I’m another who’s been newly diagnosed… just found out a week ago and I’m feeling lost. I’ve got an A1C of 6.5 which I’ve learned is right on the edge of what’s considered diabetic, but the official diagnosis has got me filled with fear. My doctor prescribed some Metformin so I’ll be starting that soon, but she didn’t have much advice in terms of what to do next? I got a standard “eat less carbs, be more active” response, but no guidance really… I think I’m going to join Weight Watchers because I know myself and I’m gonna need some structure to keep track of what I’m eating.
Like someone else said on here, I’ve been fat for some time and at 30 years old I thought I was finally getting the hang of the body acceptance thing, but now this diagnosis has me filled with guilt and shame… I can’t help feeling like I literally ate myself into this corner. Now I’m paralyzed when it’s time to eat because I keep thinking everything has too many carbs and sugars. After a week of almost exclusively eating eggs and green peppers I need to get a grip!!
Any tips for a super newly diagnosed gal like me?? Also, how worried should I be about the “crazy diarrhea” side effect of Metformin?
I’d appreciate any responses at all, thanks for reading!
Welcome to the “newbie club”. It is frightening and challenging. I’m just learning too but so far the members on this site have given me a lot of great information and have gotten me to stop thinking in terms of my being a failure in being diagnosed with Type 2 and not managing it with diet and exercise and weight loss. I’ve little diabetes info to share but I am a Weight Watcher and the new program “Beyond the Scale” does have a stronger focus on healthy choices and a major new focus on taking care of yourself. I hope that you will get what you need if you decide to join, but you may need to also pay a lot of attention to what you learn from your health team along with information gained from resources like this site & incorporate that into the program. Take care
The American Diabetes Association (diabetes.org) has a bunch of good stuff. One thing is a program - online - for newly diagnosed Type 2s. Also books that are accurate and may help you get started. Eating Well has a diabetes menu plan. It’s overwhelming at first but little by little it will come into place. Try to walk a bit after each meal and drink lots of water and look st this changes as you taking good care of yourself
Hi there! Welcome - I’m sorry you’re feeling so overwhelmed. I entirely understand where you’re coming from. Nearly two years ago I was in your shoes!
You will get a lot of practical advice here, so I just want to give you some emotional support. First off, you DID NOT eat yourself into a corner. There’s a lot of new research showing that Diabetes (yes, even type two!) is largely genetic. Check out this video for some really good food for thought: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMhLBPPtlrY This video REALLY changed my perspective.
I also want to say that diabetes management and body acceptance are not mutually exclusive. It’s taken me a while to realize this and live it in my life: I am not a bad person if I eat some dessert, I just have to have a plan for how to deal with it. This is a hard thing to come to terms with because a lot of doctors and public opinion will tell you that you must lose a million pounds or you will die (maybe not a million, but you know what I mean!). But the truth is that you have to find what works for you, what you can stick to, what will give you good quality (and not just quantity) of life. This is maybe a radical opinion. For me, I check my blood sugar about 8 times a day and I try to eat to my meter. I feel good when I get some movement in my life. But I feel like crap emotionally if I feel totally deprived of foods that I love. So I don’t go that route. And I’ve been able to maintain an A1C in the 5’s, which I am really happy with.
Ok, now for some practical stuff:
I have not had any of the gastro issues that come with Metformin. I take 2,000 mg per day. The extended release tablets seem to help me.
Perhaps see if you can get in with an endocrinologist. Many GPs don’t have a lot of good advice. There are also diabetes educators - try looking one up in your area!
Get a meter and test your blood sugar often. This can be an issue with insurance, but my endocrinologist prescribed the number of test strips that I asked for. I test a lot because I want to see what will happen if I eat certain foods - that gives me a road map.
I was diagnosed in 2012, and I remember well all those feelings. BUT, know that THIS IS NOT YOUR FAULT. In fact, when I was diagnosed, I had been doing ALL THE THINGS that “THEY” say to do to avoid Type 2 diabetes: I was eating a healthy, well-balanced diet, I was exercising daily, I was at a “healthy” weight. I’d been doing that and maintaining my weight that way for over a dozen years by that point – and I STILL got the diagnosis.
Now, in my case, there is still some question as to what my true diagnosis should be, but that does not matter. The truth is, as others have already pointed out - there are so many factors that are BEYOND OUR CONTROL that can lead to diabetes that it is clear that NO ONE is to blame for getting diabetes. Nobody – no matter how badly they “behaved” can be blamed for “doing this to themselves.”
What IS in your control; however, is what you do now – to maintain and improve your health. Diabetes is a condition that can be managed with the proper combination of activity, diet and, when needed, medications. And the need for one or another medication is not an indication of “failure” on the part of the patient - it’s just the nature of THAT PERSON’S diabetes. I need injected insulin to maintain my health. Others need nothing. Others need metformin, and still others need a combination of meds. What you need is just that: what YOU need, so don’t let anyone tell you that you ‘got there’ but doing something wrong. The bottom line, though, is that it is possible to live a long, healthy and productive life with the proper management of your diabetes. Is it always easy? No, it is not. But it is very possible.
I well-remember the confusion and fear I had when first diagnosed – and still have those fears now, from time to time. I do, however, look forward to maintaining my relatively good health by doing what it takes to manage this as well as I can – there are too many good things in the future to look forward to, and I want to be able to enjoy them all.
it’s nice to have so much genuine support from a group of people I don’t even know (yet!)! I have only told a couple of people so far because I want to get a better hold on it myself before all the reactions start. You all are a huge help with this!
I did know that diabetes is genetic, and part of that is why I feel guilty…?? I know it sounds silly written out that way. My grandmother has diabetes and I grew up helping her with all her meds and testing and knew when it was time to run and get her a glass of orange juice etc. She had 6 sisters, and all of them had diabetes too. My thin mother would always remind me to be careful about what I ate bc diabetes runs in the family and it skipped a generation, so I WAS NEXT if I wasn’t careful. Now that it’s happened, i KNOW that it is genetic but I also can’t help but feeling that I was supposed to “know better” about preventing it somehow. I will look at the great resources all of you sent to remind myself that it’s kind of out of my hands!
My doc did say she was going to recommend a nutritionist, which I’ll probably check out. An endocrinologist is also a great idea, since I’ve had some pituitary mysteries in the past. I don’t have a meter yet but that also sounds like a good tool to have if I can get one; every time I eat something I’m always WONDERING. The exercise part will be another emotional hurdle for me, but I guess I can start small. I live in NYC and feel active as hell because I’m always walking walking walking, hurrying up and down stairs in the subway, taking the ‘by foot’ route on Google maps because it’s quicker, walking 10 blocks w my groceries, etc. There’s a lot of movement built into my life already but clearly I’ve got to step it up.
About to go pick up my Metformin now, wish me luck
Thank you thank you thank you all again for your kind words!
Just reinforcing some of the great advice you’ve already gotten:
You didn’t do this to yourself. Nobody does. Notwithstanding the myriad stereotypes in popular culture, diabetes just doesn’t work like that. Period. Full stop.
Of all the potentially serious illnesses you can possibly have, diabetes has one characteristic that most lack: you can control it yourself. In fact, in practical terms you have to do it yourself; no one else is there 24x7 and no one else knows your body like you do. But you knew that already.
Every case is distinct and individual; the “one size fits all” formulae just don’t apply to this condition. (One of our members likes to say, “if you want to treat diabetes by the book, you’ll need a separate book for each diabetic”.) The point is that because person A does fine with just diet and exercise while person B needs insulin to maintain good control, that doesn’t mean person A is doing everything right and person B has failed. It just means that their physiologies are different and each calls for a different combination of methods. That’s all, no more.
With lucky exceptions, GPs aren’t very knowledgeable about diabetes. Oh, they can describe the chemical pathways at a level of detail you and I can’t, but when it comes to day-in, day-out management routines, that’s not what they’re taught in medical school. No surprise, and it’s not their fault; diabetes is just 1% of what they have to know. If you find a really knowledgeable specialist, it’s almost certainly going to be an endocrinologist.
Success in controlling diabetes long term really depends on self-education, and there are truly excellent books available as well as other valuable resources, not least of which is this community. You’ll find the members here to be a bottomless well of shared experience as well as a source of mental support—some days, the most valuable thing you can have is just the ability to vent or converse with someone who’s been there and gets it.
Shame and guilt are so often heaped on us as diabetics, especially Type 2 diabetics. My best advice is to reject the blame game. Dealing with diabetes is hard enough without the added burden of a guilt trip being placed upon us. There is plenty of good advice to be had on diet and exercise which is extremely important but its also important to like your self in the process.
I wrote this four years ago to express my feelings about feeling ashamed
Using the meter will probably help you feel a little less panicked about eating, because you will find things that don’t bump your blood sugar too much (for me, a square inch of extremely dark chocolate is OK!!!).
That book has a ton of useful information to get you started understanding the disease.
I would also recommend getting a good quality blood glucose meter that also has reasonably priced test strips so you can test as much as you want to. I use the Contour Next USB and the strips are $20 per 100 on Amazon, which is cheaper than I can buy them through my insurance.
Metformin really works great at the early stages of the disease and with diet and exercise may be all you need for a long time.
I haven’t commented since I have joined. You are so helpful. I appreciate everything you write. Family and friends do not understand and haven’t become educated like I have. And I have done well being strict with my diet. Only problem I had was being in the hospital and was told my past A1c’s were too normal to be a diabetic. They wouldn’t give me any insulin. So, I sneaked it in and of course watch my BS carefully. Thank you again for all you knowledge and input.
Hi New and Nervous, Ieas terrified when I was told about my Diabetes. You just need to adjust your eating habits. You will make mistakes but do not beat yourself up. The next meal you will be back on track. You are not a failure. You can go on-line to learn everything you want to know. You will be alright.