Newly Diagnosed and Questions!

Ok… I am 44, female, breast and thyroid cancer survivor… and diagnosed on Friday with Type 2 diabetes. My a1c was 8.5 and fasting glucose 153. So I am not out of control, but not good by any stretch…

So here is my plan… 2-3.5 carb choices per meal and 1/2 to 1 carb choice per snack (times 3 snacks). Coffee in am and red wine with dinner… Blood Glucose Control homeopathic with meals. Plus 30 minutes exercise a day .

I am VERY overweight from inactivity due to complications from cancer treatments and, frankly, eating like a pig… This is exactly what I needed to scare the cr*p out of me and get me eating healthy and exercising.

Should I check fs when I wake up or right before breakfast?
Is that the right amount of carb choices?
Is there a way to check a1c at home?
Is there anything else I should be doing?
Using On Track on my android to track… is that a good program?
Has anyone had success with homeopathic remedies?
Does anyone drink coffee or wine to stabilize bs?

My fs on Fri were in the 150s… Sat… 130s… today 120s… and have lost 4 pounds… so I feel like I am moving in the right direction, but I want to know what else I should be doing…

Blessings to all, and thanks for any info you can give me! Susanna

Susanna- let me say “Hiya!” first. I’m glad you are here, and asking all kinds of questions. The first and ABSOLUTELY MOST IMPORTANT thing for you to remember is that you will get all kinds of advice and tips and tricks from various posters but:

YOU ARE UNIQUE and you will respond very differently than anyone else here. What works for one does not work for all.

I hope you get the answers you are looking for. :slight_smile: Good luck!

Hey there, jeaucamom, sorry you’re one of the club now but welcome! ;0)

You don’t mention any medication for your T2 except the homeopathic. Most T2’s get started on metformin pretty much right away, especially with an HbA1C of 8.5. Did you discuss metformin with your doctor?

Full disclosure: I can’t tolerate it, but many, many T2’s swear by it. It helps with the insulin resistance that is the hallmark of T2 without having to worry about the hypoglycemia more common with other meds.

Your HbA1C means that your average glucose is around 197.

A normal HbA1C is under 6, or an average of below 123.

The closer you can get you HbA1C to 6 or lower, the less you’ll need to worry about scary complications later.

By eating better, walking more (try working up to 10,000 steps with a pedometer), getting enough sleep and reducing stress you might be able to drop your average quite a bit – but the metformin really helps, too.

I was diagnosed in 2001. Now I’m on a long-acting insulin shot (Lantus) and several short acting insulin shots (Novolog with each meal). You might be able to go years (forever?) without needing insulin injections if you can make comprehensive lifestyle changes now.

Good luck and check out all the groups and books out there. You have a lot to learn, but you can do it, one step at a time.

Hi and welcome. To jump in and answer a few of your questions: Generally you check your fasting blood sugar first thing when you get up. The more current way to count carbs is just carbs not “choices”, though I believe a “choice” is 15 carbs? We all eat differently here so there is no “right amount”. We have very low carb followers, moderate carb and others who eat carbs freely. I eat under 100 carbs a day which I consider “moderate low”. The bottom line is between carbs, meds, and exercise you do what works for you. Most of us aim for under 100 for fasting and under 140 2 hours after meals (some aim for 120). So whatever gets you there, works.
Yes, you can check your A1C at home with a home A1C kit you can buy at most drugstores. It costs about 25-30 dollars per kit and has two tests. It’s considered quite reliable.

I’m a type 1 so homeopathic remedies don’t mean much to me. Some type 2’s use homeopathic remedies especially in early stages of their diabetes management, but I agree that your numbers are high enough that meds might be called for.

I don’t find that coffee or wine do anything at all for my blood sugars either way. Some people find coffee can raise blood sugar and some that wine lowers it. So again, test and see what influence it has for you.

Sounds like your numbers are coming down and you are losing weight (which will also hel with your blood sugar) so you’re doing great! Check out Blood Sugar 101 either online or buying the book; lots of great info. And you have come to the right place for answers and suggestions.

I have appt with endocrinologist tomorrow morning… so she may put me on metformin… but I have elevated liver enzymes so not sure what she will do. I have been going to this doctor for years for my thyroid issues and she bugs me horribly… but don’t want to wait to be seen with all the red tape of trying to change docs… and not even sure there is another one in the Sacramento region. Even if she suggests metformin… I think I will beg her to let me try lifestyle issues for a month before starting it. I think a month is reasonable… maybe with the caveat that if my average is over some number… I will immediately go on it… does that sound good?

Sounds like a plan. A lot of type 2’s can control with diet, exercise and weight loss for quite awhile. You might also find that if you start on meds and lose a significant amount of weight you may be able to get off the meds for awhile. It sounds like you are really motivated and that’s the most important thing!

Thank the Heavens you have survived the cancers:)

I think you should check you BS as fastings, right when you wake up.
You can buy A1c’s kits at Walmart.
Haven’t heard coffee stabilizes BS.

Can you walk at all, even short ones will help you loose weight, and along with cutting carbs it will come off.

You want to take care of your Type 2, because complications are scary to.

I agree with Devon you will get all kinds of advice here. At this point your should listen to all these differing views.

Fortunately there is a way to sort this out. Quite simply invest in an intensive testing program. I would suggest testing before each meal and 1 and 2 hours after. Write down your numbers as well as an accurate count of carbs and where the carbs came from. A scale such as the Eat Smart which has a built in database of nutrient values makes this relatively painless.

Many of us have found certain food items like grains cause unacceptable spikes. Others can tolerate them if they restrict quantities. Others can use the glycemic index. The only way to find out which camp you are in is to test test test.

At this point you need to educate yourself so that you can discuss what’s going on with your endo, and formulate a plan. I would recommend going over old threads on this site, it’s a tremendous resource. Check out the groups which seem to apply to you .I would highly recommend the BloodSugar101 website, especially the “How to get your blood sugar under control section”. Its a simple plan for figuring out what meal plan will work for you, as well as deciding what your blood sugar goals will be.

T2’s universally find exercise to be a big help. Start slow. My rule is not to do anything that will cause me to be unable exercise tomorrow. Gradually you will build up your stamina and the longer you exercise the more you will benefit. Exercise does not have to be extreme, walking at a moderate pace works great. I find that time is more important than how strenuous it is. For me I need to do a minimum or 30 minutes, but start at whatever you can handle and gradually increase at your own pace.

Like your llama pic. I used to raise cattle. Miss it sometimes, but can’t say I miss things like puling a calf in a cold rain. Overall it was the best job I ever had, although not terribly lucrative.

Thanks everyone for your advice… I had pretty much stumbled upon what you are saying… I found that if I eat every two hours and have 20-30 grams of carbs, I keep my bs between 110 and 120, which I think is what the acceptable level is for 2 hour post prandial. This way, when I check every two hours, it is both a 2 hour post and my next pre-meal. I am not having much luck getting my morning sugars down though, I am obviously a dawn syndrome person. I have been drinking my ginsing diabetes tea right before bed and it has come down to average 140s… but that is still way too high. But I have lost almost 5 pounds since starting this journey a week ago… and the crazy thing is I don’t feel deprived at all!

I joined Curves yesterday and am finding my bs is in the 80s after a session… so that was very exciting!! I like that they give you instant feed back and the end of every session about your workout, and it is definitely geared to fat old ladies… LOL…

BadmoonT2… I love having my little hobby farm… we have chickens and Alpacas… I can’t imagine how hard puling calves is in the middle of the night in the winter… way too intense…but I sure love my critters to peices!! Mine are all pretty low maintenance but high reward :slight_smile:

I find my morning sugars are better if i really limit carbs. Here’s a recipe for flax meal muffins that is very low carb. Quick and easy to make in the microwave.

I got interested in the first transcontinental railroad several years ago. I went to see the summit tunnel at Donner Pass and walked through it in late May with a thick layer of Ice on the floor. If I recall the RR goes through Auburn just before it heads up the hill. Also drove North on the East side of the Sierras and collected some nice serpentine. Beautiful country.

Yes, we spend a lot of time up at Donner Summit… playing in the snow and going to Truckee where we bike ride and go out to dinner… it IS beautiful country… I LOVE living here!

I don’t want to interrupt this thread, but hope that you can join a discussion that I posted today about Thyroid surgery. I am not exactly sure if you have gone through this, but much of what I have been reading recently leads me to believe that you might have gone through this. There are a couple of us that are facing this issue and if you are willing to discuss your experience it may help with what we are going through. If you feel comfortable enough here is the link:

Congrats to you for taking charge of your health!! Diet changes are very hard to make. I know. I am considered "pre diabetic: due to a genetic condition that I have had all my life (congenital hyperinsulinism, or HI). I am not overweight, but was told that one way I could slow down my progression towards diabetes was to really cut back on the carbs I was eating. While my A1C was relatively normal (5.6) this was only because the lows my HI was causing (my BSL sometimes drops as low as 40) was masking the highs I was having (upwards of 230 after eating).

That all said, I’m waiting to get a second opinion from another endo, but I’ve made some drastic dietary changes that seem to be helping. I have cut out a lot of carbs (consuming less than 80 per day), and my BSLs have definitely dropped right along with it (down to about 140-160 after meals). I am still having lows, but that’s due to the HI and I can handle those because I’ve had them all my life.

For me, coffee and wine can both be dangerous in large quantities - I’ve found they can both cause a small spike in blood sugar. I don’t take any sugar in my coffee, so I’m guessing that is the effect of the caffeine. So, I drink mostly tea, although I MUST have a small cup of coffee in the AM.

I too use an app to track what I eat, although mine is an iPhone app. This has been the MOST HELPFUL part of my diet change. It’s been really helpful for me to see what I’ve consumed in carbs throughout the day, and it helps me make much better choices. I use an app that has a huge food database, which contains a lot of nutrition info for restaurant meals (Tap&Track is the app).

I have not used any homepathic remedies per se, although I did read somewhere that cinnamon can help lower BSLs. So, I’ve been trying to use recipes that use cinnamon, and I drink cinnamon tea. We shall see if this helps.

Hope this helps. The only thing I would say is KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!! Diet changes are not easy, but if you’ve gotten this far, you can keep going.

congratulation on being a cancer survivor! I’m 36 and was diagnosed w/type 2 diabetes 3 years ago. I also followed a structured meal plan eating 2 carb choices per meal (for 3 meals) and 3 snacks a day (15g to 20g per snack). By doing this and also walking almost every day (1-2 miles), I was able to lose 75 lbs. in about a year and a half. I know you said you are limited in your activity, but I think your meal plan w/lower carbs will definitely help control your blood sugar levels. I also eat around the same time every day in order to keep my blood sugar levels even. I check my bs as soon as I get up, but then I always have breakfast right away - I don’t think it matters, as long as you are fasting for about 8 hours. Not sure about the coffee or wine, but I do know that when I have a glass or two of wine, it definitely lowers my blood sugar (sometimes too much, especially if I don’t have any food with it) Good luck, I’m sure you can do anything you put your mind to!

wow… that is very encouraging!! 75 pounds… good for you. That is exactly what I am doing but I am only exercising 30 min per day for now till I work up to being able to do more. Today has been very hard… I think I am starting to get the full realization of what this all means… I walked into this praising God for the motivation to change and believing that if I ate right and exercised, I could reverse this and go back to being non-diabetic… I guess this isn’t the case. wow… what a stark reality. I didn’t even feel like exercising to day and Curves is closed on Sunday so had a pretty sedentary day (like i have for the past 7 years) and I got a 164 bs after a snack…and walking out to feed my alpacas… I normally grab an orange off our tree that is LOADED with them right now… and tonight I couldn’t do that either, especially in light of my highs today. ugh…
Your post was just what I needed to get over myself :slight_smile: thank you!!

You certainly have gotten a lot of information and varied suggestions. Soooooooo … I won’t bother to load you up on any more of it. One good thing to remember is that your attitude can do some marvelous things with your numbers. I’ve had a heck of a 2-year span so I can tell you that you can prevent future complications like mine. When I was diagnosed, I didn’t have a computer, let alone a site like this to go to. Take advantage of us here … learn what TO do and what NOT TO do.

One bit of advice I have for you is to forego the A1C test of your own. Since it is only done every 3-6 months anyway, save your money and let the DR do it and (hopefully) it will be covered by insurance. It is quite expensive to do and definitely redundant to do it at home.

Only one suggestion for a book. I like to do it with humor … look at “A Dummies’ Guide to Diabetes.” (Or something like that!)