New Type 2

Hi Everyone:

I'm a new Type 2 diagnosis and feeling really alone/overwhelmed with everything. I hope I can make some connections here.

In particular I am dismayed by the fact that so many of the resources I look at seem to be pro-dieting and weightloss--counting carbs, restricting foods, cutting back etc etc. I have a history of disordered eating that I've worked really hard to overcome by being active in the fat acceptance movement and practicing Health at Every Size. I don't want to be forced into obsessing over food or counting calories because it's been so damaging to my life in the past.

I'm very weary/skeptical about doctors who just prescribe weight loss as a cure for everything that might be wrong with a fat person. I'm having a hard time believing that I will be able to find a doctor who will agree to treat me in a respectful weight-neutral way.

I actually got diagnosed by a really terrible gyno I was seeing for another issue. (I moved two years ago, and hadn't yet found a GP where I live now). He told me he "wasn't surprised" I was diabetic based on the fact that I am fat, and that he strongly recommended I lose weight to treat the illness.

I just managed to meet a GP and right away she gave me the once over and was like "I don't know if you know this, but YOU'RE FAT and need to lose weight." (I love how doctors do that as if it will be this huge revelation for me). I explained that based on my past, I was doubtful I would lose weight since I've pretty much been a larger-sized person my whole life (and the only time I was smaller, was when I was eating dangerously little), but she insisted it will "happen naturally."

I see an endo next month and I'm feeling really nervous that I will face more fat shame. I guess I'm wondering if anyone is going through the same thing or if anyone has advice for how to have productive conversations with your doctor about weight-neutral treatment and HAES.

To be clear I am not against making adjustments in what I eat and in how I exercise--I just don't believe that those things will lead to weight loss and I don't think that should be the goal of how I approach managing my diabetes. I also don't believe for a hot minute my size caused my diabetes--my mother is diabetic, as are both sets of my grandmothers.

Hi Falcor, I remember exactly how you feel since it was only 2 years ago that I too was diagnosed with T2. Maybe or maybe not your diabetes was caused by your size, but I can tell you if you cut carbs and exercise your blood glucose readings will fall to an acceptable level. You don't have to count anything or obsess about food, just eliminate bread, cake, biscuits, rice, potato, pasta and starchy vegetables from your diet as it is and straight away you will start to feel better. If you eat more protein and vegetables you will be unlikely to feel hungry. There is a group for followers of Dr Bernstein's diet here on Tudiabetes which will give you lots of help. I want to make it clear that the goal is to lower your blood glucose levels, not talking about weight! Hugs, Maureen

Hello, since you have close relatives with D, the endo you will see will probably tell you the same. Gotta lose the weight permanently and change your diet. No way around it. Doctors say it all the time, diet and exercise. Pills and insulin don't work well if you don't lose the weight. You must get to normal weight for your height if you want a long life without complications. Tough lesson. Some folks don't get it. See a dietician soon. Let us know how you're doing.

First and foremost...a big hug! Welcome!
So sorry to be "branded" and "stereotyped". Do not blame yourself.
I was diagnosed type 2 age 31 with weight of 125 lbs at 5'4 very active lifestyle...hardly "fat" But I have other auto immune problems to consider and like you, I have a long line of relatives with both type1 and type 2. The book /website that Emmy recommended is wonderful. Ive learned so much from it.
Food choices and diet management is essential especially now that you have to monitor blood sugar. And exercising does work wonders in controlling it. With proper food intake and exercise, weight lost is inevitable. Try to educate yourself on the suggested type of foods (low carb) professional help if necessary. Learn as much as you can with what diabetes is...You can do it:)

Take a deep breath and say you will be ok because you will be. Yes it can be overwhelming and we are all here to support you.

As to your weight understand yes it plays a part but it also is a result of producing alot of insulin creating you to gain weight even faster. You are probably in a phase lock loop like many of us were producing tons of insulin making us even more hungry. Once you get your numbers down your appetite will decrease.

Another point is that you may be extremely carb addicted. Some people are more than others. You may need help with medication such as Victoza or other medicines to help reduce your carb cravings. Your endo may suggest this. It also will lessen your hunger.

There is only so much medication can do though. This is a condition of willpower for all of us and you have to make up your mind. Just take it in steps.

Let us know in the future how you are doing.

I'm a type 1, but am very interested in "diabetes" in general and have done quite a bit of reading/research on this topic.

1. Keep in mind that the "medical community" is not always up to date on the most current research. As a type 1, I've encountered far too many medical professionals who know very little about diabetes in general. It's kind of frightening. Even some endos don't do a great job in keeping up with the latest research/information/treatment. YOU have to be the gatherer of information and find what works for YOU.

2. Yes, being overweight can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, but it's not really understand if there's some hyperinsulinemic state that occurs beforehand that actually causes the weight gain and then in turn the insulin resistance and development of T2. Or if weight gain triggers some genetic predisposition to the disease. In addition, there are people who are of normal weight who are diagnosed with T2 (I think about 1/3 of people with T2 are of "normal" weight at diagnosis). Genetics does play a significant role in the development of T2, so it's not all about weight.

3. For any form of diabetes, the key is to achieve normaglycemia (or normal blood sugar levels). You don't mention if you're on medication but, the biggest culprit of BG increases are usually CARBS. Reduce the amount of carbs you eat by eliminating foods such as pasta, rice, bread, and other "white flour" and sugar-filled products. All this involves is a simple glance at the label to see how many carbs are in a serving. This will reduce the BG spikes and will probably result in some weightloss too (although your primary goal here will be to achieve normal blood sugars). I don't think you need to obsessively count calories or carbs; just eliminate the higher-carb items.

4. I learned at a young age the HUGE benefit of exercise with regard to blood sugar management. Back in the "olden days," insulins were slow to work so it wasn't uncommon to use exercise (like running laps in the backyard) as a way to get BGs down as a kid. Even though I have a pump and fast-acting insulin now, I still use this approach when my BGs are running a bit too high. Exercise of just about any kind will help get BGs down into normal range. Get in as much exercise as you can with the GOAL of achieving normal BGs (not weight loss).

Have you been prescribed any medications? Are you checking your BGs on a regular basis? What was your A1C?

hi falcor, welcome to the site sorry about the diagnosis but you're not alone. Have the docs taken blood for an A1C test yet? there are a lot of treatments available and you should work w/ your team to figure what works for you. diet and exercise changes help a lot to controlling your sugars I was diagnosed 16 years ago and still enjoy the same foods i did before being diagnosed but have to be smart about what the AMOUNT of food i eat. Find an exercise you like and go with it. it is fun you are more likely to stick with it. Exercise for me helps control my sugars, weight and the stress of being diagnosed and has helped me a lot. good luck and take care of yourself and please ask questions!

The media has been full lately of articles claiming T2's have brought their problems upon themselves. As others have commented in this post the truth is much more complicated than that. In the end its a chicken or the egg situation. I myself think the root of most peoples problems is genetic. What is certain is that once the feedback loop of insulin resistance, high insulin levels and weight gain starts its very difficult to reverse. Will power or lack thereof has very little to do with it.

Unfortunately many medical professionals know very little about diabetes so they are not always a source of good strategies for going forward.

In my opinion treating T2 is not complicated. We are blessed in our time to have blood glucose meters available to us, they enable us to find out what our reactions to various foods are. T2 is a disease of carbohydrate intolerance so the most straightforward response is to eliminate those carbs that our bodies can no longer safely metabolize. This approach is often refereed to as "Eat to Your Meter". As others have stated the most common offenders are sugar, grain, fruit and potatoes. But no one can tell you exactly what your problem foods are. Using "Eat to Your Meter" you can custom design a diet that will get your blood sugar under control.

Exercise is another thing that will help considerably, bottom line, exercise decreases insulin resistance, making everything else easier. It doesn't have to be especially vigorous, walking is fine.

The standard diet for treating T2 is relatively high carb and portion controlled. In my experience this is a hard one to stay on. Fast acting carbs cause cravings for more carbs. The problem is not in your will power, it's your physiological reaction to the carbs. Eliminate the fast acting carbs and you eliminate the cravings, suddenly staying on your diet becomes a more manageable proposition. Give it a try, you may say I can't give up bread or potatoes or whatever, but speaking as a former carboholic, it's easier to do than you think. I find the much improved blood sugars a powerful incentive to stick with the program.

Things I found helpful starting out:
The bloodsugar101 website.
"The Diabetes Solution" by Dr. Richard Bernstein
The Bernstein Group here on tuD.
And tuD in general, this is a tremendous resource.

Hi Falcor: Welcome to TuDiabetes, I hope you find the community and support here that helps you. Wow, that GP is rude and mean! I am very sorry you had to hear such stupidity. I think the advice you have been given here by TuD members is excellent: I would suggest going low carb and doing exercise you enjoy. There are lots of low-carbers here on TuD, and they eat well, feel full, and achieve excellent blood sugar control. Check out the groups and Gerri's recipes. I think Health at Every Size (HAES) is a smart concept, since dieting works long-term for so few.

This is (IMO) excellent advice. Keep in mind also that T1s can go on to develop T2 (referred to as having "double diabetes" by some endos), essentially meaning that we become resistant to the insulin we're injecting into our bodies. I've talked with several T1s online who have stopped this from happening by simply cutting back on the carbs they eat.

Back in the day of the old "exchange system," the general philosophy when dealing with T1 diabetes was to eat a diet higher in protein and lower in carbohydrates to control BGs. This was because of the kinds of insulins we had back then (no Humalog!), which were slow acting. But, when pumps and fast-acting insulins became available, dieticians seemed to start telling T1s that they could eat whatever they wanted, provided they matched the carbs to the insulin they needed and ate within reason. While we all know this is FAR easier with pumps, I know for me it lead to far more minor disasters and actually poorer control. I found that I LOVED carbs and this was NOT a good thing. The more carbs I eat, the more unstable my BGs are and the more room there is for error when administering insulin. When I eat fewer carbs, I need less insulin and my BGs are far more stable (for a T1, anyway).

For T2s, I think the "eat to your meter" is great advice. I even do that myself, using my 1-hr and 2-hr pp reading to identify which foods cause me the most havoc.

Great advice and insight, BadMoonT2!

Welcome to tudiabetes and good luck.

Thank you for sharing your situation and the overwhelming aspects of it all.

I am now 64 - 30 years of this monster, still alive and had to face some nasty issues.

Fisrt off the blame crowd who fault you, your life style etc are standing in wrong dead end tunnel with lights turned off.

Nor do I believe for an instant that being fat or having a non lean body caused this.

That said, usually getting this mess under control really encompasses a number of key issues whereby medications fixing medical issues , carbs control - easiest answer is portion controlo and reducing the high energy carb foods that create the max amount of glucose; hearty exercise is crucial - it is the only thing along with body process burn - heart/lungs, brain, gut etc keep glucose marching out of body and being burned off.

After 26 years getting worse, oversize and rotting out, I was faced with deciding did I want to stay a few more better years or check out early.

I hear your concern about calorie counting and I simplify that by getting a minds eye of workable portion sizes and mixes of food that do not blow me up so I do not have to continually count calories.

Exercise, I walk one to 2 miles a day.

A way of looking at this is that now you are full fledged type 2, one really needs to get excess glucose that has built up in body over time and reduced. this is where the triad of Meds-fix organ issues, carbs control and reduction and sufficient heraty exercise to burn the glucose off.

From my perspective it has been absolutely dejecting to listen to the nonsense from blame police and certain "helpful" organizations. In my case my liver was overloading - sending back far too much glucose on dawn effect and the liver dump services of liver to add extra glucose in key emergency situations - staying alive is preferrable to running out of glucose.

I got to 330 pounds and could not lose an ounce till my liver was hauled back by meds and meter - control stratagies and carefull eating which it then dropped to 260 pounds. This took last 4 years to clean up mess working with my Doctor.

Joining an excellent web site like this one should be an excellent move and most helpfull as there is a wealth of great comments, experiences and suggestions.

Other helpfull websites are STeve Harper MD and his mediteranean Diets and the Diabetes Selfmanagment site can be very helpful.

You will need to find good Doctor you are sympatico with along with a good dietition, a exercise advisor and possibly a diabetics trainer.

Some of the negative flack you have run into, and I have seen even at diabetes classes at night school is some times a combination of the professionals themselves overwhelmed by this nasty complex disease as well as the fact that any one person cannot do it all.

I do not mean to depress you but you are in fact on this business and as patient are the key case manager on the job. I did not get that part clearly 30 years ago and now making up for lost time in accelerated learning mode the last 4 years after stroke.

Best wishes and good luck for your improved health as well as reduced stress.

I'm sorry that you've had such poor treatment, Falcor. I just want to chime in with the others and say that, if your first priority is getting your blood glucose (BG) numbers under control, the rest will happen pretty naturally.

The simplest and easiest thing is to adopt a very low-carbohydrate plan. When we eat fewer carbohydrates, we produce lower BG and need less insulin. Most overweight people are insulin resistant so needing less insulin is helpful because the pancreas doesn't have to work hard to produce more. Low-carbing can help give your pancreas a rest and preserve beta cells so that the insulin you do make can be used effectively.

Lots of us have found that a low-carb way of eating feels wonderful. After the first few days, you won't crave carbohydrates and you'll feel more energetic. You may sleep better. You may feel more alert. You can watch your BG readings go down and know that you're doing important, positive things for yourself, taking care of yourself and preventing complications in the future.

And yes, you'll lose weight. You might lose quite a bit for the first few weeks, but after that, it may be more like a slower, but steady loss. Unlike counting calories, counting carbohydrates does feel like something you can do for the rest of your life, easily. At least, I think that's true for most of us. Calorie counting, by itself, may help someone lose weight, but it won't necessarily bring down elevated blood sugar if the calories that they eat still include a lot of carbohydrates. By eating low-carb, you can actually eat more calories and still lose weight while also lowering your BG.

thanks again for such clear and logical explanation. I am new in Low Carb diet and learn on tuD, which is great and people are so helpful. I agree with BadMoonT2 that the root of most(all?) people problems are genetic,and problems may come out wit wrong lifestyle or wrong diet. I have a twin sister who has no problems (she is fat though) but, me, I was vegetarian for 20years or more and started getting fat under the stress. I was T2 for many years but not diagonesed. Under the stress, there is also worse absorbtion of Vitamins (B1, B6and more) which are important. Maybe if I had been warned earlier that I am T2 , today I would have been in a better state?

It may be helpful to suggest genetic issues are involved and probably responsible for some of the medical misfires - liver leakage and liver over release of glucose but one does not want to ignore the fact that the hunter gatherer digestion/gene system was never blessed with control stratagies to bypass excess glucose ending up in blood stream and by passing it out. The system was optimized to prevent starvation back in days when food was scare and prone to shortages. ie the energy balance and control was never managed by the hunter gatherer body internally and requires ensuring that that balance is watched by the human to prevent chronic overloading in this 24/7 availability of refined foods, grains and ton of sugars made pennies on the ton from corn starch and getting sufficient hearty exercise in this couch potato era.

This is why I suspect that rhere will not be single silver bullits fixing this mess.

Jeff - Excellent advice on all fronts. I never had any great success with endo's I went to but am sure there are good ones out there. Here again one wants to be sympatico with the selected medical help.

Falcor, I have found that the way to beat the docs is to make it your own job to keep your blood sugar as low as possible. Let your meter become your friend to guide you about what and how much you eat. If you make lowering your blood sugar your primary goal, the rest will follow. I wanted to experiment first with no medication so I'd know what my own body could do. It did pretty well. I finally decided some metformin at night would help, so I asked for it. It worked. My A1Cs have been below 5.5 for 5 years and that gives me license not to take doo doo from anyone about my health. I'm NOT thin, I could lose 40 pounds. (No, make that SHould lose, if I actually could, I would.) If I had followed the doctor's original advice and the official diet with enough carb to kill 2 horses, I'd be even fatter and very resentful. You've been happy with yourself, there's no reason that can't continue. Let the endo know that you'll be hearing everything he/she says, but making your own decisions. You can get into a Catch 22 situation so easily when they put you on a high carb diet then give you sulfonylureas (sp?) that make you overproduce insulin and that causes you to store more fat. Read a lot. Experiment a lot. This is a disease that can really put you in tune with your own body. It will probably tell you right away that it can't handle certain foods, which is so much better than having another PERSON tell you what to eat. Don't let them torment you with the scales, either. Just say "no" if you don't care to be weighed every time. You'll know if you've gained or lost weight, what they really need to know is how your blood sugar is coming along. XOX

Neat. Come out swinging.

Actually stated very well and clear. Much good thoughts to consider.

As one who has been thru all that crud and finally getting back under control; I have gotten my weight down, health up, hemorages off the eyes and off starlix, off glyburide, off actos and heavy insulin shots after 30 years nearly rotting out.

Best wishes and thank you for commenting/sharing.

I know how it feels when you first get diagnosed with any type of diabetes. The feelings are hard to explain to a love one or even a friend. But sometimes you have to let it sink in and then deal with the emotions you are having. Some will tell you do not do this or do not do that.... Well, if you want to eat something, have it. Do not cut food out that you feel you can not have. If you go a food "kick," have it for a short period of time. Do not ever blame yourself for having diabetes ! It is not your fault...It is not anyone's fault really. Some doctors will tell you what they feel is right for you. Talk to a doctor that you are comfortable with and a nutritionist as well. Find people that will make you feel good and will listen to you. Not the other way around. Diabetes could be in your genes and maybe you should look into it further and see why or when the gene started in your family. I hope this helps you a little bit.

Hi. I'm late to this party, as I've only recently been diagnosed & even more recently joined TuD. I embraced HAES/Mindful Eating 6 yrs ago, and it has been really helpful in learning how to make self-care a real priority for me. Of course, having a newly diagnosed health condition, taking care of my wellness is even more important. And of course the first step is trying to assemble a good health care team. Sorry to hear you've had some difficulties with it. Has it gotten any better? I am meeting with a new primary dr in a couple of days & very hopeful that it will go better than with my previous one.