28 years old and prediabetic

Hi… so i just had a baby in November 2020. I’m 5 months postpartum and I was having weird symptoms and went to convenient care and got my a1c back and I’m prediabetic. 5.9. I’m only 28 years old!!

Backstory- I was borderline gestational diabetic meaning I failed the 1 hour test but passed the 3 hour glucose test by 1 point so the doctors really didn’t monitor me. I still ate low carb and tried my best to stay active and kept up with my sugars. prepregnancy I was 110 lbs 5”3 and never ate healthy AT ALL. I did stay active though… anyway now I’m 20 lbs o heavier than ive ever been in my whole life (130 lb) and CAN NOT lose a single pound. Everyone said breastfeeding loses weight… I did that for 4 months and was actually 5 lbs heavier than I am now. I run 3-6 miles per day since I was 3 months postpartum. I’m not lying either about my exercise… I’ve always been an athlete played college soccer and everything so that’s why I don’t understand why I can’t lose the weight!!! I’m SO DEPRESSED!! I’ve been eating low carb since I delivered and just started keto. I eat 1200 calories a day. My sugars have all been under 120 post prandial. My fasting at the doctors office was 98. I will say my fasting is always 95-100 which apparently isn’t good. Even prepregnancy I think I had a fasting of 99. Basically I’m just wondering if I can reverse this. I’m starting to give up hope… been eating healthy for months with almost no sugar or carbs and running until I’m plum exhausted with no weight loss and a crappy a1c. I will say with a 5 month old I just don’t sleep. I use to be able to nap all the time and now I can’t. This is super all over the place so thankyou if you’ve read this far. Any honest insight would be so appreciated

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Thanks again for reading

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Which symptoms?
Was A1C from blood draw or a local finger prick + A1C meter?

Your BGs seem like A1C would be lower.

Have you considered getting a CGM, such as Libre, to track your BG every 5 minutes, for several days ? That along with food and exercise log could help determine when and if higher bgs are occurring.

Keep in mind, stress and emotions can also raise bgs. Caring for an infant is a tough job!!

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For what it’s worth, insulin resistance can cause weight gain! Your weight gain might be a symptom rather than the cause. You may well just have a genetic predisposition that kicked in and because your body’s insulin response isn’t working right, you’re keeping on weight as a result. Taking something like metformin to treat insulin resistance may actually help lose weight/put your metabolism back toward your normal. That said, age and pregnancy both change your metabolism, so it’s also possible that your body may settle into a weight that is different from when you were younger, which also doesn’t necessarily mean you are doing anything wrong! But I would start with treating the insulin resistance/prediabetes and seeing how that goes. Good luck!

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Also if you are running 3-6 miles/day and eating 1200 calories, I would guess you are not eating enough–if you eat too little, you can kick your body into starvation mode and slow down your metabolism and make it harder to lose weight…

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Yeah my blood sugars have all tested fine which is why I’m confused. It was a blood draw. I haven’t heard of a CGM but I’m considering it lol
I appreciate you responding. I just feel so hopeless. I already struggled with postpartum depression so this isn’t helping lol

I actually have been thinking the same thing regarding the weight. I’m doing all the things that would lead to weight loss but I’m thinking since I’m prediabetic and have increased insulin resistance I can’t lose it until that is under control
I was wondering if I need to be on metformin
Not for the weight loss but just to manage these symptoms. Does diabetes make you unable to fall asleep???

I was extremelyyyyyyyy thirsty and hungry and tired and peeing all the time!!! Felt like pregnancy did when my sugars got really high

Do you think this is something that can be reversed??

Welcome to the group! Sometimes the puzzle is hard to figure out. I would evaluate what I am eating and my exercise. How much protein are you eating? Good luck! Nancy50

Welcome. Close your eyes, focus on your nose, slowly breath in through your nose, hold it for two seconds, purse your lips, focus on your lips, and exhale slowly through your lips, pause, repeat 3 times, open your eyes. Realize it took 15 months to get where you are today. Realize you are now taking care of a new life. Realize you are not the person you were 15 months ago. Try to relax. Try to keep a positive attitude. Realize your hormones have changed, are changing and may never go back to the way they were. Realize YOU have changed. In my experience, when a life changing event happens, it takes time for my body and my mind to first, comprehend what has happened, then adjust to that change. It took one second for me to lose control of a 300 pound piece of equipment and drop it on my right hand ring finger. It took 3 years to get full use of that finger back. Still today, I have nerve and circulation damage that will never return to it’s previous state. “Life, is what happens while you are planning for the future.” Do what you are doing now. By reaching out to others, who have had similar experiences and listening to their trials and tribulations will give you the reassurances and knowledge you want and need to; “change what you can change and accept the things you cannot change, and know the difference between them.” On the medical side; consult with your doctor, an endocrinologist, a nutritionist and a psychologist. All of these have helped me. And do NOT be afraid to change doctors if you feel one or any of them are not helping you, but give them and you time to adapt. I wish you, your child and your family a wonderful life full of experiences, good and not so good to help you all grow into the people you want be. :slight_smile:

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@Sara11, Reading you original post and several replies I can sense the frustration you are feeling. We who are diabetics tend to laser focus on insulin and blood glucose levels, but the endocrine hormone systems is so interrelated. I am no kind of medical professional or expert, but I suspect that there is a hormonal imbalance that is causing the elevated HbA1c test and inability to lose postpartum weight.

Consulting with a really good endocrinologist might be your best bet. The problem I see is many doctors and especially specialists aren’t really good diagnosticians.

In my area there are only 2 endos. One seems to be only interested in diabetic patience where the other seems to have a much broader understanding of the endocrine systems.

I like many type 2 diabetics have low thyroid function. As far as I know that’s my 2 hormone problems, insulin resistance and decreased insulin secretion plus low thyroid. You, Sara, have experienced a hormonal whirlwind in both pregnancy, postpartum and lactation. Something may be out of wack.

I don’t know if doctors have constant glucose monitors they can have patients used temporarily. My wife’s cardiologist had her use a 4 wire ECG unit that reported abnormalities to a remote monitoring site. With a Dexcom G6 a study could be done over 10 days with one sensor. This would give a much better picture than an HbA1c with a BG reading every 5 minutes.

Good luck to you, Sara, I hope you are enjoying your little one even as you struggle to understand what’s going on with your body.

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It looks like I was eating about 30% protein & 40-50% carbs… I’m going to try the keto diet. I’ve read THat it is good for diabetes! Have you heard anything about that?!

Hi!! Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to my long dramatic post!! Lol I appreciate your positivity and encouragement! After doing lots of ready, I think I still needed to tweak my diet a tad! Have you ever heard of keto diet helping with diabetes??? I’ve done it two days and already have a fasting of 90 both days… that’s the lowest I’ve ever seen it!!
As for all the other emotional stuff, I’m trying to be patient with my expectations and be more patient which has never been my strong suite haha.

Hi Luis!! I appreciate you dedicating the time to write me such an encouraging, positive, uplifting response!!! It truly means so much…I have struggled with postpartum depression and I think this issue had contributed to it! I did have lots of frustration when I made that post so I thank you for responding and the encouragement. I had searched all over the internet for two days before I made that post and still couldn’t find anyone who had been in my situation. I was so depressed!! My husband too thinks I am still going through some postpartum imbalances… but after reading a lottttt, I think I actually need to tweak my diet a bit more. I was consuming 30-40% carbs in one day which may have been too much even though it was in minimal fruit. I have been reading on the keto diet and they consume 5-10%. Have u heard of anyone having success with this diet with diabetes?? For the past two days I’ve lowered my carb intake to 10-20% and have had fasting sugars of 90 both days!!! That’s lower than I’ve ever seen it!!! Not only that, I feel so much better, my moods are better, I have more energy, and my sugars 1 hour post prandial have all been <120!! Plus a nice side effect is 3 lb of extra fluid loss.
I think you were right on monitoring my sugars more closely. People don’t realize how hard diabetics work to maintain appropriate function!

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There are many of us who limit carb intake to help control diabetes. In my case as a type 1 diabetic, I limit my carbs to < 30 grams per day. In the past I’ve found a measurable benefit when I held my consumption below about 75 grams per day. This threshold is unique for each person but my blood sugar benefit is strong with the 30 grams/day limit.

My body makes minuscule (virtually zero) amounts of insulin. I control my blood glucose by injecting insulin via an insulin pump. The game is to match insulin and glucose at the right time so as to maintain near normal blood sugar. It’s a difficult game to play well, but not impossible. It just seems impossible at times.

Your personal experimentation with carb limits already show you their potential. The trick is to integrate this into your social and cultural context and to comfortably sustain this practice over time.

I’ve been using carb limits since 2012, so I know I can sustain this habit. I maintain near-normal blood glucose levels and A1c. I take pleasure in the foods I eat and the satiety that they produce. I think the most important side benefit that accrues is cutting out the highly processed carbs that produce damaging higher post meal blood glucose.

I gave up a lot of foods like bagels and pasta that I did enjoy. But you know what? I wasn’t born loving those foods; I learned to like them over time. Once I mitigated my carb addiction, I learned to enjoy other foods. Human beings can be flexible that way if we don’t undermine our efforts.

Many people who have T2D and prediabetes have been successful in placing their glucose metabolism disfunction into remission. But you need to make a lifelong commitment to limiting highly processed carbs for your lifetime. You are still left with a wide array of foods that are nutritious and tasty.

Congrats on your new baby and I wish you the best in figuring out how to resolve hormonal/emotional imbalances that challenge you. The fact that you are reaching out here is testament that your healthy instincts are present. You definitely don’t need to add persistent high blood sugar to the mix!

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Hi Sara11. May I ask the weight of your baby? I’m 5’3" and I think I had high blood sugars during my pregnancy since both my babies were over 8 pounds. I also had a yeast infection during the second pregnancy. I gained a lot of weight with both pregnancies too (I never had the test for gestational diabetes as my first pregnancy took place in Taiwan in '95 and the second pregnancy started in Taiwan and then I came to the US 4 months pregnant and was never given the test). I didn’t know I had a problem with high blood sugar since I thought only over-weight/obese people could be type 2, and even though both parents are diabetic. Then my family doctor who also treated my insulin-dependent mom-decided to do an A1c on me in 2009 when I was 44 years old and it was 5.9. That was during a time when I was going to the gym and working out for an hour for months. I went low carb and went from a size 12 to a size 6 in 3 months. I lowered my A1c to 5.7, then later to 5.5, 5.3. Now 5.1. For years I kept the weight off and I didn’t have to count grams or calories of anything- I just avoided certains foods. But since menopause hit (55 years old), I have had to go to the Dr.Richard K Bernstein method. So that is starting to take off the weight again. Since my A1c is already pretty good at 5.1, my main motivation is losing weight on my abdomen. I am relatively slim everywhere except there.

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Hi Sara11, I haven’t seen anyone else mention other testing. It would be worth it for you to seek out an endocrinologist. You should be tested for type 1 diabetes. There is form of type 1 diabetes called LADA (latent autoimmune diabetes in adults) that develops rather slowly. I only know this because my journey to becoming an insulin dependent type 1 diabetic sounds a lot like yours. I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes in my third pregnancy. My sugars were very high and I was placed on insulin during pregnancy. After the birth I went back into a pre-diabetic range and was no longer on insulin. However, I still had my meter and would test my bg occasionally. After giving birth I also struggled to loose the baby weight. Also, like you hitting 130lbs that I could.not.loose. I did the 30 day shred and a biggest looser competition and worked really hard to loose that baby weight. This was the only time in my life I had been unable to loose weight. I was also 29 at the time. After this my bg started creeping up. Very gradually. Eventually, I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and placed on metformin. I was very tired all the time (I did have three young kids at the time!). My doctors kept increasing my metformin to try and bring down my high blood sugars. Eventually, I started loosing weight and I was testing more and more staying the 300’s. At this point my husband decided to take me to the ER who told me that I was not in DKA but they wanted to admit me in order for me to see an actual endocrinologist. My internal medicine doctor at this time was unwilling to let me see one so this was my only opportunity. She has previously tested me for type 1 antibodies that came back negative (I learned later that this can happen and is quite common. I later tested positive for type 1 antibodies, and also this internal medicine doctor did not know about the other two tests that are run to see if your body is still producing its own insulin. She did end up apologizing to me for missing this.) From start to finish from my 3rd pregnancy up until my “official” type 1 diabetes diagnosis was a period of 3 years.
I’m not saying you are type 1, but it IS worth it to consult with an endocrinologist and ask the question. There is also a form of diabetes called MODY which is a genetic variation. You can also be tested for this although the test is expensive. A qualified and thoughtful endocrinologist will take your journey to good health seriously, will consider your family history, and help you seek the answers and health you desire. Or at least put you on the right path. Don’t give up on your health journey!!!

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Your personal story provides powerful insight into the long-standing problem of misdiagnosis of T1D, usually of the LADA variety. This, of course, may not be the situation @Sara11 currently struggles with but the resonance with your diagnosis story is striking.

@Sara11, a quick scan of this thread doesn’t mention a blood test measuring c-peptide, a marker that reflects how much native insulin you produce. T2Ds typically produce more than normal while T1Ds, including LADA, show much less than normal.

Early on in the LADA process, however, may show insulin production on the low end of normal but it is trending down. Detecting this trend means performing this test at least twice, likely months apart.

Has any doctor ordered antibody tests that can show an immune system attack on the insulin producing beta cells of the pancreas? Coming up positive on these tests (there are several!) indicates type 1 diabetes.

Good luck!

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True! Thanks for mentioning the specific tests because I can never remember the names off the top of my head (that whole 3 kids thing…). I had a dear friend who ended up with type 2 diabetes after a gestational pregnancy although she definitely fit more of the type 2 dxd to begin with- strong family history of T2, obese, unhealthy lifestyle, and then of course the stress of pregnancy. Warning flags go off in my head though when a young, previously healthy, low BMI woman struggles for BG control (or has to resort to extreme measures to have a normal fasting BG). Eating 1200 cal a day, keto diet, plus exercise in a young person with a good BMI (130 unless your 4’ tall isn’t that bad!) should not be the norm for an achievable A1c or good fasting BG even in a pre-diabetic/type 2. The human pancreas is designed to handle a reasonable amount of carbs in our diet and still maintain our insulin needs.

I’m not as knowledgeable with type 2 or MODY (and research now it’s pointing to a large number of people that actually may have MODY diabetes instead of type 2). Based on what I do know about type 2 and also my friends experience making changes can help “reverse” type 2 or make it manageable. It doesn’t seem like everything Sara11 is doing is helping. It’s just worth finding out for certain what’s going on.

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