Hello All

Stanly73

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Hello everyone i hope your well its my first time posting on here and i just wondered is there a kind of dummies guide to diabetes because i have just been told i have type 2 they have given me the tablets but not really told me anything else regarding food ect and i am a bit lost and scared at the moment with this so any help would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance

Stan
 

Docb

Moderator
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Hi @Stanly73 and welcome to the forum. Not uncommon for people to be given the pills and then left to fend for themselves I am afraid, but that is where we come in.

A good start is to read around the forum and check out the learning zone, you will find it on the red tab above. Then start asking questions about anything you do not understand, no question is considered too silly because we all started off exactly where you were knowing next to nothing about diabetes. You will be asking questions of a group who will know where you are coming from.

Although a serious condition, diabetes can be successfully managed to the point where it has little or no impact on general health and well being so there is no reason to be scared of it.

A couple of pointers for starters...

In simple terms, it's all about carbohydrate. You eat carbohydrate in food, your gut turns it into glucose, the glucose gets into your blood and if your system cannot process it quickly enough for some reason, the glucose builds up. That's diabetes and something needs to be done to stop the build-up, and get your levels back to the normal range otherwise high glucose levels will begin to do damage to your system. The pills help your system work better but many on here have found that tackling the problem at source by cutting back on carbohydrate consumption to reduce the amount of glucose your system has to deal with is more effective.

Second point. It's good to get a handle on the numbers. Your GP will have diagnosed you on the basis of a HbA1c test result. Do you know what it was? If not, ring your surgery and ask for it. Why I suggest this is that a result of over 48 gets you a diabetes diagnosis but how far it is over 48 tells you how much work you have got to do to get it back down to under 48. I reckon your result will not be in the scary high range that some have had, otherwise your GP would have been a lot more concerned than he seems to have been.

Hope that gets you going.
 

ianf0ster

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Hi Stanly73, and welcome to the forum.

Dummy's guide to T2Diabetes (simple as it gets):
1. It's cause by more carbohydrates in the diet than we can handle. Not just sugar
2. Cut the carbs and you will improve - and probably reduce weight, blood pressure in the process.
 

Anitram

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Hello everyone i hope your well its my first time posting on here and i just wondered is there a kind of dummies guide to diabetes because i have just been told i have type 2 they have given me the tablets but not really told me anything else regarding food ect and i am a bit lost and scared at the moment with this so any help would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance

Stan
Hi, Stan. Welcome to the Forum.

Your story with regards to a lack of help from your surgery is all too familiar. Fortunately you've come to the right place as you are now amongst people who are all managing their diabetes day-by-day. Consequently there is a wealth of knowledge and experience for you to tap into. Any questions, just ask.

Martin
 

Ralph-YK

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Welcome to the forum Stanly from a fellow T2.
There's some links to info that people provide on here. I don't have a copy though. I'm sure @everydayupsanddowns will be around to post them.
 

Stanly73

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Hi @Stanly73 and welcome to the forum. Not uncommon for people to be given the pills and then left to fend for themselves I am afraid, but that is where we come in.

A good start is to read around the forum and check out the learning zone, you will find it on the red tab above. Then start asking questions about anything you do not understand, no question is considered too silly because we all started off exactly where you were knowing next to nothing about diabetes. You will be asking questions of a group who will know where you are coming from.

Although a serious condition, diabetes can be successfully managed to the point where it has little or no impact on general health and well being so there is no reason to be scared of it.

A couple of pointers for starters...

In simple terms, it's all about carbohydrate. You eat carbohydrate in food, your gut turns it into glucose, the glucose gets into your blood and if your system cannot process it quickly enough for some reason, the glucose builds up. That's diabetes and something needs to be done to stop the build-up, and get your levels back to the normal range otherwise high glucose levels will begin to do damage to your system. The pills help your system work better but many on here have found that tackling the problem at source by cutting back on carbohydrate consumption to reduce the amount of glucose your system has to deal with is more effective.

Second point. It's good to get a handle on the numbers. Your GP will have diagnosed you on the basis of a HbA1c test result. Do you know what it was? If not, ring your surgery and ask for it. Why I suggest this is that a result of over 48 gets you a diabetes diagnosis but how far it is over 48 tells you how much work you have got to do to get it back down to under 48. I reckon your result will not be in the scary high range that some have had, otherwise your GP would have been a lot more concerned than he seems to have been.

Hope that gets you going.
Hi @Stanly73 and welcome to the forum. Not uncommon for people to be given the pills and then left to fend for themselves I am afraid, but that is where we come in.

A good start is to read around the forum and check out the learning zone, you will find it on the red tab above. Then start asking questions about anything you do not understand, no question is considered too silly because we all started off exactly where you were knowing next to nothing about diabetes. You will be asking questions of a group who will know where you are coming from.

Although a serious condition, diabetes can be successfully managed to the point where it has little or no impact on general health and well being so there is no reason to be scared of it.

A couple of pointers for starters...

In simple terms, it's all about carbohydrate. You eat carbohydrate in food, your gut turns it into glucose, the glucose gets into your blood and if your system cannot process it quickly enough for some reason, the glucose builds up. That's diabetes and something needs to be done to stop the build-up, and get your levels back to the normal range otherwise high glucose levels will begin to do damage to your system. The pills help your system work better but many on here have found that tackling the problem at source by cutting back on carbohydrate consumption to reduce the amount of glucose your system has to deal with is more effective.

Second point. It's good to get a handle on the numbers. Your GP will have diagnosed you on the basis of a HbA1c test result. Do you know what it was? If not, ring your surgery and ask for it. Why I suggest this is that a result of over 48 gets you a diabetes diagnosis but how far it is over 48 tells you how much work you have got to do to get it back down to under 48. I reckon your result will not be in the scary high range that some have had, otherwise your GP would have been a lot more concerned than he seems to have been.

Hope that gets you going.
Hi there thank you for your reply the blood test came back 100 or so my doctor said over the phone it had jumped up from 50 so not very good but Ive started at a gym today going on a very strict diet just got to learn what i can an cannot eat and thanks for the tip regarding the learning zone i will have a look thanks again everyone also for your replys it really helps.
 

Docb

Moderator
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Hi @Stanly73. A HbA1c of 100 is very high. Not scary high but high enough to say something needs to be done about it a bit sharpish. By the way, my HbA1c went from under 50 to 88 very quickly. Not as high as you and it rang alarm bells in my GP surgery.

Dummies guide.... The HbA1c measurement tells you something about where your actual blood glucose levels have been for the last three months or so. An HbA1c off 100 is roughly equivalent to an average blood glucose of about 15 (I'll not bother with the units) which is way above normal levels. An HbA1c of 48 (the diagnosis level) is roughly equivalent to an average blood glucose of 8. At 100 you might expect to feel a bit rough and be peeing a lot and drinking a lot of water to compensate although some have no symptoms at all.

Do you need to lose a pound or two? If you do not, then you join us slim diabetics and other things can come into play.

Dummies guide.... there is a lot of evidence that being overweight clogs up the system which regulates your blood glucose and getting the weight down unclogs the system and gets your blood glucose down. Losing weight, if you need to, is a very good thing

What pills are you on?

Dummies guide... There are two basic pills. Metformin which is said to help the absorption of glucose. This comes in big white 500mg pills and you can take up to 4 a day. They are well known for upsetting the digestive system in some people. The second pill is gliclazide which is said to stimulate the pancreas to produce more insulin. This carries the risk of your blood glucose going too low and you should be given a test meter to self check to stop that happening.

Have you been booked in with a specialist diabetes nurse for more blood tests and other basic checks?

Dummies guide... Once you have a diagnosis then you should be given a number of checks to make sure there are no signs of adverse effects from the high blood glucose levels. This usually entails a session with a specialist nurse who will check a load of stuff as well as tickling your feet. You should also be booked in for an eye check.

As I said above and echoed by others, the key to eating for somebody with T2 is to reduce carbohydrate intake. Just about everything contains carbohydrate varying from tiny amounts through small amounts to being almost all carbohydrate.
Dummies guide... High carbohydrate foodstuffs are anything made from flour ( bread, cakes, pasta, naan bread), things made from grains (most cereals, rice, oats) and anything with loads of sugar in it (sweets, chocolate, fizzy drinks, some fruit). Things with low carbohydrates are meat, eggs, dairy produce, nuts, seeds, above ground veg.

One way into the diet thing is to write down everything you eat for a couple of days, weighing out stuff if you have to, and get a handle on how much carbohydrate you are eating now. Maybe you can look back over the last few days. When you have got that you can start to look at what you can change to get you carb intake down. This usually means cutting some things out completely and reducing portion sizes of others.

Dummies guide.... Any food in a packet will have a nutritional label somewhere on it - usually on the back - and that will tell you the carbohydrate content. It is the only thing on the packet worth taking any notice of. You use that info to work out your carb intake. For other stuff (like veg) you can look the carb content up in books and tables on the web. They are usually given as how many grams of carbohydrate there is in 100g of the item. You need your portion size to estimate how much you have eaten. It is not an exact science but you can get it close enough.


The next obvious question is how many carbs. No rules, it's what suits you. Many, including me, target around 100g/day. Others go a lot less, others more. You have to sort out what works for you.

As encouragement, I got my 80 odd HbA1c down to 40 in a few months with a combination of pills and low carb diet with the number of pills reducing as time went on. Lots of other forum members have seen the same.

Hope that helps.
 

rebrascora

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Hi and welcome from me too.

Unfortunately an HbA1c of 100 is into the red zone and not good at all but we have members who have reduced their levels from that high and even higher within a few months, down almost to normal levels.

It is not a good idea to do exertive exercise when your levels are that high so it would be safest to substitute a trip to the gym with a steady walk for the time being.

There are 3 main food groups that we get energy from.... Carbohydrates, Protein and Fat. Carbohydrates normally make up the largest portion of our diet..... ie bread, pasta, rice, potatoes in all their forms, breakfast cereals etc. Your body like the rest of us here on the forum, is now struggling to cope with carbs so you need to cut back on those and since your levels are so high, you should do this slowly and steadily because sudden reduction can not only make you feel unwell, it can also damage your nerves and fine blood vessels. This can particularly affect your sight, so slow and steady is the best option.

Start by keeping an honest food diary of everything you eat and drink. If you can afford it, self funding a BG meter (approx. £15 for a test kit and £8 per pot of 50 test strips for it) will really help you to see what food is doing to your levels and help you figure our which foods to cut down on or avoid and which you can keep as an occasional treat and in what portion size.
Try to ignore most of what you have learned over the years about healthy eating because a lot of it may no longer be relevant.... for instance fruit in all it's forms (fresh frozen, juiced and dried) is high in carbs and needs to be rationed.... that includes smoothies made with fruit. Fat may well become your friend as it will help to provide you with the energy you are no longer getting from carbs and will keep you feeling full for longer. Avoid low fat products as they are usually higher in carbs and go for whole milk and natural yoghurt and cream and butter and cheese and oily fish and olive oil and nuts and avocado and eggs, full fat mayonnaise and creamy coleslaw etc. If you like a tipple, beer and cider are best avoided as they are quite high carb but the odd glass of red or dry white wine or a shot of spirits with or without a low calorie mixer will not affect your BG levels. I am not encouraging you to drink alcohol by any means but as diabetics we have to give up quite a lot of enjoyable foods so I think it is reasonable to know which treats can be indulged occasionally without causing too much disruption to our levels.

The first thing to cut out of your diet is the obvious sweet stuff like cakes and biscuits and crisps and sweets and of course added sugar. If you just do that for a week or two and then start to reduce your starchy carbs and maybe reduce portion size by 25% for another 2 weeks, so 3 pieces of potato instead of 4. 1.5 Yorkshire puddings instead of 2. 1.5 slices of bread instead of 2.... that sort of thing for another 2 weeks and then reduce it again......
...... or alternatively....
choose one meal and reduce the carbs in that meal by half.... so if you have breakfast, have half as much breakfast cereal (one Weetabix instead of 2) 1 slice of toast instead of 2 or half your normal amount of cereal. You can bulk the meal out with other low carb foods like eggs and natural Greek yoghurt and seeds and salad with coleslaw and veggies.
Once you have modified one meal, start on reducing the carbs in another meal in a similar way. As I said you want to bring your levels down slowly and steadily so some of these foods may eventually get ditched completely from your diet but halving their portion size initially will allow your system to slowly adjust to lower Blood Glucose (BG) levels.

If you get a BG meter then testing before each meal and 2 hours afterwards will enable you to see the effect that food had on your system and it will also enable you to see your overall levels coming down, which can be really motivating.

It is recommended not to do exertive exercise when your BG is mid teens or above, so again, a BG meter will show you when it is safe to go to the gym. A brisk walk is actually better at lowering your BG than a gym session anyway.
 

Stanly73

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Hi @Stanly73. A HbA1c of 100 is very high. Not scary high but high enough to say something needs to be done about it a bit sharpish. By the way, my HbA1c went from under 50 to 88 very quickly. Not as high as you and it rang alarm bells in my GP surgery.

Dummies guide.... The HbA1c measurement tells you something about where your actual blood glucose levels have been for the last three months or so. An HbA1c off 100 is roughly equivalent to an average blood glucose of about 15 (I'll not bother with the units) which is way above normal levels. An HbA1c of 48 (the diagnosis level) is roughly equivalent to an average blood glucose of 8. At 100 you might expect to feel a bit rough and be peeing a lot and drinking a lot of water to compensate although some have no symptoms at all.

Do you need to lose a pound or two? If you do not, then you join us slim diabetics and other things can come into play.

Dummies guide.... there is a lot of evidence that being overweight clogs up the system which regulates your blood glucose and getting the weight down unclogs the system and gets your blood glucose down. Losing weight, if you need to, is a very good thing

What pills are you on?

Dummies guide... There are two basic pills. Metformin which is said to help the absorption of glucose. This comes in big white 500mg pills and you can take up to 4 a day. They are well known for upsetting the digestive system in some people. The second pill is gliclazide which is said to stimulate the pancreas to produce more insulin. This carries the risk of your blood glucose going too low and you should be given a test meter to self check to stop that happening.

Have you been booked in with a specialist diabetes nurse for more blood tests and other basic checks?

Dummies guide... Once you have a diagnosis then you should be given a number of checks to make sure there are no signs of adverse effects from the high blood glucose levels. This usually entails a session with a specialist nurse who will check a load of stuff as well as tickling your feet. You should also be booked in for an eye check.

As I said above and echoed by others, the key to eating for somebody with T2 is to reduce carbohydrate intake. Just about everything contains carbohydrate varying from tiny amounts through small amounts to being almost all carbohydrate.
Dummies guide... High carbohydrate foodstuffs are anything made from flour ( bread, cakes, pasta, naan bread), things made from grains (most cereals, rice, oats) and anything with loads of sugar in it (sweets, chocolate, fizzy drinks, some fruit). Things with low carbohydrates are meat, eggs, dairy produce, nuts, seeds, above ground veg.

One way into the diet thing is to write down everything you eat for a couple of days, weighing out stuff if you have to, and get a handle on how much carbohydrate you are eating now. Maybe you can look back over the last few days. When you have got that you can start to look at what you can change to get you carb intake down. This usually means cutting some things out completely and reducing portion sizes of others.

Dummies guide.... Any food in a packet will have a nutritional label somewhere on it - usually on the back - and that will tell you the carbohydrate content. It is the only thing on the packet worth taking any notice of. You use that info to work out your carb intake. For other stuff (like veg) you can look the carb content up in books and tables on the web. They are usually given as how many grams of carbohydrate there is in 100g of the item. You need your portion size to estimate how much you have eaten. It is not an exact science but you can get it close enough.

The next obvious question is how many carbs. No rules, it's what suits you. Many, including me, target around 100g/day. Others go a lot less, others more. You have to sort out what works for you.

As encouragement, I got my 80 odd HbA1c down to 40 in a few months with a combination of pills and low carb diet with the number of pills reducing as time went on. Lots of other forum members have seen the same.

Hope that helps.
 

Stanly73

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Hi @Stanly73. A HbA1c of 100 is very high. Not scary high but high enough to say something needs to be done about it a bit sharpish. By the way, my HbA1c went from under 50 to 88 very quickly. Not as high as you and it rang alarm bells in my GP surgery.

Dummies guide.... The HbA1c measurement tells you something about where your actual blood glucose levels have been for the last three months or so. An HbA1c off 100 is roughly equivalent to an average blood glucose of about 15 (I'll not bother with the units) which is way above normal levels. An HbA1c of 48 (the diagnosis level) is roughly equivalent to an average blood glucose of 8. At 100 you might expect to feel a bit rough and be peeing a lot and drinking a lot of water to compensate although some have no symptoms at all.

Do you need to lose a pound or two? If you do not, then you join us slim diabetics and other things can come into play.

Dummies guide.... there is a lot of evidence that being overweight clogs up the system which regulates your blood glucose and getting the weight down unclogs the system and gets your blood glucose down. Losing weight, if you need to, is a very good thing

What pills are you on?

Dummies guide... There are two basic pills. Metformin which is said to help the absorption of glucose. This comes in big white 500mg pills and you can take up to 4 a day. They are well known for upsetting the digestive system in some people. The second pill is gliclazide which is said to stimulate the pancreas to produce more insulin. This carries the risk of your blood glucose going too low and you should be given a test meter to self check to stop that happening.

Have you been booked in with a specialist diabetes nurse for more blood tests and other basic checks?

Dummies guide... Once you have a diagnosis then you should be given a number of checks to make sure there are no signs of adverse effects from the high blood glucose levels. This usually entails a session with a specialist nurse who will check a load of stuff as well as tickling your feet. You should also be booked in for an eye check.

As I said above and echoed by others, the key to eating for somebody with T2 is to reduce carbohydrate intake. Just about everything contains carbohydrate varying from tiny amounts through small amounts to being almost all carbohydrate.
Dummies guide... High carbohydrate foodstuffs are anything made from flour ( bread, cakes, pasta, naan bread), things made from grains (most cereals, rice, oats) and anything with loads of sugar in it (sweets, chocolate, fizzy drinks, some fruit). Things with low carbohydrates are meat, eggs, dairy produce, nuts, seeds, above ground veg.

One way into the diet thing is to write down everything you eat for a couple of days, weighing out stuff if you have to, and get a handle on how much carbohydrate you are eating now. Maybe you can look back over the last few days. When you have got that you can start to look at what you can change to get you carb intake down. This usually means cutting some things out completely and reducing portion sizes of others.

Dummies guide.... Any food in a packet will have a nutritional label somewhere on it - usually on the back - and that will tell you the carbohydrate content. It is the only thing on the packet worth taking any notice of. You use that info to work out your carb intake. For other stuff (like veg) you can look the carb content up in books and tables on the web. They are usually given as how many grams of carbohydrate there is in 100g of the item. You need your portion size to estimate how much you have eaten. It is not an exact science but you can get it close enough.

The next obvious question is how many carbs. No rules, it's what suits you. Many, including me, target around 100g/day. Others go a lot less, others more. You have to sort out what works for you.

As encouragement, I got my 80 odd HbA1c down to 40 in a few months with a combination of pills and low carb diet with the number of pills reducing as time went on. Lots of other forum members have seen the same.

Hope that helps.
Thanks again yes i need to lose a lot of weight and i am at the gym to do this i am on the 500mg metformin i have only been taking them for 6 days so i am not up to the full amount yet if i right in thinking my doctor did tell me over the phone but to be honest i was in a bit of shock and forgot what he said because of this but its one tablet per day for two weeks then two for a week then the full amount of three but i am on no other tablets. With regards to check up i have just been told i need to have another blood test in 3 months time and nothing else but i have signed up for the prevention service run by the NHS so i hope they will be in contact soon and my diet i did lose a lot of weight a few years ago sadly but i just will eat turkey almost every day with salad at work and steamed veg at night and it worked a treat last time so hopefully it will again.
And again thanks for your help its really been so helpful
 

Stanly73

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Hi and welcome from me too.

Unfortunately an HbA1c of 100 is into the red zone and not good at all but we have members who have reduced their levels from that high and even higher within a few months, down almost to normal levels.

It is not a good idea to do exertive exercise when your levels are that high so it would be safest to substitute a trip to the gym with a steady walk for the time being.

There are 3 main food groups that we get energy from.... Carbohydrates, Protein and Fat. Carbohydrates normally make up the largest portion of our diet..... ie bread, pasta, rice, potatoes in all their forms, breakfast cereals etc. Your body like the rest of us here on the forum, is now struggling to cope with carbs so you need to cut back on those and since your levels are so high, you should do this slowly and steadily because sudden reduction can not only make you feel unwell, it can also damage your nerves and fine blood vessels. This can particularly affect your sight, so slow and steady is the best option.

Start by keeping an honest food diary of everything you eat and drink. If you can afford it, self funding a BG meter (approx. £15 for a test kit and £8 per pot of 50 test strips for it) will really help you to see what food is doing to your levels and help you figure our which foods to cut down on or avoid and which you can keep as an occasional treat and in what portion size.
Try to ignore most of what you have learned over the years about healthy eating because a lot of it may no longer be relevant.... for instance fruit in all it's forms (fresh frozen, juiced and dried) is high in carbs and needs to be rationed.... that includes smoothies made with fruit. Fat may well become your friend as it will help to provide you with the energy you are no longer getting from carbs and will keep you feeling full for longer. Avoid low fat products as they are usually higher in carbs and go for whole milk and natural yoghurt and cream and butter and cheese and oily fish and olive oil and nuts and avocado and eggs, full fat mayonnaise and creamy coleslaw etc. If you like a tipple, beer and cider are best avoided as they are quite high carb but the odd glass of red or dry white wine or a shot of spirits with or without a low calorie mixer will not affect your BG levels. I am not encouraging you to drink alcohol by any means but as diabetics we have to give up quite a lot of enjoyable foods so I think it is reasonable to know which treats can be indulged occasionally without causing too much disruption to our levels.

The first thing to cut out of your diet is the obvious sweet stuff like cakes and biscuits and crisps and sweets and of course added sugar. If you just do that for a week or two and then start to reduce your starchy carbs and maybe reduce portion size by 25% for another 2 weeks, so 3 pieces of potato instead of 4. 1.5 Yorkshire puddings instead of 2. 1.5 slices of bread instead of 2.... that sort of thing for another 2 weeks and then reduce it again......
...... or alternatively....
choose one meal and reduce the carbs in that meal by half.... so if you have breakfast, have half as much breakfast cereal (one Weetabix instead of 2) 1 slice of toast instead of 2 or half your normal amount of cereal. You can bulk the meal out with other low carb foods like eggs and natural Greek yoghurt and seeds and salad with coleslaw and veggies.
Once you have modified one meal, start on reducing the carbs in another meal in a similar way. As I said you want to bring your levels down slowly and steadily so some of these foods may eventually get ditched completely from your diet but halving their portion size initially will allow your system to slowly adjust to lower Blood Glucose (BG) levels.

If you get a BG meter then testing before each meal and 2 hours afterwards will enable you to see the effect that food had on your system and it will also enable you to see your overall levels coming down, which can be really motivating.

It is recommended not to do exertive exercise when your BG is mid teens or above, so again, a BG meter will show you when it is safe to go to the gym. A brisk walk is actually better at lowering your BG than a gym session anyway.
Thank you
Hi and welcome from me too.

Unfortunately an HbA1c of 100 is into the red zone and not good at all but we have members who have reduced their levels from that high and even higher within a few months, down almost to normal levels.

It is not a good idea to do exertive exercise when your levels are that high so it would be safest to substitute a trip to the gym with a steady walk for the time being.

There are 3 main food groups that we get energy from.... Carbohydrates, Protein and Fat. Carbohydrates normally make up the largest portion of our diet..... ie bread, pasta, rice, potatoes in all their forms, breakfast cereals etc. Your body like the rest of us here on the forum, is now struggling to cope with carbs so you need to cut back on those and since your levels are so high, you should do this slowly and steadily because sudden reduction can not only make you feel unwell, it can also damage your nerves and fine blood vessels. This can particularly affect your sight, so slow and steady is the best option.

Start by keeping an honest food diary of everything you eat and drink. If you can afford it, self funding a BG meter (approx. £15 for a test kit and £8 per pot of 50 test strips for it) will really help you to see what food is doing to your levels and help you figure our which foods to cut down on or avoid and which you can keep as an occasional treat and in what portion size.
Try to ignore most of what you have learned over the years about healthy eating because a lot of it may no longer be relevant.... for instance fruit in all it's forms (fresh frozen, juiced and dried) is high in carbs and needs to be rationed.... that includes smoothies made with fruit. Fat may well become your friend as it will help to provide you with the energy you are no longer getting from carbs and will keep you feeling full for longer. Avoid low fat products as they are usually higher in carbs and go for whole milk and natural yoghurt and cream and butter and cheese and oily fish and olive oil and nuts and avocado and eggs, full fat mayonnaise and creamy coleslaw etc. If you like a tipple, beer and cider are best avoided as they are quite high carb but the odd glass of red or dry white wine or a shot of spirits with or without a low calorie mixer will not affect your BG levels. I am not encouraging you to drink alcohol by any means but as diabetics we have to give up quite a lot of enjoyable foods so I think it is reasonable to know which treats can be indulged occasionally without causing too much disruption to our levels.

The first thing to cut out of your diet is the obvious sweet stuff like cakes and biscuits and crisps and sweets and of course added sugar. If you just do that for a week or two and then start to reduce your starchy carbs and maybe reduce portion size by 25% for another 2 weeks, so 3 pieces of potato instead of 4. 1.5 Yorkshire puddings instead of 2. 1.5 slices of bread instead of 2.... that sort of thing for another 2 weeks and then reduce it again......
...... or alternatively....
choose one meal and reduce the carbs in that meal by half.... so if you have breakfast, have half as much breakfast cereal (one Weetabix instead of 2) 1 slice of toast instead of 2 or half your normal amount of cereal. You can bulk the meal out with other low carb foods like eggs and natural Greek yoghurt and seeds and salad with coleslaw and veggies.
Once you have modified one meal, start on reducing the carbs in another meal in a similar way. As I said you want to bring your levels down slowly and steadily so some of these foods may eventually get ditched completely from your diet but halving their portion size initially will allow your system to slowly adjust to lower Blood Glucose (BG) levels.

If you get a BG meter then testing before each meal and 2 hours afterwards will enable you to see the effect that food had on your system and it will also enable you to see your overall levels coming down, which can be really motivating.

It is recommended not to do exertive exercise when your BG is mid teens or above, so again, a BG meter will show you when it is safe to go to the gym. A brisk walk is actually better at lowering your BG than a gym session anyway.
Thank you for your advice i have bought testing kit and i will do that and thanks again for what you say about the gym i will do that and what i did learn from the instructor today is that doing the weights can remove the sugar that is in the muscles so that was good to know and i have to say i know i have a long way to go and i will get there but with the help you all have gave i feel like i am not alone now so thanks.
 

grovesy

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Hi @Stanly73. A HbA1c of 100 is very high. Not scary high but high enough to say something needs to be done about it a bit sharpish. By the way, my HbA1c went from under 50 to 88 very quickly. Not as high as you and it rang alarm bells in my GP surgery.

Dummies guide.... The HbA1c measurement tells you something about where your actual blood glucose levels have been for the last three months or so. An HbA1c off 100 is roughly equivalent to an average blood glucose of about 15 (I'll not bother with the units) which is way above normal levels. An HbA1c of 48 (the diagnosis level) is roughly equivalent to an average blood glucose of 8. At 100 you might expect to feel a bit rough and be peeing a lot and drinking a lot of water to compensate although some have no symptoms at all.

Do you need to lose a pound or two? If you do not, then you join us slim diabetics and other things can come into play.

Dummies guide.... there is a lot of evidence that being overweight clogs up the system which regulates your blood glucose and getting the weight down unclogs the system and gets your blood glucose down. Losing weight, if you need to, is a very good thing

What pills are you on?

Dummies guide... There are two basic pills. Metformin which is said to help the absorption of glucose. This comes in big white 500mg pills and you can take up to 4 a day. They are well known for upsetting the digestive system in some people. The second pill is gliclazide which is said to stimulate the pancreas to produce more insulin. This carries the risk of your blood glucose going too low and you should be given a test meter to self check to stop that happening.

Have you been booked in with a specialist diabetes nurse for more blood tests and other basic checks?

Dummies guide... Once you have a diagnosis then you should be given a number of checks to make sure there are no signs of adverse effects from the high blood glucose levels. This usually entails a session with a specialist nurse who will check a load of stuff as well as tickling your feet. You should also be booked in for an eye check.

As I said above and echoed by others, the key to eating for somebody with T2 is to reduce carbohydrate intake. Just about everything contains carbohydrate varying from tiny amounts through small amounts to being almost all carbohydrate.
Dummies guide... High carbohydrate foodstuffs are anything made from flour ( bread, cakes, pasta, naan bread), things made from grains (most cereals, rice, oats) and anything with loads of sugar in it (sweets, chocolate, fizzy drinks, some fruit). Things with low carbohydrates are meat, eggs, dairy produce, nuts, seeds, above ground veg.

One way into the diet thing is to write down everything you eat for a couple of days, weighing out stuff if you have to, and get a handle on how much carbohydrate you are eating now. Maybe you can look back over the last few days. When you have got that you can start to look at what you can change to get you carb intake down. This usually means cutting some things out completely and reducing portion sizes of others.

Dummies guide.... Any food in a packet will have a nutritional label somewhere on it - usually on the back - and that will tell you the carbohydrate content. It is the only thing on the packet worth taking any notice of. You use that info to work out your carb intake. For other stuff (like veg) you can look the carb content up in books and tables on the web. They are usually given as how many grams of carbohydrate there is in 100g of the item. You need your portion size to estimate how much you have eaten. It is not an exact science but you can get it close enough.

The next obvious question is how many carbs. No rules, it's what suits you. Many, including me, target around 100g/day. Others go a lot less, others more. You have to sort out what works for you.

As encouragement, I got my 80 odd HbA1c down to 40 in a few months with a combination of pills and low carb diet with the number of pills reducing as time went on. Lots of other forum members have seen the same.

Hope that helps.
There are more than 2 differnt types of pills for Diabetes.
 

Docb

Moderator
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Appreciate that @grovesy, just starting with the obvious.

@Stanly73, getting the weight off is a good plan. Some say it does not matter how you do it, succeed and your blood glucose will come down.

The testing kit is also a good idea. With it you can get fast feed back about what is working. Have you tried it and if so what results are you getting?
 

everydayupsanddowns

Administrator
Staff member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Welcome to the forum @Stanly73

You’ve had some helpful and informative posts so far, but if you are after a bit more of an ‘overview’ two popular resources with new arrivals on the forum over the years have been Maggie Davey’s Letter to the newly diagnosed and for even more detail, Gretchen Becker’s book T2 diabetes the first year, as very helpful starting points.

The ‘useful links’ thread is a mine of helpful information too - useful-links-for-people-new-to-diabetes

When it comes to an overhaul of diabetes management, one of the biggest questions is often ‘what can I eat’ and while there are obvious things like cakes, biscuits, sweets and sugary drinks that you will be wanting to cut out straight away, you might be surprised how much *all* carbohydrate affects your BG levels, including rice, pasta, bread, pastry, grains, cereals and many fruits.

Different people respond to different foods differently(!) so ther isn’t a failsafe one-size-fits-all approach, and people have different tastes, and hopes and aspirations for their diabetes management vs ease of fitting in their new approach and still having what they consider a varied and enjoyable diet. You have to work out the balance yourself.

And checking how your individual body responds to foods takes a lot of the guesswork out of things. Checking before and again 2hrs after eating to see the response.

If you are interested in this approach you may find test-review-adjust by Alan S a helpful framework.

If you need to self fund your BG meter (quite likely as many surgeries refuse meters on cost grounds), the most affordable meters members here have found are the SD Gluco Navii or the Spirit Tee2which both have test strips at around £8 for 50

Good luck and let us know how you get on!
 

Stanly73

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Welcome to the forum @Stanly73

You’ve had some helpful and informative posts so far, but if you are after a bit more of an ‘overview’ two popular resources with new arrivals on the forum over the years have been Maggie Davey’s Letter to the newly diagnosed and for even more detail, Gretchen Becker’s book T2 diabetes the first year, as very helpful starting points.

The ‘useful links’ thread is a mine of helpful information too - useful-links-for-people-new-to-diabetes

When it comes to an overhaul of diabetes management, one of the biggest questions is often ‘what can I eat’ and while there are obvious things like cakes, biscuits, sweets and sugary drinks that you will be wanting to cut out straight away, you might be surprised how much *all* carbohydrate affects your BG levels, including rice, pasta, bread, pastry, grains, cereals and many fruits.

Different people respond to different foods differently(!) so ther isn’t a failsafe one-size-fits-all approach, and people have different tastes, and hopes and aspirations for their diabetes management vs ease of fitting in their new approach and still having what they consider a varied and enjoyable diet. You have to work out the balance yourself.

And checking how your individual body responds to foods takes a lot of the guesswork out of things. Checking before and again 2hrs after eating to see the response.

If you are interested in this approach you may find test-review-adjust by Alan S a helpful framework.

If you need to self fund your BG meter (quite likely as many surgeries refuse meters on cost grounds), the most affordable meters members here have found are the SD Gluco Navii or the Spirit Tee2which both have test strips at around £8 for 50

Good luck and let us know how you get on!
Thank you
 

ColinUK

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
@Stanly73 welcome to the forum. Above all else don’t panic. There is a wealth of info and experience on this forum and it’s all much needed I think. My own GP was useless when I was diagnosed.

You mentioned you’re on a diet as you’ve a lot to lose. What diet are you following?
 

Drummer

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Going to the gym and losing weight will help with your fitness, but losing stored fat and controlling blood glucose is all about not eating the carbohydrate in the first place.
The big reveal though is that eating protein and fat is fine, it is all those so called healthy foods which are the problem. Bacon and eggs for breakfast is fine, just don't add in the beans or other starchy foods.
 
Last edited:

SB2015

Forum Host
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Welcome to the forum @Stanly73 I am glad that you have found us.

You have already been given a lot of useful information and plenty of ‘homework’ to do.
I will just encourage you to come back with any questions that you have.
Nothing is considered silly on here. just ask.
 

Stanly73

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
@Stanly73 welcome to the forum. Above all else don’t panic. There is a wealth of info and experience on this forum and it’s all much needed I think. My own GP was useless when I was diagnosed.

You mentioned you’re on a diet as you’ve a lot to lose. What diet are you following?
Sorry for late reply Colin i am not following any diet well my own really but when i lost a lot of weight many years ago i just more or less had the same meals everyday and i have started doing that again that being 2 oatibix with milk but i have now started using almond milk and i just now have a very small sprinkle of sucralose sweetener, for lunch i have a turkey steak salad box with tomatoes and cucumber and for lunch i have turkey steak with steamed broccoli and cauliflower or sometimes i replace the veg with lentils or beans im hoping they are OK but i really need to learn what veg are good for me and have a banana and ryvita for a little snack in between. Like i said it worked before and i know its different now because of the diabetes with what i cant and can have and its boring but it worked before so i cant see it not this time.
 

Stanly73

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Welcome to the forum @Stanly73 I am glad that you have found us.

You have already been given a lot of useful information and plenty of ‘homework’ to do.
I will just encourage you to come back with any questions that you have.
Nothing is considered silly on here. just ask.
Thank you it really helps
 
Top