Not sure if I'm looking for advice, sympathy or what but here goes! I was diagnosed end of October 2011 with Type 2 diabetes. I was in the hospital emergency room because of another problem completely. First experience with kidney stones - that's another nightmare. My Alc was 20 in emergency and I was asked why I didn't tell them I was diabetic - I had no idea - did have my Alc checked the previous year and it was in the 5's. I'm going to my 3rd kidney stone op next week - that's a whole other forum and haven't really dealt with the blood sugar issue other than reading what I can - my family gp has me on blood pressure meds, statins and baby aspirin and set up consults with a dietician as well as appointment with an opthamologist. I'm not doing any testing at home and just have an open order at this time at a lab for ALc testing. In emergency in October I tested at 20 and since then I've run from 5.2 - 8.6. If I keep on a very restrictive diet - basically veg and fish I can keep it in the low 5's. Because of the kidney issues I haven't been doing any exercise (stents are not a good time) but will get back on a program after this next surgery. I have a million questions but the two I'm wondering about right now are - how much does stress affect your blood sugar numbers and does anyone know if there is a link between kidney stones and diabetes? I'm 57 and have always been healthy so this double whammo has really caught me by surprise. On a cheery note - thanks for the warm welcome!
Welcome. I think you may have a record with an A1c of 20%. That corresponds to an average blood sugar of over 500 mg/dl. I almost want to call you "Woman of Steel" for walking around like that, many of us would have dropped like flies and been carted into the ER long before that. I think you were actually very lucky to not have had a more serious experience (although I am sure that the kidney stones probably hurt like h*ll).
As to your question, very high blood sugars can lead to a condition called Diabetic KetoAcidosis (DKA). Acid conditions can put you at greater risk of kidney stones (some are formed as uric acid stones). And when your body goes into DKA it causes dehydration, which further increases the risk of stones. So yes, you may have walked around for several months, having very high blood sugars, your body being very acidic, constantly dehydrated and that could have put you at greater risk for stones. Hopefully, you can get your blood sugar normalized and all the stones will go away (fingers crossed).
We never want to hear about someone else getting diabetes, but we are glad you found us and I hope you feel welcome hear. We love interesting questions and we have lively discussions.
ps. And yes, stress can increase your blood sugar.
pps. Many of us recommend a low carb diet to help maintain good blood sugar control, meat, seafood, fish, dairy and non-starchy veggies so it is good to hear you are on such a diet.
WELCOME!!!! I'm right beind u on the age thingy by arounf 8 years! Listen to bsc there he's a smart cookie.
bsc is right on the mark. being the same age, I have 32 yrs experience with D. first thing, do what you can to get the A1C down into the 6's all the time. That will take a few months. I guess by now you know your kidneys are getting slammed by D. watch the diabetes show on CNBC on Sunday nights if you are in the States. It's on line too. and of course test - test - test. yep the sides of my fingers are sore, but I'm still here.
Thanks for the replies - this is the first forum I've ever joined and it looks like it will be very encouraging and informative. To reply to some of your comments - I think I had been experiencing very high blood sugars for months prior to October. I took a leave of absence from work in May because of what I thought was stress related exhaustion and other physical ailments including itchy skin etc etc. Hindsight is 20/20 and I think most of my complaints could be attributed to blood sugar highs. I know that I have to start testing at home but I am going in to hospital next week for the 3rd kidney stone op in 2.5 months. This one is a second PNL in 4 weeks as the last one wasn't successfull. Hopefully will be on the mend in a couple of weeks and can get on track with monitoring and logging my numbers at home. Also have to get back to an exercise plan - my excuse for the last 6 months was exhaustion. Thought that I was just a depressed neurotic couch potato but hoping that if I can get the blood sugars where they should be my energy levels will go back to normal. In the meantime had a baked filet of fish and big salad for dinner!
Don't delay testing at home. It will give you power to know exactly what your body is doing.
Welcome to the fourm. I was dx'd at the age of 56 and it came out of the blue. I was very healthy, exercised all the time and was a vegetarian. I never had kidney problems, though. Also ask your doctor to run a
GAD 65 Antibody test to rule out Type 1. With bgs that high especially going from HbA1c of 5 in less than a year, it could be due to an Automimmune attack. Type 1 usually comes on quickly, Type 2 may devleop over a long time. Also are you on any Statin drug. I had problems with a statin drug a couple of summers ago and one of the side effects was destruction of muscle tissue that got flushed through my kidneys.
Thanks for the info. Next doctor visit I had planned to ask if they were sure I was Type 2 and not Type 1 and how they knew. I'm on a Statin - Crestor and have been for a number of years. Did you just switch meds or go off Statins completely? How do you know that you had muscle tissue being flushed through your kidneys and then could attribute it to the statin drug? I've never had kidney problems until I ended up in emergency end of October with kidney stones. Found that I had stones in the left kidney that were causing me all the pain and were dealt with by laser surgery and although I had no symptoms the scan showed a massive stone in my right kidney - more complicated surgery that wasn't successful beginning of Dec and having another go at it on Wed. Throw in a diabetes diagnosis at the same time - it's been rather overwhelming. I was always healthy, although smoked, until last spring. Just felt exhausted - had some pretty valid reasons for a depression diagnosis - took 4 months off and really did nothing. Thought that I was just incredibly lazy but the diabetes diagnosis makes sense - tiredness, lumpy feeling in my feet - thought perhaps I had arthritis;, eyesight not as good (thought it was normal ageing thing. Problem is that most of my symptoms could be attributed to menopause, ageing and personal issues. Anyway I'm 6 weeks off cigs, hopefully kidney stone surgery on Wed will be successful and can cross that off the list and really focus on the Diabetes. Will definitely ask for the GAD 65 - thank you
An A1C of 20??? Holy s**t!! That's gotta be some sort of record. My biggest recommendation would be to make sure you get both the antibody tests your c-peptide checked. There's a chance that you could be a type 1. Type 1 diabetes can develop at any age, despite what most people think. When many people develop "diabetes" later in life, they are too often just given the "type 2" label without the right testing. I would demand that you have your c-peptide checked immediately, as well as testing for antibodies. With type 1, the only treatment is insulin.
You should also be testing at home, at least on a semi-regular basis. If your blood sugar level starts to rise again, you want to catch it before it becomes too serious.
Hi Susan: When I read your post, I also wondered if you might have Type 1 diabetes, not Type 2 diabetes. At your next doctor's visit, when you request the antibody testing, be sure to ask for the full suite of testing, not just GAD. Many people with adult-onset Type 1 diabetes are only ICA positive, so it's important to get them all (glutamic acid decarboxylase antibodies (GAD), islet cell antibodies (ICA), and insulinoma-associated (IA-2) autoantibodies). The c-peptide test is also useful but not definitive for Type 1 diabetes.
Welcome to the community! Everyone here has a story to share and has learned much from one another.
I have to wholeheartedly agree with MyBusted. Be sure that you are not developing antibodies and are type 1, or most likely called LADA (:Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults). This tests most often used to discover this is the GAD 65 and c-peptide. The very thing happened to me. I was treated for type 2 for years with little and declining success, until a very sharp endocrinologist discovered that I have antibodies. Insulin is the only treatment for Type 1 or LADA. It isn't a bad thing. Insulin means life, less fatigue, more energy,. less fluid intake and output, happiness, calmness, the ability to laugh, and the thought that you have something very unique.
Go today to your nearest pharmacy and buy a test meter. Most of them are very good, Get lancets, 100 test strips and a log book. Begin by testing yourself three times each day, morning mid day and evening. Record the number of each test. Test before eating. If you need some help with the testing procedure, go to the website of the maker of the meter. (I use a One-Touch, but others such as a Free-Style, Contour, and Accu-Check are good too.) With the 100 tests, plus the number of strips that come with the meter, you will have a good pattern of blood sugar levels to present to your physician or endocrinologist. If your blood sugar level hangs around 200 or higher, get to the doctor right away. Prolonged high blood sugar levels lead to many problems of tissues that contain small vessels, such as eyes, kidneys and feet.
Good luck. Keep us posted. We are all here for you. Be well.
Will do - thank you. My GP is going to need a very long appointment with me next visit - my list of questions and requests is growing daily! Thank you to all of you who have taken time to respond - what a great forum! Here's my latest question. I'm not scheduled into the Diabetes clinic in our local hospital til after I've recovered from next week's surgery. I have had no contact/experience with any of the testing stuff I'm going to need. How did you figure out how to use it? Is this something pharmacists will show you? I'm sure the meters come with directions but I've never had to poke myself before either and am kinda freaked out by the idea. Also do all of you have an endocrinologist? If so I need to start researching who I'd like to get referred to - not one in my town but I know there are a few approx an hour and half away.
I found Jenny Ruhl's book Blood Sugar 101 very helpful. She also has a website: http://www.bloodsugar101.com/
Those were the places I started.
Her book was very helpful in terms of learning how to test blood sugars. I learned. I know that you can too!
Best wishes with your surgery!
Will check it out - thanks
Welcome to the forum, Susan. The folks here are extra-fabulous! I know because I was dx'd in October and everyone here has taught me a lot in addition to helping set my heart and mind at rest about being diabetic.
Your doctor should order a complete set of blood tests, for sure, but find out what's included. Ask to have your thyroid function checked, as well. You said that you had been feeling depression and itchy skin, which are both symptoms of an underactive thyroid. If you're a LADA, hypothyroid is common. But even if you're a Type 2, low thyroid can be an issue and is frequently not diagnosed in most people. Low thyroid will also cause your cholesterol to go up, but getting the thyroid under control, or taking supplements, will sort that out in about 6 months.
Using a glucose meter is not a big deal after the first time or two. Many people imagine it's going to hurt but it rarely does more than sting a bit, if that. Meaningful records would include test readings when you wake up, right before each meal, two hours after each meal, and at bedtime. That's about 8 tests a day. They'll give an indication of how your body is responding to what you eat and how long it takes for your blood sugar to normalize. If you also keep a record of what you've eaten, you'll soon have an idea of which foods cause your sugars to go up and which don't seem to make any difference. Most of the time, protein and fat won't affect your sugars, but carbohydrate will.
Jenny's Blood Sugar 101 is a fabulous site, chock-full of information and sensible advice. Also, get a copy of Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Revolution, which you should be able to find at almost any bookstore or library. He explains how diabetes works, what's needed and how to do it in very clear, straightforward language. He's a Type 1 diabetic who has helped thousands of diabetics bring their blood sugar under control.
I hope all goes well with your kidney stones' surgery!
Thanks. Just finished reading through Blood Sugar 101 - it is a fabulous resource!
Hi Susan. I'm sure the info is somewhere, but anyway, about meters. I really believe the fingers are more accurate than other places to test your blood sugar. Use the side of the tips rather than right on the end of your finger where you type, etc., to keep them functioning well for typing, etc. It's probably a good idea to wash them first, esp. if you've been eating, since a bit of sugar left on the finger can give you a false high reading. If it's cold out, you'll get blood easier if you run your finger under warm water. Don't forget to rotate. Best wishes.
Hi Susan and welcome! I can relate to trying to decide if symptoms are related to diabetes, menopause or normal aging...really hard to tell and so frustrating. All you can do is get things checked out as they come up. Some weeks I feel like all I do is go to doctors appointments. Hormone fluctuations also affect blood sugar. Will keep you in our thoughts and prayers that your upcoming surgery is successful so you can get that behind you!
How are things going for you? I hope that your kidney surgery was successful this time and that you are feeling better.
Are you finding the information and answers that you need?
Thanks for the good wishes Marty. Surgery was semi successful - stone gone but recovery has been longer than I was expecting and have had some problems with infection. Hopefully will be all sorted out in the next few weeks. Good news is that I did get the meter and am checking my blood at home (still a little clumsy with it but learning!)It is actually quite interesting to see the jumps two hours after eating. Was at 4.5 the other day and thought I'd try some pasta to see how I handled it and jumped to 12.5! I'm going to Diabetes classes at the hospital - 2nd one tomorrow morning. Had a pile of lab tests done last week and my AC1 was at 6.5 and everything else looked good. Still waiting on some of the antibody results. Anyway I am a work in progress - see my GP on Tuesday so we'll see what else he has up his sleeve. I'm not taking any diabetes meds - not sure if I should be so I guess we'll have that chat. I think I can still do better on my AIC - getting it down and trying to keep it in the 5's is my target - I haven't really started exercising yet and although I'm trying to follow a diabetic diet based on some of the meter readings it make more sense to just completely avoid a wider range of foods than I have been. Have you had any issues with your feet? I have some burning/lumpy feeling - doctor did the testing with that wire but it didn't really show anything. I find it most irritating trying to sleep at night and haven't seen anything on it anywhere other than it's a side effect of diabetes and to pay careful attention to your feet. Anyway if you have any tips I'd love to hear them. I bought some lotion that is supposed to help with skin itching but it doesn't do anything for this problem.