Does diabetes mean no sugar for rest of the life?


I’m new to diabetes. I developed it recently after having gestational diabetes this year during pregnancy.

I was on insulin during pregnancy. However, after pregnancy I have not started any medication yet.

My question is that does diabetes mean that you are not allowed to eat any kind of sweets e.g. Even dark Chocolate or blue menu jam or reduced sugar chocolate almond spread.

How did it work for u. For me, if I have to only diet control my sugar for now then I can’t even eat more than a single carb serving. If I add stuff like blue menu jam or dark Chocolate spread in diet my numbers go high.

So to eat such stuff did u start on insulin or medication? Or I should try to tell myself that it’s end of even a little bit sugar for me n try to make peace with it :confused:

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No, that is not what it means.
The ladies in the ‘pregnancy’ chat room might know more about gestational.
Is that 50% likely to go away?

I don’t have gestational diabetes now. I had my baby 3 months ago but my sugar level never went back to normal. They are higher than what they were during pregnancy.

What I meant was that since I’m only 33 yrs old so the idea of not having sugar seems impossible right now.

I wanted to know how it worked for others. Getting on insulin or medication n continue to have sugar here n there makes the condition get worse much faster?

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Well, I certainly had to come to terms that my diet had to change radically, but that didn’t mean “no sugar for rest of my life.” One thing I had to learn very quickly was that sugar wasn’t the problem, carbohydrates were. Bread or a potato were just as likely to raise my BG as ice cream, although eating fiber, fat, and protein with carbs definitely means a slower rise in BG (but sometimes a more sustained one).

The best thing I learned early after diagnosis was “eat to the meter.” The idea being to test blood sugar immediately before eating, and then one hour and two hours after eating a meal. Record what I ate, and what my 1 and 2 hour sugars were. This started to give me a very good idea of what foods “spiked” me, and it turns out that for me almost all foods containing carbs caused me to spike to unhealthy levels (over 140 mg/dL for me). So I started cutting back on carb-heavy foods, to the point where now (a year and half later) I eat very few carbs at all: mostly I eat meat, green veggies, and milk products. It’s just not worth the price to me in terms of my health, and I found that pretty quickly I didn’t bread, corn, potatoes, or the occasional bowl of ice cream.

However, that being said: as my control has improved as I’ve figured out what works for me (medication and exercise), I can eat some carbs without too badly impacting my BG. I’ve learned when and where it’s OK for me (decided by me, not a nurse or dietitian). As for food with sugars, that becomes pretty simple: I have a few bites of my wife’s dessert when we go out to eat on a date about once a month; I ate a (small) slice of my son’s 1st birthday cake; I eat Lily’s chocolate occasionally, which is sweetened with Erythritol and has very few digestible carbs to worry about; I eat Halo Top ice cream on occasion, which is also sweetened with Erythritol; I sometimes have a diet Coke or Pepsi if we’re out to eat with friends.

Basically, I’ll have a “sweet” every once and a while, but I usually choose sugar-free if I can, or eat a very small portion. Most importantly for me, however, I always check my blood sugar after eating something with sugar. Not only do I need to know if my BG is in dangerous territory, but it also keeps me aware of what these items do. Basically, I can have sugar whenever I want, I’m an adult; however, the more I’ve learned about my diabetes, the less sugar I tend to eat on a day-to-day basis.


Sarah90, welcome to TuD.

I was going to say that my body actually needs sugar to function correctly. I never thought of that before. Sugar is vital to move my leg muscles and necessary to think clearly, using my brain. It takes sugar for my heart to pump.

If I don’t have sugar in me, I start shaking uncontrollably. My speech slurs. It is not a pretty sight.

Don’t get the impression that we diabetics are against sugar somehow. We need sugar, desparately. Like oxygen and water.


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@Robert17 While I understand exactly what you’re saying… we do not need to ingest sugar in order to have a good life, no matter how desperately we need it to function :wink: Our bodies, fortunately or not in our case, are remarkably good at turning protein, fats, and even some kinds of fiber into glucose to fuel our daily activity. It is horribly inconvenient and unpleasant in any number of ways, but it is perfectly possible to be healthy with consuming exactly zero digestible carbohydrate and letting our body manufacture glucose through natural metabolic processes, as long as we consume sufficient quantities of protein, fat, minerals, and vitamins. Zero-carb diets do work (for some people). I’m glad I don’t have to go that far :slight_smile:

Ok, back to regularly-scheduled programming!

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@Sarah90 - For us (T1 perspective), we dose insulin based on all carbs consumed. Whether the carb is from a spoonful of sugar in a cup of tea, or a baked potato or a bowl of cereal or a slice of toast.

We do find some types of carbs will hit faster than other types of carbs but we dose on all of them. For the most part, we really do not treat “sugar” or “sweets” any different than other carbs such as pasta or oatmeal.


Not eating sugar really doesn’t help with any kind of diabetes. As stated above, it’s all about the carbs. If you look at packaged food labels sugar free and check the carb amounts, that’s the scary number.
I am not a low carb person. I love my carbs way too much! But I will say on those days when I don’t really eat much, blood sugars are pretty flat. But I can’t tell you how much I enjoy a good burger and fries or a burrito and nachos. I do so enjoy them. And I pre-bolus for those carb heavy 90+ meals!
So please don’t think eating no sugar is the answer. If I want I can and sometimes do eat a brownie. Everything in moderation and of course exercise can cure many blood sugar issues. I hope things work out on the non-diabetes side for you!

Definitely not. I eliminate things I know I can’t dose properly for no matter how hard I try, such as regular Coke (I always preferred Coke Zero/Diet anyway, even before my diagnosis). For everything else, I dose based off carb counting and (more likely) trial and error. I’ve tried low carb diets but they make me feel weak and are impossible to stick to.

One thing that will be VERY helpful to you is to read the nutritional labels on everything you buy. Just read. Look for carbs per serving AND serving size. The first number means nothing without the second.

A great example of this is cereal. If you see 30g of carbs in one and 20g in the other and don’t notice the serving size for the first is a cup and the second is half a cup, you will not recognize that the first is a lower-carb choice.

Food companies always want to make their product look as good as possible, so you have to look out for that. It’s parallel to figuring out that the larger size is not always cheaper than the smaller size. Mathematics is your friend in both cases!

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If I want to eat something special I do it after an hour of pool exercise or other type plan. I enjoy sugar free pudding with a bit of whip cream,in the winter it goes to hot chocolate. 1/2 a cup of berries work well with my meter testing.vs watermelon is not good. A piece of dark chocolate once in a while is fine with me. Just count the carbs. Just test after eating something new. Nancy


I hope you are being thoroughly checked for type 1 diabetes, as this is quite common after onset as apparent “gestational” diabetes. The treatment will be insulin, if you are type 1.

When you take insulin, you do need to control your food, and particularly carbs. However, dark chocolate, berries, and other treats (in reasonable moderation), are still on the menu.

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It doesn’t get any easier with age😹 no it doesn’t t mean no sugar at all. I get my carbs from fruit and veggies. I do have to eat a very restricted diet though and low carb for what most normal people eat which is 60g and above per meal. It is very hard- even doing this does not lead to perfect Bg.

Its tough to answer your question because you might be kinda a strange animal - one that’s still producing insulin, just not enough. Have you spoken with a Doc about meds? What are your sugars running?

Sarah - having diabetes is not about not having sugar, its about not making enough insulin to deal with the sugar.

David gave some really good advice when he said “eat to the meter”. The great news is diabetes treatment in the last five years has come a long way. For many PWDs there is really not much need for the pump anymore as there are other options if you want. Also, there is only so much diet and exercise can compensate for depending on your loss of insulin production.

We now have CGMs at reasonable prices. I personally like the Abbott Libre if you don’t have insurance coverage for the Dexcom.

For your basal, the Novo Nordisk lead scientists were quoted in Forbes as saying they can’t do any better than Tresiba and they are probably right. Many are seeing great results with a single daily shot. However it sounds like your pancreas may still be making enough insulin to cover your fasting periods so you may just need a good mealtime insulin.

The key to great control is properly controlling meal time spikes whether you are taking a basal or not.
For your prandial nothing beats afrezza at blunting the post meal sugar spike, getting you back to baseline asap and getting out of your system to prevent the hypos. Adjust the afrezza to your meal or snack and always go big with it. Its out of your body so fast that if you do take too much your liver will kick in to prevent going low. Check your meter after an hour and if you need a little more take a small with no worries. After a little practice many are able to keep near non-diabetic numbers.

I saw this blog which you may want to read. Its the journey of a women who was on a pump but decided to free herself from it with Tresiba and afrezza. She did not seem sold on afrezza at first so I think its interesting to see how things progressed over the last year.


You have gotten excellent advice here. “Eat to the meter” and until you figure out what works for you, yes, be very careful around sugar and things that turn into it (carbs).

I was diagnosed with T2 last January, and I eat a fairly low carb diet - I am nowhere near as disciplined as some people on here, but I tend not to go above 80 grams of carbs a day, usually closer to 65 grams a day. I have not needed to go on any medication at this point - in fact, my A1C is now in the “normal” range (though that is something you’ll see some argument about here).

I used to be a sweets fiend - now I limit myself to some AMAZING sugar-free chocolate that I found locally, and that really does do the trick. But I need some every day! :wink: I also used to drink a few drinks a week - now I’m down to about one drink a month - and I plan for it with what I eat before and after. I’ve lost 40 pounds off my 5ft3in frame and I feel so good.

What I’m saying is, it’s a pain, especially trying to restrict carbs when you aren’t used to it, but it’s worth it for how I feel. And you’ll get used to it and find out what works for you. Hang in there!

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Thanks everyone for some excellent advices :slightly_smiling_face:

I’m also a chocoholic :grimacing: I used to eat Nutella with spoon everyday 5 yrs back :grimacing: I can see how I got myself into this mess :confused: . Still I can’t stay away from chocolate. I have started eating dark chocolate now :blush:

Like what everyone said, eat to the meter. I’m new to carb counting myself (though I was diagnosed with prediabetes 2.5 years ago) and it hasn’t been easy but you don’t have to cut all sweets out. Just be selective. I cut out all sweet beverages (including artificially sweetened drinks) after prediabetes diagnosis and what I found was that you get used to it. I couldn’t imagine drinking tea without 2tsps of sugar but now I prefer without. Occasionally I add a bit of whole milk to my tea and the little of sugar in my milk is sweet enough for me. Can’t believe I used to chug Pepsi while polishing a plate of chocolate cake.

Also, walk after you eat. When I’m tempted by ice cream, I share one with my husband while we go on a long, fast-paced hike so that all that glucose gets taken up by muscle.

Love it! And I’m sure all nurses, docs and nutritionist will love any patient who is so motivated to take control of his health.