Newbie struggling

Lorilo

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Recently diagnosed with type 2 and in the same week suffered a mini stroke TIA so a rather traumatic time. Recovered well from TIA although my blood pressure meds upped significantly by my stroke consultant. Now trying to get to grips with my diabetes but struggling as I have had no support from my GP surgery and scant info from the diabetic nurse. On metformin twice a day but having significant tingling and numbness in both hands and feet. When I rang nurse she said this would settle down but it's worsening by the day. I have lost all trust in my GP as they didn't help when my B P was out of control. Not sure what to do or where to seek advice or help.
 

Alannah

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Hi and welcome to the forum. Well done on trying to get to grips with diabetes, and it's a shame your GP practice hasn't been more supportive. Do you know your HbA1c? This is a measure of how much sugar has been in your blood over the past few weeks and is useful to work from as you try to reduce your levels. Many people find it very useful to purchase a blood glucose meter and to test regularly, as this will give you a good indication of which foods affect your blood sugar and allow you to adapt accordingly. If you look through a couple of other threads you'll find which meters people have found best (the ones with the cheapest strips). I'm afraid I don't have any experience with metformin, but I'm sure some others will be along to share their experience soon.
 

Lorilo

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Hi and welcome to the forum. Well done on trying to get to grips with diabetes, and it's a shame your GP practice hasn't been more supportive. Do you know your HbA1c? This is a measure of how much sugar has been in your blood over the past few weeks and is useful to work from as you try to reduce your levels. Many people find it very useful to purchase a blood glucose meter and to test regularly, as this will give you a good indication of which foods affect your blood sugar and allow you to adapt accordingly. If you look through a couple of other threads you'll find which meters people have found best (the ones with the cheapest strips). I'm afraid I don't have any experience with metformin, but I'm sure some others will be along to share their experience soon.
Thank you for the advice and I have just bought a blood glucose monitor but was not informed what my HbA1c was. I guess I need to phone the surgery to find out. Trying very hard with diet and exercise despite the heatwave!
 

Alannah

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
That's a great start - most people test in the morning, before meals and then 2 hours after. If you keep a note of what you've eaten you can start to see how things interact. Don't get too concentrated on any one figure, but look for patterns over a period of time. It's a lot of adapt to, so give yourself some time to get your head around things too.
 

Felinia

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Hi
I see we are a similar age and I was diagnosed exactly one year ago. You have done the right thing by joining us here on DUK. These are hard times and things are taking longer with COVID around. So the best things you can do is start to help yourself.
The first thing I suggest you do is start to work your way through the Learning Zone taking it slowly, a section at a time over a period of days, to let things sink in. That will tell you all the things you need to know much more thoroughly that a Diabetic Nurse can get through in a very short appointment time.
Then you need to look at your lifestyle: food, exercise, health. Without knowing your HbA1c I am guessing because you are on Metformin and have a high BP, it was above 60. Some people are way higher than that, over 100. I started at 57, got down to 48 in 3 months, and suspect I have gone up in lockdown.
Taking food first, most people look to reducing their blood glucose by restricting their carbohydrate intake. This is not just sugar, but items like bread, pasta, rice, potatoes and all the obvious suspects, like cake, biscuits, sweets, pastries. DUK suggests less than 130gm a day, but many go a lot lower. I experimented but found for me 75gm +- 15gm suited me. But we are all different. It is surprising just how many carbs there are in the most innocent of foods. For example an average apple can contain around 20gm, and even a salad without dressing can be over 10gm. Root veggies are also quite high.
So it can take a bit of planning at first, and I use an app. There are various ones - some just measure food values like cals and gm of carbs, sugars, fats, protein and fibre. Others can also help you record your blood glucose levels. When I started I measured my blood glucose levels manually and used an app called NutraCheck to measure my food. It can be used for monitoring a diet, if you need to lose weight, or purely to show you what you are eating.
For example today, I have had a poached egg on toast for breakfast, using LowCarb bread. I like the Hovis one, but there are others. Sometimes I will top it up with grilled mushrooms and a tomato. At other times I will have a small portion of porridge made with unsweetened almond milk and topped with blueberries. Lunch was mackerel and salad, followed by 80gm frozen pineapple. A fruit portion is 80gm, which is why I get frozen fruit as it is easy to measure. In the winter it will be home made soup. Dinner tonight will be stir fry vegetables with chicken marinaded in 5 spice and soy sauce. On top of that I have 170ml milk for drinks, a Benecol drink to lower my cholesterol, and various vitamins, calcium and cod liver oil. In total, around 90gm carbs for the day without feeling deprived. I do have new potatoes occasionally, but not pasta or rice. However there are substitutes, like courgetti, Bare Naked noodles, cauliflower rice.
Exercise is very important, although difficult at present. It can be as simple as walking, gardening, chair or floor based home exercises, swimming. It doesn't mean pounding away at a gym - if you can find one open! I have restricted mobility so was doing 4 Aquafit classes a week. Now I am restricted at home to Pilates on the bed, and a mini pedal bike for arm and leg exercises. I do credit Aqua in reducing my HbA1c last year.
Food and exercise will benefit your health but you need to be guided about what you can do after your TIA. There are so many experienced people here who will offer you guidance and lots of food ideas to try out. I wish you all the best.
 

Drummer

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
If you can test then you can find out what you can cope with - a portion of fruit is not a particular amount, it is what you can eat and still have a normal blood glucose level, and you might find out that some fruits are so high in carbs that you can't cope with them - just as with starchy foods. Some people can manage porridge, but I can't.
 

Lorilo

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Hi
I see we are a similar age and I was diagnosed exactly one year ago. You have done the right thing by joining us here on DUK. These are hard times and things are taking longer with COVID around. So the best things you can do is start to help yourself.
The first thing I suggest you do is start to work your way through the Learning Zone taking it slowly, a section at a time over a period of days, to let things sink in. That will tell you all the things you need to know much more thoroughly that a Diabetic Nurse can get through in a very short appointment time.
Then you need to look at your lifestyle: food, exercise, health. Without knowing your HbA1c I am guessing because you are on Metformin and have a high BP, it was above 60. Some people are way higher than that, over 100. I started at 57, got down to 48 in 3 months, and suspect I have gone up in lockdown.
Taking food first, most people look to reducing their blood glucose by restricting their carbohydrate intake. This is not just sugar, but items like bread, pasta, rice, potatoes and all the obvious suspects, like cake, biscuits, sweets, pastries. DUK suggests less than 130gm a day, but many go a lot lower. I experimented but found for me 75gm +- 15gm suited me. But we are all different. It is surprising just how many carbs there are in the most innocent of foods. For example an average apple can contain around 20gm, and even a salad without dressing can be over 10gm. Root veggies are also quite high.
So it can take a bit of planning at first, and I use an app. There are various ones - some just measure food values like cals and gm of carbs, sugars, fats, protein and fibre. Others can also help you record your blood glucose levels. When I started I measured my blood glucose levels manually and used an app called NutraCheck to measure my food. It can be used for monitoring a diet, if you need to lose weight, or purely to show you what you are eating.
For example today, I have had a poached egg on toast for breakfast, using LowCarb bread. I like the Hovis one, but there are others. Sometimes I will top it up with grilled mushrooms and a tomato. At other times I will have a small portion of porridge made with unsweetened almond milk and topped with blueberries. Lunch was mackerel and salad, followed by 80gm frozen pineapple. A fruit portion is 80gm, which is why I get frozen fruit as it is easy to measure. In the winter it will be home made soup. Dinner tonight will be stir fry vegetables with chicken marinaded in 5 spice and soy sauce. On top of that I have 170ml milk for drinks, a Benecol drink to lower my cholesterol, and various vitamins, calcium and cod liver oil. In total, around 90gm carbs for the day without feeling deprived. I do have new potatoes occasionally, but not pasta or rice. However there are substitutes, like courgetti, Bare Naked noodles, cauliflower rice.
Exercise is very important, although difficult at present. It can be as simple as walking, gardening, chair or floor based home exercises, swimming. It doesn't mean pounding away at a gym - if you can find one open! I have restricted mobility so was doing 4 Aquafit classes a week. Now I am restricted at home to Pilates on the bed, and a mini pedal bike for arm and leg exercises. I do credit Aqua in reducing my HbA1c last year.
Food and exercise will benefit your health but you need to be guided about what you can do after your TIA. There are so many experienced people here who will offer you guidance and lots of food ideas to try out. I wish you all the best.
Thank you so much for your very detailed response which is hugely helpful for me. I do exercise regularly but it is the food element I am struggling with so your advice is most welcome and I shall start monitoring my carb intake more carefully.
 

trophywench

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Here's a really good testing plan you can follow using your new meter

 

SB2015

Forum Host
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Welcome to the forum @Lorilo

Sorry to hear of your diagnosis but pleased that you have found us.
You have already received loads of useful advice on finding out what works for you.
With your daily test results and a record of what you have eaten and the portions sizes, you can start to get a clearer picture of what you can manage to eat whilst maintaining good levels.

Ask any questions that you have. Nothing is considered silly on here.
 

Lorilo

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Here's a really good testing plan you can follow using your new meter

Thank you I have started to test today and my BG was 7.7 this morning even though I have eaten nothing since yesterday evening which I find worrying as I have not had breakfast yet.
 

Anitram

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Thank you I have started to test today and my BG was 7.7 this morning even though I have eaten nothing since yesterday evening which I find worrying as I have not had breakfast yet.
The target fasting range for T2s is between 4 and 7 so you're only just out of range. You're only recently diagnosed so give it time. It was the best part of a month before I got into range, followed by three whole months of mostly 6-point-somethings. Even then I was occasionally over 7.

Martin
 
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