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New and confused!

WayneMR

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Hi all. So, the doctor hit me with this bombshell about a week ago, and it spun me out a lot, I guess everyone can relate to that. I did some research online (yes, I know, relying on "Dr" Google isnt a good idea!), but there are loads of qualified doctors out there with there own advice about diabetes, especially diet. I took my prescription to the pharmacy, and asked the pharmacist for advice, and he pointed me to this site. So, I just signed up, and headed to the food advice section....and got a shock... a lot of foods I was told to avoid (a lot of fruits, pasta, potatoes, oats etc) are actually in the recipes/meals that this site says are good to eat??? Am I just going too hard at it by trying to avoid most carbs and sugars?
 

Drummer

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
The forum is a separate entity - and any recipe advising that you eat any amount of carbohydrate needs to be approached with caution - and an ability to test your blood glucose.
I am particularly sensitive to carbs and stay at under 40 gm of carbs a day to stay in normal numbers and unmedicated, others can eat more - some can eat beans and peas and see a rise which matches their listed carb values - I see more, so I only have a half portion.
 

Windy

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Hi @WayneMR I'm also a recently diagnosed type 2. Since diagnosis, I've cut out bread, potatoes etc as I'm trying to eat a relatively low carbohydrate diet.

I was recommended on this site to buy a blood sugar monitor so that I could find out what the effect of different foods have on my levels. I'm aiming to keep my levels under control and bring down my HbA1c (which is a test the doctors will have run on you that gives an idea of your glucose levels for the last 3 months). Mine was 80mmol/mol at diagnosis, and it's under 48 for non-diabetic people. I'm hoping to get the HbA1c down, along with my weight (which is far too high).

You'd struggle to have a diet that had no carbs in, maybe if you only ate meat, nuts and cheese (which would be very dreary), and there's carbs lots of other foods to some extent. I bought Carbs and Cals to look up values in, so I could steer myself to lower carb food.

There's lots of conflicting information out there, for me, I'm trying to eat to keep my blood glucose levels steady, as having lots of spikes isn't very good for you longer term.

Do you know what your HbA1c is? Are you on metformin or something else?

I'm sure people will pitch in with suggestions and helpful ideas. I've felt very supported when I've asked questions, as it all seemed very daunting at first.
Cheers, Sarah
 

WayneMR

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Hi, thanks
Hi @WayneMR I'm also a recently diagnosed type 2. Since diagnosis, I've cut out bread, potatoes etc as I'm trying to eat a relatively low carbohydrate diet.

I was recommended on this site to buy a blood sugar monitor so that I could find out what the effect of different foods have on my levels. I'm aiming to keep my levels under control and bring down my HbA1c (which is a test the doctors will have run on you that gives an idea of your glucose levels for the last 3 months). Mine was 80mmol/mol at diagnosis, and it's under 48 for non-diabetic people. I'm hoping to get the HbA1c down, along with my weight (which is far too high).

You'd struggle to have a diet that had no carbs in, maybe if you only ate meat, nuts and cheese (which would be very dreary), and there's carbs lots of other foods to some extent. I bought Carbs and Cals to look up values in, so I could steer myself to lower carb food.

There's lots of conflicting information out there, for me, I'm trying to eat to keep my blood glucose levels steady, as having lots of spikes isn't very good for you longer term.

Do you know what your HbA1c is? Are you on metformin or something else?

I'm sure people will pitch in with suggestions and helpful ideas. I've felt very supported when I've asked questions, as it all seemed ve
Cheers, Sarah
Hi Sarah. I'm due another appointment with my doc on 7th, and a diabetes practitioner on the 17th to go through everything. No idea what my HbA1c is yet. Been prescribed metformin, my doc wants me to start with 500mg once a day, but end up fairly quickly at 2000mg daily (two in morning, two in evening). Also got to take 4mg perindopril for high blood pressure.
 

WayneMR

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
The forum is a separate entity - and any recipe advising that you eat any amount of carbohydrate needs to be approached with caution - and an ability to test your blood glucose.
I am particularly sensitive to carbs and stay at under 40 gm of carbs a day to stay in normal numbers and unmedicated, others can eat more - some can eat beans and peas and see a rise which matches their listed carb values - I see more, so I only have a half portion.
"any recipe advising that you eat any amount of carbohydrate needs to be approached with caution"...check out the breakfast, lunch and dinner meal ideas section in here, this is why I got a bit baffled.
 

Leadinglights

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
I would assume that as you have been prescribed metformin then you are reasonably well into the diabetic zone 48mmol/mol being the level that would give you diagnosis. If just into the zone then if you are lucky the GP will allow people to try by lifestyle changes first. The medication only helps the body to use the insulin it is producing to work more effectively but the biggest difference will be from reducing the carbohydrates in your diet.
Many people find low carb regime which is suggested as being less than 130g per day is a good way of bringing down blood glucose levels.
Working out from the TOTAL carb content of foods you can see what you have been having and try to reduce than.
Many foods are that are high carb, it will be the portion size that you will need to be careful of or cut out completely.
Basing meals on protein and healthy fats, vegetables, salads, fruit like berries, nuts , with only small portions of the high carb foods like potatoes, rice, pasta, bread, cereals, tropical fruits, pastry, but cutting out cakes, biscuits, sugary drinks and carby snacks like crisps.
The increasing dose of metformin is to allow the body to get used to them as a side effect can be stomach issues in some people but not all.
Have a look at the Learning Zone to get a better understanding and around the forum. You will quickly realise that people are very different in how they tolerate carbohydrates so it is important to establish a dietary regime which suits you and is sustainable for life.
 

Windy

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
I'm on 2 x 500mg metformin per day and 10mg Ramipril for my blood pressure. Metformin has side effects of stomach pain and diarrhoea with some people at first, so take it with or after food to try and minimise that. It's meant to wear off after a couple of weeks, but be forewarned if it makes your tummy bad at first.

I can recommend making a list of questions for the GP/ diabetes practitioner when you see them. They'll probably also refer you for tests, maybe a course on diabetes, and you'll have more blood and urine samples taken for various tests.

This is what I've had so far:
  • foot check - diabetes can effect your circulation, the nurse will check your feet to see how they're doing. I thought she was going to stick a needle in my toes, but it was just a metal prongy thing that you have to tell her when you can feel it.
  • Chat with the nurse about what I was eating, and what I should be eating
  • Eye screening - went to the local hospital for them to take photos of the back of my eyes to assess if there were any problems.
  • Urine sample to test for protein, shows how your kidneys are doing apparently
  • Liver scan. I've got a fatty liver and am on the waiting list for a scan - hoping I can lose enough weight that I don't have a fatty liver when the scans happen, and the consultant can compliment me on what a beautiful, not-fatty liver it is!
  • DESMOND course about diabetes - it's next week, I'll see what I can learn from that.
Maybe some other stuff too. The NHS have been great, but it's been a bit of a whirl.

I chatted with one of my colleagues at work who'd had a heart attack quite young, and he said, you can't pick your genetics, but you can change your lifestyle to minimise the effect of your genetics. So I've set myself goals, ie lose weight, get my blood pressure and blood glucose levels down and take more exercise.

I got a few books recommended so I could learn about diabetes and they've been helpful. I got second hand copies from Amazon. I'm guessing libraries might have some in too.
And if you're based in England, ask the GP's receptionist or at the local pharmacy for a form to fill out for free prescriptions.
Good luck, it does get easier, honestly, Sarah
 

Robin

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
"any recipe advising that you eat any amount of carbohydrate needs to be approached with caution"...check out the breakfast, lunch and dinner meal ideas section in here, this is why I got a bit baffled.
When you say 'In here' do you mean, on the general Diabetes U.K. website? That is separate from this forum, and here on the forum you will find a lot of people giving their experiences of how they’ve tamed their diabetes, which may not be in line with the 'mainstream advice' which follows the U.K. 'Eatwell' guide. Many people are finding that a lower carb approach gives them better results, but I feel sorry for Diabetes U.k. I think they have to walk a tightrope between toeing the NHS line which is lots of healthy slow release carbs, and recommending what people are telling them works better for them, ie, a low carb approach.
 

janw

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Hi and welcome :)
Yes the main site of info is different - in here, (the forums) where we are now, is where you will meet those who are living with the varieties types of diabetes, there are years of experience in here which can be passed on, suggestions, advice, a shoulder, an ear, tlc and common sense. In here we are often more knowledgeable than the GPs and even some DNs - if they don't have it themselves, they cannot fully understand it. We are all different and all have to find what works for us individually, but the support is always available. I am fairly new to T2, being diagnosed this year and one who is fighting the battle without meds right now - my DN is a diabetic herself, so that helps me. As Sarah said, a blood glucose monitor is your best friend and you will likely need to fund it yourself as a T2, use that and keep an online food diary (plenty are free for the basic version, which suits my needs), so you can always check back at what was good and not so good - and what really spiked your BG. It puts you in control and that is a good feeling - it will waiver and give you days when it won't make sense, but on the whole you will benefit. Lower carbs is good for weight-loss if needed, as well as getting your BG lower.
No question is ever too daft to ask, we all have to learn from the basics :)
 

Drummer

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
These days - over 5 years from diagnosis, I could eat carbohydrates and not see a huge long lasting spike in blood glucose, but I don't as all my life (like most of the family) if I eat carbs, I put on weight really easily. Type 2 is not just a case of getting rid of the diabetes, it is finding the way to live which keeps things balanced, metabolism buzzing along happily and everything else involved trotting along without problems.
 

ianf0ster

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
In my opinion the main UK diabetes web site diet suggestions are a disgrace and pander to both their sponsors (big food and pharma companies) and also the EatWell guide which admits it's only good for healthy people.
Surprise , surprise, Type 2 diabetics aren't healthy people - so the EatWell guide is terrible for us!'
 

ColinUK

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
The key about BG management for most is to find what works for You. It’s your body and it will respond in a unique fashion to carbs, exercise, stress etc.
I’m a huge fan of the forum and those who post here because we reflect a multiplicity of experiences which all are useful to know about.
It’s taught me that my BG is particularly sensitive to poor sleep, stress, the onset of a cold and that I can happily consume the odd baguette with almost no impact.
What this forum generally suggests is that no one size fits all so test, test, test. Find what works for you.
We’re here to share successes, frustrations, advice, support, jokes etc and to be a spider to lean on when needed.

As far as metformin being known for explosive side effects - if you have them (and you’ll know if you do!) just tell your doctor and ask that they switch you to the modified release version.
They’ll do that immediately (you don’t need to have used up all the current prescription) and things will likely settle down quickly.
 

WayneMR

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
*shoulder - who the heck ever leans on a spider?!
Lol...I was like "WTF?" when I read that...it would take a spider the size of Aragon (Harry Potter fans will get it) to support me!
 

WayneMR

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Ok, so I bought a blood glucose monitor, seems pretty straightforward.
My first reading was 6.1, which I'm assuming is ok, definitely an improvement as it was 15 when the doctor did it on 23rd Nov. What are the "bands" on readings, as in, what should I aim to keep it around, what's too low, and what's high?
I've been cutting down carbs, and watching out for sugar too, but I think I've gone too far the other way eating mostly dairy, protein and fibre-rich foods that are very low carb.
 

Windy

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Hi Wayne, I think 4 mmol/L - 7 mmol/ L is ok. I'm sure more knowledgable people will correct me if I'm wrong! Here's the diabetes UK page about it.
 

Leadinglights

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Ok, so I bought a blood glucose monitor, seems pretty straightforward.
My first reading was 6.1, which I'm assuming is ok, definitely an improvement as it was 15 when the doctor did it on 23rd Nov. What are the "bands" on readings, as in, what should I aim to keep it around, what's too low, and what's high?
I've been cutting down carbs, and watching out for sugar too, but I think I've gone too far the other way eating mostly dairy, protein and fibre-rich foods that are very low carb.
Whether something is Ok or not depends on when you are testing. If you are going to establish a regime of testing the effect of your meals then you test before you eat and after 2 hours, you would be aiming at no more than a 2-3mmol/l increase, as your levels start to drop then you want your post meal reading to be less than 8 -8.5mmol/l.
People do a morning reading to check on progress but these are often the last to drop.
People try to aim for between 4-7 mmol/l before meals.
Your 6.1 looks pretty well in the range you might expect.
 

WayneMR

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
So, its 17 weeks since my first diagnosis. After some "ups and downs", struggling to balance my carb intake with my energy requirements, and generally finding I was going too hard on cutting back on carbs, I got my second mmol/l reading, and its 47, down from 80. I've lost close to 2 stone, the first 14lbs falling away very quickly, leading to some worry about loosing too much, too quick. However, I've stabilized my energy and weight loss by allowing myself to eat carbs, obviously trying to stay away from the "bad" ones. Having to also watch my intake of salt, and trying to monitor my cholesterol too has been a steep learning curve, but I seem to be doing ok. The Metformin has taken some getting used to, although luckily the only side effect has been a need to know where the nearest loo is all the time...no pain or cramps. The other meds arent really causing any issues, so my doc is considering whether to either reduce my dose of Metformin, or change from my current version, to the slower release type. I'm reluctant to reduce the dose currently, as I've made good progress, so I'm pushing for the slow release tablets. The strangest thing has been the cravings...my biggest weakness pre-diagnosis was tangy haribo sweets, and winegums...but giving them up wasnt that difficult, but now, despite not really being a previous "chocaholic" I'm craving chocolate...go figure!
 

Windy

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
So, its 17 weeks since my first diagnosis. After some "ups and downs", struggling to balance my carb intake with my energy requirements, and generally finding I was going too hard on cutting back on carbs, I got my second mmol/l reading, and its 47, down from 80. I've lost close to 2 stone, the first 14lbs falling away very quickly, leading to some worry about loosing too much, too quick. However, I've stabilized my energy and weight loss by allowing myself to eat carbs, obviously trying to stay away from the "bad" ones. Having to also watch my intake of salt, and trying to monitor my cholesterol too has been a steep learning curve, but I seem to be doing ok. The Metformin has taken some getting used to, although luckily the only side effect has been a need to know where the nearest loo is all the time...no pain or cramps. The other meds arent really causing any issues, so my doc is considering whether to either reduce my dose of Metformin, or change from my current version, to the slower release type. I'm reluctant to reduce the dose currently, as I've made good progress, so I'm pushing for the slow release tablets. The strangest thing has been the cravings...my biggest weakness pre-diagnosis was tangy haribo sweets, and winegums...but giving them up wasnt that difficult, but now, despite not really being a previous "chocaholic" I'm craving chocolate...go figure!
Hi Wayne, glad to hear that you're doing ok, your HbA1c reading looks really good - you've done excellently to reduce that and to get your weight down.
Glad to hear that the metformin hasn't caused you loads of issues, hopefully the slow release version will be a bit kinder for your digestive system.
I don't know how much of your HbA1c reduction is due to the metformin, and how much was due to diet, but yours was the same as mine at diagnosis, 80, and I was only put on 2 x 500mg tablets, and have recently had that cut to 1 tablet, and my most recent HbA1c was 42, also almost the same as yours too, but with half the tablets to you. So I suspect it's mostly down to your hard work on your diet, with a bit of support from the metformin.
Glad to hear that you're doing ok, and that we didn't need to summon the diabetic support spider ;), Sarah
 

janw

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Woo! Well done on your achievements, great job!
Little secret - we can enjoy a little chocolate but it must have a cocoa mass of at least 70% minimum (the higher the better, but the taste changes with it) and usually it is a max of 2 squares per day - and needs to be counted in your food diary, of course. It is more bitter than sweet, but it can hit the spot and the portion is enough.
Keep up the good work - got my blood test next month hopefully, and double hopefully will have a much lower score this time too. :)
 
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