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Type 2 diabetes and diet

(13 Posts)

DH has just been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. He's got a prescription for Metformin and has to go back in a couple of weeks for dietary and lifestyle advice. In order to not mess things up too badly in the interim I've been having a nose round the NHS website and have found that a normal healthy diet is indicated ... 'based on starchy foods such as potatoes, rice and pasta' - can this possibly be right? I would have thought that lowering carbs would be the way to go.

He is 47, weight is top end of normal (so could lose a bit), BP slightly raised but not excessive, diet - lifelong vegetarian, mostly whole foods, no current restrictions on carbs or fats, quite a lot of dairy and eggs. His DMum (also lifelong veggie) also has type 2 so possible hereditary factor.

What should he be eating?

Bourdic Mon 16-Jun-14 13:02:01

Oh dear - they are still at! My husband has type 1 diabetes but the diet advice is the same. We found the NHS advice dangerous rubbish. The best advice is to follow a low GI diet. Some carbs are needed but DH has small portions - potatoes, only boiled: pasta only whole meal; rice only basmati. bread -we now make our own. We have some lovely recipes for puddings and cakes as well as other dishes in some diabetes cookbooks -pM if you want to know which ones. At the beginning, I would also say test a lot before and after meals to get a better idea of what adversely affects his bg levels. Exercise very helpful indeed

Thanks Bourdic, as I thought. The trouble is he's a bit clueless about nutrition generally and is likely to take NHS advice at face value and not question. Is there a really really reputable source I can direct him to for low GI for diabetes?

Bourdic Mon 16-Jun-14 13:18:39

Will look it up for you when I get home

It is rubbish isn't it. I have type II diabetes and control it with Metformin and a low carb (and generally high fat) diet. For me low GI/GL didn't keep my blood sugars low enough, although I ate that way when pregnant and using insulin.

My hba1c has lowered from over 90 to 43, I lost three stone and all my other blood results including cholesterol also lowered massively to within acceptable (in fact good) ranges.

Www.diabetes.co.uk has lots of information about different types of diets and pros and cons of each which might be helpful as well to look through to find what pathway he wants to follow.

TheFuzz Mon 16-Jun-14 13:30:12

Low GI or indeed whole grain is better as it's a slow release carb. Ideally needs to be careful with simple sugars as this introduces a sugar high rather quickly.

I would go to the Diabetes UK web site and have a good read there about advice.

Type 2 is pretty easy to manage with diet and regular blood testing - does he have a blood glucose monitor ? He should get one as you'd need to use this before a long drive !

Nothing wrong with carbs as you need these in a healthy diet, but you may want to control these, especially suggary stuff. A good book to get is one called Carbs and Cals - it's like the bible to Type 1 diabetics - the good side is it shows you the food that are very high in carbs - Macdonald's are frightening !

I have a child that is type 1 BTW.

Thanks for the advice, I'm checking out the diabetes uk site now smile I don't know if they have said anything to him yet about regular testing or glucose monitoring. He came in from the GP, dumped the medication, mumbled something about complex starches and low fat dairy then dashed off to work confused We'll have a proper chat tonight mostly about portion size.

Bourdic Mon 16-Jun-14 14:03:31

www.diabetes.org.uk/Guide-to-diabetes/Managing-your-diabetes/Healthy-eating

This mentions low gi. The testing is so useful because everyone will react differently and it can also be a wake up call. Once he's got his head round it, he won't need to test as much, how old is he?

Thanks Bourdic. He's 47.

TheFuzz Mon 16-Jun-14 15:58:06

With Diabetes, the better you manage your diet, the less problems you have long term. Type 1 is very different to Type 2, but if you don't respond to what you 'should' be doing, then you can get very ill.

I know Type 2's that don't control their diets and go round saying they aren't diabetic, yet are on Metformin but they eat sugary stuff all the time, and blood sugars are above 10.

Exersice and weight loss are great for diabetes - less medication needed !!

You can't mess about being a Type 1 though !!

Bourdic Mon 16-Jun-14 17:29:44

When my DH was diagnosed, I felt that the partners of newly diagnosed people were very much ignored and yet we are absolutely fundamental to the situation being managed well. Can you go with him to the dietary/ lifestyle appointment? Is that with a nurse? If you can go, read up before hand so you know what you want to ask about. Do you know what his hba1c figure was ( that's how they would have diagnosed the diabetes), what's his cholesterol? We started keeping out own records of all the test results - it's been very useful. Ask about the retinal screening - type 2 ( unlike type 1)can be present and doing damage long before is diagnosed. He also needs the foot examination as well. He needs all these basic tests now so you have a baseline against which to measure future changes. In general, diabetes care is not good in this country, but you might be luckier. The best money we spent was having a private consultation in the early stages so we could have an in depth discussion with the consultant. We also pay for annual retinal screening ( 35 ) as he then sees the same optometrist each time and gets the results straightaway - the image is put up on the screen and compared at once with the previous years. It really can be managed but it needs commitment and hard work and taking seriously. The awful thing about diabetes is that the damage happens silently and insidiously and so people can be complacent until it's too late. It's good he's been diagnosed but you did to know the test result figures so you know what you have to deal with

Thanks, such a lot of info to take in! I do intend to go to the appt. with him if I can. He'll be home any time now so I can ask him about his test results and what else the gp said. He has private medical insurance through work but has never investigated it much, I wonder if he's covered for some of this stuff?

Bourdic Mon 16-Jun-14 21:14:25

Certainly worth asking. Well good luck - PM if you think I can ever help and just really learn all you can and between you be in charge of the diabetes - not vice versa

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