New - Please give me some hope

MrsAA

Active Member
Morning

Just joined today and looking for some hope!

Although not officially diagnosed yet I went to have a blood test last week for something unrelated to diabetes. The results came back and the HbA1c came back as 56..I saw this result before the surgery rang me so had time to have a Google...when the nurse rang I was fully prepared for what she was going to say.

I was gutted. I was told 4 years ago I was at risk of pre diabetes but as if often the case I guess I pushed it to the back of my mind and carried on as usual. Between then and now I have had both knees replaced due to osteoarthritis and I also have this in both my hips and my back. I’m in my mid 50’s. I take medication for high blood pressure but my cholesterol is within normal range. I have been blighted by polycystic ovary syndrome my whole adult life (leads to weight gain which is often hard to lose and also has a high risk of T2).

After having my second knee replacement in 2018, in early 2019 I signed up to NutraCheck and between February and November lost 5 stone...then came the dreaded coronavirus and lockdown and in came home baking...my husband and I had both decided that come the new year we would be back with NutraCheck and we restarted our calorie counting on 2nd January. The scales showed i had gained 3 1/2 stone...the positive being I’d still managed to keep 1 1/2 stone off.By the time the nurse rang with those dreaded results I’d already shifted 6.5lbs and had changed my NutraCheck to follow a low carb eating plan. This is very difficult for me as I don’t like much fruit and hardly any vegetables or salad.

I know 56 is in T2 range and know I have to lose a lot more weight and that that number down to at least 48 or under in the first instance and I will go all out to do this. I’m having a repeat test on 1st Feb and appreciate there won’t be enough time to get my HbA1c down much (if at all) however I am have enough confidence in my ability to get there as quickly as I can.

After all that rambling I will get to my question..if, say, I am eventually successful in reducing my HbA1c to within the green (normal person) range will I ever be able to eat anything nice again (in moderation obviously)? I’m thinking if we go away will I be able to have a slice of pizza, or some cheesecake etc.

I am feeling extremely down and miserable at the moment so need a glimmer of hope to help push me forward.

Thanks

 

Docb

Moderator
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Hi @Mrs AA and welcome to the forum.

First off, cheer up! Read around the forum and you will find all is not lost. Many of us have found ways of managing our T2 in a way which meets our own circumstances and needs. We are all different and so you need to find a way that suits you, there is no single route that will suit everybody.

I suspect that your route will revolve around controlling your carbohydrate intake, and I mean controlling not cutting out carbohydrate, because diabetes is to a large extent is all about how your body deals with the glucose produced from consuming carbohydrate. You will be able to eat the things you mention but probably in moderation. I like to go for quality rather than quantity. Get a better hit from a smaller amount!
 

MrsAA

Active Member
Thank you...I could never give up carbs totally but I’ve cut them back and am trying to stick to under 100g of carbs per day..I really am very down about it all though but I guess a lot of people are like that in the beginning
 

helli

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
I recently read "If you haven't put on weight, got a drinking problem and your hair doesn't look like you have been pulled through a hedge, you have not been taking the lockdown seriously."

I know it was written tongue in cheek but there is some truth in it - you are definitely not alone having put on weight.
There are some positive stories on this forum, so it is definitely worthwhile reading around.

You have already taken some great steps - joining the forum, starting your diet and admitting to yourself that you need to make a change. It may seem weird but some people take their diagnosis as a positive - the thing that motivates them to make the difference.

Good luck with your journey - yes, it is a marathon journey not a quick sprint.
 

grovesy

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Thank you...I could never give up carbs totally but I’ve cut them back and am trying to stick to under 100g of carbs per day..I really am very down about it all though but I guess a lot of people are like that in the beginning
Although many advocate very low carbs. You have to find what works for you and maintain long term. If you can manage on 100 g a day then start with that and see how you go.
 

MrsAA

Active Member
Although many advocate very low carbs. You have to find what works for you and maintain long term. If you can manage on 100 g a day then start with that and see how you go.
That as what I’m trying to do...but I need that glimmer of hope which says if I get my HbA1c level down (eventually) to the low 30’s then I will be able to have a slice of pizza or a slice of cheesecake when we go away..
 

Christy

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Hold onto your glimmer of hope...but you may find your taste buds change and you no longer crave these things. I was absolutely gutted with a diagnosis of type 2 & it's really changed my attitude to food. Your bg meter will tell you how well your body reacts to different foods & I see no reason not to be able to have treats just much less regularly than before.
 

Anitram

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
That as what I’m trying to do...but I need that glimmer of hope which says if I get my HbA1c level down (eventually) to the low 30’s then I will be able to have a slice of pizza or a slice of cheesecake when we go away..
If you put your mind to it and stick to a lower carb intake you should be able to bring your HbA1c down below 48, although low 30s will be more of a challenge. However, bear in mind that you would still be diabetic and the changes you make have to be sustained in order to keep your HbA1c in a good place. There have been some instances on the forum of people who have managed to get themselves back below diabetic level then, for whatever reason, have gone back to their old ways of eating and found themselves back where they started and having to do it all over again.

As Christy says, as your taste buds change you may find that you no longer hanker after a slice of pizza or cheescake anyway. I've certainly found this to be the case with me, even on the occasions when my wife or our sons order in a Domino's.

Martin
 
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MrsAA

Active Member
If you put your mind to it and stick to a lower carb intake you should be able to bring your HbA1c down below 48, although low 30s will be more of a challenge. However, bear in mind that you would still be diabetic and the changes you make have to be sustained in order to keep your HbA1c in a good place. There have been some instances on the forum of people who have managed to get themselves back below diabetic level then, for whatever reason, have gone back to their old ways of eating and found themselves back where they started and having to do it all over again.

As Christy says, as your taste buds change you may find that you no longer hanker after a slice pizza or cheescake anyway. I've certainly found this to be the case with me, even on the occasions when my wife or our sons order in a Domino's.

Martin
Will keeping carbs below 100g be enough though to get it down under 48? I think anything less than that and I would really struggle...my husband says I have “nursery tastebuds” as I like all the things that children like! I should add that I’m very overweight (and have been most of my adult life) losing the 5 stones I did still left me in the very obese category with a BMI of just under 40. Plenty of scope to really get my HbA1c down if a lose enough weight I guess...have to try and remain positive!
 

Anitram

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Will keeping carbs below 100g be enough though to get it down under 48?
It would be good if someone came up with an algorithm that said that x amount of carbs leads to a specific reduction in BG level but the reality is that it's impossible to say, as we are all different in what we can tolerate. A 'normal' diet would usually involve between 225g and 325g per day and a low carb diet less than 130g. I average 120g but many members go lower and some much lower. One thing that can help is to keep a food diary, making a note of what you've eaten each day along with the carb content and maybe calories, fat, protein and fibre too.

Are you able to self-test your BG?
 

MrsAA

Active Member
It would be good if someone came up with an algorithm that said that x amount of carbs leads to a specific reduction in BG level but the reality is that it's impossible to say, as we are all different in what we can tolerate. A 'normal' diet would usually involve between 225g and 325g per day and a low carb diet less than 130g. I average 120g but many members go lower and some much lower. One thing that can help is to keep a food diary, making a note of what you've eaten each day along with the carb content and maybe calories, fat, protein and fibre too.

Are you able to self-test your BG?
I have the Nutra Check app which logs carbs, sugar, fat, salt etc...I’ve swapped over to the lower carb option which gives me 170g of carbs (for my weight, height, age, how much weight I want to loss and at what rate) but I’m trying to stick to100g or under and so far so good but it’s only been a week since I switched to that option.

I haven’t officially been diagnosed yet as they need 2 HbA1c readings to do that and my second one isn’t until 1st Feb...so I’m hoping against hope that in 4 weeks there might show a small reduction but am aware it usually takes 2-3 months to show...once the second result is back I expect the sour nurse will ring me, be patronising and rub me up the wrong way again (as she did last week) and will bark my instructions to me...whether that includes a monitor only time will tell. I want to try and get the level down on my own through diet and exercise, I don’t want medication at this point and will refuse it (had metformin prescribed in the past for my PCOS and it didn’t agree with me, although aware there are other meds but would prefer not to take any at the moment)
 

Anitram

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Your App makes my spreadsheet sound primitive. I sometimes think I need to move on from the digital Stone Age I inhabit.

Since an HbA1c looks at your BG level over the preceding 3 months you're right, as a second test only a month after the first will pick up two months that were included in the first test, so I wouldn't expect to see a big change. Normally there would be a 3 month gap so that all the red blood cells found in the first test would have been replaced. Anyway, we need to wait and see.

I wouldn't be surprised if you were prescribed Metformin but it's your choice if you want to give diet/exercise/weight loss a try first and your DN should respect your wishes. With Metformin you are unlikely to be prescribed a BG meter, lancets and test strips though and would have to self-fund, as many of us do.

Martin
 

MrsAA

Active Member
Your App makes my spreadsheet sound primitive. I sometimes think I need to move on from the digital Stone Age I inhabit.

Since an HbA1c looks at your BG level over the preceding 3 months you're right, as a second test only a month after the first will pick up two months that were included in the first test, so I wouldn't expect to see a big change. Normally there would be a 3 month gap so that all the red blood cells found in the first test would have been replaced. Anyway, we need to wait and see.

I wouldn't be surprised if you were prescribed Metformin but it's your choice if you want to give diet/exercise/weight loss a try first and your DN should respect your wishes. With Metformin you are unlikely to be prescribed a BG meter, lancets and test strips though and would have to self-fund, as many of us do.

Martin
I lost 5 stone in 2019 using the Nutra check app, basically it’s good old fashioned calorie counting...if that darn lockdown hadn’t happened I’m sure i would have kept it off as well as I had just renewed my membership for another year, it’s quite cheap too at £29 for app membership for a year...had all that weight stayed off I might not be where I am now so I‘m obviously very disappointed in myself..

The barking nurse who rang me said they usually do another test a week after the first but I’m trying to stay away from places with all this Covid around and as I have a repeat kidney function test already booked she agreed to let me have the repeat test done then..my kidney function test was a bit iffy (I know this can be related) GP has told me to up my water intake which I am now doing, will see if that makes any difference when I have the next test.
 

trophywench

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
So,,, how do you choose to make your veg taste more appealing?

eg a very very simple way of making white and green cabbage tastier is a) not boiling it to death in the first place and b) after draining it and if necessary (cos it usually is) squashing it briefly to get more water out, with eg a smaller saucepan lid than the cabbage saucepan lid, then adding some pepper (as much or as little as you like - and white pepper is stronger than freshly ground black and goes further being so much finer so do be careful how much) which simply enhances it. I only used to like a tiddly bit when I first read someone telling me to do that 40 years ago but now, the more the merrier. Absolutely enhances it.

Now red cabbage is rather different - think a soupcon of RED wine vinegar (not a gallon LOL) plus a modicom of nutmeg.

Sprouts sliced raw and sauteed in a frying pan together with bacon lardons - shedloads of different things to do with different veg!
 

MrsAA

Active Member
So,,, how do you choose to make your veg taste more appealing?

eg a very very simple way of making white and green cabbage tastier is a) not boiling it to death in the first place and b) after draining it and if necessary (cos it usually is) squashing it briefly to get more water out, with eg a smaller saucepan lid than the cabbage saucepan lid, then adding some pepper (as much or as little as you like - and white pepper is stronger than freshly ground black and goes further being so much finer so do be careful how much) which simply enhances it. I only used to like a tiddly bit when I first read someone telling me to do that 40 years ago but now, the more the merrier. Absolutely enhances it.

Now red cabbage is rather different - think a soupcon of RED wine vinegar (not a gallon LOL) plus a modicom of nutmeg.

Sprouts sliced raw and sauteed in a frying pan together with bacon lardons - shedloads of different things to do with different veg!
I know, I really need to grow up....cabbage always reminds me of school dinners and all the stalks etc left in it, vile...I like sprouts...I’m finding it a bit difficult with all the talk of frying, as I have always been told low calorie is better so I’ve cut out fat...I have changed bread to Nimble as it’s far lower in carbs and I like to think I’m eating something normal I don’t think I could ever cut bread out of my diet completely...same with potatoes but I’ve drastically cut back on the amount of both which im quite pleased with...Im still trying to get my head around good and bad carbs and good and bad sugars, not sure I will ever understand it
 

trophywench

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Well maybe try to look at it as if all carbs and all sugars are automatically bad - and start searching for the least bad ones instead?

I mean - granulated sugar is almost 100g of carb to 100g of weight, ie nearly 100% carbs - so there's nothing good about it whatsoever, in my personal book. There are still carbs in granulated artificial sweetener it is true - BUT it is approx 3x as sweet tasting as sugar - so assuming you really are trying to cut down on your consumption of high carb stuff, that means you could swap a teaspoon of sugar in a drink for 1/3 of a tsp of granulated sweetener instead and instantly save yourself having any of those unnecessary carbs every single day.

And every little helps!
 

grovesy

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
I know, I really need to grow up....cabbage always reminds me of school dinners and all the stalks etc left in it, vile...I like sprouts...I’m finding it a bit difficult with all the talk of frying, as I have always been told low calorie is better so I’ve cut out fat...I have changed bread to Nimble as it’s far lower in carbs and I like to think I’m eating something normal I don’t think I could ever cut bread out of my diet completely...same with potatoes but I’ve drastically cut back on the amount of both which im quite pleased with...Im still trying to get my head around good and bad carbs and good and bad sugars, not sure I will ever understand it
For many years I could tolerate somethings but gradually had to first reduce the quantity of somethings, then later on cut them out regularly.
 

MrsAA

Active Member
For many years I could tolerate somethings but gradually had to first reduce the quantity of somethings, then later on cut them out regularly.
That is what I’m hoping I will be able to do eventually, just not sure how it might take
 

MrsAA

Active Member
Can I ask something else...I see everybody saying they might have a high reading on their monitors...I don’t have one yet..however everything I read says you will know when your levels are too high or too low...I feel the same throughout the day regardless of what I have eaten, this has always been the same, I feel no different throughout the day now than I did, say 2 years ago, or even longer...im so confused by it all
 

adrian1der

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
I love cabbage salad which is very easy in a food processor. Thinly slice a quarter of a white cabbage, a quarter of a red cabbage and an onion using the food processor. Chuck everything into a bowl and add a generous amount of salt (several table spoons). Mix it all together using your hands and then leave for 10 to 15 minutes to wilt down. Transfer to a colander and rinse the salt off and leave to dry. Throw in a generous handful of fresh chopped coriander and mix well. Really nice with grilled (and if we ever get any better weather barbequed) meats and kebabs. As an alternative to the coriander, try adding mayo and a teaspoon or two of Dijon mustard for a cabbage slaw although I usually add sliced kale and sliced spinach if I'm making a slaw. Great way of upping your veg intake.
 
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