Hi! I apologize in advance for the length of this post, but you guys seem like a gold mine of information and experience. I've already learned a lot reading through the forum and researching. I feel compelled to lay it all out here in the hope that you all will be kind enough to answer some of my questions, even if they seem silly :-)
I'm a 33 year old woman dx'ed 2 weeks ago. I'd been in a bad state for months. I was exhausted, achy, loopy, cranky, with loads of fluid in/out, ravenous hunger, boils, abscesses, colds/flus, blurry vision, headaches, high body heat, super dry skin, and recently, yeast that won't stay gone. I'd also lost about 20lbs while eating massive amounts of food. I thought that part was a miracle, ha!
Q- Are all these symptoms common? Will they all go away when my bs is more normal? Any tricks on dealing with these issues?
I finally saw my GP, but he wasn't really concerned and didn't get any tests done. Luckily, I had an obgyn appt soon after, and she agreed to do blood work. I was surprised to get a call from her early the next am. She told me I had severe diabetes and that she'd made an urgent appt with an endo for me that day. She's awesome! My blood sugar was about 500, and my A1c was 11.8.
Q- How dangerous was it to go around like this? What would've happened if I hadn't gone to that dr? Do you think it's likely my body was damaged from having my bs so high for possibly months?
At my appt with the endo, I was given a novolog pen, 70/30 mix, and a glucose monitoring kit. My instructions were to test and inject 10 units 3x/day before meals with 60-85 carbs each. My bs stayed in the 400's.
My next appt a few days later covered more information and answered some questions, and I was put on a schedule to slowly increase my dosage to bring my bs down. Blood was taken for a lipid panel, metabolic panel, and antibodies.
Over the next 10 days, my bs was between 250-400 while I ratcheted up my insulin to 20 units 3x/day. My thirst is less, but I still feel like a mummy... dried up! My infections are gone, but I must take diflucan every 4 days to keep yeast away. I swelled about 10lbs so far and have a constant headache. I still get loopy, hungry, and super tired. Exercise (even heavy housework) makes me feel AWFUL.
Q- Is it normal to still have these symptoms? Will this all stop once my bs are under a certain #? If so, at about what #? What's causing the headache? Will anything make it go away?
My last (3rd) appt was yesterday. My endo dx'ed me as having type 1 due to the presence of GAD antibodies (8.1 U/mL) and the way I presented. I'm still surprised that it's not type 2, I didn't even know that adults can just suddenly have type1 D before all this! I was negative for the other antibodies. I switched to 4 meals/day (and 20 units novolog mix before ea meal) with a goal of 50 carbs/meal. Told to only test before each meal.
Q- Is there any way it's not type 1? Are there any other tests that could give more insight, or a possible change in dx? Is there anything I should ask my dr to change his instructions on? Is there anything else I can do right now to improve my progress?
I'm concerned about my other test results. Dr. says it's likely all from the high bs, but I can't find much info on internet searches.
My microalbumin was high (28 ug/mL, normal 0-17), and the microalb/creatine ratio followed suit (69.5 mg/g). I was told to use less nsaids (so hard w a bad back!) and go light on meat consumption.
Q- How bad is that? Is it likely that my kidneys will go back to 100% with better bs? How do you know when there's permanent damage? Is high protein from veg, soy, dairy, and grains ok? How much will eating meat affect me? Is there anything else I can do to be kind to my kidneys?
My triglycerides are crazy high at 959 (0-149 normal), cholesterol is 357 (100-199 norm), hdl is low at 30 (39+ norm). I was instructed to eat low fat, retest later.
Q- Anyone else ever have numbers like that? Did they go to normal quickly once your bs was ok? Am I at risk for any extra problems right now, assuming those levels haven't been a long term thing? What do I eat??? Does having four meals consisting of 400-500 calories, 50g of carbs, low in fat, and no/low meat seem ideal for me? Any suggestions?
Lastly, I want to lose weight. I've been overweight for over a year now, and really want to get back in shape. I spent the 5 months after the 'big gain' eating clean (veggies, lean meats, good fats, high fiber carbs, some fruit, etc), lowish calories (1400-1800/day), and doing 4 hrs weight training, 5+ hrs cardio per week. I've been heavy before, but was always able to get back to normal this way. After 5 mo, I did look a little better, but didn't even drop 1 size. Scale showed only 3lb lost. I got frustrated, the mega hunger had started, and I went back to poor habits. That's when I started losing weight due to the D. Not a magical metabolism fairy, much to my disappointment ;-)
Q- Was my inability to lose weight related to D? If not, any theories? Any advice on effective weight loss strategy? Is there anything different I should do because of the D? Is there anything that will lessen the hunger? Are there any prescriptions or supplements that would help me?
If you made it this far, THANK YOU! I appreciate any and all guidance you feel like sharing.
I've heard choosing a brand of pump is like choosing a car - pretty much a matter of taste and lifestyle. There are probably a lot of discussions in the archives here detailing the virtues and faults of each kind.
When I was looking it all over I liked that Animas used actual T1 diabetic people for its PR and trainers, not gorgeous actors, I also liked that Animas didn't make their insulin cartridges so that only their own in-brand tubing and sets could attach to them like MiniMed does (if you study pumps a little you'll get what I'm talking about). And Animas claims its pumps are waterproof, which I don't know about for sure, as i remove it for showers or swimming. The batteries last me about a month and I like the large bright black with white text screen as my eyes aren't great anymore (had T1 43 yrs.). Recent models have a system where the bg meter communicates with the pump wirelessly, allowing you to take insulin, without digging the pump out of your bra/pocket/wherever - nice in a restaurant.
Others folks will give you glowing reports on their pump brands as well. Omnipods are nice in that they use a remote for everything - no tubing. Might be more expensive, though. I don't know.
If your insurance is great you can also get a constant glucose monitor to go with your pump. It doesn't replace the bg testing, but it will let you know when your bg is trending down or up or if it's stable - helpful in avoiding bad lows as well as fine tuning your pump settings. I don't have this, so I'm left to frequent testing and having to use my own judgement.
Hope this helps.
Thanks Earthling! I'm starting my research on pumps and constant glucose monitors. That sounds like the ideal way to go.
Hi there, I'm so sorry to hear of your diagnosis and your troubles. I have faith that most of your symptoms will get MUCH better with time. When our glucose is high, we are prone to all kinds of nasty infections, but when you get your insulin balance corrected, your immune system will improve and you'll find that the infections will, for the most part, either go away or get much, much better. I don't know about the kidneys, but surely having normalized blood glucose will help there, too?
Excessive thirst paired with excessive urination (i.e. waking up several times in the night to pee), excessive hunger paired with unexplained weight loss, blurry vision, recurring yeast infections, poor healing of wounds (e.g. boils, abscesses and infections that won't heal or heal very, very slowly), feeling lethargic/miserable/tired/cranky, etc. are all symptoms of prolonged hyperglycemia (high blood glucose.) I'm kind of shocked that your general practitioner didn't see all your symptoms as red flags, as they're right on the list for pre-diagnosis diabetes and/or uncontrolled diabetes. You were a very sick girl, eh? Shame on him.
However, you are also very lucky you didn't end up in the E.R. with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) which is how far, far too many T1's are first diagnosed. Kudos to your OB/GYN for catching the signs and testing, but she should have done a finger-stick right there and then:
Diabetic Ketoacidosis Symptoms
A person developing diabetic ketoacidosis may have one or more of these symptoms:
Now that you're testing your BG's and on insulin, you shouldn't have to worry about DKA unless you're sick (e.g. with the flu where you have trouble keeping down food/liquids.) But it's good to learn the symptoms and keep some Ketostix on hand to test your urine for ketones when your BG is high, and have a "sick day" plan figured out and written down with input from your doctor and/or CDE, just in case.
Re. home testing for ketones in urine:
LaGuitariste- Thank you for all the info and kind words!
I wonder if I did have DKA, I had the majority of those symptoms, though no vomiting. I did test for ketones (I used to keep a very strict diet and had to make sure I didn't go too far into ketosis, so I already had sticks at home) and I had mild/moderate? ketones until the 4-5th day on insulin (when my bs finally dropped under the 400's). It was the lightest purple then pink, then none. My Dr told me not to test, but I was curious. Is it always a bad thing to be producing ketones? What should I do if I have them again?
My initial family physician told me I didn't need to worry about it. The PA at the endo's office said if I am ever really ill, vomiting, diarrhea... etc... It could kick out some ketones... so might want to monitor then.. and since there's a risk of zoonotic diseases causing diarrhea especially.. lol.. I asked for a script for them just in case. I got the foil wrapped ones which last longer...
Excellent books for the newly diagnosed and any diabetic trying to do a better job of managing their diabetes with insulin, dietary changes, lifestyle changes, etc.:
"Think Like a Pancreas -- A Practical Guide to Managing Diabetes with Insulin"
-- by Gary Scheiner, MS, CDE
-- by John Walsh, PA, CDE
"Blood Sugar 101 -- What They Don't Tell You About Diabetes"
-- by Jenny Ruhl
"Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution -- The Complete Guide to Achieving Normal Blood Sugars"
-- by Richard K. Bernstein, M.D.
There is a LOT of information to take in and you will no-doubt feel overwhelmed at first. That is perfectly normal. Everyone feels the same way. (((Hugs!!!)))
Jean, is that you? I find it confusing when people switch their screen names!
Yes, it's me, Zoe. I apologize for any confusion. ;0(
That's ok, I'm easily confused!
Awesome, thanks again! Books are ordered!
Hi! I was just diagnosed on February 10th..
Fasting BG of 293, A1C of 12.4. Did not feel SICK persay, but was drinking upwards of 2-3 gallons of fluids a day... obviously running to restroom a lot as a result, lost 23lbs in 10mos with most of it occurring over a 6 week period in August. Extremely dry skin, yeast issues... really similar symptoms to yours.
They sent me to ER for fear of DKA. Gave me 2 liters of fluids and a Humalog pen for the weekend. Literally, the next day I felt better.
I had some protein in my urine at diagnosis, but did not have any present today. But I have gotten my BG to where it is below 200 most of the time.
Not sure why they gave you the 70/30 mix and don't know anything about it really... I'm on Lantus long acting insulin and Humalog for meals and it seems to be working great for now.. :)
I'm so glad I'm not the only newly diagnosed T1 with lots of questions. :) I wish I could help more, but other more experienced people will be much more helpful.
It sounds to me like you're doing a great job, palominovet!
Drinking all that water is probably what helped keep you out of DKA -- dehydration makes it worse -- and so does drinking high-sugar beverages like fruit juice. That's what sends a lot of pre-diagnosis diabetics into the stratosphere.
I'm glad you're already feeling better.