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Discussion Starter #1
Hi. I come from a long line of diabetics and had gestational diabetes with my last child, so although I am new to this, it is not so unfamiliar. One of my sons was home for a visit and was displaying classic symptoms (thirsty, tired, frequent urination), so I borrowed one of my sister's meters and tested him, and while I was at it, me, too. HE was fine (too many nasty energy drinks!). My BG was 157. That was 6 months ago. I have modified my diet, started exercising more and have started losing weight. I have gotten my FBG down to the 126-136 range, mostly in the 120s. I don't know why, but I am hesitant to go to the doctor. I really don't want to start medications and so I have been trying to do this with diet and exercise. But lately I have been noticing increased thirst and some other complications and I don't think I can delay much longer. I am afraid my insurance rate is going to shoot up as well. I guess one of my questions is is medication the usual route? I am allergic to sulfa, so I have concluded that there is a whole group of diabetes drugs that I need to avoid. I am on the ledge and need someone to talk me down!!
 

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Come down off that ledge - it will all be fine :)

Your numbers need to come down, yes, but they are not terrible. You might easily manage your diabetes without medication by modifying your diet. You say you have, but what have you been eating? Carbs are the issue with diabetes. Our bodies spike with oatmeal as easily as they do with pure cane sugar.

Culprit carbs tend to be: potatoes, grains, rice, oatmeal, bread, sugars, milk, fruit. You can figure out what foods your body doesn't like by testing before a meal for baseline, then an hour after your first bite, and 2 hours afterwards. Your 1-hour reading should be <140, your 2-hour <120. In time, you might want to change those goals, but they're a good start.

If you're having symptoms, it would be a good idea to go to the doctor, but I don't think that means you will need to start taking medication. Honestly, if you adjust your diet, I suspect you'll be able to control your diabetes fairly easily. Besides thirst, what other symptoms are you having?

Welcome to the forum.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I have been having vision problems, beginnings of a yeast infection(stopped that), and some tingling in my fingers and toes. I have also had a few hypoglycemic episodes and need to keep something with me at work. I have cut down carbs a lot and it seems that when my carb load is very low, I have episodes. Also tiredness, but oddly, sleeplessness. I have gone with more fibrous veggies and with some fruits. I have dropped red meat and usually have fish or lean chicken. I have been testing to see what my body doesn't do well with. Popcorn is a huge problem! I even started a food log. That way I have everything when I do see the doctor. I did get an A1C recently. It came back 6.4.
 

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When you feel as though you're having a hypoglycemic episode, have you tested? I ask because sometimes when our bg drops, it might not be in hypoglycemic territory but our body isn't used to lower blood sugar and that's what we feel. When we take glucose then, or carbs, we're not helping our body adjust. That's a great time to test so you have some objective data.

Your A1C isn't bad at all, meaning you might well be able to manage your diabetes without medication if you want. Metformin is not a sulfa-based drug, and is the best oral medication since it does not stimulate the pancreas to produce more insulin but works in the liver instead.

Why did you drop red meat? It sounds as though you are pointing towards a low-fat diet with lean chicken. Healthy fats (dark chicken with skin) are great for a diabetic. A lot of the medical community thinks diabetics need to eat low fat because they're afraid of heart disease for us, but putting aside the lack of correlation between dietary fat and heart disease (seriously), it's carbs and high A1Cs that map to heart attacks in diabetics:

A1c and High Post-Meal Blood Sugars Predict Heart Attack
Diabetes Update: Insight into Why A1c Correlates So Strongly with Heart Attack

I can tell you that eating a low-carb, high-fat diet has improved my lipid profile incredibly. My doctors all wanted me on statins, I refused, and now they don't talk to me about them anymore. This forum is filled with people who saw great improvement in their numbers eating contrary to the low-fat we were taught for decades.

I think your vision and digit tingling will right themselves rather quickly. My vision was wonky for a number of weeks, but my numbers were very high.

Kudos on the changes you're making.
 

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All I can say, is go to the doctor and get an official diagnosis. Trying to lower bgs for some of us without medication is very difficult, sometimes. Usually the first med they start you on is metformin. Sulfyonurea drugs are questionable drugs since they overstimulate the pancreas and may cause bg lows.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all the information and advice. I am searching for a good doctor right now. My previous doctor is the one who recommended a low fat diet. At the time I was just pre-diabetic and he suggested that route. Of course, he also thought my high readings were caused by the meter--he actually gave me 4 different meters. Hence the PREVIOUS reference. Would anybody have an opinion on specialty choices? Since I am starting fresh, should I go to an endocrinologist or stick with a general practitioner?
 
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