New diabetic

I just found out I have diabetes. I had to go to the doctor for a girl problem, she took some blood tests and said I might have diabetes. She had me come back the next morning for more tests, they took so many blood vials I wondered if I had any blood left. All the tests are not back yet but she is sure I have diabetes but wasn't sure which type and I was in no immediate danger. Depending on the test results, I might have to go in the hospital.

I've been freaking out every since and can't sleep or even do my school work. I've been reading a lot about diabetes but I'm still afraid of my future. My parents try to reassure me but I've overheard my mom crying and talking, they are freaking out too. If I have to take shots I don't think I could stand it.

I just found out my parents want to send me back to Honolulu to stay with my grand parents. They both work in the embassy here in Tokyo and I will have to go the hospital in Yokosuka. They say it would be better to be in Honolulu. I don't want to go, I like my school here and all my friends are here. It would be more bad news on top of this diabetes, I hate diabetes, why me?

I've been reading the Complete Guide to Diabetes, it's more like a reference book. I've been jumping around and reading the things I think I need to know now. I'll check out the other books. I looked at the UCSF education online site. I love it and will be going through it tonight.

I forgot to ask about food. The doctor told me to cut out sweets and cut way back on starches. Since then I've been eating only salads, meat, eggs and cheese. I used to eat a lot of rice, almost every meal. Now without rice (or noodles) I get so hungry my stomach growls a lot (it's embarrassing). I got so hungry a while ago I opened a can of corned beef and ate the whole thing along with a bunch of cabbage and raw carrots. I've ate all the salad fixings in the house.

After I get in treatment will I be able to eat rice and noodles like I used to?

You'll probably get varying results here, but the short answer is yes.

Once you figure out how to give insulin based on the amount of carbohydrates you eat, you can technically be able to eat whatever you want. However, you may find that certain foods are sometimes more trouble than they are worth.

Some people try to cut out as many carbs as possible for the tightest control. Others (like myself) are much more lenient on their diet. In the end it will be up to you and your doctor.

Honestly, the meters are practically the same. I would go with whatever brand your insurance covers the strips for, whether it be onetouch, freestyle, bayer, etc. Without insurance, some can run you $120 for 100 strips. I personally like the OneTouch Ultra 2 meter, but thats just personal taste.

I use the pens and I really don't have any complaints. I have been on injections for 17 years now and don't really see the need for a pump. Some people find the fine-tuning that a pump can give you extremely useful. I at the moment can't afford the $$$$ needed to buy one.

IDK how much say a new patient has in choosing between pens and pump I was Dx'd at age 5, 17 years ago and I didn't have much say in anything, so I can't help you there sorry.

You’re getting way ahead of yourself. You don’t need to figure out insulin, or other medications, without a doctor. Since you haven’t been put on any medication, and the doctor just told you to go easy on carbs, you likely have Type 2, and likely also a relatively early stage case at that, though early stage Type 1/LADA and a MODY variant aren’t totally implausible.

Point is, there is likely not urgency, and the lifestyle implications are likely to be modest. And you’re not going to be missing school for much treatment, just an appointment or two to get you on the right track, and occasional follow ups.

Forums like this can be a great way to educate yourself, but they can also get you unnecessarily spun up. Try to keep things in perspective, and get concrete info from your doctors before you play out various counterfactuals. That’s the important thing for now, the doctors need to do a much better job of communicating with you. Conversely, you can ask for better information. Try to get them to be as specific as possible, ie not just with what they’re diagnosing you, but what results led to that diagnosis. We can help you interpret those numbers. Although your primary resource should be your doctors, sadly they often fall a bit short.

madison, its great that you are staying put for now! you must feel relieved about that, at least, though the situation with your very busy parents sounds really hard. im sorry they are not being as supportive as you need them to be.

its good that you have a couple of options regarding where to get treatment, though i imagine that, as a minor, you will be going wherever your parents say youre going. it is important to have good, caring, informed doctors, but remember, most of your care after your diabetes education will be all you. youre really taking the reigns finding out about treatment options and how comfortable you might feel with them. good for you.

i live in spain and we have socialized medicine here, so i get an accuchek meter and three strips a day, not enough. i buy extra strips and meters from walmart when im in the states because they are a fraction of the cost. most of the big market meters youll be offered have the same bells and whistles.

i use pen injectors and they are quite convenient. i hankered after a pump when i was first diagosed but am now content with the pens. when my control isnt great i always start thinking about how great it would be to have a pump, but it does seem like a hassle.

as you are approaching adulthood, i would think that docs would let you have some say in treatment options, though your insurance will be the ones who decide what you get and for how much! robbers! :/

good luck with the docs!

the change in diet...ugh. you definitely dont have to go hungry, things with lots of fat will keep you full. almonds and cheese are two of my stand-bys. i also eat a lot more protein so i dont have to go crazy with the carbs.
your eating the whole can of corned beef etc is typical for me when im too lazy to make a meal or dont have anything in the house. finding things to eat can sometimes be frustrating and there are times when its just easier to eat a block of cheese than anything else. salads are a great option. you can fatten them up with boiled eggs, tuna, avocado, nuts....variations are endless. i also have an omelette with lots of veg every day, it keeps me full all morning.
your diabetic nurses or the nutritionist at the hospital will hopefully help you with food.
since being diagnosed ive basically given up rice, pasta and bread but i would die if i had to give up chocolate and cheesecake. i find i have to pick and choose times and foods strategically.
when i do have those starchy foods i have very little, test frequently and always exercise after the treat to help the insulin work.
you are doing great taking care of yourself, keep going!

I agree with Niccolo. Wondering if this group could help Madison with some questions to ask? It is all so overwhelming at first. Madison, I really admire your courage, even if you don't feel that way. It is not always easy to be so open with others. I already love you for that :)

If you get a diagnosis that requires you to use daily insulin, I'd highly recommend getting the book "Think like a Pancreas" by Gary Scheiner. It was life changing for me to read this shortly after I went on MDI(multiple daily injections). You can get it on Amazon.

Oh Madison, what a tough thing to add to adolescence! My daughter is 16, and with everything she's going through as a teenager, one more thing to "manage" wouldn't help. Fortunately for her, I'm the diabetic in the family :-)

The good news is having diabetes is not nearly as bad as the panic makes us feel when we are diagnosed. As others have said -- and it is true, really! -- you'll adapt, find routines and habits, and your life will go on.

In fact, it will go on and be every bit as happy, fun, productive, experience rich, and successful as anyone else. There is nothing diabetics can't do. It's not a disability.

A cautionary note, however: The bad things that diabetes can cause CAN be disabling. The best way to give yourself the best chance of avoiding those problems and living a happy, healthy life is to get control of the condition, and keep it for life.

What you're doing is how you get there: Learn, become your own expert, manage your treatment. Learn from others with more experience. Make sure you have a strong peer community for support when D gets tough (and it does now and then).

Finally, I'll add one bit of advice: Doctors will make managing this disease sound like a criminal sentence, with all the steps necessary to do, well, anything (check blood sugar, give an injection, etc.). Temper some of that with the real-world experience you get here, and managing D will be much easier.

You're gonna be fine. Given what you've described about your parents, it sounds like your a relatively independent, initiative-taker, which will serve you very well managing this part of your health and life.

Agree, with one gigantic caveat. Many people are erroneously misdiagnosed as Type 2 because doctors are too lazy, or too self-confident (nice word) to order the appropriate tests. It's a common problem and we have numerous members here who've experienced it. But -- Type 2 is by FAR the more common form, so the odds are heavily in favor of it being that. But running the appropriate lab tests is the only way to know with certainty so make sure whichever doctors you do end up seeing require the tests before issuing a firm diagnosis.

The pathophysiology of the two diseases [T1D and T2D] differ on a basic pathophysiologic level such that T1D is marked by insulinopenia while T2D is characterized by obesity, hyperinsulinemia, insulin resistance, and relative insulinopenia. Page 104.

This is from one of our member's blog, Melitta.

She is quite passionate about getting the appropriate tests for accurate diagnosis. Her emphasis is on adult onset of Type 1, and her information helped me so much when I was first diagnosed incorrectly as T2. The C peptide test confirmed T1 for me, the GADA test was also run by my current endocrinologist. Interestingly, someone in the chat group here, after some questions, quickly spotted the potential of my being LADA. And I said, what's LADA? Totally clueless, and in that regard you are ahead of where I was last August.

Asians can be atypical in terms of body type for T2, and so it is not a given that you are T1.

Hi Madison -

Doctors don't force pumps on their patients because if you don't want a pump and aren't committed to doing all the chores that pumping requires they can be more dangerous than using pens. In a few months, you will have learned a great deal and will be able to take greater control of your own care. In about a year, you will have learned the basics and will be well on your way. I would bet that your parents will see how far you've come by the end of the school year and will be comfortable with you staying in Tokyo.

Don't worry about the occasional freak out. We all have them. Managing diabetes can be very stressful and sometimes we can't express our feelings in a nicely modulated way.

You seem smart and motivated. You'll do fine.


I went to visit my brother while he was working in China for 5 years. I ate white rice almost exclusively. Rice and veg. You can do it. No one can survive on veg alone, you might try eating more meat. If you go onto insulin, you'll learn how to eat starches. The nutritionists might start you off on 2 to 3 servings of rice or noodles per meal, which might be about a cup. There's more fiber in brown rice, so you can eat more of it, per serving. If you are relying on a high rice/noodle diet, it might do a lot to eat noodles as part of a soup. Then you can 'dilute' the sugar with some broth and/or vegetables to make it more filing.

Which tests should I ask about? From the amount of blood they took they must be running a lot of tests, she told me something about them but I don't remember.

They should give you paper print outs of all your results. For our purposes, the fasting blood glucose is probably most interesting. Hemoglobin A1c if done also. The rest of the tests probably assessed your general health, eg lipids, kidney function, etc.

You probably will have a hard time managing if you eat as much rice and noodles as you ate before getting sick. Short grain white rice is especially tough to manage. You'll do better if you can switch to brown rice and even better if you can substitute quinoa which has more protein. It can usually replace rice and I find it fairly easy to dose for. Shirataki noodles have almost no carbs and while they aren't a perfect substitute for traditional noodles they work well in soups and as a base for meat, fish and vegetables.

Hi Madison, your doctor should be doing a cbc(complete blood count) and blood chemistry with a lipid panel as well as a1c, c peptide and antibody testing for type 1.

I Forgot meat, seafood, and tofu. You will prob end up adding more of that to noodles. Diabetes doesn't mean you can't live in Japan or that you can't eat noodles. Whatever happens, you will still be you, just with some adjustments.