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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My first post here was titled, "Concerned".
My husband was dx with type 2 and has started on metformin. This is his second week. The first week was 250mg, he's now up to 250 2xs per day, to progress to 1,000mg daily.
He won't test his blood at home, so have no idea what his levels are, but he is eating properly. No sugar, low carbs.
He seems to be depressed, distant, and kind of irritable which are not normal for him.
Are those symptoms of the diabetes?
Thanks for any input.
 

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Hi, Sandy . . . I wouldn't say they're specific symptoms of diabetes, but could be symptoms of being diagnosed with any incurable chronic disorder, and not one bit happy about it. I wish he were testing, but maybe that's still part of how he can deny that this has really happened.

Maybe a little time & space will help him get used to the idea. Is he doing okay on the metformin? The gradual buildup is commonly prescribed, and helps prevent gastric side effects.

As long as his diet is mainly protein & fats, he shouldn't be in too much trouble not testing, but if he's eating grains, rice, bread, potatoes, etc., at all, he might want to stop. It isn't only sweets that raise BG.
 

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My first post here was titled, "Concerned".
My husband was dx with type 2 and has started on metformin. This is his second week. The first week was 250mg, he's now up to 250 2xs per day, to progress to 1,000mg daily.
He won't test his blood at home, so have no idea what his levels are, but he is eating properly. No sugar, low carbs.
He seems to be depressed, distant, and kind of irritable which are not normal for him.
Are those symptoms of the diabetes?
Thanks for any input.
As shanny mentioned, they are symptoms of the depression that often accompanies a diagnosis.

For me, I *blamed* myself for my diabetes. Even though I have a strong family history of it, I was overweight and inactive (due to a spinal condition) but still I blamed myself.

Of course, research shows that it's NOT 'our fault' ...

I also was getting depressed/angry anytime I wanted something I know I couldn't eat, or at times when I saw others eating something that I loved. Interestingly enough, those cravings are starting to lessen, so that's good.

I'm still sometimes depressed / annoyed about the condition, but I'm accepting it more everyday. And I'm seeing the benefits:

* I feel better BOTH physically and mentally as I eat right and take care of myself

* It's a boost to my self-esteem to be getting stronger and lose weight

* I've learned I can treat myself to little bits of things, and still enjoy life

* My family is starting to better-consider what they eat and their lifestyle

There's actually been benefits to the Dx of diabetes... but they are slow to be realized, and the lifestyle change is certainly something that takes getting used to.

But overall, I'm feeling better than I did.

One thing that should be considered: I hope he's not going TOO low carb - we still need them to some extent (and going too low can certainly affect mood), but certain carbs are better than others. It's unfortunate he won't test at home, because that will allow him to learn exactly how different foods affect him. It's possible there are things he doesn't have to give up, but only testing after meals (1hr after to see spikes, and 2hr after to determine control) will tell him that.

It sounds like he's got a supportive wife, and that's a great thing. Good luck, we're all here anytime...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi, Sandy . . . I wouldn't say they're specific symptoms of diabetes, but could be symptoms of being diagnosed with any incurable chronic disorder, and not one bit happy about it. I wish he were testing, but maybe that's still part of how he can deny that this has really happened.

Maybe a little time & space will help him get used to the idea. Is he doing okay on the metformin? The gradual buildup is commonly prescribed, and helps prevent gastric side effects.

As long as his diet is mainly protein & fats, he shouldn't be in too much trouble not testing, but if he's eating grains, rice, bread, potatoes, etc., at all, he might want to stop. It isn't only sweets that raise BG.
He isn't eating any of the things mentioned. He's really good about eating properly. I make all his meals and am familiar with low carb/no sugar diets. We both lost alot of weight in 2001 doing just that.
When we stopped, me because it just seem to stop working and him because I didn't cook that way anymore, I gained the weight back, he never has.

I'm not convinced it's type2, but there doesn't seem to be anything I can do about getting him tested for type1. His doctor said he'll do fine on the meds and it'll be years if ever he'll need insulin. That seemed rather cavilear from the doctor. How does he know that? He's not an endocrinologist, but a general practioner.

So, I guess his moods aren't the direct result of the diabetes, but maybe they are being changed from trying to adjust to the idea he has a disease. He's 64 in April and has never been sick a day in his life until this. He doesn't talk about it, so maybe he is in denial.

Thank you so much for responding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Beefy,

Thanks so much for your reply. I hadn't considered the idea of going too low on carbs. We're both being very, very strick right now.
What do you suggest as a good carb he could or should add to his diet, in case he is going too low.

Here's an example of the way he has been eating.

Morning: small bowl of oatmeal with splenda, no milk.

Lunch: Protein, such as tuna with mayo and SF pickles. Salad with olive oil and vinegar dressing.
Sugar free jello and late afternoon a piece of SF cheescake I make at home, no crust.

Dinner: Protein and salad. SF jello, SF heavy whipping cream.
 

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I'm not convinced it's type2, but there doesn't seem to be anything I can do about getting him tested for type1. His doctor said he'll do fine on the meds and it'll be years if ever he'll need insulin. That seemed rather cavilear from the doctor. How does he know that? He's not an endocrinologist, but a general practioner.
Most GP's know as much about diabetes as they do about nutrition ... that is to say not very much...

If you can get a referral to an endocrinologist that may help. Or asking for a c-peptide test to determine just how well the pancreas is doing in producing insulin.

I'll be getting a c-peptide test with my next A1c in March so I have a better idea of what's really going on in my own system. Knowledge is power...
 

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Here's an example of the way he has been eating.

Morning: small bowl of oatmeal with splenda, no milk.

Lunch: Protein, such as tuna with mayo and SF pickles. Salad with olive oil and vinegar dressing.
Sugar free jello and late afternoon a piece of SF cheescake I make at home, no crust.

Dinner: Protein and salad. SF jello, SF heavy whipping cream.
I'd STRONGLY encourage him to test after the oatmeal. I personally can't eat it.

Salads are good, provided it's not all roughage ... make sure there's carbs that aren't pure fiber, so he gets some glucose into the system.

There's also no mention of snacks- not everyone needs them, but many diabetics find that snacks between breakfast and lunch help to keep the blood glucose levels stable. Snacks are a good place to get some healthy fruits and nuts...

I like to have my carbs in the form of:

- Medium apple, sliced with 1-2tbsp of homemade peanut butter

- Fresh/frozen Berries (strawberry, blueberry, raspberries, blackberries) in sugar-free yogurt or sometimes in a whey smoothie

- broccoli with cheese sauce

- carrots or other veggies with cream cheese dip

- fresh pears, not too ripe.

- low-GI bread (occasional and only 1 piece at a time now. Some diabetics simply can't eat any bread, so testing is a must here.)

- low-carb, high-fiber tortilla shells (for wraps/burritos, or cut into 6 and deepfried then coated with splenda/cinnamon.)

- small amounts of beans (I use 3 types in my chili, but I now use 1/2 the amount of beans I used to. I tested and found beans work for me, but they don't work for many diabetics.)

I don't believe in 'good' or 'bad' carbs. Heck, some type-II's can eat potatoes and corn... My feeling is we're all individuals and testing is the best method of determining what's good for each of us.

I also find exercise really helps my mood. Endorphins are a wonderful thing.
 

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If he's eating oatmeal every day, he's getting plenty of carbs. Most of us can't eat oatmeal, and we sure as heck can't eat it in the morning.

I'm not sure why you continue to worry that he might be type 1? His BG wasn't off the charts when he went in to begin with. His pancreas is obviously making some insulin on its own, or he'd have been in DKA by now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Beefy,
Thanks for the tips. I'll start giving him something to eat between breakfast and lunch. He's probably going too long between meals.
I don't know how to make home made peanut butter, so could he have almond butter or cheese with an apple instead?

I'm just really worried about his mood of late. It's so not like him to act irritable or depressed. I hope the eating better will help.

I don't know how to get the doctor to give him the test you suggest. But, it seems to me he's not producing any insulin, or very little. He's lost so much muscle mass and body fat.

Thanks again for your input, it's very much appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If he's eating oatmeal every day, he's getting plenty of carbs. Most of us can't eat oatmeal, and we sure as heck can't eat it in the morning.

I'm not sure why you continue to worry that he might be type 1? His BG wasn't off the charts when he went in to begin with. His pancreas is obviously making some insulin on its own, or he'd have been in DKA by now.
I don't know if he can eat oatmeal, because he won't test. But, it's what he eats in the morning.
I don't know what DKA is and how one would know.
Thank you for your input.
 

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Keep in mind that our bodies are perfectly capable of manufacturing that much-needed glucose from PROTEIN - carbs are not biologically required, but high-fiber veggies are good to keep things moving smoothly through the alimentary canal. Myth-busting at Blood Sugar 101

But if he isn't going to start testing any time soon, my advice is to stay away from everything starchy, and that includes oatmeal. A much better breakfast would be bacon & eggs with no toast/biscuit/muffin of any kind.

Unfortunately, milk and fruits can also wreck our BG, so he needs to be testing to learn if he can eat these things in small quantities or not.

DKA stands for Diabetic Ketoacidosis. This is not to be confused with the ketosis he was in at diagnosis. It is dangerous unto deadly, and it happens when the body provides no insulin, and the BG levels build and build until the patient collapses into a coma.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I guess until he starts testing we won't know exactly what he can eat.
He's not being proactive in this at all.

Btw, what is DKA and how would one know if they are in it?
 

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Sorry, I added that definition to my previous post. Here it is:
DKA stands for Diabetic Ketoacidosis. This is not to be confused with the ketosis he was in at diagnosis. It is dangerous unto deadly, and it happens when the body provides no insulin, and the BG levels build and build until the patient collapses into a coma.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
And Sandy? Here's a blurb on DKA from Mayo Clinic. Diabetic ketoacidosis: Symptoms - MayoClinic.com
Thank you so much for making the effort of supplying the above link!
I'm so glad to know what to look for and what symptoms he needs to be aware of.

He's having a bad case of denial, I fear.

He would have never gone to the doctor on his own. I made him go the beginning of this month after observing troubling symptoms.

Thanks again for all your help.
 

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Beefy,
Thanks for the tips. I'll start giving him something to eat between breakfast and lunch. He's probably going too long between meals.
I don't know how to make home made peanut butter, so could he have almond butter or cheese with an apple instead?
Almond butter is great, and cheese usually is too. Cheese also has amounts lactose (the sugar found in milk products) whereas the almond/peanut butters don't. Your husband may or may not be able to tolerate lactose well... again, testing is the best way to determine that.

Making peanut butter is easy: Put fresh peanuts (not roasted) in a food processor and let 'er rip. It's that easy. Roasted peanuts come out a little dry... I tried with roasted my first time and ended up having to add some peanut oil to mine in order to get it the consistency I wanted. Depending on your food processor it may not get perfectly smooth, but I certainly don't mind it. You just need to mix it again every couple of days because the oil will separate.

FYI I make my own peanut butter for a few rasons: 1) some peanut butters add sugar, 2) most all peanut butters use hydrogenated oils, which are BAD for you, and 3) many peanut butters add salt, which I don't need more of...

I'm just really worried about his mood of late. It's so not like him to act irritable or depressed. I hope the eating better will help.

I don't know how to get the doctor to give him the test you suggest. But, it seems to me he's not producing any insulin, or very little. He's lost so much muscle mass and body fat.

Thanks again for your input, it's very much appreciated.
The best way to get the doctor to give him the test is ASK for it. It's a simple blood test. Regular A1c tests are important too, at least once every three months. You can sometimes get these free at pharmacies when they have events...

I'd also like to ask that you try to determine how many calories he's consuming, and make sure he gets enough. The meal plan you mentioned looked pretty small on calories, even for a 64 year old. Depending on your husbands weight and activity level, he may need more, and taking in too few calories will virtually ALWAYS result in the loss of muscle mass.

Just fyi, a moderately-active 64 year old male of average height/weight needs about 2300 calories to maintain weight. More to gain weight, less to lose it... Also, don't go too low on fats for him... Men do require a decent amount of fat intake in order to keep testosterone levels at a healthy level, for maintaining muscle mass, keeping off belly fat, keeping energized and ... other manly functions. ;)

My personal belief is men should get close to 40% of their dietary calories from fat, even though many 'healthy eating' guides recommend a maximum of 30%... but that 30% maximum and advice to eat 'low fat' isn't based in science.

There's an excellent article on eating for testosterone here. You may want to look into that.
 

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My first post here was titled, "Concerned".
My husband was dx with type 2 and has started on metformin. This is his second week. The first week was 250mg, he's now up to 250 2xs per day, to progress to 1,000mg daily.
He won't test his blood at home, so have no idea what his levels are, but he is eating properly. No sugar, low carbs.
He seems to be depressed, distant, and kind of irritable which are not normal for him.
Are those symptoms of the diabetes?
Thanks for any input.
Somehow he is going to have to realize that it is VERY IMPORTANT to test. Why won't he test? You say he is eating properly, no sugar and low carbs. If he won't test he will have no way to see if his body can tolerate the carbs he is eating and testing could also let him know if he can add some of his favorite carbs back into his diet. Some people have mood swings when they are experiencing low blood sugar, but who knows what your hubby's blood sugar is? Metformin does not cause your blood sugar to go low, so I think he's mad and in denial. Which is ok, but you have got to test.
 

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Somehow he is going to have to realize that it is VERY IMPORTANT to test. Why won't he test? You say he is eating properly, no sugar and low carbs. If he won't test he will have no way to see if his body can tolerate the carbs he is eating and testing could also let him know if he can add some of his favorite carbs back into his diet. Some people have mood swings when they are experiencing low blood sugar, but who knows what your hubby's blood sugar is? Metformin does not case your blood sugar to go low, so I think he's mad and in denial. Which is ok, but you have got to test.
This is so true. I don't know why he doesn't want to test, but it's a very important part of a diabetic's life. And it's really not that bad. I'm needle-phobic and I'm learning to deal with it... sometimes it takes me 2 minutes to press that danged trigger, but I always get there and it's never as bad as I expect...

He really does need to test.
 

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He isn't eating any of the things mentioned. He's really good about eating properly. I make all his meals and am familiar with low carb/no sugar diets. We both lost alot of weight in 2001 doing just that.
When we stopped, me because it just seem to stop working and him because I didn't cook that way anymore, I gained the weight back, he never has.

I'm not convinced it's type2, but there doesn't seem to be anything I can do about getting him tested for type1. His doctor said he'll do fine on the meds and it'll be years if ever he'll need insulin. That seemed rather cavilear from the doctor. How does he know that? He's not an endocrinologist, but a general practioner.

So, I guess his moods aren't the direct result of the diabetes, but maybe they are being changed from trying to adjust to the idea he has a disease. He's 64 in April and has never been sick a day in his life until this. He doesn't talk about it, so maybe he is in denial.

Thank you so much for responding.
I would think if he were T1 his blood sugar would be very high without taking insulin. why are you thinking he might be T1? If so..he really needs to be checking his blood sugar regularly.
 

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My husband is also a Type 2 and hasn't tested in 13 years. I've tried everything but he just won't do it. It doesn't help that our doctor doesn't insist that type 2's test a lot. My husband probably consumes close to 2700 calories most days and can lose weight. We are now on a LC/HF diet even though he eats more carbs than I do. I finally got him to get away from the oatmeal in the morning and eat more protein. Why do you think your husband is a Type 1, not a Type 2. If he was a Type 1 his bgs would be dangerously high and metformin wouldn't help. By the way I had to increase my metformin 3 times until I got up to 2550 per day before I saw lower bgs in the morning. The first few months after diagnosis are the toughest. We all go through a type of grief process until we come to terms with the disease. Plus diet change often affects mood. It took me about 3 months on a very low carb diet ( 30 carbs per day) to start feeling better, without the carb cravings. If you really think your husband might be a type 1 push for a GAD antibody test and C Peptide test.
 
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