Surprise type 2 diagnosis

Christy

Active Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Hi all
Help please! Just recently diagnosed as type 2. Came out of the blue as was being investigated for unrelated condition. No obvious symptoms. Blood sugar level 49. Doc basically said "lose weight", get re-tested in 3 months and if below 48 you're not diabetic. Having read a lot since then I don't think that's the case?Totally shocked and annoyed at myself for gaining so much weight & not being active. I've basically cut out added sugar (funny how your appetite goes away with a diagnosis) & thinking low carb diet? No advice from gp so would be grateful for any pointers. I've started walking daily & will increase the exercise and get my health in a better state. Sorry for the long post!
 

LucyDUK

Administrator
Staff member
Relationship to Diabetes
Parent
Welcome @Christy - sorry you’ve needed to find us.

Sounds like you’ve made a sensible start to things, cutting out sugar and upping exercise will help and yes low carb diet is certainly worth a go, it works for many people.
Try not to be too hard on yourself, diet and lifestyle is only one factor - however it is the one you have most ability to influence and you’ve already started to improve that.
You might find the pinned threads at the top of Newbies section helpful in particular and I’m sure lots of people with personal experience of being where you are now and feeling the way you do will be along soon. Plenty have managed to make enough of a change back to ’normal’ HbA1c levels, so it is do-able.
 

Bruce Stephens

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Blood sugar level 49. Doc basically said "lose weight", get re-tested in 3 months and if below 48 you're not diabetic. Having read a lot since then I don't think that's the case?
Well, technically it is, since 48 is the (somewhat arbitrary) value chosen as the cutoff.

The advice seems sound, and is exactly the kind of advice that would be given to most people regardless of diabetes status: try to eat more healthily, do a bit more exercise and so on.

Sorry for the long post!
That really wasn't a long post!
 

rebrascora

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Hi and welcome

We all know that feeling of shock and being overwhelmed at diagnosis and guilt even, but diabetes can be well managed with some lifestyle and dietary changes and since you are only just over the diabetes threshold of 48, it shouldn't take too much effort to push it back into remission.
It is good that your GP has not reached straight for the prescription pad and has given you 3 months to improve things yourself with lifestyle changes and it sounds like you have made a great start.

As you seem to be aware, it is not just sugar but all carbs which the digestive system breaks down into glucose to be absorbed into our blood stream, so cutting down on all carb rich foods will help to keep your BG (Blood Glucose) lower. That is obvious sweet stuff like cakes biscuits and sweets and surprisingly also fruit which contains a lot of fructose (fruit sugar) but also starchy foods made from grains like bread, pasta, rice, couscous, noodles, breakfast cereals even porridge oats and root veg like potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots and parsnips. If you cut out the naughty stuff and reduce portion size of the rest, that should be enough to push things back into the normal range, together with a daily walk, but if you want to take a more proactive approach many of us recommend getting a BG meter and testing before and after meals so that you can see on a day by day and meal by meal basis that you are on the right track, rather than risk a possible disappointment 3 months down the line at your next blood test.
 

Christy

Active Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Thanks all for your kind and welcoming replies. I guess I'm just overwhelmed with info and don't know where to start. I've lost 7lbs over the last 3 weeks, like veggies etc & cooking and can definitely get fitter so I'm confident I can get into shape and get the numbers down.Thanks for the info about the BG meter, Barbara. I had wondered about that. Should I expect any support from the gp practice? Should I get my cholesterol level checked? Excuse my ignorance but I thought if you were diagnosed with diabetes, even if I get my blood sugar level below 49, I'm diabetic for life? I see talk about remission etc but don't know the full facts. Thanks again all
 

rebrascora

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Technically the HbA1c of 49 gets you a diagnosis of diabetes but there is a bit of wriggle room I think from the GPs point of view (margins of error etc) and if you can get it back down without medication and a second consecutive HbA1c in the diabetic range then he may be able to write it off as an anomaly. Things like anaemia can cause an increased HbA1c result and all tests have a small error factor. If it gives you some idea of perspective, my HbA1c at diagnosis was 112 and there are others who have been higher still, so 49 is very borderline.
There are advantages to being diagnosed in that you get more regular health checks but there are disadvantages too I believe with things like life insurance... maybe even travel insurance... although that's a bit of a moot point at the moment.

I would be surprised if they didn't do a whole range of tests on your blood sample rather than just an HbA1c including cholesterol unless you had one done recently.... not sure if your surgery does those 5 yearly MOT's when you get to a certain age, but many do. You can ring and ask to have access to your test results/medical records.

I believe remission is considered to be 2 consecutive HbA1c results (usually 6 months apart) with an HbA1c below 42, without the use of medication, but hopefully someone will correct me if I am wrong.

If you are considering self funding a BG meter, the two many people on the forum recommend are the SD Gluco Navii or the Spirit Healthcare Tee2 because they are reliable, relatively cheap to purchase (approx. £15 for the kit) and the test strips for them are some of the cheapest on the market @£8 for a pot of 50. It is a good idea to buy at least 2 additional pots of strips and a box of lancets with the kit as you only get 10 strips and lancets in with the meter.

Sounds like you are doing brilliantly with the weight loss. Great that you like cooking and enjoy veg. Don't be frightened to add a bit of fat into your diet and avoid low fat products (which are usually higher in carbs). Fat will help to prevent hunger pangs, make your food tasty and filling and provide you with slow release energy. The low fat advice of the past half a half a century may be the reason why so many diets fail and people's weight yoyos and the current thinking is that dietary fat has little impact on cholesterol or CVD.
I tend to cook my veg with a knob of butter or a dollop of cream cheese or have grated cheese on them or roast/sauté them with olive oil, for this purpose. Can't beat a huge plate of cabbage and bacon/gammon or high meat content sausages with cauliflower cheese.... made by par boiling the cauli then coating in cream cheese maybe with some wholegrain mustard mixed in and grated cheese over the top and browning off in the oven or under the grill, rather than a traditional cheese sauce with flour and milk, both of which contain carbs.

Try not to get too overwhelmed... you really should manage to push this back relatively easily but you will likely need to eat sensibly for the rest of your life..... but then we should all be doing that anyway.
 

Ljc

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Hi, welcome to the forum . The cut off from pre diabetes to diabetes is 48 , so you have only just crossed the threshold. With a bit of work you may well be able to turn this around .

Some conditions/illnesses can and do raise our blood glucose levels .

Though it would have been better if your Gp had explained things better esp about dietary changes , the advise was good .

My Hb1ac at my diagnosis (dx) was up in the low hundreds and I didn’t have any symptoms, it sure comes as a shock doesn’t it

Reducing your carbohydrates intake may well help in weight loss as well as lowering your blood glucose (BG) levels.
Many of us need to be careful with fruit , it’s due to the fructose (fruit sugar) fruit with berrry as part of its name are often tolerated better. .

Ask all the questions you need to about diabetes, we’ll be only too glad to help. Fingers crossed that on your next Hb1ac your level with be very much lower , perhaps even back into the non diabetes range <42 .
 

ianf0ster

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Hi @Christy. You have already been given the main good advice.
Two other things I will mention:

1. You don't need to do a lot of exercise, because no matter how hard people try they can't out-run or out-cycle or out-swin a poor diet. So getting a 30 min brisk walk 5 times per week (as per government guidelines is enough). If you wish to do more than that a weight bearing or resistance exercise (such as squats, push-ups, weights) will build muscle which is used as a store to safely hold excess glucose outside of your blood stream.

2. Don't expect any support, or even any good advice from your GP or Diabetes nurse. It is quite normal for them to give terrible advice about needing to eat whole grains and fruit. That is exactly the advice along with being told to avoid fat, which got me to be Type 2 diabetic in the first place a Thin Outside Fat Inside (TOFI) diabetic.
 

Christy

Active Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Thanks IanfOster, I appreciate your comments. I'm definitely fat on the outside as well as fat on the inside so am looking to address my diet immediately. I can see there is totally conflicting advice re diet which makes it more difficult. That's why I've turned to this website and forum for advice. I'm also unfit so aiming to improve that too but realise the majority of the gains will be diet related. Just need to educate myself about carbs, daily limits, BG levels etc and get on with it!
 

grovesy

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Exercise is as important as well as diet. Exercise does not have to involve the gym, walking, and housework, can be effect I helping reduce levels.
 

Christy

Active Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Agreed. I've dug out the Fitbit & set a modest 5k daily target for now as I have a pretty sedentary job. Looking online at YouTube classes as I used to enjoy them at the gym. Also 'none to run' as I've done a "couch to 10k" in the past but not currently fit enough. I look forward to being thinner and fitter and addressing the BG levels (if that's the right terminology. Still figuring it all out)
 

everydayupsanddowns

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

Looks like you’ve made a terrific start, and having others alongside as you find your way through the diabetes maze can be a really important part of your ‘diabetes toolkit’, so it’s great that you’ve found the forum :)

As you suggest, many people on the forum later reflect that their diabetes diagnosis became a catalyst which prompted them to make positive changes towards a healthier and more active life.
 

Christy

Active Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Some more questions I'd like help with please....if I buy a BG meter do I need a sharps bin? Where do I get this & how does it get emptied?
I've read about going for a low carb approach (so different from low fat Slimming World that I've done in the past so quite hard to get my head round it but I can see the rationale) and that everyone has a different daily carb target. How do I know what would be sensible for me?
I don't think I've been eating enough for the last few days although I'm trying to put it all into practice. What do you eat when you have the munchies? In the past I would have grabbed an apple or carrot...
Thanks in advance
 

Drummer

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
I have never had 'the munchies' - on my two low carb meals a day I am perfectly content to go 12 hours without eating. If for some reason I did wish to eat at an unusual hour I could have a chilled dessert - frozen berries, sugar free jelly with cream or yoghurt, or fry some sausages or a steak - with mushrooms or a side salad, or cut some meat off a chicken or joint in the fridge.
There is no need for a sharps bin. I stick the caps back on to the lancets and drop them into the bin. When you have a meter you can see how much a meal raises your levels so you know if the foods are suitable for you, and in what amounts.
I find that normal sized servings of veges such as cauliflower and swede make everything so much easier rather than trying to manage levels on small amounts of higher carb foods.
 

rebrascora

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Technically, yes you should use a Sharps bin for the lancets for finger pricking, but test strips can go in the normal household bin. You can buy them online or get them from a pharmacy.
Whilst the lancets are supposed to be single use, many of us seasoned finger prickers rarely change it that often and the standing joke here on the forum is that we do it annually on St Swithin's day, but I usually treat myself to a new lancet on New Years Day as well. Never had an infected finger yet and I often test when I have no access to washing facilities and my hand can be quite dirty... working at my stable yard. I think there may be a device which allows you to clip off the point of the needle on the lancet a bit like nail clippers and safely collects the clippings inside itself for disposal. Not sure what it is called or if you can still get them but maybe someone else will know. If you get a sharps bin, the disposal arrangements vary depending upon your area. Some pharmacies will take the filled ones, some can be returned to the doctor's surgery or the local council collect them. You would probably find info on your local council website perhaps under clinical waste disposal.

The BG meter is usually your guide for the level of carbs your body can tolerate. A sensible starting point would be to work out how many you would normally eat and then maybe halving it or perhaps aim for about 100g carbs daily and see how you go at that, but testing before and after each meal will tell you if you had too many at any particular meal. I don't really think about how many I have in a day, I just avoid high carb foods as much as possible. Munching on a raw carrot here and there is not a big deal (I had 2 small ones out of the garden today and they were a real treat) but an apple will probably spike levels more noticeably. Again using your meter will help you see what is OK and what isn't and it can be very individual.
Low carb snacks for me would be a boiled egg with a teaspoon of full fat mayonnaise or a salami stick or a chunk of cheese or some celery sticks with a sour cream and chive dip or a packet of pork scratchings..
 

Ljc

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Hi. If you buy a sharps bin , it’s likely you will have trouble disposing it properly when it’s full.
When I filled my first ever sharps bin after going onto insulin I had to go through a right old rigmarole, filled in a form to hand into Gp who had to authorise it so my local council would collet it and provide another one .
Each area has its own system but as you are not on meds that can cause hypo’s they may not be willing to dispose of it for yo7, but check with your diabetes nurse .

When I first started self testing back in the mid 90s ,I was told to put the used lancet In the rubbish bin after pushing the needle into the side of the cap.

I am another who makes sure my lancets are well used before going into the pretty yellow bin i now have.
 
Last edited:

everydayupsanddowns

Administrator
Staff member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
. I think there may be a device which allows you to clip off the point of the needle on the lancet a bit like nail clippers and safely collects the clippings inside itself for disposal. Not sure what it is called or if you can still get them but maybe someone else will know.
That’s a BD Safeclip, but it’s for hypodemics / needles not lancets.

Regarding sharps disposal, check with your local authority website, or call them up. LAs have the legal responsibility for sharps disposal, and will know the arrangements in your area (some get GPs / pharmacies to collect them)

Another alternative is to not use the lancing device that comes with the meter, but to opt for a Roche Accu Chek ‘FastClix’ which has a drum of 6 lancets which are competely concealed and the used drum can just go in regular waste. It’s also an excellent and virtually pain free pricker.

And if you change lancets as often as I do, the free drums in the box will be enough to last you several years! :D:eek::D
 

Christy

Active Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Yeah, 2020 is really shaping up to be a special year for me. Not. I've just been diagnosed with Haemochromatosis. Letter from consultant...you've been diagnosed with Haem. Also looks like diabetes mellitus. Start medication (BG 49) Really??? Is there anyone on the forum I could chat with or should I start a new thread? Incidentally I'm doing well, I think, on the low carb diet losing 12 lbs to date.
 

Docb

Moderator
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
I suggest you start up a new thread. I don't know if we have any members with that diagnosis but if there are, then a thread with it in the title might tease them out.
 
Top