Not sure if I'm looking for advice, sympathy or what but here goes! I was diagnosed end of October 2011 with Type 2 diabetes. I was in the hospital emergency room because of another problem completely. First experience with kidney stones - that's another nightmare. My Alc was 20 in emergency and I was asked why I didn't tell them I was diabetic - I had no idea - did have my Alc checked the previous year and it was in the 5's. I'm going to my 3rd kidney stone op next week - that's a whole other forum and haven't really dealt with the blood sugar issue other than reading what I can - my family gp has me on blood pressure meds, statins and baby aspirin and set up consults with a dietician as well as appointment with an opthamologist. I'm not doing any testing at home and just have an open order at this time at a lab for ALc testing. In emergency in October I tested at 20 and since then I've run from 5.2 - 8.6. If I keep on a very restrictive diet - basically veg and fish I can keep it in the low 5's. Because of the kidney issues I haven't been doing any exercise (stents are not a good time) but will get back on a program after this next surgery. I have a million questions but the two I'm wondering about right now are - how much does stress affect your blood sugar numbers and does anyone know if there is a link between kidney stones and diabetes? I'm 57 and have always been healthy so this double whammo has really caught me by surprise. On a cheery note - thanks for the warm welcome!
I found Jenny Ruhl's book Blood Sugar 101 very helpful. She also has a website: http://www.bloodsugar101.com/
Those were the places I started.
Her book was very helpful in terms of learning how to test blood sugars. I learned. I know that you can too!
Best wishes with your surgery!
Will check it out - thanks
There are lots of YouTube videos on using glucose meters. Just go to YouTube and search for "using blood glucose meter" or a similar phrase. Truly nothing to be afraid of. The meter gives you information and with information comes a sense that you have at least some power. For example, you'll start learning how different foods affect your blood sugar and then you can make future choices based upon that knowledge. Lots to learn, but there are soooooo many people on this site ready to jump in and help!
Welcome to the forum, Susan. The folks here are extra-fabulous! I know because I was dx'd in October and everyone here has taught me a lot in addition to helping set my heart and mind at rest about being diabetic.
Your doctor should order a complete set of blood tests, for sure, but find out what's included. Ask to have your thyroid function checked, as well. You said that you had been feeling depression and itchy skin, which are both symptoms of an underactive thyroid. If you're a LADA, hypothyroid is common. But even if you're a Type 2, low thyroid can be an issue and is frequently not diagnosed in most people. Low thyroid will also cause your cholesterol to go up, but getting the thyroid under control, or taking supplements, will sort that out in about 6 months.
Using a glucose meter is not a big deal after the first time or two. Many people imagine it's going to hurt but it rarely does more than sting a bit, if that. Meaningful records would include test readings when you wake up, right before each meal, two hours after each meal, and at bedtime. That's about 8 tests a day. They'll give an indication of how your body is responding to what you eat and how long it takes for your blood sugar to normalize. If you also keep a record of what you've eaten, you'll soon have an idea of which foods cause your sugars to go up and which don't seem to make any difference. Most of the time, protein and fat won't affect your sugars, but carbohydrate will.
Jenny's Blood Sugar 101 is a fabulous site, chock-full of information and sensible advice. Also, get a copy of Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Revolution, which you should be able to find at almost any bookstore or library. He explains how diabetes works, what's needed and how to do it in very clear, straightforward language. He's a Type 1 diabetic who has helped thousands of diabetics bring their blood sugar under control.
I hope all goes well with your kidney stones' surgery!
Thanks. Just finished reading through Blood Sugar 101 - it is a fabulous resource!
Hi Susan. I'm sure the info is somewhere, but anyway, about meters. I really believe the fingers are more accurate than other places to test your blood sugar. Use the side of the tips rather than right on the end of your finger where you type, etc., to keep them functioning well for typing, etc. It's probably a good idea to wash them first, esp. if you've been eating, since a bit of sugar left on the finger can give you a false high reading. If it's cold out, you'll get blood easier if you run your finger under warm water. Don't forget to rotate. Best wishes.
How are things going for you? I hope that your kidney surgery was successful this time and that you are feeling better.
Are you finding the information and answers that you need?
Thanks for the good wishes Marty. Surgery was semi successful - stone gone but recovery has been longer than I was expecting and have had some problems with infection. Hopefully will be all sorted out in the next few weeks. Good news is that I did get the meter and am checking my blood at home (still a little clumsy with it but learning!)It is actually quite interesting to see the jumps two hours after eating. Was at 4.5 the other day and thought I'd try some pasta to see how I handled it and jumped to 12.5! I'm going to Diabetes classes at the hospital - 2nd one tomorrow morning. Had a pile of lab tests done last week and my AC1 was at 6.5 and everything else looked good. Still waiting on some of the antibody results. Anyway I am a work in progress - see my GP on Tuesday so we'll see what else he has up his sleeve. I'm not taking any diabetes meds - not sure if I should be so I guess we'll have that chat. I think I can still do better on my AIC - getting it down and trying to keep it in the 5's is my target - I haven't really started exercising yet and although I'm trying to follow a diabetic diet based on some of the meter readings it make more sense to just completely avoid a wider range of foods than I have been. Have you had any issues with your feet? I have some burning/lumpy feeling - doctor did the testing with that wire but it didn't really show anything. I find it most irritating trying to sleep at night and haven't seen anything on it anywhere other than it's a side effect of diabetes and to pay careful attention to your feet. Anyway if you have any tips I'd love to hear them. I bought some lotion that is supposed to help with skin itching but it doesn't do anything for this problem.
welcome to the site!
Many times when you have had high bgs for quite awhile Neuropathy may start in your extremities. I had it in my legs and feet. Many times I would get that pins and needle sensation. I would get the burning sensation in my thigh muscles. I thought it was from overexercising but now in hindsight think it was from neuropathy. As my bgs came down a lot of it disappeared. Keep testing and let your bg meter guide your eating. Once your bgs are pretty stable you will feel better. Also I wanted to mention when you have other conditions or inflammation it will spike bgs. Once those conditions are resolved your bgs will go down.
Great that you got a meter and are checking! It's the best tool for learning about how your own diabetes behaves. And Jenny Ruhl's website is so, so helpful! I've also learned a ton by reading a lot here at TuDiabetes. There's no substitute for the years and years of direct experience with diabetes that people have here. And people are so kind and helpful!
For many people, a diagnosis of diabetes is a complete surprise. It often makes more sense in hindsight. Many of the steps involved in taking care of yourself and getting the treatment you need can feel--or are--overwhelming. But here at TuD there are people who have been there, also.
I look forward to hearing how things are going for you.