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hello all,

diagnosed type 2 about 3 weeks ago and put straight onto metformin.

i have yet to start taking it. my BG levels are not sky high, and i would like to see if i can keep them within healthy levels by diet and exercise alone. doctor wasnt too supportive of this, suggesting i get on the meds first and review the situation in a few months. his reasoning for this was because i need to lose at least 3 stone, this would take time, and in the meantime my blood sugars would be all over the place. he eventually relented and has given me two months to get my weight down. in the meantime i am testing myself like a madman, up to 4 times a day. in the week i have been doing this, my FBGs are in the range 5.8-6.2mmol/l. any comments on this, folks? i have read so many different versions of what 'healthy' FBGs are, and so it is difficult to know what to believe. my feeling is that these levels are higher than those of a non diabetic, but still within acceptable levels. my 2 hour post-meal levels are normally between 6.2 and 6.8mmol/l.

i feel so foolish about this, because there is a history of diabetes in the family, and i had been warned in the past to be careful with my weight. i didnt heed this advice, and instead allowed my weight to spiral. i have read various reports that argue both side of the 'weight gain as major contributing factor' debate, but this is all moot now.

it would be nice to get some perspectives from anyone else managing the condition with diet alone; anyone who started and later stopped medication; anyone who has managed to lose lots of weight (ie 3 stone and above - since we need carbs for fuel, i am assuming a zero carb diet is out of the question); or anyone who just wants to say hello. that would be nice too!

i know that there are various educational sessions that can be attended, which might go some way to learning me up on all these things. i am willing to attend these sessions, but in the meantime, any advice would be greatly appreciated. :smile:
 

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Hello & welcome - happy May Day, Timbla.

My experience with metformin is that it is a major factor in my weight loss - it curbs my appetite very noticably! I have lost 30 lbs. and still losing - I take 1000mg x 2 metformin daily, and my way-of-eating is low-carb/high-fat. I wouldn't try to influence your decision to refuse taking it, but you might be shooting yourself in the foot by rejecting a proven weight loss aid.

And in the interest of dispelling one of the more damaging myths about diabetic diets, there is no truth to the claim that human bodies require ANY carbohydrate to survive/thrive. From Lyle McDonald, authority on sports nutrition and more specifically low-carbohydrate dieting.
Dietary carbohydrate is not an essential nutrient: the body is able to make as much glucose as the brain and the few other tissues need on a day-to-day basis from other sources. I should mention that the body is not able to provide sufficient carbohydrate to fuel high intensity exercise such as sprinting or weight training and carbs might be considered essential for individuals who want to do that type of exercise. But from the standpoint of survival, the minimum amount of carbohydrates that are required in a diet is zero grams per day. The body can make what little it needs from other sources.
 
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welcome Timbla :) I can't say I blame you for holding off on the meds... I started out initially myself on diet and exercise alone and I lost 20kgs within a year doing that. But after a while (like a couple of years) I was told I had no choice but to go on metformin because I could no longer keep my BGLs low enough by myself. Metformin is promoted as a safe drug for diabetics as it is a drug that works on the liver instead of the pancreas. There is another drug called Januvia that works on neurosignals to the pancreas. All the other oral meds work directly on the pancreas... leading to exhaustion of the pancreas in the long run. I have a very tainted view of metformin based on my personal experience... so I would advise anyone to approach with caution. If you take this drug and it gives you any side effects whatsoever... refuse to take it! I wish I had done that and not let myself be pushed to try different dosages, different versions... the drug didn't agree with me and that was the bottom line... who cares if it's supposed to be a 'safe' drug... and I don't believe technically it's as safe as they say. I felt sick and had diarrhea all the time on metformin. I've pretty much had an upset stomach for years and it all started with metformin. I just got diagnosed with a chronic stomach disorder... so you can understand why I'm giving this warning and what my view is. I will say I've also been on lots of other drugs since that could have perhaps contributed... but metformin is still the drug that started it all for me. If you can lose your weight on diet and exercise alone and stay within a healthy BGL range... you are doing yourself a big favour in my opinion. The longer you can stay off drugs the better... but if BGLs can't be controlled, that is a sign you need help. I'm now on full time insulin as my pancreas no longer produces enough insulin for my needs. I was on lots of other oral meds which no doubt exhausted my pancreas a bit. I'm sure you will find lots of support and info here. Keep us posted on how you're doing.
 

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I'm all for trying to do it on your own. First and foremost in my mind is the education you get about which foods work for you and which don't. I'd think that down the line that would be very helpful even if you need to add a drug. I've pulled my A1C down from 6.9 to 5.2 and lost 45 lbs and now am at goal. I've tried a bunch of 'tricks' getting here and learned to eat a lot of meat, use coconut oil and bacon fat and butter. I love whipping cream in my coffee. I've learned how good scrambled eggs are with it in them. It had been since childhood when my mother would fry eggs in bacon grease and I just love the flavor of them that way. Finally, I have lately found that I can eat a 'fold over' sandwich that I couldn't eat in the beginning if I want...and BLT season is now upon us, so I look forward to some of those again.

Just my 2 cents worth. YOU CAN do it!
 

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Welome! And here's one more point of view.

I was diagnosed very early and I can control my numbers without Metformin but after discussing with my doc and doing some research, I have agreed to take a small dose (500 mg once a day). The studies show that beginning Metformin immediately at diagnosis extends the time period that Metformin will be effective and extends the function of the pancreas. Going with diet and exercise alone makes your pancreas work harder and wears it out quicker. Beginning Met after your pancreas has substantial damage makes the Met work harder. Together they protect each other. IF you do go on Met, don't be too quick to discard it for side effects - many people have probems for up to 3 months but eventually they go away and many people do better on extended release versions. I wouldn't continue to take it for years with severe side effects but do give it a fair chance. It does also help with hunger issues.

Zero carb is possible, but definately not recommended. Keeping it very low (I would not go much below 20 per day) allows your body to switch from carb-burning mode to fat-burning mode (Ketosis) which is the basis of low carb dieting. Allowing some carbs lets you eat non-starcy vegetables and small amount of some fruits (mostly berries) which I think is very important to your health. Zero carb would mean only pure fats and pure protein.. even eggs and heavy cream have some carb - I don't think I could stay on my diet without them! I'm a slow at weight loss but I've lost 13 pounds in 6 months which my doc says is a good rate for me - most people lose faster.

I think the weight/diabetes thing is stated backwards... I believe that diabetes is a major factor in weight gain or at least that both are caused by the same factors.

Here's a great website to learn the truth about diabetes: Blood Sugar 101
 

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hello all,

diagnosed type 2 about 3 weeks ago and put straight onto metformin.

i have yet to start taking it. my BG levels are not sky high, and i would like to see if i can keep them within healthy levels by diet and exercise alone. doctor wasnt too supportive of this, suggesting i get on the meds first and review the situation in a few months. his reasoning for this was because i need to lose at least 3 stone, this would take time, and in the meantime my blood sugars would be all over the place. he eventually relented and has given me two months to get my weight down. in the meantime i am testing myself like a madman, up to 4 times a day. in the week i have been doing this, my FBGs are in the range 5.8-6.2mmol/l. any comments on this, folks? i have read so many different versions of what 'healthy' FBGs are, and so it is difficult to know what to believe. my feeling is that these levels are higher than those of a non diabetic, but still within acceptable levels. my 2 hour post-meal levels are normally between 6.2 and 6.8mmol/l.

i feel so foolish about this, because there is a history of diabetes in the family, and i had been warned in the past to be careful with my weight. i didnt heed this advice, and instead allowed my weight to spiral. i have read various reports that argue both side of the 'weight gain as major contributing factor' debate, but this is all moot now.

it would be nice to get some perspectives from anyone else managing the condition with diet alone; anyone who started and later stopped medication; anyone who has managed to lose lots of weight (ie 3 stone and above - since we need carbs for fuel, i am assuming a zero carb diet is out of the question); or anyone who just wants to say hello. that would be nice too!

i know that there are various educational sessions that can be attended, which might go some way to learning me up on all these things. i am willing to attend these sessions, but in the meantime, any advice would be greatly appreciated. :smile:
Hello and :welcome: to the forum! There is a lot of information on here. Read what interests you and if you can't find something, just do a search on the forum page in the white box. I hope you will feel comfortable here. Good luck in your weight loss effort. We have many members who try diet and exercise alone before adding Metformin. What kind of fasting numbers are you having? Diabetes education is very important, try and take a few classes and see if it helps you. I hope you are able to visit often and take care.
 

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I think the weight/diabetes thing is stated backwards... I believe that diabetes is a major factor in weight gain or at least that both are caused by the same factors.
This is SO true! Since I'd been getting heavier & heavier for a good 25 years, it rather looked like I was one of those tubbies who AREN'T diabetic. But after diagnosis, the more I tested & realized how my old way-of-eating sent my BGL into orbit, I'm pretty sure if anyone would have offered to test me, that my postprandials were orbiting for years before it ever trickled down to the fastings. There's really no telling how many years I was manifesting high postprandials, but of course the medical community only looks at fastings, so here we are. Other signs were there too - after meals I'd be asleep before I barely got to my easy chair. But every year at my routine checkup, that fasting came in low, so nobody noticed & I didn't know any better.
 

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I tried diet and exercise alone for about 3 months. I couldn't get morning bgs much below 150, so I asked for metformin. I have since raised dose 3 times to current dose of 2550. Even though I was not really overweight, metformin has helped me lose another 30 pounds and I am now at the weight I was in my late teens, over 40 years ago. I consider it a miracle drug. If I eat low carb, exercise and take my metformin I can usually keep bgs under 100. I try to keep carbs between 10-20 per meal. Breakfast is usually less, and lunch a little more. It takes a lot of experimenting to find how your body reacts. I seem to do best around 30-50 carbs a day. If I go too low, it seems my body revolts and I get liver dumps, where the spikes are higher than if I had added carbs to a meal.
 
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I should clarify Timbla that I was on Metformin for over 5 years with side effects the entire time. I agree with a small timeframe only of side effects as others have mentioned... but seriously if it goes longer than 3 months it's not worth the trouble... it may be protecting your pancreas... but it's damagisng your stomach at the same time. All drugs are man made products and sadly they come with unwanted side effects. I stayed on metformin for so long because of constantly being told it's 'safe'... but if it's destroying your stomach I don't consider it 'safe'. For me now it's made managing my diabetes harder as my stomach digestion is not predictable... therefore it makes my BGLs unpredictable. I wonder if I was only taking metformin very short time whether my stomach would be Ok. But not everyone reacts like I did... quite a few people can tolerate metformin without the side effects.
 

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Hello All,

I to am new to being diabetic, I was diagnose in Feb my blood sugar levels were 600 and my AC-1 was 10.5. I was put on Metformin 1000mg twice a day. So far my sugar levels have dropped to 120 in the morning. In 2wks I go for a blood test and hopefully my AC-1 will have dropped.
 

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Hello & welcome - happy May Day, Timbla.

My experience with metformin is that it is a major factor in my weight loss - it curbs my appetite very noticably! I have lost 30 lbs. and still losing - I take 1000mg x 2 metformin daily, and my way-of-eating is low-carb/high-fat. I wouldn't try to influence your decision to refuse taking it, but you might be shooting yourself in the foot by rejecting a proven weight loss aid.

And in the interest of dispelling one of the more damaging myths about diabetic diets, there is no truth to the claim that human bodies require ANY carbohydrate to survive/thrive. From Lyle McDonald, authority on sports nutrition and more specifically low-carbohydrate dieting.
I'm glad to hear that Shanny. I've been resistant to taking any meds, but I have 50 pounds to go, so maybe Metformin might actually be a good idea. I'll ask my doctor about it tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
thanks for everyone's comments.

i am still unsure as to what i should do. i worry about the extra damage my staying off the met might be doing. i just find it hard to accept i am ill i think i am still in denial.

my doctor wanted me to get straight on the met. he eventually relented and said he would support the diet/lifestyle option for two months and then reassess.

but he is expecting me to lose quite a bit of weight, and show good BG levels in the meantime.

I dont know how capable i am of doing that. i had a weird day today, which if anything just showed me how much i still dont understand. my two hour post prandial level was really low - 3.3mmol/l. i had eaten quite a substantial bowl of porridge in morning.

there i am worried about keeping my BG levels down, and within healthy ranges, but i need to be thinking about low readings too, right? this diabetes thing is quite the rollercoaster ride.

with patdart talking of butter and bacon and whipping cream i am further confused. arent those things supposed to be avoided?

i'll get a handle on this eventually. but in the meantime, i am on quite a steep learning curve.

thanks again everyone for their input. much appreciated.
 

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thanks for everyone's comments.

i am still unsure as to what i should do. i worry about the extra damage my staying off the met might be doing. i just find it hard to accept i am ill i think i am still in denial.

my doctor wanted me to get straight on the met. he eventually relented and said he would support the diet/lifestyle option for two months and then reassess.

but he is expecting me to lose quite a bit of weight, and show good BG levels in the meantime.

I dont know how capable i am of doing that. i had a weird day today, which if anything just showed me how much i still dont understand. my two hour post prandial level was really low - 3.3mmol/l. i had eaten quite a substantial bowl of porridge in morning.

there i am worried about keeping my BG levels down, and within healthy ranges, but i need to be thinking about low readings too, right? this diabetes thing is quite the rollercoaster ride.

with patdart talking of butter and bacon and whipping cream i am further confused. arent those things supposed to be avoided?

i'll get a handle on this eventually. but in the meantime, i am on quite a steep learning curve.

thanks again everyone for their input. much appreciated.

Timbia, I was dx'd one month ago today - April Fools' Day! I thought no way would I be able to eat low carb and turn things around. Today I went back to my doctor and she was literally ASTOUNDED that in four weeks I have brought my numbers down from 262 on 4/1 to a 94 just TODAY. I have now had three straight days of my bg's being below 110 at all times. I am pretty sure I will be able to bring my A1C down to a 7 or 6 (it was an 11.5) in the next two months.

It CAN be done. It seems impossible now and there is a ton of stuff to learn, but you will. It takes a lot of willpower to stop eating the way you were. The way I did it was to jump in immediately and keep my carbs at no more than 20g a day, and virtually no sugar. Sugar alcohols are sugar too, so learning to read the nutrition labels is vital. I thought for sure all the fatty food should be avoided as well, but the fat helps slow the absorption of the carbs. Also, eat something with at least 7-8 g of protein (like string cheese) an hour before bed to prevent liver dumping while you sleep. I am also walking for 30 minutes one hour after I eat my three main meals, which helps bring down the sugar. I have lost ten pounds this month alone since I was dx'd.

I always recommend reading Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution - you'll learn so much about nutrition there.

You CAN do it! It seems like a mountain now, but once you get the hang of it, it'll feel like a hill and you'll feel a lot better too.

Here is what keeps me going day to day: meeting a woman who's only 38 years old and had her foot amputated 4 months ago because she didn't change her diet or her lifestyle since she was diagnosed 15 years ago - she only kept upping her meds. Now she doesn't have a foot and hops around on crutches. SHE'S 38 YEARS OLD. Remember that and you should be fine! :peace:
 

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with patdart talking of butter and bacon and whipping cream i am further confused. arent those things supposed to be avoided?
It's a very steep learning curve when we're also having to undo all the fallacious teaching of the last 50 years that fats are bad. In order to fully understand this issue, you'll want to Google Ancel Keys and discover the hoax that's been perpetrated upon the public these last 50 years, but for now, suffice to say that for people with diabetes, fats are our best friends. My own husband's cholesterol levels have been greatly reduced by eating my low-carb/high fat diet the last two years & he isn't even diabetic. ;)
 

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i am worried about keeping my BG levels down, and within healthy ranges, but i need to be thinking about low readings too, right?
As a type 2, not on insulin, your body will take care of the lows for you. Only people who are on insulin have to worry about lows.
with patdart talking of butter and bacon and whipping cream i am further confused. arent those things supposed to be avoided?
I know exactly where you are coming from. My husband was diagnosed less than a month ago, then I found this forum. Everyone was saying to eat things like eggs, cheese, bacon, certain nuts, etc. I was thinking if we eat like this, we will gain so much weight we'll end up looking like a couple of cows. But we did it anyway and without trying, my husband has lost 15 pounds, I have lost 16 and his bg is way down and stays in normal range. I was also worried about high cholesterol, but the folks on this forum know their stuff, and they claim this is a healthy way of eating. Everything I have learned here so far has ended up being true, so I also believe them on the cholesterol thing.

We have been taught all of our lives that saturated fats are bad for us, eggs are evil, bacon will kill us, etc. Those people have it all backwards. Not just diabetics, but everyone should be eating the way the diabetics on this forum eat, we would all be healthier and thinner.

Carbohydrates are what causes bg to go up. Lots of people recommend that a diabetic should have between 20 and 60 net carbs per day. DH and I have been eating around 30. Most people count net carbs instead of total carbs. On most foods you will see a nutrition label, and you will see Total Carbs and Fiber (By the way, that is per serving, not per the container, be sure to note the serving size.) Subtract the fiber from the total carbs to get the Net Carbs, and that is the number you count. Some people also subtract the sugar alcohol, if any is listed.

You need to eat small amounts of food about 5 times a day. Distribute your carbs throughout the day - don't eat a lot of carbs in one sitting - and eat some protein every time you eat something with carbs in it, that will help keep your bg down. Ask all the questions you need to ask, there are lots of folks here willing to help, and after just a few questions you'll know what to eat and what to stay away from, and you won't be sorry you found this forum. Welcome :wave:
 
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