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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Forum,

I'm a newly diagnosed diabetic (type - to be determined). I'm extremely overwhelmed with this "news" and dont even know where to begin. I get anxious when I think about how my life will change and the thought of thinking about EVERYTHING I eat.

I've been lingering around this site for the last few days before finally committing and joining today (I suppose I felt like I was "finalizing" my diagnosis by actually joining here). There is a lot of great information circulated on this forum.

A little history about my diagnosis: I had zero symptoms, no issues. Went to my doctor for my yearly physical, at which time she did blood work. My fasting blood glucose came back at 8.5mmol. She did follow up blood work 2 weeks later and my fasting glucose was 8.8 mmol. At the same time, she did my A1C... which came back at 9.3% At that time she put me on metformin (250mg 2x/day)(this was just on Thursday). She has referred me to a specialist as she's unsure if I am type 1 or 2 (this part, I dont understand).

I'm 31 years old, female, a non-smoker, physically active, with normal BMI. I drink socially. My genetics failed me, I guess - although none of my immediate family has diabetes.

I'm happy I found this forum, although unhappy all at the same time.
 

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:welcome: from this fellow Canuck! We're glad to have you.
 

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I'm extremely overwhelmed with this "news" and dont even know where to begin.
Welcome, hockey_gal. There is some very good news in this, the fact that you have no symptoms. It is best to take this one step at a time. First is don't panic. Second is finding out whether you are type 1 or 2 and whether or not the doctor will be putting you on meds. From there you find the diet plan that works best for you, your type of diabetes and the meds you may be taking. You will probably be sent to a dietician. Some find their dietician's diet plan will work for them, some find it does not. Everyone is different. The people on this forum have lots of experience and can be a big help if you need to work out your own diet plan, which is what many of us have done.

I get anxious when I think about how my life will change and the thought of thinking about EVERYTHING I eat.
The next step I took was to get rid of everything in the house that I couldn't eat. Some diabetics weigh and measure their food, but I only count carbohydrates because when it comes to food, carbs is the main thing that can raise blood sugar.

Let us know what the doctor says, my fingers are crossed for you (Makes it a little harder to type, but you're worth it.) So glad you found us.
 

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Welcome, Hockey Gal! :welcome:

Glad you found us ... sorry you had to!

Gizmo gave excellent advice, to which I can only add ... ask questions, lots of them. If you don't trust the answers, look further. Diabetes is not a simple matter of obeying instructions. We each must wrestle our own dia-beasties!

But you don't have to go it alone. You've found a great place with lots of info and support.

Please visit often, and keep us posted!
 

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Welcome to the forum. When I was dx'd I was older but really was very healthy too. I was very athletic, a good weight for my age and was a vegetarian who ate the way I was supposed to. They are beginning to do more and more research on what causes Type 2. Some think there may also be somekind of auto immune attack, similar to type 1. For some of us this may happen in our 20's and 30's some may not succumb until their 40's or 50's. Even though Diabetes will change your life somewhat it shouldn't stop you from doing anything you want to do. We may have to eat a little differently and test to make sure the carbs we ate don't keep our bgs too high. There are diabetic athletes all over the world. So even if they reclassify you, and you need to use insulin, they have made it very easy with insulin pens, pumps and Continuous Glucose Monitors. Diabetes management has come a long way.
 
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welcome Hockey Gal :) I remember the being newly diagnosed bit like it was yesterday... it's not a nice feeling. Although please don't worry as you will soon find your feet and get your head around it all. I was diagnosed with type 2 at the tender age of 25.... it was frowned on when I was diagnosed in 1998 as back then type 2 was considered "mature onset diabetes"... well I wasn't mature enough obviously and didn't fit the bracket. They also diagnosed me with another hormone condition at the same time and said this is precursor to diabetes (in other words I had PCOS before I had diabetes and that placed me at higher risk of getting it). Firstly wait to see what type of diabetes you actually have. If they come back and say it's definitely type 2, you may want to check whether or not you also have PCOS? I'm saying this because you mention you have no family history and your weight is normal... just make sure you are healthy. My endo did the diagnosis anyhow... so if you've not seen an endo yet, they may investigate this if it's not type 1 that you have. 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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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you all for your support. I can tell already I am going to come back here often!

I was put on metformin and decided I wasn't going to start taking it over the weekend - mainly because I was going away and was anxious about having side effects while I was away. I have been checking my BGLs regularly (prior to eating and 2 hours post) and have noticed a slow but steady climb in my levels. I am travelling again this week and thought I would hold off taking the metformin for another week but have decided to start the meds this morning.

Can anyone tell me how long metformin takes to start dropping BGLs? I am under the impression that it needs to build up in my blood before it starts working. I am on a low dosage right now and would just like to know (for my own piece of mind) how long until I start to notice a difference.
 

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I am on a low dosage right now and would just like to know (for my own piece of mind) how long until I start to notice a difference.
Yeah, your dose is pretty low, and it's possible you won't see much effect. But as with almost everything about diabetes, we're all different and time will tell.

Metformin can take several weeks to reach full effect, but I saw (with 2,000 mg/day) an improvement right away. It wasn't enough after a week though, and so they added glipizide. I was able to eliminate the glipizide in about 5 weeks.

Last week I somehow forgot to take my morning metformin dose for 4 days straight and saw my numbers slowly creep up. Once I stopped forgetting (sheesh), it took several days to bring me back into range. I don't think it's a good idea to stop and start metformin, better to keep it steady in your bloodstream.

If you don't see enough of an effect, there's nothing wrong with discussing increasing your dosage w/ your doc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks Moon! My doctor initially wanted to start me on 500mg 2x/day but also warned me of my BGLs dropping. Ironically enough, I used to have a problem with low blood sugar and did NOT like that experience at all. Also, I was quite concerned with the GI issues that may arise from metformin so she suggested we start low and gradually build up, if needed. I'd love to have a formula that says if your BGL is x then you need y amount of metformin to balance it.

I think I'm having a whole lot of fear and anxiety about all of this and want to take baby steps to get me balanced. Can't WAIT for that day to come - I'm "slightly" (read - a LOT) impatient!
 

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My doctor initially wanted to start me on 500mg 2x/day but also warned me of my BGLs dropping.
The good news is that metformin itself will not make you low because it does not stimulate the pancreas to produce more insulin. My endo explained that metformin will not take you lower than your body wants to go, and that has been borne out by my own online research.

The gastric side effects are common. I had them terribly until my body got used to it, but still don't suffer from constipation! Metformin ER (extended release) is often free of the gastric ick and could be an option.
 

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Thanks Moon! My doctor initially wanted to start me on 500mg 2x/day but also warned me of my BGLs dropping. Ironically enough, I used to have a problem with low blood sugar and did NOT like that experience at all. Also, I was quite concerned with the GI issues that may arise from metformin so she suggested we start low and gradually build up, if needed. I'd love to have a formula that says if your BGL is x then you need y amount of metformin to balance it.

I think I'm having a whole lot of fear and anxiety about all of this and want to take baby steps to get me balanced. Can't WAIT for that day to come - I'm "slightly" (read - a LOT) impatient!
You should probably go to the 500mg 2x per day as suggested by the Doc, imho. Your chosen dosage is incredibly small.

Metformin is funny in that although it can take several weeks for some to notice an effect, others notice it right away. I saw results in around 7-10 days where my BG's were definitely coming down. I'm not sure how much was Met and how much was diet and exercise, but all of them together work well.

As mentioned, Metformin will not cause blood sugar lows. It simply cannot happen.

What will happen is that your body might not like the feeling of approaching 'normal' blood sugar levels. As mine started to come down, I'd feel horrible at what I 'thought' was low, but was in-fact starting to approach normal. It just took a little getting used to, and once the body adapted, all was well.

If you're worried about the GI issues - and if you're getting any kind of insurance coverage for your meds, see if your insurance company will pay for the ER (Extended Release) metformin. That's what I had to switch to. I initially suffered a lot from GI issues on Met, but they cleared up after being switched to the Extended Release version (which my insurance company does cover, luckily).

If you're paying for it yourself ... you might want to stick with the generic metformin... the Extended-Release is pricey...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It's reassuring to know that metformin won't cause glucose lows. I am now wondering if I should have gone to 500mg 2x/day - I've just started it (first pill this morning) so I will see what my stomache does on 250mg. If all goes well and my BGLs are not changing, I will talk to my dr about upping my dosage.
I'm a little apprehensive about changing anything on my own for silly reasons - I had a diabetic cat and had to manage is BGLs with insulin... so I am stuck in that frame of mind. This Type 2 business is all new to me.

I've also started the low carb eating - as of today - and so my body is FREAKING OUT cause I just want a piece of white bread!! It is a true test of will power! It will be interesting to see how my BGLs change with diet and exercise as well.

THANK YOU all who have posted - everything you've posted has been VERY helpful so far!!! I'm of the belief that knowledge is power... I can't stop reading this forum!
 

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Way to go, HG . . . and the longer you can hold off eating any bread or other "white" carbs, the cravings will subside. They honest & truly will! :D It only takes a few days. Now that I'm off bread, I don't keep any in the house except things that don't spike me, but I truly don't have any more urges to drive into town to get a loaf of bread! ;)
 
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yeah... metformin, just try some different dosages and types. In my experience the entire lot caused me grief. I'm probably in the minority there no doubt... but basically my advice is speak to your doc sooner than later and don't put up with GI side effects for extended period like I did. Someone mentioned the extended release version was GI side effect free... well my experience with it was sick, sick, sick... and even worse than the other stuff. You know your body better than anyone and just learn to be assertive about things than grin and bear it. That's my lesson learnt! I'm not a fan of metformin as you can probably tell... and I have good reason. But I'm fully aware that it does work for most people. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
onlymep - thanks for the heads up. I have seen some of your posts on metformin and I definitely have my radars on for side effects.

I should probably start a new thread with this next question but as a "newbie" I'll keep it all together...
What are some thoughts on whole grain pastas, brown rices, etc. I understand that they are still carbs (and carbs = BAD) but since I'm not eliminating carbs completely, are there any "safe" amounts of this I can eat... or is everyone of the opinion that we shouldn't eat these at all. I'm only asking this because as of right now I have limited recipes that are low carb and I cant imagine I'll survive on salads with chicken for much longer!!

(my apologies if this has been covered somewhere else... there is a HECK of a lot of reading to do on this forum)
 

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It's best to let your meter be your guide, regarding things like brown rice or other cereal grain products. Eat a small serving and test an hour later. If your BGL is under 140 mg/dl, that's good. Do another test two hours after you ate it, and if it's dropping even lower than 140, you're good to go.

If you test over 140 at any time, then that food may have to be avoided most of the time.
 

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My strategy at dx was to cut out most carbs, with the idea once stabilized I could gradually try to add back later. I really wanted to get my blood sugar down as fast as possible. So I did cut out wheat and grains completely and that ended up working for me. Some people are able to have more in their diet, but they do tend to be major spikers for lots of people. I probably could have 1/4 cup of brown rice when my numbers are running well, but for me that would be more torture than treat.

The recipe section is a goldmine. Cauliflower is the new potato. Spaghetti squash is the new pasta. They're not only fun to experiment with, but are delicous!
 
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