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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone.

I'm new here because I just got a call today from my doctor's office saying that they are prescribing me Metformin. The nurse just said to take it and come back in 3 months to have my glucose checked again. She said my glucose level was 334 and my Hemoglobin was 8.

I'm a little confused because I thought this would also come with some 'diet and exercise' information that doesn't appear to be forthcoming. I'm wondering if I need to just take the pills and not worry about it, or get another doctor's opinion. :confused:

Any advice would be greatly appreciated! I did look at some diets online, but do you know how MANY are out there for diabetics? I must say I had no idea that there was so much conflicting information. :rain:

Thanks!
Giaheather
 

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Gosh, with a hemoglobin of 8 you are pretty anemic. That is a high BG reading too. Was it a fasting one? I was somewhat in your shoes last July1 and came home and read two wonderful books, and a site called Blood Sugar 101 and put myself on a version of Atkins diet and lost 50 lbs and now all is well for me. I didn't see a nutritionist and simply upped my fats, protein and cut the carbs down to about 20 a day. Now that I'm at goal weight, I'm upping them to about 30 a day trying to find out what my body will accept and not gain weight or lose my good #'s.

Tell us more about yourself. Do you need to lose weight? I eat a good meal and still keep my glucose in check. Very few things I delete...flour (bread,etc.) sweets, potatoes, rice. Basically anything white but not cauliflower. Since you are from Georgia, I guess I need to mention peas and limas are not a part of my daily diet. I can eat a bit of cornbread (like a slice ) now and then, but not until I got to my goal weight!

Anyway, I plan a few peaches this summer...none last year but it's been worth it.

Tell us more about yourself,



Good luck,

Pat
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hemoglobin A1c (not anemic) but is a new test and the nurse said it was high.

I've got about 60 pounds to loose. I guess from what I've been reading here I need to count carbs.

They didn't even mention if I need to check my blood sugar level daily or anything. Do I?
 

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Oh, A1C, not hemoglobin. A big difference.

Yes, you do need to do a low carb diet and yes, run, don't walk to WM and buy a Relion meter if your insurance doesn't pay for one. You can call your doctor for a free meter (he may have some), but I've found the WM strips are the cheapest ones I can get, or order some from eBay for my One Touch. It's a huge help in both dieting and loosing weight.

Yep, watch carbs. They really did you a favor by not telling you a lot. The ADA diet is a high carb one and my cardiologist loved the fact that I had chosen Atkins as it will lower your cholesterol fast. Mine was not too high, but it did drop like a bomb on Atkins, and is just fine now. It's counter intuitive, since you eat a lot of good fats, but it works great! My doctor finally saw me and by then my numbers were so good he didn't even diagnose me as diabetic which could be a blessing if I'd been on private insurance, but since I'm on Medicare, it wouldn't have been a problem. So, no problems since I don't have to worry about 'prior conditions' when shopping for insurance.

Again, good luck,

Pat
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks, Pat!

I don't know why the nurse called it 'Hemoglobin A1C' on the phone. Sorry for the confusion.

I'll try low carbs and try to up my walking time to an hour each day. I was already walking for 30 minutes every day. I've been doing that for about 3 months now and was already in the process of loosing weight. Only about 3-5 pounds a month. Very slow! :(

Maybe once I cut out the carbs it will go faster! I know when my cholesterol and triglycerides tested high my doctor told me to go to the ADA to get a diet, but that one doesn't seem to be working too good.
 

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It was pretty much the same with me, but no meds. The nurse called and said cut down on carbs, exercise and lose weight, that was it.

I went to Walmart and bought a test meter and strips. If I wanted to see how a food would affect me, I tested 1 or 2 hrs. after eating that food, and if it spiked me too much, I would eleminate that food from my diet. Everyone is different and it is pretty much trial and error.

There are many others on this forum who are a lot more experienced and knowledgable than I, so I will step aside and give them the floor.

You came to the right place for the help you need. Glad you joined us and welcome.
 

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Hi Heather

Welcome to DF
 
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welcome Heather :) we're all different with our diets, you will be able to find what works best for you by testing your BGLs with your glucometer regularly throughout the day. I'm sure you will find this a great place for support and info. Keep us posted on how you're doing.
 

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Hi Heather and Welcome.

Here is my usual spiel on diet (in this case "diet" simply means "what I eat", as opposed to a drastic short-term weight-loss change)...

Real whole food, is the order of the day... preferably local and in-season, grown/reared on nutrient rich land, fuelled by sunlight... grass-fed beef and pastured chickens for example. This means eat whole (unprocessed, unpackaged, unadulterated) food, which includes a natural balance of fat, protein and carbohydrates (as well as vitamins, minerals etc...) ...there really is no need to be afraid of natural fat... it's gotten a bad rap.

Those of us with (or at risk of developing) Diabetes need to pay particular attention to the foods which have the most effect on our Blood Glucose (BG) levels. There are obvious things to watch out for like candy, cola, cakes and sweets (these are high in refined/concentrated carbohydrates)... next in line are the "white" foods like bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, breakfast cereal... but even something assumed to be healthy like orange juice has about as much sugar as a cola... fat reduced milk can have an higher proportion of lactose (sugar), especially in low-fat products such as yogurts; which may have High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) added to replace the fat... and so it goes on. That does not mean you need to feel deprived or hungry to eat this way, not by any means. You may even find you can work in an occasional family cake... for example. The keyword there being "occasional" as it used to be when our Grandparents baked cakes only for Birthdays etc... not everyday (muffins, donuts, pastries) for breakfast.

If you have an home BG test meter, you may hear the phrase "eat to your meter" and this deceptively simple message is very wise... test around your food and figure out what works best for YOU.

Learn to read nutritional labels AND ingredient lists. Be aware of hidden "sugars" -- mostly ending with "ose" -- and starches (such as Maltodextrin) which also quickly break down into sugars.

Some ideas for snacks: nuts, cheese, dark chocolate (70% cocoa or higher), pork rinds/scratchings, cold (home cooked) meats, boiled eggs, peanut butter.

While we are encouraged to eat "so many servings of fruit and veg daily", many of these can spike our BGs so test, test test... for me, green leafy vegetables seem to work best... but you may also help reduce/slow the BG spike by mixing foods... for example: instead of eating an apple by itself, try just half the apple in slices with some peanut butter or cheese... or have a few berries with some cream.

I'd suggest that BG control be your primary aim... while minimising the need for insulin which is the major fat storage hormone -- reducing excess fat mass, improving cholesterol/lipids, hypertension etc... all these tend to improve with more normal BGs.

I am not big on setting unrealistic "exercise" goals... flogging yourself at the gym... unless you feel especially motivated to do so. I think you are better off with something sustainable in the long term. There are many health benefits of activity but I'm not convinced that losing weight is a major one. I do believe in building activity into your daily routine (rather than finding excuses for missing the gym)... take the stairs, park further away, get off the bus a stop earlier... go for a walk at lunchtime... take "smoke breaks" at work where you walk around the block instead. Physical activity can help with your BG numbers as it tends to lower Insulin Resistance (IR) , as well as using up glucose but as with food, it is advisable to test and see how it affects you.
 
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Welcome to the world of diabetes. Most of us get little advice from our doctors. They act like writing an Rx for metformin is all we have to do. When I was dx'd I was never told what a normal bg was, so I was really flying blind. A normal fasting bg is 70-95, or there abouts. So eventually that should be your goal. After meals a normal person will usually be close to fasting at 2 hours. As diabetics we are asked to keep the number below 120-140 or lower. Since no one knows where nerve damage begins, it is best to keep bgs as close to normal as we can. How much metformin are you taking? I had to raise my dose 3 separate times to better my control. I now take 2550 mg. You will see the best results when you pair the metformin with a very low carb diet, fiber at every meal and moderate exercise. If your bgs aren't going down then you may have to add another med or some long acting basal insulin to regain control. Diabetes is a very manageable disease, but it takes a lot of work on your part.
 

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Welcome Heather! Glad to have you joining us and please don't hesitate to ask any questions!

Cheers,

Jeremy
 

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:)Hello. This is my first try today to get on the Forum. I keep doing something wrong. However, you senior members have provided me with very timely information that has helped me go from an A1c of 6.8 to 5.5 in six months. I hope to keep it around this number. I take 2000mg of Metformin daily, spacing them about 6-8 hours apart. I had also been taking 1 Avandryl daily but the doctor has taken me off it. I was diagnosed about 23 years ago and was under control with diet until my bouts with cancer. Since then, meds have been in the mix.

I am so appreciative of this forum. The Health Department and a nearby hospital have teamed up to organize a Diabetes Talk every month in the small town where I live. I know this will help, too, but this Forum has been a real boost when I get depressed about the blood sugars.
 

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Welcome, JT! Sorry you've had so many challenges, but participation here will definitely be both informational and mood boosting. Glad you found us, we all need a sense of community and this is a great source.

Pull up a chair and have a glass of safely sweetened tea here on the porch!
 

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Hello & welcome, JT. Glad you took another stab at posting & it worked! Looking forward to getting better acquainted - hope you have time to visit often!
 

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Hello Heather and JT. A big welcome from me too. Hope you enjoy the forum as I do. I've found the members to be so lovely and supportive. Take it easy. :wave:
 

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Hi everyone.

I'm new here because I just got a call today from my doctor's office saying that they are prescribing me Metformin. The nurse just said to take it and come back in 3 months to have my glucose checked again. She said my glucose level was 334 and my Hemoglobin was 8.

I'm a little confused because I thought this would also come with some 'diet and exercise' information that doesn't appear to be forthcoming. I'm wondering if I need to just take the pills and not worry about it, or get another doctor's opinion. :confused:

Any advice would be greatly appreciated! I did look at some diets online, but do you know how MANY are out there for diabetics? I must say I had no idea that there was so much conflicting information. :rain:

Thanks!
Giaheather
I don't know if certain high numbers just require an automatic prescription, but I think any good doctor would first prescribe diet and exercise for at least the first month to see how effective that is before going pill-happy. If it were ME? I wouldn't take the meds. I'd try a strict diet and exercise program for a month and see how that brings your numbers down. My number at dx was 262, not far off from where you are, and I brought that down to between 95-110 within three weeks just eating 20-25 carbs per day and cutting out ALL fruits, breads, grains, and sugar.
 

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To add more confusing advice - personally I wouldn't drop the metformin but use it to help get your bs down as quickly as possible. There's time later to decide if you want to keep taking it.

Your numbers are high enough that I think your pancreas deserves a rest. I take 2,000 mg and it has been invaluable. When I forgot to take half my dose for 4 days my numbers crept back up. We're all different, but I would use whatever I could to get my numbers in normal range, then start experimenting with what foods you can add back in, if you want to go off meds and your body gives you that option, etc.
 

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Welcome, Heather and JT! :welcome:

Heather ... Sounds like your doc's doing right with the meds.

When levels are high enough, they trigger an automatic prescription. Higher still (400-500, depending) and we get automatic hospitalization as a bonus! Past a certain point, numbers just won't go down without an assist -- which maaaayyyy be temporary.

I'm glad they've arranged for a 3-month follow-up! However, if the meds bother you in any way (side effects, or little/no effect, or or too much effect) between now and then, you may want to call them to ask about adjustment.

As for diet, we're all different. I don't know anybody who can go the distance on a completely packaged diet.

Many of us go low-carb -- no potatoes/pasta/rice/bread. Fgummett's advice is spot on. The key is, "eat to your meter." I hope they gave you one. If not, ask! Meters are also available over-the-counter in most drugstores, and manufacturers often give freebies.

Test at waking, before and after meals/snacks, and at bedtime. Especially for "new foods," you'll want to test twice after a meal or snack: First, 1 hour after your first bite; and second, 1 hour after that. Yup, major hassle. (Every time I get lazy, I regret it.) But worth it.

JT ... Glad you found us, and were able to tame the technocritters! With all the challenges you face, it looks like you're doing something right!

Looking forward to getting better acquainted with both of you!
 
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