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I was just released from the hospital this afternoon. When I went to the E.R. on Sunday I did not expect to leave 3 days later with my life suddenly so confusing. I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, (and a few other smaller issues). Before coming home I had all these new medications to take home with basic directions for them and using the meter to measure my "numbers". I stare into my 'fridge and I am lost. What to eat....what is safe...where to turn. It was hard to remember everything I was told while in the hospital, hooked up to I.V's and feeling very powerless. Now I am home for a short few hours trying to figure out where to start. How do I begin to organize my life....food...thinking? Can I turn this around? Any and all suggestions are welcome. Thank you. Lorien
 

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Hello Lorien. The medical community is notorious for sending us out into the big wide world with next to no instructions. What you can do when you gaze into the fridge, is pick out the protein and fats, which are safe for your blood sugars, and ignore all the carbohydrate which will raise your blood sugar. Get a good carb counting guide, and begin testing frequently. When you eat your meals, test before you eat, then test again one hour after your first bite. The difference between these readings will be roughly how much you "spike" from eating the particular components of that meal. Then test a third time at two hours after your first bite, and your reading should be back in the neighborhood of the pre-meal reading. If the postprandial readings are higher than 140 (7.7), evaluate the food you ate and reduce or avoid the carbier items from your menus.

This is a lot of testing at first, but as you begin to realize which foods cause sharp rises in your blood sugar, and you stop eating those foods, you'll be able to stop testing unless you introduce something new to the equation.

Tell us more about yourself and what meds you're on.Turning it around in the sense of going back to your old lifestyle is not possible, but it's one of the most manageable conditions there is if you're willing and able to accept the changes required to keep it controlled. For the amount of damage diabetes can do to our bodies, giving up potatoes, bread, rice & pasta is a small price to pay.

Thank you for joining us!
 

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Hey Lorein,

It can be a big shock and our doctors are not always very helpful. The first thing you need to know is that the condition can be successfully managed and you will be fine. There is a lot of research being done across the world and with new technology day by day diabetes is becoming easier to manage.

What kind of meds are you on ? Have you got the prescription for your meter and strips ? You will have to do some experiments with your food.

As a short crash course on food - ALL food is made of basically the following four main components (other than minerals, vitamins etc)

1. Carbohydrates (various types)
2. Protein (various types)
3. FAT (various types)
4. Fiber (various types)

CARBOHYDRATES of all types (simple, complex) get converted into Glucose and raise your blood sugar. The biggest source of carbohydrates are grains - wheat, oat, corn, rice etc and products made from grain like breads, pastas, etc. Some fruits and vegetable are also high sources of carbohydrates

PROTEINS come from eggs, meat products and raise your blood sugar by small amounts. Protein is used to build muscles and it is said that through a slow process about 20%-30% of protein gets converted into glucose, which raises blood sugar slowly

FAT has not direct affect on blood sugar

FIBER - the human body cannot digest fiber. Presence of fiber slows down the absorption of carbohydrates and assists in bowel movement

Based on the above you may want to to base your diet across fat, protein and limited carbs. Which means cut off the breads, pastas wraps etc. Focus on meats, veggies, butter, mayonnaise, cheese etc.

Please remember one diet does not fit all. You will have to experiment and find out which food suits you and which doesn't.

Ideally you should aim for fasting numbers and premeal numbers (baseline) below 100 and post meal (2 hours) numbers under 140.

It may be likely that currently your baselines may be a bit higher (they will come down). So anything that gives you a spike of more than 30-40 points should be tested again and then removed from your diet

With time you will gain enough knowledge about which food affects you by how much and it will get easier

How are you doing on other health aspects ? Do you have weight issues ? Are you on a sedentary lifestyle ? Tell us more about you

Tony
 

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Hi Lorien and welcome :) Its understandable to be overwhelmed at first, but these forums are jam packed full of great info, have a good look around!

The posts above have some great info - low carb is definitely the way to go. You want to get your BG levels down as soon as possible as when its high its causing damage to your body.

I'm newly diagnosed as well and have gone from having BG levels of 200-250 to sitting around 80-120. I contribute this to LC/HF (low carb/high fat) diet and exercise. If you don't exercise now, start slowly - you'll be doing yourself a great favour and really help get those BG levels down :)

Good luck, and keep us posted!
 

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Welcome to the machine. a lot of great advice here, heed it!
 
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Hi Lorien and welcome to DF. You've made your first good decision in joining these forums; as you can see from the posts above, it's a knowledgeable, friendly and supportive community.

Like you, I am newly-diagnosed and came in here with very little help from my doctor other than that it is a progressive disease and to test on the sides of my fingertips rather than the middle. :)

If you read the older posts you'll learn a lot about diabetes and how to manage it in a very short time. As well as these forums, there is an excellent site called Blood Sugar 101 that contains a huge amount of well-researched and well-presented information about diabetes, what causes it and how to manage it.
 

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Welcome to DF, Lorien. I'm sorry you had to join our club but you have a lot of support here. Most of us really didn't get a lot of guidance in the beginning. Can you tell us what meds or insulin they have you on? There is lots of confusing advice on food for diabetics. Most medical personal are afraid of bg lows caused by medication or insulin so they tell you to eat more carbs than you need. There is another school of thought which is to avoid the carbs that make your bgs spike. In the beginning it is going to be lots of trial and error and lots of bg testing. Get a notebook or binder and start recording everything thing you eat and testing results at 2 hours. Pretty soon you will see patterns. As a general rule I avoid processed food. If it is sold in a box, probably avoid it. This will automatically cut out a lot of problem food. Look for food in its natural state. Also start to read labels. Lots of very healthy foods contain carbs that turn to glucose when we eat them. So wheat products, fruits and even milk may be problems. But the good thing is there are lots of good altenatives. Things that I eat on a daily basis are eggs, cheese, bacon, home made bread made with almond flour not wheat flour, cookies, salads, veggies, all meats, soups. The only processed food I eat is Atkins bars and Carbsmart ice cream bars.
 

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Hi, Lorien. When first diagnosed, I went through my kitchen cabinets, fridge and freezer and gave away everything I don't allow myself to eat. It helps to take temptation out of the way. As a rule of thumb, stay away from all root vegetables, they are higher in carbs than most that grow above ground, with the exception of carby veggies like corn, peas, and a few others. Your meter will tell you which ones you can safely eat, everyone is different.

There is a low-carb substitute for many of the high-carb foods we normally eat. Check out the recipe section of the forum Diabetes Recipes - The Diabetes Forum - Building a New Community to Serve Diabetics Online for some good low-carb recipes.

Can I turn this around?
Diabetes cannot be cured, but many have brought their blood sugar to a safe level and kept it there and have had a long and healthy life.

You have had it pretty rough the past couple of days, but your luck is changing because you found the right forum. Welcome aboard.
 
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