undiagnosed, with diabetes symptoms- advice appreciated!

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undiagnosed, with diabetes symptoms- advice appreciated!


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Old 05-07-2013, 19:19   #1
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Exclamation undiagnosed, with diabetes symptoms- advice appreciated!

Hello everyone,

I'm a 21-year-old guy with a family history of diabetes. I've had some symptoms that seem to strongly indicate diabetes for years, but the diagnosis has been negative every time I was checked- even within the last year. I was wondering if anyone could offer me advice, because I can't think of a disorder other than diabetes which could be responsible.

The main problem I have is with sleep- I've had mild insomnia for years, but within the last few years I've found myself waking up more frequently in the middle of the night- sometimes 2 or 3 times, and I also wake up too early in the morning and am unable to fall back asleep. Usually I have to go to the bathroom when I wake up, and I'm very thirsty. I have to pee frequently during the day, too- about once every hour and a half- and I tend to get very large fluctuations in my energy levels. I also have dry skin, as well as poor circulation in my hands despite being strong in other ways.

As a little background, I've been eating very healthy for the last two years and I'm in great shape at around 8% body fat. Unfortunately this wasn't always the case- I was overweight through middle school, and I continued to have a poor diet until part way through college, although I ran frequently to avoid becoming overweight. Now I'm in great health for the first time ever, but I'm worried that my nutritional mistakes from childhood are going to effect me for life.

My current fitness goal is to continue gaining muscle mass- I have been able to gain about about 1 lb of muscle per month for the past year with no fat gains, but I am constantly frustrated by my inability to get good sleep- I have not slept a continuous 8 hours in more than 2 years, and the problem only seems to get worse.

I would really appreciate any advice you might be able to offer about my symptoms- they seem to strongly indicate high blood sugar even though I usually eat no simple carbohydrates and I eat 4-5 meals per day to spread out my calories, but I generally eat at least 2500 calories a day for weight gain (and simple carbs following workouts for recovery.) Any ideas about possible causes or how to improve my sleep? Is prediabetes likely?

(sorry to have such a long first post- I want to provide any information that might be helpful for diagnosis!)

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Old 05-07-2013, 19:25   #2
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The best way of identifying the presence of diabetes is to test your blood glucose level. I believe Walmart offer a very cost effective range of meters to do this and I would suggest you test yourself for a few days and see what your numbers look like.

Have a look at Blood Sugar 101 and in particular What is a Normal Blood Sugar?

You want to look at your figures just as you get up, where you are looking for a number below 100, one hour after a meal and again at two hours. Your one hour figure should not be above 140 and two hours 120. If you do find that you are above these limits other than on an odd occasion, it's time to discuss the situation with your doctor.

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Old 05-07-2013, 19:39   #3
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Welcome to the Forum

I hope you're not eligible for full membership in our club ... but rest assured, you've found the right place.

My experience was similar. I'm certain I'd been a full-blown diabetic for years before it was finally caught.

Of course, other diagnoses are possible, and should be ruled out. But it is, sadly, not uncommon for diabetes to go undiagnosed for years. So, here are a few questions and some thoughts:

-- Have you presented your doc with a full list of symptoms?

-- If so, has the doc ordered full blood screens (both fasting and non-fasting) plus, perhaps, other tests, in addition to tests for diabetes?

-- Now to the nub of the diabetes question ... what kind of diabetes test(s) have you been given?

Many times, docs go only by a fasting test, or test once at random -- then no more tests for months or years. Like a car that always works perfectly at the mechanic's shop, but nowhere else, these tests can look perfectly fine.

What I'd recommend -- and I dearly wish I'd done this myself -- is that you pick up a meter and some strips at your favorite drug store. No prescription needed. Any brand will do.

Then, test for at least a couple of days. Suggested schedule:

-- Upon waking
-- Just before eating
-- 1 hour after first bite
-- At bedtime

The meter will keep a record of all of your tests, which you can take to the doc.

I know it's a hassle, but it may save you a lot of suffering down the line.

Please keep us posted!

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Old 05-07-2013, 19:50   #4
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Agree with Shalynne. What tests were done exactly to rule out diabetes. If it was just fasting, then its not good enough. My fasting has always been under 100, but I have diabetes.

Another idea is to do an OGTT at the docs office.
Instead of the usuall, reading at only 2h, go for a full blown exam.
Readings at 30min, 1h, 2h, (even 3h and 4h) together with BG AND insulin readings. That way if it is insulin resistance/hyperinulinemia, you will have caught your metabolic syndrome nice and early!

For more info see Atkins diabetes revolution, 2004, pg 63-66

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Old 05-07-2013, 20:13   #5
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Hello, NoBreadForYou.

These symptoms that you listed,

I've found myself waking up more frequently in the middle of the night- sometimes 2 or 3 times, and I also wake up too early in the morning and am unable to fall back asleep. Usually I have to go to the bathroom when I wake up, and I'm very thirsty. I have to pee frequently during the day, too- about once every hour and a half- and I tend to get very large fluctuations in my energy levels.

.. are also classic hyperthyroid symptoms. I agree with the others about checking your blood sugar to determine how your blood sugar is reacting, but you should also ask your doctor to check your thyroid. It can be checked with a simple blood test. I've been both hyperthyroid and hypothyroid, and when I was hyperthyroid, I hardly slept at all and I was constantly in the bathroom. It speeds up everything in your body.

Best to you,
Mary

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Old 05-07-2013, 20:15   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donnaB View Post
Agree with Shalynne. What tests were done exactly to rule out diabetes. If it was just fasting, then its not good enough. My fasting has always been under 100, but I have diabetes.

Another idea is to do an OGTT at the docs office.
Instead of the usuall, reading at only 2h, go for a full blown exam.
Readings at 30min, 1h, 2h, (even 3h and 4h) together with BG AND insulin readings. That way if it is insulin resistance/hyperinulinemia, you will have caught your metabolic syndrome nice and early!

For more info see Atkins diabetes revolution, 2004, pg 63-66
@ DonnaB - This is interesting to me, and caught my eye. I didn't even know they could base a diabetes diagnosis with a low fasting blood sugar. What was your diagnosis based on then? I'm sure you told us, I probably just don't remember. I'm a little intrigued by this.

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Old 05-07-2013, 20:27   #7
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Thanks for the fast responses! I haven't been particularly well-informed about the ways diabetes is actually diagnosed- I'm not even sure what testing was done back in high school.

Two years ago I had a full blood screen run, which was nonfasting, because of fatigue and sleep problems. The doctor seemed to dismiss diabetes simply because of decent overall health and young age, and at the time I was not particularly concerned about diabetes, either. (I thought the pain/weakness in hands was from carpel tunnel syndrome, and I thought low testosterone was to blame for fatigue/trouble sleeping.)

About 5 months ago I had another check-up to once again try to diagnose pain in hands/sleep troubles. Another nonfasting blood screen was performed, and I was never informed about any problems found. I'm kicking myself for not pressing diabetes as a concern- I just figured if I wasn't overweight, I wasn't diabetic (I've found that diabetes is largely misunderstood by the general public.)

I go to a college far away from home, and I only receive free health care when I return home on breaks between school and internships, which has made this sort of thing difficult to deal with. I will definitely buy a meter and strips to perform some self-tests, though! I will try to get back with results in the next week.

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Old 05-07-2013, 20:48   #8
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NoBread,

My first sign of diabetes was a blood sugar level of 164 at a health fair. This was taken at about an hour after a lunch of Mexican food. Because it was non-fasting, the physician dismissed it. Now I know better.

If at anytime your blood sugar goes over 140, you have a problem and need to address it radically. It's technically not diabetes at that level, but it does damage to your organs, your nerves, and your ability to produce insulin.

The best and quickest thing to do is immediately eliminate all starches from your diet. A gram of starch is a gram of blood sugar and is up to 5 points on you blood test an hour after you eat. No bread, no cereal, no potatoes, no corn, no grains, no tortillas, no chips, no pasta, no pizza.

Fortunately, you can still eat a triple cheese burger (as long as it is lettuce wrapped).

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Old 05-07-2013, 21:52   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoBreadForYou View Post
I will definitely buy a meter and strips to perform some self-tests, though! I will try to get back with results in the next week.
Good! Once you have some data about how your body is processing carbohydrates (glucose) you will be able to make more informed decisions.

It would also be to your benefit is you did a thorough read on Blood Sugar 101 This will give you a good understanding of what diabetes is. The information there is true and reliable - the author of the site, Jenny Ruhl, studies and researches what she writes there.

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Old 05-07-2013, 21:55   #10
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Sorry, to DonnaB, I meant, without it being based on a FBS as part of the diagnosis. Was typing too fast!

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