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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.

BIWI Sat 16-Mar-13 17:56:48

According to this low carb site and their BMI counter, your top limit is 9 stone 3 So I've found you 3 extra pounds grin

MyHeadWasInTheSandNowNot Sat 16-Mar-13 18:48:13


If I make it within the general vicinity of 9 stone I think I'll be pretty happy.

For 5 minutes anyway, as I suspect if I get to that I'll want to get back to 8st something grin

Right now it's a loooooooooooooong way off!

...and given how little water I've drunk today - even further off sad I just can't seem to get it down me, even though it's all I drink and before I was low carbing I made a camel look water shy! I think I'm getting more water from my food and making less demands for it (less salt, sugar, dry carbs etc). All I know is that I'm consciously having to try to drink it (and failing most days) even though before I was drinking loads more - frustrating! <bangs head>

BIWI Sat 16-Mar-13 23:07:26

You must drink the water. You know that ...

MyHeadWasInTheSandNowNot Sat 16-Mar-13 23:17:47

I know sad I have bought sports bottles, I have bought straws, I have set an alarm, I am t r y i n g - I'm just not doing too well, especially at the weekends - it's a bit better at work as the job is quite routine based so it has been easier to build it into the routine, also it's warm there, so you naturally drink more... only 1.5 ltrs today sad Will do better tomorrow!

Ilovesunflowers Tue 19-Mar-13 12:47:32

+2 hours = 4.0 smile

Ilovesunflowers Mon 25-Mar-13 13:27:59

Whoop whoop. I seem to have cracked the diet. 5:2 seems to be the way forward for me (with the option of upping exercise or upping to 4:3 if weight loss slows down too much).
I lost 3.5lbs last week (over 6 days so not quite a full week either). Feel great. Sugar levels have been good. I'm drinking a lot more squash and water. Exercising an hour or more a day - a walk before work and a quick, hard gym session after work.

Feeling like I'm finally managing it. I think it's down to 5:2 not being too restrictive. I can still eat out etc as long as I have my two fast days.

Hope everyone else is doing well today.

+2 after lunch was 5.3.

Ilovesunflowers Mon 25-Mar-13 13:28:12

after breakfast not lunch.

ChippingInIsEggceptional Mon 25-Mar-13 21:02:45

ILove - that sounds great smile Well done!!

OliviaMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 15-Apr-13 21:19:47

Hi there
We have moved this thread out of chat to keep it.

MyHeadWasInTheSandNowNot Fri 03-May-13 22:35:28

Thank You Olivia thanks smile

Well, an update as promised (and I'd love to hear everyone else's!).

On Wednesday I went for my 3 monthly blood test.

Today I went to see Nasty Diabetes Nurse for the results...

HbA1c (was originally 9.3) ... 5.8 grin - the look on her face was priceless grin

Cholesterol (which she was concerned by, not me- she wanted me to take statins for it which I had NO intention of doing regardless)

Total (was 5.6) now 4.2
HDL (was 1.28) now .98 ** Not good really, HDL should be higher
LDL (was 3.57) now 2.84
Ratio (was 4.4) now 4.3
Tri's (was 1.64) now .84

NHS says it should be <2 LDL and <4 Serum/Total - so almost there, but as I said, it doesn't bother me what it is as I don't think it indicates much of anything, but if it's 'on target' it keeps them happy and less earache for me!

Weight down by the 'magical' 10% of body weight which is supposed to make a difference smile Which she again, reluctantly, said was 'well done' and I said I can't see the difference when I look in the mirror, she said she could in my face and my boobs grin Then she asked if I was still losing weight and when I said 'yes' she asked what my target weight was I said I wasn't sure - I was always good at 52kg (8 stone) before, but that I'm not longer that age and I can't see me ever getting down to that again, but that 56kg is the top weight I can be and still be in 'healthy' BMI so I was aiming for that, but to be honest, anything less than what I am now is a good thing - so I'll just see and she said something along the lines of '53.5 is my NHS target weight but that's almost half of you, so a lot....' with the implication being that it wasn't achieveable...?>>>? Whatever. I'll show her

She said 'I have to admit you have done well - you can see the metformin does work though' and I took great delight in telling her I hadn't touched it grin grin She was amazed and very reluctantly had to say that she was very impressed, that she had only seen a few people lower it before without drugs but not so drastically and not so fast grin She asked me what I'd done and I told her I have been low carbing and doing a little exercise. She said 'You mustn't be eating anything' - I said 'No, actually, I'm eating more & better than ever before' grin She didn't really want to discuss it though sad

It was really hard not to say 'SEE I TOLD YOU I WOULD DO IT AND YOU WOULDN'T LISTEN' grin

So then I asked her how I go about getting it changed on my medical records so that it doesn't affect things life travel insurance, life insurance etc and she said it's not possible - I'm a diabetic and that's that. After some discussion where she couldn't really refute what I was saying, she ended up saying I'd have to discuss it with my GP.

So - all in all I've been grin all day grin HbA1c down to 5.8 and 2 stone gone - not bad in 3 months grin

She said I should get tested again in 6 months as my levels were so good 3 monthly wasn't necessary, but I said I wanted to be tested again in 3 months and that it would help me to reduce the home testing if I knew that it was being done again in 3 months (it wont actually, but hey) and that I want if OFF my records so I want to prove I have maintainted that level... and yet again she had a go at me for self testing??!! I mean really, how does she think I've done it?? WHY is self testing seen as such a bad thing?? I told her I'm only doing it first thing in the morning & if I eat out/at friends/something 'new'... anyway, I buy all my own supplies and I don't need her permission or support, so she can think/say what she likes, I'll do as I please.

Thank you all, so so so so much for all of your help and support, I couldn't have done it without you thanks xxx

ExitPursuedByABear Fri 03-May-13 22:44:06

Hey you. Great news.

To update you on DH. He had his bloods done this week and he is down to 50 from 112. His cholesterol is 3.2 and he has lost 21lbs. Doc doesn't want to see him for 6 months.

He is taking 3 tablets a day so nothing like your achievement but I am quite proud of him. (I have lost 35lbs at the same time so all to the good)

MyHeadWasInTheSandNowNot Fri 03-May-13 23:30:59

Hi Exit

Thank you smile

Your DH is doing well!! Mine in new terms is 40, down from 78. His cholesterol is really good too and his weight loss... all great! I'm surprised that his Dr doesn't want to see him for 6 months when he's newly on meds?!

You have done brilliantly - 35lbs, that's fantastic!! flowers

Montybojangles Sat 04-May-13 09:02:54

Well done with managing your diabetes so effectively through lifestyle changes, it's the most important thing people can do to help themselves to improve things. You do still have diabetes though, just diabetes that is well controlled. Im sorry.
Its fantastic that you (and exits husband)have got things sorted early on, as there is good evidence now of the "legacy effect" in diabetes, which is that if newly diagnosed type 2s can get good control early on (even if it slips a little in years to come ) it will have a positive effect on reducing complication rates in later life compared to those who don't manage to do this sooner.
Heres a big flowers for doing so amazingly smile

MyHeadWasInTheSandNowNot Sat 04-May-13 10:51:21

Thanks Monty. Can you explain to me why/how I 'still have diabetes'? It makes no sense to me. If I went to the Drs today and they took my bloods with no previous information I would not show as being diabetic, at all, so if I hadn't gone for those tests in January, this would not be on my medical file, I would not be classed as 'diabetic'... why should it now show that I am, when I am no different to anyone else on the street with 'good' blood sugar levels?

Also, would you mind saying what position you are coming from (Doctor/Nurse/Other).... thanks smile

Montybojangles Sat 04-May-13 14:07:26

You had at least 2 tests that conclusively diagnosed diabetes. The average test (HbA1c) which is reported in 2 ways, either mmol or %, and a fasting glucose test. The HbA1c is diagnostic if above 48mmol (or 6.5%), yours was way over above 9% i think you said, meaning your glucose had been very high for at least the previous 3 months. Your fasting BG was also well above the diagnostic level of 7.1mmol or higher.

The aim is to normalise BG to as near none diabetic levels as possible, which would seem to indicate a cure, but it isn't, it's just good management, and currently management that you have achieved all by yourself with alot of hard work (which is exceptional).

But we know your body and your pancreas has struggled (and failed) to cope in the past, so it is likely this may happen again in the future, if your diet/activity levels stop, if you become ill or take meds that cause giver BG levels, if you are under a lot of stress or become pregnant, or simply if your beta cells in your pancreas start to work less effectively. Diabetes is often a progressive condition, requiring changes in management over time.

I would also say you are very different to the average man in the street, as you have seen what you can do to keep yourself well and done it. A lot of people only get diagnosed when admitted to hospital after suffering a complication such as a stroke or heart attack, so you should be giving yourself a huge pat on the back for taking the initiative and getting tested and then sorting it out.

On a separate note, testing BG if type 2 and managed by lifestyle or metformin is not generally required, certainly not regularly fasting if you are well. Maybe monthly if it makes you feel more confident (more if ill), but it can help someone like yourself to monitor how your body copes with bigger meals, new foods etc. The reason we don't often advocate it (in this group of patients) is that it's sadly rare to get patients to be as focused as yourself or who actually use the results of home testing to change anything, making it a bit pointless really.

Thats all a bit rambly sorry. A hopefully not nasty diabetes nurse smile

MyHeadWasInTheSandNowNot Sat 04-May-13 23:46:37

Monty Thank you smile You sound like a lovely, not nasty, diabetes nurse smile I wish you were mine!! It wasn't rambly at all.

Do you mind if I keep 'arguing it out' with you? I need to practice before I go to my GP grin I fully understand if you can't be arsed don't want to do your 'day job' in your time off work though!!

I would say that I had a test that showed that at that point in time my BG levels were high. I had a bad time of things from the October to the point of testing in Jan. I was very stressed and I ate really badly for those months - really badly. (Bereavement related amongst other things.)

I didn't do the test where they get you to drink the glucose drink - does that seem odd to you or normal?

But we know your body and your pancreas has struggled (and failed) to cope in the past, so it is likely this may happen again in the future, if your diet/activity levels stop, if you become ill or take meds that cause giver BG levels, if you are under a lot of stress or become pregnant, or simply if your beta cells in your pancreas start to work less effectively. Diabetes is often a progressive condition, requiring changes in management over time

But how is this different to anyone else on the street? Anyone's could do that?

I feel I am being penalised for going to the Drs and getting it checked out. I wish I had just bought a blood glucose monitor and self tested - then it wouldn't be costing me more for travel insurance, life insurance etc and it wouldn't be affecting other things where you have to 'tick the box'. If they are going to 'penalise' people for having high BGL's in one test, it will stop people getting tested. One single test is going to affect somethings for the rest of my life, even if I never ever have a high reading again... does that seem fair & reasonable to you?

I was testing LOADS and it totally helped me to get a grip on things - it also kept me focussed. It definitely stopped me snacking as I was testing 1, 2 & sometimes 3 hrs after a meal I didn't want 'a snack' to bugger up the results, so I didn't snack LOL. I do use my results so, for me, it's worth every finger prick - but I can see why it's not for people who wont change anything anyway... I will definitely keep testing after any 'new' foods or eating out/at friends etc as I want to know what affect those foods have on my bgl's so I can include or exclude them in future. At some stage I want to have something 'risky' to see how my body handles it, but I'm doing well with the low carbing at the moment and I don't want to mess that up as I'm enjoying the weight loss!! Also, if my body is still lowering its resistane to insulin I want to give it all the help I can.

I had considered the Newcastle Diet - but I don't think it's necessary now really. I think my levels are fine as they are (fasting 5-5.8 and after meals usually 6.2 then straight back down).

Thanks again for taking the time to post smile

digerd Sun 05-May-13 07:56:36

Diabetes, as with many conditions, are caused by a genetic vulnerability.
Many people eat what they like and stay slim others put on weight and eat less.
My SIL is 5' and 11 stone and is a comfort eater. Her cholesterol is fine and she has inherited from her Ddad, an extraordinary cardio vascular system and BS normal.

I had a test in Boots, after several cups of tea with 2 sugars, but no food, a few hours before. It read 3.9.
I was with GP nurse for something else and mentioned it her. She did the prick test and said stroppily, " 4, that is fine. Nothing wrong with your BS!"

MrsHerculePoirot Mon 06-May-13 20:41:23

MyHead that is brilliant news on the results. Well done for making such big lifestyle changes to facilitate those results in such a short time.

As to the having diabetes/not having diabetes from what I know from what you have posted you are a type II diabetic and that is not going to change. Even though when I eat low carb my blood sugars are brilliant as is my Hba1C I am still diabetic. If DH and I eat a carby meal (for example a take away pizza perhaps followed by a pudding or something sweet) after 2 hours DH's blood sugar will be well within the normal range, usually 6-7, but mine will be sky high. That is the difference, my pancreas simply can't deal with carb/sugars effeciently compared to a non-diabetic. If you were to eat say a pub meal of fish and chips, or started having porridge for breakfast then it is unlikely that your blood levels would stay consistently as low as they have been. If they do, then perhaps have you a case...

Re the Glucose Tolerance Test, this is no longer necessary in diagnosis as the advances in the accuracy and reliability of the Hba1C have allowed this to be used in diagnosis (see latest NICE guidelines).

I too also find it frustrating about the self testing, but I do understand. If you aren't taking insulin then you aren't at risk of hypos or don't need to know what your sugars are to perhaps adjust your dose. Of course there are people who would test, use that information sensibly and make changes in the long run costing less to the NHS by using the test strips than not (if that makes sense), but these sadly are not the majority and the same treatment options have to be available to all.

Exit fantastic news on your DH (and you of course!), he has also done brilliantly well. Don't think that he hasn't because he takes metformin, he has still had to make lifestyle changes and that is tough. In my opinion metformin is great, it is used as a fertility drug, for PCOS as well as for diabetes and towards the end of March it was announced that it has the potential to slow the aging process and speed up cancer recovery/slow tumor growth (although more research/trials needed).

BIWI Mon 06-May-13 20:47:37

MyHead <big fat hug>

You have done so well. Fan bloody tastic. flowers

MrsHerculePoirot Mon 06-May-13 21:00:35

Myhead I just reread my post and I don't think it at all reflects how impressed and proud I am of you actually. I got caught up in all the other boring stuff, rather than your FANTASTIC ACHIEVEMENT - I'm really sorry, I really do think it is fab. Funnily enough, I was thinking about you this weekend, and thought I might PM you to find out how you were and when your results were!!!!!

Your diabetic nurse sounds like a PITA, I so wish I could have seen her face when you said about the metformin and low carbing!!! Luckily my diabetes team are hughly supportive of low carbing, with the caveat that as long as I don't feel hungry or tired they are happy with it!

Mynewmoniker Mon 06-May-13 21:12:05

You are an inspiration MyHead! I was just thinking about you yesterday. Well blinkin' done on stuffing it to the nurse grin thanks

MyHeadWasInTheSandNowNot Mon 06-May-13 22:30:04

Digerd - it's great that there's nothing wrong with your BGL's.

MrsHP - grin Thank you for both of your posts, that was really nice of you. The couple of people who know abou it IRL don't really understand what it means, so it's especially nice to hear it from those that do understand!

Re the testing, I'm not expecting the NHS to pay for my test stips, just for the DN to accept that they are partly responsible for my HbA1c being what it is, without them it wouldn't be this low (nor would my weight -knowing I was going to test really really helped to keep me in line). Why can't they see that? Why not be supportive of someone who is paying for them themselves and using them to improve their BGL's?? I just don't get the lack of support - still, thankfully I'm not relying on the support of my diabetes nurse to cope with my diabetes hmmgrin

Re the diabetes - I so want to test out how my body reacts to carby/sweet things, but I also want the weight loss of low carbing and not to turn the fat burning off - so for now I'm holding off 'testing' and I also hope that if there is anymore 'resistance' to get rid of, it will go if I keep this up.

BIWI - thank you smile All hugs gratefully accepted x As I said before I would not have achieved this without your threads, honestly I wouldn't have. Your patient words and the million other posts I read really helped me to get a very fast grip on low carbing and kept me at it when I stalled (4 sodding weeks that lasted!!) Thank you and HUGE hugs flowers

MNM Thank you smile How are you getting on?

BIWI Mon 06-May-13 23:19:37


You did it though. It was all your own hard work. (no eggs)

RawCoconutMacaroon Tue 07-May-13 15:37:07

You have done amazingly well! I posted under a different name many times through the thread, and really, it is superb what you have achieved grin
HOWEVER, and don't take this as the wrong way, almost certainly, you are still diabetic, just very well controlled by diet alone, because you have adopted a way of eating which provokes almost no insulin response.

Yes, I know there are reports of cure, lasting a couple of years or more(usually in pre-diabetics, less often in full diabetes) but adopting a standard diet again would expose you to all those risk factors again, not wise as that ended in a diagnosis of type2 last time!
Almost certainly this is control plus improvement in your insulin resistance - not cure.

I don't think you will be able to get the diagnosis of type 2 removed from your medical records (dr dh says), it was a proper and correct diagnosis and the fact your levels are very good now doesn't Change that fact iykwim. He says he would not remove it as it is a historical fact and not a mistake...

Don't get hung up on that tho! Keep doing what you have been doing, and you can look forward to confounding your specialist nurse at your next review grin!!!!

Footle Tue 07-May-13 19:24:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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