 

pinkjude

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Thankyou. I was actually exercising more as I was doing 30 minutes fat burning aerobics followed by 25 minutes toning with weights day 2 which is why I was disappointed. Nurse said everyone she had seen had increased blood glucose and she put it down to stress. I will def check out carbs
 

ColinUK

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
I’m also thinking stress may well be a significant factor.
I’ve seen my own readings nudge higher over the last month to six weeks or so and I’ve put a few pounds on too. Annoyingly I’ve tightened my carb intake and this has still happened.
 

Fagor

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Even before Covid, I often had periods when BS increased for no obvious reason (I wondered if insulin didn't seem to be so effective, or injection sites were less receptive, in cold weather). Increased units and usually came down eventually. I increased LA twice in Dec and just reduced it today.
 

pinkjude

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
I’m also thinking stress may well be a significant factor.
I’ve seen my own readings nudge higher over the last month to six weeks or so and I’ve put a few pounds on too. Annoyingly I’ve tightened my carb intake and this has still happened.
Well a neighbour died of covid back in March, then so did an old school friend, my mum in law died November and we couldn't travel to the funeral and my sis in law has cancer so that will have added to my stress levels I am sure.
 

Drummer

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
My Hba1c seems to be glued to 42, but weetabix, bread, rice, potato and legumes don't feature on my menu. I do have fruit, but I chose low carb berries.
 

pinkjude

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
My Hba1c seems to be glued to 42, but weetabix, bread, rice, potato and legumes don't feature on my menu. I do have fruit, but I chose low carb berries.
My diabetic nurse said shredded wheat is fine ( I dont eat weetabix) also a good quality wholegrain bread in moderation is fine. I don't even have a slice a day sometimes. I do occasionally eat brown rice and again she said that's fine and she recommends pulses as do a lot of diabetic recipes as they are an excellent source of protein. I suppose we are all different though
 

trophywench

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Yes pulses do contain protein it's true but there again so do meat fish and eggs, but the eat fish and eggs don't contain carbs and as the carbs are the only thing we all need to minimise as it's only them any of our bodies have any intolerance to I try to avoid them. Same thing with 'brown' rice, bread, pasta - my innards couldn't give a stuff what colour the carbs happen to be - it converts em all to glucose - might do that a teensy bit slower and that's all!

The only way to discover what effect X amount of any carb does to our blood glucose is to test blood before eating it and again 90 -120 minutes after the first mouthful - and if the BG has increased by more than 2.8, then we need to reduce the amount.
 

pinkjude

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
I dont eat meat and I follow my diabetic nurses advice to an extent. I have many type 2 friends who follow the same type of diet. I only eat rice maybe once a month and never eat pasta. Actually advice from diabetes UK is that diabetics should eat pulses and they don't give a sharp rise in blood glucose levels as they have a low GI.
 

Drummer

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
My diabetic nurse said shredded wheat is fine ( I dont eat weetabix) also a good quality wholegrain bread in moderation is fine. I don't even have a slice a day sometimes. I do occasionally eat brown rice and again she said that's fine and she recommends pulses as do a lot of diabetic recipes as they are an excellent source of protein. I suppose we are all different though
Unfortunately high carb foods are exactly what we cannot cope with - and there are a fair few people who can tell you how they followed poor advice from their nurse or doctor and in a year or so were having significant problems. On ditching the high carb foods they saw an abrupt alteration in their condition - and their meters backed them up on the reason for it.
Personally I went low carb from the moment of diagnosis and was back in normal numbers on the meter as soon as I started testing, no longer diabetic in 80 days, low carb is that effective for many people.
 

ColinUK

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
One of the first things we tend to learn is that the dietary advice given by well meaning diabetes nurses is often woefully inaccurate and outmoded.
They try their best but they often get it completely wrong regarding carbs.
 

everydayupsanddowns

Administrator
Staff member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Well done on eating meals made from scratch @pinkjude - not eating highly processed foods will really help.

I think your nurse (and DUK) is giving general advice, that might be OK (or acceptable) for lots of people - but diabetes is infuriatingly individual, and one of the things we all discover is how lots of foods that are billed as ‘slow release’ and good choices are pretty much like rocket fuel for us as individuals.

At an HbA1c of 54 you are at the lower end of the diabetes spectrum, and I think the advice you are being given may well be appropriate to get someone from 130 down to 54... but it seems like your metabolism is still struggling with the foods you are eating if you want to get below 54.

The tricky thing is that without checking before and again 2hrs after eating it can be very difficult to know exactly which components in your menu are causing the higher levels. A1c is a great ‘broad brush’ way of monitoring, but it’s pretty hopeless with specifics. Is it the shredded wheat? the potatoes? the wrap? or even the pulses? I don’t know. It might be some or all of those... But without a BG meter to check them individually all you can do is reduce all of them and see what happens next time you get your A1c checked.

Alternatively you could use a test-review-adjust approach to measure how specific meals and foods are behaving.

Your GP may be reluctant to offer you a meter unless you are on meds that can cause hypos (especially if watching their prescribing budgets). For self-funding, the most affordable meters members here have found are the SD Gluco Navii or the Spirit Tee2 - which both have test strips at around £8 for 50

Let us know how you get on, and best of luck for your next A1c.
 

MrsAA

Well-Known Member
Unfortunately high carb foods are exactly what we cannot cope with - and there are a fair few people who can tell you how they followed poor advice from their nurse or doctor and in a year or so were having significant problems. On ditching the high carb foods they saw an abrupt alteration in their condition - and their meters backed them up on the reason for it.
Personally I went low carb from the moment of diagnosis and was back in normal numbers on the meter as soon as I started testing, no longer diabetic in 80 days, low carb is that effective for many people.
How many grams of carbs do you have?
 

Drummer

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
I stick to under 40 gm of carbs per day these days, as I have always been unable to cope with carbs.
It is an entirely personal number though - it really helps to see after meal levels for yourself. When I ate two Christmas dinners with my family and saw that the adjustments I made resulted in under 7mmol/l both days, I knew I had diabetes beaten.
Other people can cope with more carbs and see lower Hba1c - for some reason my blood glucose levels ought to result in lower Hba1c numbers, but I do not see then - my Hba1c is seemingly glued to the number 42.
 
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