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Please can anyone give a new diabetic some food advice??

(18 Posts)
memoo Thu 25-Jun-09 20:08:24

I have just been diagnosed with gestational diabetes. I have to go back to hospital tomorrow to find out about blood sugar testing, diet etc.

I just wondered if anyone could help me out with the kinds of food i should be eating?

KnitterInTheNW Thu 25-Jun-09 20:20:49

Hi memoo, am I right in thinking you're in Warrington? So am I, and have been type 1 for 31 years.

You want low GI stuff really, that releases the carbs/sugar slowly. Veg you can eat as much as you like pretty much (watch potatoes etc though) and fruit has natural sugars so will raise your blood sugar. If you ate say an apple with an oatcake, it would be released slower than if you ate the apple by itself.

I think that's right!

memoo Thu 25-Jun-09 20:31:29

Hi Knitter, yes I am in warrington grin

Bugger, I hate veg! this is going to kill me. How have you managed for 31 years? can you allow yourself the odd treat?

KnitterInTheNW Thu 25-Jun-09 20:40:51

It's easier hmm with 'proper' diabetes as I have insulin injections, and can balance the amount of insulin with the amount I eat.

My diabetes doc told me about xylitol (brand name is perfectly sweet, I think I got it from the free from aisle in Tesco), you use it in place of sugar in recipes etc, and it doesn't raise your blood sugar like proper sugar does.

The team at warrington hospital really looked after me through my pg, I really can't praise them enough. They know what they're talking about!

Whereabouts in W are you?

memoo Fri 26-Jun-09 17:58:04

Hi, I've been up to the hosptial today to get all the blood monitoring stuff. The nurse who went through everything with me was so lovely, for some reason I got myself so nervous about have to prick my own finger I got a bit upset!

I have to go back on wednesday to see the consultant.

Thanks for the tip about xylitol. I need to get my head round what I can and can't eat yet.

I am in Latchford in warrington, how about you?

memoo Fri 26-Jun-09 18:01:36

By the way, what affect did your diabetes on delivery of your baby? Midwife said I will most likely be induced at about 38 weeks.

KnitterInTheNW Fri 26-Jun-09 20:30:15

I'm afraid I can't help with labour stories, ds was breech and the doctor wouldn't attempt CVS because of the way he was lying. I was booked in for CS at 38 1/2 weeks, but ds poked his toes through and broke my waters a week earlier than that so I had my section 2 hours later!

I had quite a few scans towards the end, to keep an eye on his size. He was 7lb 2.5 oz at 37+3. A nice size really.

I remember having to have my finger pricked for the first time when I was little, I was terrified! Did they tell you to prick the side of your finger? I find that more painful, I prick the pad of my finger. Do you have a thing with a button to prick your finger?

I'm in Woolston at the moment but moving to Fearnhead at the end of September.

memoo Fri 26-Jun-09 21:01:39

They did tell me to prick the side! I'm going to try the pad of my finger next time and see if that hurts less.

Yes I have the thing like a big pen that I just press the button, its quite easy really, I think once I get use to it I'll be fine.

I have to do it 3 times a day at first. I'm nervous about having to do it in public though.

I also feel a bit faint when I have done it but think that is probably just because I'm nervous.

I really am a big wuss aren't I grin

I'm glad you ended up with a lovely healthy baby. As long as my baby is fine then I can cope with everything else

Thanks for all the advice xx

KnitterInTheNW Fri 26-Jun-09 21:40:35

I think they tell you not to do finger pads because of damaging nerve endings and stuff, but mine are fine even after all this time!

Re: feeling faint after testing - try not to hold your breath!

Not a big wuss at all.

If I have to test in public i try to sit at a table, then I can do the blood bit hidden away a bit, then sit the meter on top til it's ready. Switching off the beeps helps to be a bit more discreet too!

olivo Sat 27-Jun-09 21:45:19

memoo, i've just recently been diagnosed with GD and am finding it hard too. I have had a lot of support from these ladies who have been /are going through it too. come and join us! ed

I have basically cut out all choc, biscuits, cakes, sweets and puddings and am going easy on fruit and reducing myu portions of carbs. I have to test just once a day, before and after different meals. Am finding it a right pain and am crap at using the finger pricker and monitor!

good luck!

KnitterInTheNW Fri 17-Jul-09 12:56:25

Hi again, if it's any consolation my sugars went berserk when I was pg, it's the hormaones and stuff that makes it happen. My DS is fine, wasn't big (if anything he's quite diddy, between 2nd & 9th centiles for height and weight) but I'm hoping that's more to do with genes than my diabetes.

It's so frustrating isn't it, you do everything you're meant to and the sugars don't comply!

KnitterInTheNW Fri 17-Jul-09 13:01:06

Oh, and how long after you've eaten are you testing? It takes my body a lot longer for the insulin I inject to work and for the sugar level to come down after a meal than it's 'supposed' to.

memoo Fri 17-Jul-09 13:07:59

Hello, i'm testing 1 hour after each meal. It is frustrating, there really isn't anything else I can do other than not eat!!!

I'm having growth scans every 4 weeks now, the last one 2 weeks ago was fine. Baby is right at the top of the 'normal' range and I have a lot of fluid but apart from that she is fine, never stops wriggling grin

My first DD was 9lb5 so I'm not too worried about having a big baby.

Injecting the insulin is fine but get sick of pricking my finger all the time.

KnitterInTheNW Fri 17-Jul-09 13:23:01

Try testing later after each meal... after an hour the insulin won't have finished working. Your sugar level will still be dropping and you won't be getting the correct reading... well it's correct for the time you test, but because the insulin is still working it will drop further. Your sugar peaks after a meal, and you have to take the sugar reading when the insulin finishes doing its job before you get a 'proper' reading.

Are you injecting before or after a meal? My mum is also diabetic and finds that injecting 30 mins before she eats works better for her, because it starts to work sooner when she eats, and doesn't get as much of a peak.

Did that make sense?

Seeing as you're so close, I may have to come and have a cuddle with her when she arrives, Im getting v broody again!

memoo Fri 17-Jul-09 16:07:17

I will ask diabetic nurse about leaving it longer, they told me it has to be an hour but I have heard other people have been told 2 hours.

I have been injecting immediately before meals, but think i will try your suggestion of doing it a bit sooner, it does make sense to do it that way and give the insulin a bit more time to work.

Its all so complecated!!!! Don't envy you have to love with this your whole life.

You can come and cuddle away! its always nice to have someone else come and hold the baby for a while grin

Thanks for all the advice

KnitterInTheNW Fri 17-Jul-09 17:13:34

If you could bear it, try an hour and 2 hours after for a couple of days, as an experiment.

If you're interested, there are a few things I wished I'd known before I had DS, about the first day or 2 after the baby is born. All down to the lovely diabetes! (baby's blood sugars etc.)

Don't want to bombard you with stuff if you don't want it though!

memoo Fri 17-Jul-09 21:45:04

I want to know everything I can!! so please bombard away grin

I feel less worried about things when I'm prepared

KnitterInTheNW Fri 17-Jul-09 23:05:52

I'll tell you my experience - then I'm not saying what definately happens to everyone but you'll at least be aware.

DS was born by CS at 37+3, he was breech but that had nothing to do with the diabetes! He was hungry v soon after being born and I was adamant that I wanted to BF, so they tried to latch him on but neither of us had a clue, and they gave him some formula from a syringe. He was also given some formula from a cup a while later. Not long after being taken down to the ward someone came down from SCBU to test his blood sugar. She gave him some sugar solution first as it acts like a painkiller for newborns. It was just about what they wanted it to be so left him for a while, then when they came and tested him again it had dropped so they took him up to SCBU to be tube fed hourly. Basically the baby is born with their own insulin, plus their 'share' of the insulin that you've injected, but are no longer getting their share of your sugar through the cord, so need regular top ups to stop their sugar dropping too far. They told me that if it did drop too far, he could get brain damage. sad If you'd like to BF, make sure that you tell everyone so that they don't try to top up with a bottle. He was up there for a couple of days I think (morphine made it all a bit hazy!) and then they said that my insulin had worked its way out of his system and he could come down onto the ward with me. While he was up on SCBU the MWs helped me try to express some colostrum into a syringe, and that was sent up to DS and they just squirted it into his mouth!

BF was difficult, as he'd had a couple of lovely days where he didn't even need to wake up to get fed, and had gotten lazy! I was expressing with a hospital pump, and every 2/3 hours I was trying to get him to take some from me, then cup feeding him some EBM from the last time I expressed that was in the fridge on the ward, then expressed for next time. That was difficult too because I had to feed him every 2 or 3 hours, he didn't get a chance to get hungry and want to suck. He/we finally got the hang of it on about day 5, and we would have been allowed home then but he developed jaundice somewhere along the way, and we had to wait for another blood test for him to say that that hadn't gotten any worse before we were allowed home. We went home at lunchtime-ish on day 6. He'd been born at 1:04am on day 1 (obviously!)

Most of the staff at Warrington hospital were super-lovely, there was just the odd MW who didn't help at all (sitting cup feeding DS so that I could eat my lunch, saying 'oh he's not taking it, he'd take it from a teat I know he would' even after she'd watched me struggle and struggle with trying to BF. I knew he didn't actually want it, because I'd had to pretty much force feed him from a cup only a couple of hours ago. Very frustrating, and I'm still not sure at what point the extra insulin is really all gone, and why I had to make him feed so frequently.

If you have any questions at all, just shout! We go to a group at the westy sure start centre on monday mornings if you ever want to meet for a coffee and chat about it.

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