I am new to type 2. My first post on tudiabetes

Diagnosed 3 weeks ago. I am using an app to track my numbers and currently averaging 124 after 2.5 weeks of testing and drugs. My biggest problem is that I wake up each morning saying "OMG: I'm a diabetic". Grew up believing it was a disease of sloth. I guess like anyone who has this diagnosis I hope I can somehow get my numbers down and maybe go off meds. Is this a realistic hope??

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Comment by brokenpole on March 7, 2012 at 12:04pm

When I was first diagnosed T2 in 1988 I was stunned. I controlled it with diet and playing ice hockey (exercise) for about 4 years. Then came the oral meds. Then finally insulin in 1996.

Maintaining you health is certainly a way to help combat the disease. But you must realize that diabetes is a progressive disease. You may exercise more, loose weight and eat healthy and be able to stop the meds. Or you may not.

The longer you stay on this site and read the more you are going to learn some very important facts. Like diabetes is different for each diabetic. What works for me may not work for you.

Good luck and remember...YOU CAN DO IT!

Comment by visart on March 7, 2012 at 12:30pm

thank you for your insight broken pole. may i ask at what age you were diagnosed?

Comment by LaGuitariste on March 7, 2012 at 12:59pm

Hi, visart! I'm sorry you had to join our club, but we're all in this together and I'm glad you found us. Welcome!

I see from your profile that your last HbA1C was 8.5, According to Dr. Bernstein, you'd calculate your mean plasma glucose over the last three to four months thus:

Mean Plasma Glucose = ((A1C x 35.6) - 77.3)

or in your case ((8.5 * 35.6) - 77.3) = 225 mg/dl

You have plenty of room for improvement and I know that you can get that down in no time if you put your mind to it. Let us know what kind of medications you're taking and how you're dealing with carbs in your diet, what kind of exercise and how much, etc. and we'll do our best to help you.

Right now you're pretty much in shock -- I know, that's how we all were. Upset. Shocked. Scared. Wishing it would all just go away. Overwhelmed by all the buzz-words and information. It takes time to get a handle on it. Gretchen Becker has a good book, "Type 2 Diabetes: The First Year." I found it very helpful. This website is great. The Blood Sugar 101 website is helpful.

The bad news is that if you are not overweight and already exercise regularly, there's a strong chance that you have inherited some not-so-great combination of the diabetes genes (sorry!!!) and you may not be able to go completely off of medications in the future.

The good news is that if you seriously up your game (tight control of your carb intake, vigorous exercise on a near-daily basis, making sure you're not carrying any excess body fat) you might be able to get by for a long time on minimal meds and put off insulin use for a very long time.

However, please note that using diabetes meds -- especially insulin -- is MUCH preferable to diabetic complications, so try to let go of any anti-med, anti-insulin attitudes right now. They may turn out to be your very best allies in fighting off any long-term diabetes-related complications.

Right now, it's all about learning. You're about to get a lot of new information. I hope it won't feel like the proverbial "fire hose in the face". Just pace yourself and when you feel overwhelmed, go for a walk! For T2 (insulin resistant) diabetics, exercise is the golden key to lower BG's.

Comment by visart on March 7, 2012 at 1:16pm

Thanks LaGuitriste. I work out in martial arts 5 days a week and walk 30 mins on the others. I am taking medformin 1000mg extended release once daily at night. I don't have much weigh to lose.I have to hook up with a CDE to go over diet. All I know is that any kind of bread, even recommended sprouted types spike my blood levels. For some reason every time I eat salmon my numbers go down! Do all diabetics eventually end up using insulin??

Comment by brokenpole on March 7, 2012 at 1:22pm

visart, I was 34 when diagnosed.

Comment by Ann on March 7, 2012 at 2:01pm

Welcome to the forum, visart!

Salmon makes my numbers go down, too. It's one of my favourite protein sources. I think it's so effective because it's protein and it's full of omega 3 fatty acids which are good for us. You may find, over time, that protein, in general, keeps your BG level or helps it lower. Fat will do the same thing. It's carbohydrates that are the tricky thing! Lots of green veggies are satisfying and low carb, but the starchy vegetables are likely to send your BG high. I can't eat any grains, cereals, pasta, starches or high-carb vegetables without raising my BG a lot higher than I'm comfortable.

I think most of us have felt ashamed, guilty or embarrassed to be diagnosed with diabetes in adulthood. The media tells us every day that Type 2 is preventable and that all we have to do is take proper care of ourselves if we want to avoid it. The problem is that this isn't true. As you'll discover, there are many, many thin adults who have T2. There are lots and lots of very obese adults who have perfectly normal blood sugar levels and who never become diabetic. This is one of the ways that we know that we didn't cause this disease. Jenny Rhul has a very helpful article about this at the Blood Sugar 101 website. Everything she writes about is fully documented in respected medical journals.

The last thing I want to say is that the thing that matters more than anything else is to keep your blood glucose within normal limits. It doesn't matter how you do it. Some of us will be able to do this with diet and reasonable exercise. Others will need to add in some medication. Some will need insulin or find that it's the medication that just works best for them. There's no absolutely right or wrong way. And, since diabetes is a progressive disease, most people will find, over time, that they will need to change or adapt their way of controlling their blood sugar. Just as taking insulin is not a sign of failure or laziness, being able to manage your blood sugar with intense exercise isn't the high road to heaven, either. We're all different and diabetes affects each of us in different ways at different times.


Comment by LaGuitariste on March 7, 2012 at 2:09pm

Hi visart -- Yes, lots of diabetics are sensitive to the carbs in grains. That's pretty universal. Starches are a big problem for most of us: potato and other starchy root vegetables, grains and flour products like bread and pasta, of course sweets like fruit juice and desserts.

After all, diabetics use refined grains, sugars and starches (things like fruit juice, crackers, etc.) to treat hypoglycemia because these foods raise blood sugar quickly.

It makes sense that salmon would help your blood glucose go down, fish and fish oils have strong anti-inflammatory effects and Type 2 diabetes is all about insulin resistance and inflammation. Many of us take anti-inflammatory supplements like fish oil, flax oil, evening primrose oil, alpha-lipoic acid, etc. as well as the doctor-recommended 81-mg of aspirin. Lots of low-glycemic (low-sugar) vegetables have anti-oxident and anti-inflammatory effects, too, such as broccoli, asparagus, tomato, all kinds of greens like kale and collards, red and green peppers, etc. Think brightly-colored vegetables that are low in starch.

Given your relative youth (you look pretty young in your picture), your active life-style, your relatively low body fat, and your HbA1C at diagnosis, I'm thinking that it is likely that you will need insulin at some point in the future. If you were in your mid-70's, portly and had been sedentary for some time at first diagnosis, I'd think there would be a good chance of you lowering your numbers significantly just through life-style changes. But your lifestyle sounds like it's already pretty darn good. That you still came up with an A1C of 8.5 at your age means that you probably have some pretty strong genetic tendencies towards insulin resistance and that eventually you will progress to needing insulin.

But do you know what? That's not really what matters right now. Just file it away in your "Things To Worry About Later" file and focus on what you can do NOW to be as healthy as possible, OK? As my grandma used to say, "Why borrow trouble from tomorrow? Don't you have enough trouble today?"

Comment by LaGuitariste on March 7, 2012 at 2:12pm

Oh, and re. T2 being mis-identified in the media as exclusively a "disease of sloth": I know several younger, super-fit people who also developed T2 despite their stellar life-style. One was a triathlete and the other a marathon runner. It happens. Sometimes our genes just aren't what we wish they would be. I didn't get Elizabeth Taylor's violet eyes, Buckminster Fuller's genius or Ginger Roger's ability to do everything Fred Astaire could do -- backwards, in heels -- either. Heck, I can't even walk in heels!!!

The sooner we accept our genetic hand, the sooner we can start playing it to the best of our ability, right?

Comment by visart on March 7, 2012 at 2:45pm

I am 58. Good photo i guess. Thank you all. Feel like I just went to diabetes boot camp in the space of an hour. What is your source of carbs and energy? I find I have to have coffee before my martial art training. The main thing I am fighting right now is exhaustion. I am told this is NOT a side effect of medformin and but most likely my diet???

Comment by LaGuitariste on March 7, 2012 at 4:02pm

Exhaustion is directly related to insulin resistance. If your cells are resistant to insulin, that means that they can't take up the energy they need to work. All this glucose is in your bloodstream, but it's not being properly utilized. T2's put out more and more insulin to try to brute force, so to speak, energy into the insulin resistant cells.

Think of glucose being on one side of a whole bunch of little doors, and your energy-using cell parts being on the other side of all those little doors. Insulin is the key that opens these doors to get the glucose into the cells. However, the doors/keys don't work correctly; your glucose piles up outside the doors and your energy-using cell parts are clamoring for glucose, making you feel exhausted. Your body puts out more insulin to try every possibly way to get the energy into your resistant cells. T2's end up with higher than normal blood glucose AND higher than normal insulin (at least at first.)

Metformin works by making the little doors in your cell walls more likely to open up to glucose (it increases "insulin sensitivity" and decreases "insulin resistance".)

As your blood glucose normalizes, you'll feel better because more glucose is getting into your cells and less is floating around unused in your bloodstream. Hyperglycemia (high blood glucose) makes you feel tired and unwell, too, because your body isn't designed to have all that extra glucose in your bloodstream. It makes your blood not work as well at transporting nutrients and doing it's other jobs. Healing takes a while, and as you adjust to lower average blood glucose values, you might feel a bit woozy or unwell from time to time. That's normal, too. Just give it a bit of time. Bodies aren't like light switches. They take time to readjust to new conditions. Think of recovering from a bad flu. You don't expect to feel perfectly fine the next day. It might take a few weeks of metformin, dietary improvements, lowering blood glucose values, adding some supplements, etc. to feel much, much better.

On the subject of exhaustion, have you had your vitamin D levels checked?


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