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Sorry for the late reply. Wow, you guys are just like an Encyclopaedia - always an answer to every question. I read your replies very slowly, ensuring that I digested the information. Now I have a few more based on your responses.

It's good to see you post again, dyara!
Thanks Steve for the warm welcome :D I hope you're doing well.


Diabetics and pre-diabetics can have one or more problems managing that carbohydrate/insulin balance: their bodies don't produce (enough) insulin
Don't produce enough insulin? My question is why? Am I right in saying that they may be eating too many carbs and as a result, the body can't produce enough insulin to process it?

or the digestive system does not react as strongly as it did to a given amount of insulin
Why? Why doesn't the digestive system react as strongly as it once did? Can any form of training improve this?

or the mechanism that stops the release of insulin at an appropriate level doesn't work well
Why? Can any form of training help to improve this too?

If you do not have a BG meter, I'd suggest you get one and test before and after a few meals and see how the different foods affect your blood sugars. I think you'll find his advice about what you eat is NOT spot on.
Should people, irrespective of whether they're prediabetic or non-diabetic, use a BG meter to check their sugar levels from time to time? Obviously a diabetic should but what about for the other two groups Ive mentioned above? My doctor never told me to use a BG meter to regularly check my BG levels?

Last question - I've now lost 7kg and I am aiming to lose another 5, right? I've noticed that I am less thirsty than I was a few months ago, and I am going to the bathroom less frequently to urinate. These same symptoms were the reasons that prompted me to get a blood test and suspect that I had prediabetes. I know that you can't conclusively tell me without a blood test, but is it possible that this has occurred because my blood sugar levels may have returned to an acceptable level now?
 

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Hi, dyara!

Don't produce enough insulin? My question is why? Am I right in saying that they may be eating too many carbs and as a result, the body can't produce enough insulin to process it?
Your last sentence is one reason why -- too many carbs and the body just can't produce enough insulin to counteract it. Or damage to the pancreas has reduced the amount of insulin it can produce. Or, in the case of Type 1 diabetics, the pancreas has never produced a significant amount of insulin.
Why doesn't the digestive system react as strongly as it once did?
It's called insulin resistance and it has many possible causes. If you want to go into some depth about it, the Wikipedia article about it covers it pretty well. Insulin regulation -- starting the release of insulin in response to the presence of carbohydrates and shutting off that flow when enough has been released -- also can be affected by many chemical or biological factors, including medications taken for other conditions. There is no training that can fix this as it's essentially a chemical issue.

Should people, irrespective of whether they're prediabetic or non-diabetic, use a BG meter to check their sugar levels from time to time?
Without the typical symptoms of diabetes, there really is no reason for anyone to take BG readings periodically. They can be checked as part of a periodic physical if there are factors (obesity, family history, etc.) that put someone at added risk for getting diabetes. The A1c is a more comprehensive test than spot checks of blood glucose.

The folks here generally test more than many diabetics. In the beginning of treatment, it's important to know how different foods affect your BG, especially if you're taking diabetes medications or insulin. It's a bit of a balancing act so testing more often gives you a better picture of what's going on. It's a little frustrating that most medical plans don't cover enough test strips to test BG often; that and the nuisance factor of testing often lead doctors to not recommend frequent testing.

It sounds like the changes you've made have had a very positive effect on your health. Good for you! It does sound like your blood glucose levels are at or near normal levels. If you keep this up, you should be in good shape for quite some time to come.
 

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....
Should people, irrespective of whether they're prediabetic or non-diabetic, use a BG meter to check their sugar levels from time to time? Obviously a diabetic should but what about for the other two groups Ive mentioned above? My doctor never told me to use a BG meter to regularly check my BG levels?
JMO, type 2 diabetes is usually a slow coming on. Non-diabetics being checked by their doctor at annual health exams should be ampleand should catch. It would be an unnecessary expense for them to be burning thru test strips. Diagnosed diabetics and pre-diabetics, should have meters and be testing. But not just random testing, there should be some point of reference to it. Before eating, to let you know where you are starting at, after eating to know how the food affected your BG, then again a little later to see if your BG got back to where it started, talking about over a couple of hour period. Really only need to do that until you find out how the foods you ate affected your BG and made changes to your diet to eliminate the spikes in BG. You could check again if adding a new food to see if it could part of your diet. Many people also test when they first get up (fasting). There are things that can cause high BG early in the morning and testing could be useful in finding things that reduce that spike (maybe a snack before bed or eating something as soon as getting up helps). That testing can probably be reduced too once you've made changes. Testing could then be done as spot checks, but again, not just a random "what is it now" approach.

Last question - I've now lost 7kg and I am aiming to lose another 5, right? I've noticed that I am less thirsty than I was a few months ago, and I am going to the bathroom less frequently to urinate. These same symptoms were the reasons that prompted me to get a blood test and suspect that I had prediabetes. I know that you can't conclusively tell me without a blood test, but is it possible that this has occurred because my blood sugar levels may have returned to an acceptable level now?
A single test wouldn't tell much on its own, but It is very likely that those symptoms have gone away due to lowered BG levels. When your BG gets up around 180 mg/dL (10 mmol/L) the kidneys start working to remove the sugar, bringing on the frequent urination and increased thirst. Sounds like your BG has come down. Congrats, and I still think you should have a meter of your own so that you can know.
 

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I disagree with a lot of the information I read here.


Doctors have long identified the specific genetic markers involved with Diabetes. Several years ago a doctor at Baylor Hospital in Dallas did a detailed study of individuals who were not diabetic, but who were related to a Diabetic. They did frequent, comprehensive blood test and tests, questions. The doc determined that ten percent of those who had adult onset diabetes, who were always before presumed to be Insulin Resistant Diabetes, were actually Type One. Docs usually muddle on until it is obvious the usual treatment for Type Twos is not working. All of the group eventually reached a point where they were diagnosed with Diabetes. Careful diet, exercise only delayed the diagnosis.


You did not do anything wrong. You did not under exercise, or over eat. Diabetes was always in your genes. Usually when there is one Diabetic, Docs can find a cluster. Usually passed on through the mother's genes, not usually the Fathers. Your Biological Mother, your siblings are very likely to become Diabetics. We often have "Carbohydrate Addiction," which is topic that is included in the book a husband and wife team, Rachel and __ Heller. The second half of the first book they wrote explains the dance played between a normal persons Insulin Level, Pancreas, Sugar Level, Liver.


For a Type One, I understand those folks think very highly of the book, "Think Like a Pancreas."


Type Ones are - I think ten percent of Diabetics. Type Two's make up a huge part of the rest.


You are correct to hunger for knowledge. The American Diabetes Association has courses in teaching folks how to treat their disease. You are the most important part of your success.


One should be careful. For reasons of economy, when the approved Diabetes educators teach how to help our diabetes; How to eat. How to exercise. How to test Blood Glucose. Medications. They teach ideas and methods of Type One Diabetes, when most of us are Type Twos. To be fair, all the ones who gave me information tried to point out how to adapt their methods for a Type Two. I think a lot of folks just stop listening after the first thirty minutes.


When I was first diagnosed, I was poor enough that the American Diabetes Education Program was free to me. It was about two and half days. See if you can find such a program. Docs don't teach much in the amount of time they have now to see one patient.


I strongly recommend reading the free, blog by Alan Shanley, Type 2 Diabetes - A Personal Journey


He, an Australian talks about visiting a relative in what we in the United State call Great Britain, now United Kingdom, who was also a Type Two Diabetic, Insulin dependent. His relative heard the recommendations for a Type One. Eat limited amounts, and you can eat anything. He would do what our local nursing homes do for diabetics. Send them to eat in a Cafeteria, usually not a good diet for a Diabetic. Starchy with a dessert. Go around when they got back to their rooms. Do a blood glucose, and inject them with so much insulin.

His Uncle became more ill, and died, what Alan described as an early death, because of poor understanding of how to treat Type Two Diabetes.

Once again, you did nothing wrong to become a Diabetic. You might have had Carbohydrate Addiction that prompted you to eat more often of the wrong things before becoming Diagnosed.
Besides Genetics, some are pushed from being Carbohydrate Addiction into being Diagnosed because they start some Prescription Medicines. Like some Blood Pressure medicines, Diuretics, and Cholesterol Lowering Drugs.

You mentioned fatty Liver. Cholesterol Lowering drugs tell the Liver to take into itself Cholesterol. Still some of these drugs can spectacularly aid in the quality of your life, and the length of your life.

Diabetes, as I see it, tends to be one part of a cluster of diseases. Diabetes. Depression. Sleep Apnea.

Depression is not a thing one can not kick oneself in the but and overcome. It is not something you can fix yourself. Don't be afraid to ask a doctor for help. I would advise you not to let any one know, if you can help it, that you feel Depressed. Most people are incredibly ignorant and small minded, but love to make fun of others. Just like they will tell you that you are a diabetic because you ate too much. Don't expect a Doctors Prescription for Depression to work overnight, or maybe you will have to try several different medications before getting some relief. Don't feel embarrassed to ask a professional for help.

Sleep Apnea treatment, for me, was like coming back to life again. I went from, it can not be time to get up yet. Wow, so many interesting things I want to do today. You can not usually cure Sleep Apnea by losing weight. Having Sleep Apnea might help drive your body to gain weight. At least fifty percent of those who get to far enough in Sleep Apnea studies to have a machine sitting next to their bed, refuse to use it. It is hard thing to get used to.

Your doc might not mention, but I have had spectacular results from taking the Eye Vitamins, "Areds 2" Notice that is a 2, not the first version which will be sitting beside Areds 2 for a bit less money. I will let you research and make your own decision.

One of the benefits of exercise is - a little mild exercise can cause a dramatic increase in our Insulin Sensitivity. That is, a slow walk around a small block can suddenly open the cells to let sugar in, and start burning that Sugar. You do not have to do dramatic amounts of exercise to get a significant benefit.

As Diabetics, we are all different about how we react to different kinds of food, medications, exercise. When going to see my doc, I find it is helpful to write my questions down before I get there. Try to listen, learn, instead of doing my usually smart mouth stuff. Like they say; "A persons IQ drops fifty points the instant a doctor walks into the room."

Personally I found that I could angry very quickly. Whatever filter I used to have between my mind and my mouth disappeared. I could quickly say things that were inaccurate, and the result of anger. Some Diabetics I know have the same problem.
 

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To add: Type Twos usually need more insulin to get sugar into cells. For a long time before they are diagnosed, doctors believe that the Pancreas produces large amounts of Insulin. At some point the Pancreas can not keep up, and our Blood Sugar goes up.

To add more detail. For a normal person, if they eat one bite of anything, their Pancreas releases as much Insulin as it has been 'educated' to release for what is a normal meal for us. Which is why you have such problems if you eat that one little sliver of cake or one potato Chip.

When the Insulin level goes high, it triggers several responses. One of them is to tell you that you are hungry. This is the "Carb Cravings' that many pre diabetics go thru. With high Insulin levels natural to them, they also can gain that fat around the middle.

As outlined in the book, "Carbohydrate Addiction" and the normal persons response to carbs, if one spaces one's meals out, the person will go through a cycle where the liver converts the fat into Glycogen (hope I am using the right word, I would prefer to use the word sugar) releases it into blood stream, at some point the Insulin level goes up, and the liver starts storing that glycogen back into fat. For a Type Two, like me, my Insulin levels are always high, so this process does not occur. That is the conversion of fat to Glycogen and back occurs between meals for a normal person, and the process burns Calories. So I miss out on this burning of Calories many people have.

A Type One told me, he would use ten or eleven units of Insulin every day. I use over 150 units of Insulin every day, plus whatever my Pancreas is kicking in. My doc said he had a Patient who inject 160 units of long-term Insulin twice a day. And some patients who used more. Mostly when they get into a stage of using that much Insulin, they are sent to an Endocrinologist.
 

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foodahollic, I'm curious: what does your daily menu look like? And have you considered intermittent fasting? It's a technique many diabetics (and non-diabetics ftm) use to force the body to use its own resources rather than respond to a constant stream of mini-meals and snacks that don't let insulin levels go down and stay down.
 

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Glycogen synthesis is typically from glucose and proteins (amino acids), fats are not directly converted to glycogen but there is a process where they can be converted to glucose, which then can be converted to glycogen. Glycogen breaks back down into glucose, usually because blood glucose dropped and muscles need more for energy and to replenish their stores of glycogen. That glucose could then be converted back into fat, but its not something that happens directly for that purpose.

The burning of fats for energy is a little more complex than glucose and it takes more energy to convert fats for fuel. I take that as using fats for fuels burns more calories than using glucose.
 
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