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Chemist tested me for diabetes - sent me to the Dr TODAY urgently...please come and talk to me...

(723 Posts)
MyHeadWasInTheSandNowNot Tue 22-Jan-13 15:28:34

<Sorry, just got to the end and realised how long this is!!>

These are my questions

1: The reading the chemist got was 20 - can anyone tell me what this means (ie how 'serious' it is) and if they think it could be controlled and/or preferably gotten rid of through diet and exercise.

2: What will the Dr do today.

The rest is whittering background.

Also, I just wanted to say that I'll have to go in about an hour and wont be able to get back on line until tomorrow afternoon, but I haven't done a runner and will be grateful for any help/advice.

[I'm a regular - I've namechanged because I'm not sure yet if I want to tell anyone or not and I have a few RL friends on MN. It's not that I mind people knowing as such it's just that I don't want it to turn into A Big Deal]

I have been wondering for quite some time if I might have diabetes. A few things have made me wonder about it such as

- Excessive thirst (always having to have a bottle of water on me)

- Eyes a bit blurry at night (been blaming the overhead light and the small tv screen with tivo bright red background and only a problem at night and spending too much time looking at screens)

- Occasional 'shakes'

- I am overweight and struggle with feeling like my 'blood sugars' aren't right

...but what made me 'man up' to getting tested was that last week & yesterday I had a couple of episodes of light headedness/feeling faint when doing things such as changing a lightbulb, I had also been having them in the shower, but put that down to it being hot/steamy etc

I called the chemist about a year ago blush to see if they did the tests, but ended up not going <hence my name for this thread>

I also went to my Dr about 3-4 years ago with constant tiredness and no real reason for it.... he put it down to my weight (which although I'm overweight was not stopping me doing anything, being reasonably fit etc), he really wasn't interested in looking further. I haven't been back, but am and have been pretty much constantly tired since before then. I know I should have seen another Dr but it's hard when you are overweight and they don't seem interested in seeing past that and accept their might be something other excess weight causing the problem.

I wonder now how long I might have had it for and thus how much damage I might have done already to my body, especially my eyes, that's pretty scary.

I was already overweight, but I was pretty fit - then something quite lifechanging happened and I've put on more weight, stopped exercising and I am not unfit. I'm certainly not can't move off the couch unfit - I could still easily walk 4 miles, run for the bus (i'd be panting but I could do it and would recover pretty quickly) - but something else I've noticed (just yesterday I really 'thought' about it) is that I have been putting off doing stuff like walking places (now I take the car), running up the stairs (now only ever walk), kicking the ball about with the kids etc and I realised yesterday it's because when I do I feel awful - not just tired/worn out but light headed and a bit pukey - it's been a gradual thing.

I am totally committed to exercising - a minimum of 30 minutes every day without fail (have just been for an hours walk - about 3 miles) and to improving my diet (which I fully accept hasn't been great for a while, since this 'thing' happened and for a wee bit before then).

I'm not looking for any magic cure - I just want to know if I can get rid of the diabetes through diet and exercise.

Thank you if you made it this far - or even if you didn't wade through it all but can help.

MyHeadWasInTheSandNowNot Thu 21-Feb-13 19:55:27

SCOTCH agreed smile It's just a shame the NHS can't catch up with that!

MrsHP - well, I suppose I'll see in a few weeks, but if she looks even remotely pleased for me, the celeriac mash is on me smile

Re the metformin - I don't know how else to explain it really. I will see what my results are like at my next Hba1c and take it from there. If I had got higher readings & had they stayed that way, I probably would have started taking them, but as they aren't that high (in the 6's) and seem to be coming down, I don't understand why it's necessary to take them?

I can't give you a 'link' - I can't remember which site I read it on, it was on one of the many diabetes sites I have read. It was a nurse saying what she 'had' to do, even though she didn't agree with it.

Also, my chemist said that she felt that controlling it through diet/exercise/weight loss was the Gold Standard & that the NHS was too quick to prescribe without trying that route first - then she said 'but I can't tell you what to do, you have a diabetes nurse for that - but it's what I'd do' (meaning diet & weightloss etc).

ILove - it's good you don't have any other 'risks' or 'symptoms' - you might be able to catch things before you get that far - fingers crossed.

How are you feeling on your diet?

Although I have done an enormous amount of whinging on this thread blush I am low carbing and >whispers< it does seem to be working. I've given away for good 13lbs in 5 weeks.

Once you get past the first few days you really do get into a much nicer 'place' where you can eat lovely food, not feel hungry and not really count calories.

BIWI has a 'Bootcamp' that's got a great following, with lots of lovely posters, there's a recipe thread and after the bootcamp there's a permanent chat thread. I'm sort of doing it, but being vegetarian <no eggs> I make a few changes to suit me. I'm still doing a ketogenic diet though. I bought the ketostix to ensure I was actually in ketosis and check if I think there's a remote chance I might have gone out of it but on the whole it's easy to stay in ketosis.

Find the threads or let me know if you want to talk about it anymore smile

Keep posting!

isithometime Fri 22-Feb-13 08:41:00

ilove - if your home test strips show normal readings on several days then i dont see why there would be any need to check with the gp for diabetes as they will just do exactly the same thing?

isithometime Fri 22-Feb-13 08:42:06

myhead - whats the average amount of carbs you are eating a day to stay in ketosis?

xigris Fri 22-Feb-13 08:52:30

I'm with Scotch: a blood sugar reading of 20 is EXTREMELY high and must be taken seriously. I'm not sure why your GP isn't TBH. Personally I would suggest a trip to A&E today. Best of luck!

SCOTCHandWRY Fri 22-Feb-13 11:25:34

Xigris... The op did get diagnosis... Is under control, op was posted some weeks ago! grin

MyHeadWasInTheSandNowNot Sat 23-Feb-13 00:27:42

isithometime you get so few testing strips in those things (usually only 2) I doubt you'd be able to be completely sure and I think ILOVE needs to go to the Dr anyway to sort out the cloudy urine - so she might as well get a blood test done while she's there.

I seem to be averaging about 30g of carb a day - however, that hasn't been a calculated thing at all. I just put my food into MFP and it spits out the numbers (that's all I'm using it for, I'm not 'using' it properly). I haven't played around to see if I could go higher or not as I'm pretty happy with how things are going at the moment.

Hi SCOTCH smile

MyHeadWasInTheSandNowNot Sat 23-Feb-13 01:01:13

Well, today (Friday) is a calendar a month since the fateful day I went to the chemist.

What a month. A lot has happened, both with this and other stuff.

I am now 6KG/14lbs/1 stone lighter - exactly, to the day grin which is also exactly the bottom end of the % they say will start to have a good effect on your bgl's - how mad is that shock grin

thanks So THANK YOU to ALL of you, for getting me this far - every single post has been really really appreciated x thanks

I also told my friends - the ones whose house I eat at all the time and eat out with more than anyone else.

They were concerned about my diet (as in why I needed to do it, what I was hoping to get out of it, if I was finding it too restrictive etc and what would happen at the end of the 3 months, could I start to reintroduce foods etc) as they knew I'd been to the Drs and were obviously concerned, so I felt the time was right to tell them. I have asked them not to tell anyone else and have said I'm happy to talk about it, but I just don't want it to stop us doing anything or become a problem when eating with them etc.

They were (as expected) lovely, balanced and interested. My friend (the female half of the couple) is quite interested as she would like to 'give away' some pounds as well. My other friend (her DH) was fully supportive (I think anyway, definitely seemed so) of me doing it, but as chief cook and carb addict grin he looked less than pleased at their family doing it <oops> She has taken John Briffa's name and directions to the Bootcamp Recipe thread - so you never know?! It's a lot to take in at once and she has a lot going on IRL. I'll talk to her more on Sunday.

We went out for dinner tonight - spur of the moment thing to a Brewersfayre restaurant, they were all having starters so I had a side of 'grilled mushrooms' then I had a buffalo/rocket/tomato salad and I ordered a coleslaw to go with it, but I was so stuffed I only had a couple of teaspoons of it. Sparkling water - no alcohol and a small latte while they had dessert.

It was really nice and even though they were all eating things I like - I didn't feel bothered by it.

We ate really early (for me - about 5.30/6) and I was a bit peckish when I got home at about 11.30 so I had some macadamias and some almonds.

<Waves at G if she's reading this x smile >

Fasting 5.9
Nuts plus 1 - 6.2
no other readings today.

MrsHerculePoirot Sat 23-Feb-13 08:13:19

What a lovely positive post myhead and a stone is brilliant!

BIWI Sat 23-Feb-13 13:35:38

Fantastic! thanks

MyHeadWasInTheSandNowNot Sat 23-Feb-13 21:37:20

Thanks smile

ExitPursuedByABear Sat 23-Feb-13 22:41:15

Well done you.

MyHeadWasInTheSandNowNot Sat 23-Feb-13 23:22:44

Thanks ExitPBAB smile

Though, who knows what it will all be like tomorrow!!

I had a weird day today - I had avocado & cheese for breakfast, but had to eat it really quickly, so didn't feel like I'd had it.

Lunch was the buffet thing I said I was going to - really not much there low carb vegetarian - so had some salad greens and a couple of handfuls of olives, a little later there was cheese and I had quite a lot... I'd say around 90g of each stilton & cheddar (over an hour or two) and a small glass of red wine.

When I got home I was hungry, really hungry, so I put some pre-prepared veg on to cook & made celeriac mash. LOADS - 270g of uncooked celeriac (half of one). Ate all of that. Still hungry, drank water, waited a while, still hungry and have now just polished off 50g of almonds, 25g of macadamias and 2 slices of cheese.

I have no idea what's going on?

I'm stupidly tired (2 hrs sleep last night) - could be that.

Just checked - still in ketosis - so not that. (I couldn't see how I wouldn't be given what I've eaten/drunk - but too much sugar in the red wine was a posibility).

Feel ravenous like pre-period, but not due?

Just 'one of those things' ?

Carbs still only 22 for the day, but fecking hell, the calories & fat... 2455 & 211. That's 2 normal days worth!! Not sure what impact it will have, but hopefully not too bad and considering the carbs I passed on today, it could have been much worse. (Lovely fresh bread out of the oven, crakers with the cheese, lemon tarts & birthday cake - but it didn't bother me to say 'No thank-you' smile though it all looked nice.

MrsHerculePoirot Sun 24-Feb-13 11:51:10

Well done myhead to saying "no thank you" that's a big thing.

With the hunger I think you haven't been eating enough. If you are low carbing you can completely forget the calorie thing. I know it goes against everything you have known over the years, but I promise you it is true. Keep on as you are, drinking water and if still hungry have a snack. If hungry eat! Probably also that buffet made you crave food too subconsciously.

You're shaming me into being more careful myself btw - I have my measuring tape out so I don't get despondent during weeks when I don't lose!

MyHeadWasInTheSandNowNot Sun 24-Feb-13 18:50:20

MrsHP I have rarely been hungry, like I've said before, only a couple of evenings and that was because I was still up at silly o'clock 4/5/6 hours after dinner - so not surprising smile

Last night was funny though, I didn't feel satisfied after lunch & would have liked to have something to eat, when I finally got home I put dinner straight on (which is unusal for me), I made the veg & celeriac mash, both with butter & philadelphia cheese. Substantial quanity of both - I'm not really sure why I was so hungry at all??

I didn't have much variety in the day - but I had a ton of cheese & some some olives at lunchtime (I think this is about right - calories 1,146, carbs 3, fat 97, protein 39). So should have been plenty of everything.

Then a dinner of veg with butter & philly cheese in them - should have been fine, but I wasn't. I felt like I was out of ketosis again, but I wasn't (and nothing I'd had should have made me so either?!).

Period isn't due - but I feel like I used to the two days before - could eat a dinosaur & his mate. Very odd.

It could have been a sub-conscious thing due to the buffet - but I really don't think so, other than the bread & crackers there wasn't much there I'd have eaten if I wasn't low carbing and as a vegetarian I'm used to going without at those things and I've never felt like that before, not eating in the day generally doesn't bother me much at all.

Also being vegetarian, I'm pretty good at saying 'No thank you smile' the only time it was a bit difficult was with the Birthday Cake and that was socially uncomfortable, not because I wanted it. I felt like I was being rude - but he'll live to tell the tale I'm sure grin

I'm glad this is 'assisting' you a little as well smile

Hope the tape measure/clothes/scales give you a bit of an incentive as well!!

ExitPursuedByABear Mon 25-Feb-13 11:51:03

DH went to see the diabetes nurse again this morning, wearing his persistent head, and came away with a monitor, 50 needle thingies and a bag full of strips! Well done him. Plus he was 8.7 (he is currently on 3 tablets a day), so all good there.

(Can't decide whether to test myself or not)

MyHeadWasInTheSandNowNot Mon 25-Feb-13 15:03:49

Exit - well done DH!! grin

8.7 is pretty high? Was this after food? How long? What were his levels like before?

You should test yourself - you might as well know one way or the other.

(Though, there are a few things I wish I'd done before I knew grin - drunk some of the bottles of Baileys, had chips at the beach, enjoyed my last baked potato, eaten some Thorntons Chocolate Covered Toffee, had some ice cream, had my favourite Prezzo pasta, my favourite dessert & main at a local restaurant, white wine, chocolate, pizza hut pan pizza that kind of thing! Things I hadn't done in ages (trying to be good) but now feel I can't do anymore because I don't want 'spikes' sad Maybe a little of each from time to time, one day, but I wish I'd made the most of being able to do it diabetically-guilt-free and only been guilty about being fat & doing it!!)

Seriously though, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by testing yourself - you don't even have to go to the chemist or drs to do it!! Had I known about bgl monitors a year ago, I'd have bought one then to test myself! If your levels are high then you can go to the GP and get a foot test, an eye test and some metformin if you want it. If you have it, it's damaging your body everyday it's not undercontrol and if you don't - you can stop worrying about it - but keep an eye on your diet and keep it at bay smile

Go on. Test tomorrow morning fasting (try not to eat after 8pm tonight) and 1/2/3 hours after meals tomorrow and see how you go.

ExitPursuedByABear Mon 25-Feb-13 22:59:14

Crikey don't say that! DH was really pleased as he was 21.7 when they first found it, and then 16 and 15 in subsequent tests so this is the lowest it has been.

I have spent all day fasting today as I have started the 5:2 so was looking forward to a 'good' brekky - you know, veggies sausages and beans! But I don't eat until I have mucked out the horse and walked the dog so maybe I will test when I get home.


isithometime Tue 26-Feb-13 08:27:16

Well 8 down from 20 is really really great, but you must encourage him not to be complacent as this is not a healthy reading and he will be on injections before too long if he cant get his numbers down further ad begin dropping some of the tablets

MyHeadWasInTheSandNowNot Tue 26-Feb-13 10:18:32

Exit Oh right - I didn't realise his had been so high. Was the 8.7 a finger prick or his HbA1c results back?

Don't be scared - testing wont change anything really, it will just mean you can control things if you are diabetic and if you aren't - you can enjoy your veggie sausages & beans, with toast smile Lucky thing!

Did you test??

Ilovesunflowers Tue 26-Feb-13 10:41:19

Well my kit finally arrived. I haven't done a fasting test yet as it didn't arrive in time...I had already eaten breakfast.

My reading was 6.9. I had eaten 2 slices of toast about 60-90 minutes before. Is this normal? I looked online and it said it was at the higher end of normal but that I should have tested 2 hours after having a meal so at 2 hours it might have been a bit lower than this?

I will do a fasting one and one 2 hours after breakfast or lunch.

Is 6.9 normal in these circumstances?

Ilovesunflowers Tue 26-Feb-13 10:42:33

I mean I will test again tomorrow with a fasting one and one 2 hours after a meal.

ExitPursuedByABear Tue 26-Feb-13 11:24:15

isithome - he is currently on 3 tablets a day. I am sure I have read on here of people being on 4. Can you not stay on the tablets indefinitely? He is trying really hard. He has cut out all alcohol and all snacks and has lost 4lbs already, which he thinks is great (I think he could do a lot more). I have ordered an exercise bike for him as the only exercise he gets is walking the dog (and he has to fight me for that), or gardening.

Anyway, he tested me this morning with his new machine and I was 5.7 (fasting). Should I do a post brekky reading as well?

No toast for me as I have given up bread and wine for Lent, but the veggie sausages and beans were lush...

MyHeadWasInTheSandNowNot Tue 26-Feb-13 17:05:06

Ilovesunflowers I would say that your reading, after toast, is 'good'. If mine stayed at that level after eating toast I'd be thrilled smile I haven't tried yet - mine is about that level after a non carby meal BUT I don't want you to 'get your hopes up' that you aren't diabetic because it's crushing to think that, then find out you are <see my early posts> sad

Along with everything else medical, there is some 'debate' over what a good range is, but the NHS, Diabetes UK etc say that up to 7.8 after a meal is in the 'normal' range. However, others say it should be lower than that to be 'normal'

Ranges - Have a look here

To be 'not' diabetic or 'not' glucose impared - really you should be able to eat anything you want and your level not go up past 7.8.

Let me know how you get on with your other ones tomorrow smile

If you want to keep testing, go onto the Contour website and enter their 'draw' for a monitor. Mine finally arrived today, I did it about 3 weeks ago, but because I didn't know if they'd send one or not or how long it would take if they did, I've already bought the Aviva Nano (which I'm very happy with) but it will be good to have a spare and if you are in no hurry, you might as well do it this way.

I have to say though, if I knew before, what I know now, I would have reduced my carbs a LONG time ago. I wouldn't have gone as far as I am now, but I would have cut them way back. I always knew they were nutritionally crap (as in, no or very little goodness in any of them) I just had no idea how much damage they were doing to my 'system' as such. Knowing they are 'not good for you' weight wise or even 'in general' is not the same as knowing how bad or WHY they are bad for you. Sigh.

I'll keep my fingers crossed for you

MyHeadWasInTheSandNowNot Tue 26-Feb-13 17:42:52

Exit It has turned into a very long post blush but I hope there is something useful in it smile

Lots of people are on more metformin that your DH, he has 'room to up them' if he needs to and there are other types of drugs that can help too.

If he can stabilise an at 'acceptable' level then he can stay on those drugs indefinitely. I would say that an 'acceptable level' is lower than then NHS acceptable level though as I think at that level you will probably still be having high enough spikes to do damage at some level.

Of course for most of us 'stabilising' will involve dietary changes as well as the meds - as your DH has started to do, he's done well to cut out snacking and to cut out alcohol. Though if he's feeling too deprived the odd glass of red wine or neat spirit or spirit mixed with soda water shouldn't affect him too much. It doesn't appear to affect my levels at all, though I am being very careful at the moment as it might be having a small effect - so perhaps keeping my levels at 6/7 where they could be at 5/6 iyswim. However, it's been good for me to know I can have the odd drink when out for dinner etc

Have you been able to subtly lower his carbs at all? If he follows the NHS advice of eating carbs at every meal I think he will struggle to bring his levels down enough and will need more meds & if his levels don't come down then he will likely do damage to his eyes and the rest of his body sad

The 8.5 was that his HbA1c level or a finger prick? Has he has his HbA1c done yet? (this requires blood taken properly, not a finger prick)

Has he had his retinopathy (proper eye exam - not one generally offered at the opticians) yet? If not, get onto the Drs and see if it has been sorted out. It's important and sorry, I missed your question a while back - but yes, there are things they can do if he already has some damage, but equally importantly they can keep a close watch on it to make sure it's not getting worse.

Exercise - is he quite active or a bit of a couch potato? Briffa recommends 30 minute brisk walks several times a week and some resistance stuff for optimal weight loss. Being active after meals really helps your BGLs' - even if it's just pottering about, rather than sitting on the couch - I've been trying to do this, but MN is a bit of bad habit of an evening! Still I have lots I need to get done around the house, so I've got an added incentive to shift my bum! smile Could you get him decorating etc if he's not very active in the evenings? (ooh that sounds naughty! LOL << but some of that would help too!! grin

Walk the dog together smile

he tested me this morning with his new machine and I was 5.7 (fasting). Should I do a post brekky reading as well?

4-5.9 is considered 'normal'
4-7 'within range' for a diabetic

So, you fall into both. I am usually 5.8 to 6.2 and variances can be the monitor too (see an earlier post where I rang Aviva).

No toast for me as I have given up bread and wine for Lent Yes, sorry, I'd forgotten that smile Well done you!

Which veggie sausages do you like? I had the Quorn Wild Garlic & Parley ones the other day, they were nice! 5.4g of carb each, but the veggie ones all seem to be that high. I haven't had much quorn or soya as Briffa says to avoid both, but I'm counting things like that at the lesser of two evils when I want something more than just salad/veg.

If you have asked anything else in previous posts and I've missed it, I'm sorry - feel free to ask again! Or if you have any low-carbing questions - feel free to ask smile

Ilovesunflowers Tue 26-Feb-13 18:12:32

Thanks MyHead. I will keep you posted with the readings tomorrow. Fingers crossed. If they remain at this sort of level for a couple of weeks I guess I'm ok? I will test at random intervals for a couple of weeks. I know I still need to make changes as my weight will affect my health at some point if I'm not careful. Weight loss continues.

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