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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.

purplewithred Tue 22-Jan-13 15:32:12

Calm down!

Did the chemist take a blood sugar test pricking your finger, and that's what come back at 20?

Littlebearlost Tue 22-Jan-13 15:33:29

Do you mind me asking how old you are?
20 is quite a high reading, it's quite a bit higher than borderline. It's not hospitalisation level or dangerous in the short term as long as you receive some insulin. I would guess at that level you may be looking at taking insulin rather than just diet controlled. Had you eaten anything very sweet or full of carbohydrate before hand?

Tee2072 Tue 22-Jan-13 15:34:13

Same question as purple. How did they come up with 20?

Littlebearlost Tue 22-Jan-13 15:36:13

I have been type 1 for 20 years. It was picked up very early for reasons I won't go into here and I was borderline for a whole and had tablets and diet control but my readings then were around 9-13.
A normal fasting sugar is 4-6ish I believe. They may repeat the test with a fasting sugar.

Littlebearlost Tue 22-Jan-13 15:36:39

A while, not a whole!

MyHeadWasInTheSandNowNot Tue 22-Jan-13 15:42:10

PurpleWithRed - I'm not sure what I said that made you tell me to 'calm down'. I'm not panicking at all, I realise it's not cancer or anything 'serious' but I do know it can cause a lot of health issues, I'm just asking for some help/information as it's something I don't know anything about, at all. But thank you for replying smile Yes, the chemist did a form to check if I was 'eligible' to be tested, came out as 12 (largely - no pun intended) due to weight & waist measurement. She then did the prick test, twice. It came out at 20, then she said it was imperitive I got seen by my Doctor today or went into the hospital - she was worried, not me. She called my Doctor to make the appointment there and then.

MyHeadWasInTheSandNowNot Tue 22-Jan-13 15:46:37

LittleBearLost - thank you for replying smile I'm 43. I had eaten, which is quite unusual for me, but I'd taken the car into the gargage and had to wait for it, so decided to have some breakfast & coffee at the cafe. I had 2 slices of white toast, tinned tomatoes and a small hash brown triangle (a wee one) and a latte.

Tee <waves>

RooneyMara Tue 22-Jan-13 15:51:13

Just wanted to say good luck and I hope you get some answers soon. I'm sorry I'm completely no use but could not read and run.

(I think Purple might have got the impression you were worried from the title, with capitals in it)

Tee2072 Tue 22-Jan-13 15:52:57

Did you wash your hands before she did the test?

20 is quite high and I would expect your GP to order a glucose tolerant test, which is where they take your fasting blood, have you drink either straight glucose or a sport drink, wait 2 hours and take it again.

Until something like that happens, no one can say if you're diabetic or what kind or what your treatment will be.

sazpops Tue 22-Jan-13 15:57:24

Hi, my husband was diagnosed with diabetes recently, so we're still finding out about it. I suggest you go to the Diabetes UK website at - they have a forum there and there will be lots of people there who will be able to help you. Don't panic! We're managing to keep DH's levels under control with diet at the moment (low carbing), though I think he was in the early stages when diagnosed.

mirry2 Tue 22-Jan-13 16:07:28

You may have type 2 diabetes. 20 is high but could be because you had just eaten. Wait until you have a glucose tolerance test, I have type 2, but I don't have any symptoms and I don't take medicine (I have resisted this since diagnosis and my glucose levels have remained 6-7 for the past 5 years).
I haven't told anybody because I don't want my friends monitoring my eating habits and deciding what I should and shouldn't eat.

MyHeadWasInTheSandNowNot Tue 22-Jan-13 16:20:20

Rooney - Thanks smile Oh I see, maybe, they were more to denote the Pharmacists clear worry over it, I have never known one to actually try the local Drs (which isn't my Dr) to see if they could see me NOW, then when they said no, they were overbooked, to ring Dr to make an appointment for today (and you never get one for at least a week there - so she must have been very persuasive and inbetween all that tell me I'd need to go to the hospital straight away if my Dr couldn't see me today... I was like (in my head, not outloud of course) 'Errr OK - not really sure what the rush is as I seem to have potentially had this for quite some time, it's not like I've just had a heart attack or stroke in front of you hmm'. I was somewhat taken aback by her worrying.

MyHeadWasInTheSandNowNot Tue 22-Jan-13 16:35:23

Tee - I didn't wash them, no, but she wiped them to make sure there wasn't any sugar on them, but there wouldn't have been anyway. What's the point in an appointment 'immediately' do you think, where they wont be able to do a fasting test?

Sazpops - Thanks for that, I hope your DH is able to control his through diet.

Mirry - That's why I don't want to tell anyone in RL really. I'm overweight, I'm vegetarian - I really don't need to add anything else into the mix, people judge enough anyway!! Can you tell me a little bit about what you have to do to 'control' it through diet & exercise and how you test your levels (you/dr/how often).

Thank you all and sorry, I have to go now - will be back tomorrow afternoon!

Tee2072 Tue 22-Jan-13 16:47:23

The chemist over reacted, IMH and unmedical opinion. If it's that high, it's been that high for awhile and another day isn't going to do much harm.

And it's not just sugar that can be on your skin. If I use the wrong kind of soap before I test? My glucose will be wrong!

MOSagain Tue 22-Jan-13 16:57:06

Agree not to worry.
Yes, you probably have diabetes. Given your age, it may be type 2 late onset diabetes which can be controlled by diet and medication (metformin tablets are common and the dosage depends on a number of things).
I was diagnosed last February with type 2 and started off on 2 a day and am now on 4 a day. Normal 'fasting' reading is 4 - 7 and I was about 16. I had to have several other tests as I was 'borderline' before I was diagnosed.

DD1 (aged 16) was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in November. I had suspicions for a while after I saw how much she was drinking (common sypmtom/sign) It took a bit of pushing to get her tested but a few days later the results came back and the GP phoned me wanting her to go in the following morning for tests. I assumed it would be like when I was diagnosed, I had to have several tests at hospital, including the glucose tolerance test. However, they wanted to test her urine to test for keytones (which if high, can potentially be dangerous). The following morning, within minutes of taking the urine in a nurse had called us through and did a fingerprick blood test and then got a dr who called ahead to the hospital to say we were on our way. When we got there, DD was admitted and her sugars were 34 which is SERIOUSLY high.

She spent 2 days in hospital (longest two days of her life in a ward full of old people) but was finally discharged once her sugars were down. She has coped brilliantly and I'm so proud of her. She injects 4 times a day (before each meal and a slow release night time one) and at the moment checks her sugars about 6 times a day. We saw the GP weekly from her discharge until 2 weeks ago and he now only wants to see her every 3 months.

If your reading was 20 after you'd eaten I'm sure it would be a lot lower after fasting (particularly as you'd had carbs which turn to sugar)

If you do have diabetes, which sounds likely I'm sure you'll be fine. If my dippy blonde teenager can cope then anyone can. It will change your life but you can stop it taking over it. Just take it seriously and you'll be fine.

MOSagain Tue 22-Jan-13 16:58:48

PS, cardio exercise is brilliant for getting your glucose levels down. It was my personal trainer who alerted me to the possibility of diabetes when I signed up with her and she did my health mot. She has worked with me the past 10 months and has really helped me keep my sugars down.

Percephone Tue 22-Jan-13 16:59:03

If you just ate a meal then your blood sugar will be higher than usual. You can't say there is a problem or how severe it is until you have a fasting sample and other bloods taken, which your gp will arrange. If it's still high then he'll discuss management with you which will be diet, tablets or (only if severe) insulin. You'll probably be advised to lose weight and see the dietician. If your sugar is high then it's probably been like that for some time. There are lots of people with high blood sugar who don't even know (or care in some cases!) Yes it needs sorting soon but it's not an emergency wink

Hope it gets sorted and everything is ok smile

SCOTCHandWRY Tue 22-Jan-13 17:12:45

I was somewhat taken aback by her worrying

20 is very high, the pharmacist is right to have ensured you had a GP appointment that day or attend hospital ASAP. It doesn't matter what you eat, or when, your blood sugar should not be 20, even if you just had a whole plate of sugar.

The pharmacist would be concerned that about the possibility of you going into Hyperglycaemic shock (diabetic coma), as although you may have had high blood sugars for some time, there is real potential for the condition to suddenly go downhill in an undiagnosed diabetic (as they will not be getting any treatment) and a person can become very, very sick in only a few hours.

So please, take this seriously.

Chickchickadee Tue 22-Jan-13 17:29:02

I had gestational diabetes, I had a bit of extra padding but wasn't hugely overweight when I fell pregnant (size 12) so was quite surprised. One day when I was doing a test I was being a baby about the finger prick and my Mum said to let her try. Her reading was over 30. She went to the GP and was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes (again she wasn't really overweight). Apparently we have since found it runs in the family.

She now controls it through diet and medication (tablets) and it is fine, just required a few adjustments to what she was eating, although not really dramatic changes.

I was insulin controlled through my pregnancy and it was fine. Not great (I hate needles) but doable. I returned to normal after giving birth but will need an annual test.

I'm sure you will be okay. It might be a shock but it is easy to adjust and certainly something you will be able to control.

Chickchickadee Tue 22-Jan-13 17:31:45

Just to give you an idea pre-meals my level was 4 - 5 and an hour afterwards had to be less than 7.8 during my pregnancy so 20 is high but the test my Mum did when she found out was higher. It didn't help she had eaten cake an hour beforehand!

MyHeadWasInTheSandNowNot Wed 23-Jan-13 14:40:34

Just popped home to collect some bits and give a quick update.

Thank you for all your replies. Typical MN thread though, lots of polar opposite replies grin and as I said earlier - I was part Tee's response and part Scotch's myself. Scotch - that's really scary. I felt crap this morning (as usual) and faint, yuck when in the shower, I was starting to feel a bit worried...

MOS - I'm not really worried about 'handling' it as such, it's more I guess, wanting it to 'go away' and feeling like I've cause it myself sad It is definitely not a shock as I've thought it was a possibility for a while, but shoved my head in the sand. I've always been a bit prone to fainting and temperature spikes, but it's getting worse sad Is there anyway of coming off your tablets or will you be on them (or others/insulin) for life?
Your DD has coped well smile Poor kid being stuck in the hospital with all the 'oldies'!

I'm complaining to the wrong people of course - but I just don't want to be dependent on tablets or insulin sad <sorry> I'm feeling very annoyed with myself...have I caused this through diet and lack of exercise? How does one 'get' diabetes??

Chick - I bet that was a real shock for your Mum, poor thing sad
It's good that yours went away and was 'only' gestational. I hope it stays away for you.

Doctors visit - when I went in I was expecting him to know why I was there and be a bit 'right, lets get this looked at' but he wasn't. He asked why I was there, then when I told him, why I thought I might be diabetic. He was very calm and very surprised about the pharmacists reaction. However, he said he didn't want to 'waste time' doing a glucose text and asked me to do a urine test - which he looked at and said I should go and get my blood taken for some tests (and arranged it with the woman at reception who had said 'I have NO appts for blood today NONE' when I'd asked her. Anyway, bloods are now done and I've an appointment for next week when the results are back. He gave me a few leaflets and told me that due to my 'body shape' I will almost certainly need meds if it comes back positive. He was nice enough (not my Doctor who I've never actually met) but he'll see me this time and next and take it from there.

Got to run or I'll be late to pick up my friends two from school. Not sure if I'll make it back tonight or not, but will as soon as I can.

Thank you all so much for your anecdotes, information and support smile thanks MNers are The Best! x

torychicetc Wed 23-Jan-13 14:54:33

Yes, my relative had similiar problem. She is ok now. good luck

Dawndonna Wed 23-Jan-13 15:03:30

My stepmother died last year. She was found in the bathroom four days after she'd died. She'd had a diabetic fit. Her sugar had been around 24/25 for the week before. Everybody is different, Tee, and the pharmacist got it bang on as she didn't know the OP.

MOSagain Wed 23-Jan-13 15:10:35

My mother also died as a result of her diabetes, 3 1/2 years ago. After my dad died she had trouble controlling it and was in and out of hospital 11 times in the first year after he died. She had a typo when home alone and no one found her in time. I think this has made myself and my DD more aware of our conditions and take it extremely seriously.

OP, yes, I will be on tablets for the rest of my life and may yet end up on insulin. Its possibly not your fault if you develop it. Yes, overweight people (such as me) do tend to get it but my DD is not overweight, she is a lovely size 12 envy and my mum was the tiniest person you'd ever meet. My 6 year old is nearly as big as she was. Sometimes it just runs in families, nothing you can do now, just watch what you eat and if you are prescribed medication, take it as directed. Good luck x

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