Newly diagnosed and struggling

Hi, just joined the forum. I (34 female) was officially diagnosed last week (D Day) with an a1c of 9.8 – I started metformin last week and had ready started a healthier diet; to say I’m struggling is an understatement. I feel like I’m losing my mind – research has shown me that to feel overwhelmed is normal, that burnout and anxiety basically come with the territory, and that over time it will improve.

I know it’s only been a week, but I am so afraid that my numbers won’t go down, that I’m too far gone and nothing is going to change. I’ve already taken steps to get counseling, but haven’t heard back from anyone yet.

I don’t want to feel like this, needing to cry and unable to think about anything but the what-ifs.

ETA: just for clarification, I do have a meter, a freestyle lite. I’ve never had a problem with blood or needles (im pierced and tattooed). I also already take meds for anxiety and depression, both of which are at the max dose. My Dr doesn’t want to mess with those because up until this week, they’ve been working fine!!


The thing about diabetes is it can get better from day one. It’s a learning curve of what works for you, but changes in diet and exercise really helps turn it around. Metformin and exercise alone has improved my husband enough that he can still enjoy the foods he likes, he just he has to be more careful with how much he eats of what.

Do you have a blood glucose meter? It’s important to have one. Usually your insurance will cover one. If your insurance won’t cover it, they aren’t that expensive. Relion brand from Walmart is fairly cheap and the strips are cheaper too when cost is a factor. Contour which is one of the favored for accuracy, you can sometimes get “starter” deals from Amazon . Contour Next on their website is usually pretty good about sending out a free meter because they want you to continue to buy their strips.

You can easily tell how you are doing by your meter readings. When you first get up, that will tell you how you are starting your day. A test before you eat and 2 hours after you eat will tell you how the food you eat is affecting your BG (blood glucose) number. And hence what foods affect you more than others. I would also recommend testing before you go to bed.

The other great tool is a Libre. You wear it for 14 days and it gives you a continuous reading, you still should do some finger sticks off and on as they are more accurate. Sometimes insurance covers it, sometimes not. You still need to get a prescription for it. If you have to pay out of pocket they run $37 each for a 14 day sensor at Costco and Good RX. CGM’s (like libre) really cut down on the fingersticking and give you 24/7 readings which tells you a lot more information that you can learn from. Not everyone wants one though.

If you have changed your diet and are exercising and your numbers don’t come down. You will want to consider asking for the antibody tests and C-peptide tests to make sure you aren’t a type one. When things don’t make sense, there is always that possibility.

And the emotional state? High blood sugars can cause it. You are more likely to feel depressed, anxious and emotional with high blood sugars. Blood sugars start to change from the first day you start to change.


Marie makes a great point that you may be misdiagnosed as someone with type 2 diabetes where you may actually be a slow onset type 1 diabetic. Doctors easily make this mistake.

You can make your life and health better by learning how different foods affect your blood sugar levels. You will need at least a finger-stick meter to make this work, a continuous glucose monitor would be even better.

The tactic I’m suggesting is known as “eat to your meter.” That basically means tracking your blood sugar at mealtime and then at a few points in time following your meal, say at one and two hours. If you keep track of your numbers in a hand-written diary, it will become obvious which foods provoke the highest unhealthy blood sugars. Not everyone with diabetes reacts the same way to same foods. You need to learn you.

Good luck! I hope to read some updates on how you are doing.


JLR220, welcome to the group. I know that it is a real shock to be diagnosed as a diabetic whether type 1 or type 2. It does complicate your life, but your life can still be very good. People with diabetes can do anything that they to want these days.

I can assure you that your glucose levels will go down and you will feel good again. You were very smart to come to this website, because you will be joining a group of people who are very willing to help you reach your goals. We will answer any questions that you have. Many of us have had very high Alc’s in the past and have successfully lowered them.

I can certainly understand why you are upset, but life will be better soon.



I do have a meter, my Dr told me to check when I get up in the AM, and 2hrs after I eat. My first few checks were high, but they’ve come down a little.

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I was given a range for what’s “normal,” (90-100 upon wake up, 120-130 after meals) but I’m assuming that’s not going to happen right away.

Thank you Marilyn!! I’ve been an emotional mess this whole week and it’s just an awful feeling. I’m so afraid I’m not doing the right thing (diet, exercise) and the anxiety has been really high.


Because you are worried about doing everything right, you are reaching out and getting answers in the first week! That is fantastic, and it lets me know that you will be fine. It isn’t an overnight process, so have patience with yourself!

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That goes a long way to help me feel better, thank you


You could take dietary steps to reign in your abnormal blood sugar levels fairly quickly – more quickly than you might think. The wildcard in your case is whether you actually live with T1D or T2D. If you’re really a T1D, dietary changes are not going to help you much. It’s important that you receive an accurate diagnosis and start on insulin. Have you been blood-tested for c-peptide or for any autoantibodies? Has the doctor measured a fasting insulin level?


I’ve only had the a1c so far. I do have an appt for more blood work at the end of the month, probably to see if the metformin needs to be adjusted?? Not sure. The lab was confused when I made the appt, lol. I do know it needs to be fasting, so perhaps that will check the fasting insulin?

I’m not sure what my normal range actually is, to be honest. My first ever morning check before breakfast was 208, followed by a post meal 237. That was also on my first day of metformin. My mornings have come down, and I seem to fall into a range of 130-170.

That’s the purpose of using your blood sugar meter and keeping track of what you discover. You will be able to discover what your “normal” is. Typical wake up blood sugar for a non-diabetic is usually in the 70-99 mg/dL range. Keep in mind that “typical” does not include everyone.

In a non-diabetic and metabolically healthy person, post-meal blood sugar will typically peak at < 140 mg/dL about 1-2 hours after eating. Some foods will spike you higher and some less so.

You could call your doctor’s office and ask for a copy of what tests were ordered. I’m hoping for you that your doctor has not already made up his mind with a diagnosis and is depending heavily on your age and physical appearance. Ordering a c-peptide test (indicates how much native insulin you produce) and antibody tests (checks if autoimmunity might be playing a role in harming your pancreas) will help guide his diagnosis.

Metformin is the first drug prescribed when a doctor diagnoses T2D. If you are really T1D, your glucose control will not get better because your body needs insulin the most. I’m hoping that your doctor’s reasoning is that Metformin will not hurt you if you don’t need it and it gives him time to consider all the facts.

Or he may think it’s T2D and is proceeding down that path. If he’s right, great. If not, that makes your path harder. The C-peptide, auto-antibodies, and fasting insulin would all help to distinguish T1D from T2D.

By the way, I was diagnosed with T1D at the age of 30. There’s a common misconception that T1D is a childhood onset disease. This is just not true. More people are diagnosed with T1D over the age of 18 than under.


I’ll ask the lab when I go, apparently they had 2 orders for me, but I think one is sposed to be at the 3 month mark for an a1c recheck.

The anxiety just makes things more difficult. I’m hot, I’m cold, I’m sweaty, I’m clammy. It also makes it tough to sleep alter than like 530 (ugh).

Welcome to the site, and welcome to the confusion and worry.
It will settle down once you get better at controlling it.

I think it’s been a good idea to have your type checked and to make sure because metformin won’t help you if you are type 1.

A person your age is questionable, because most doctors will diagnose type2 just because of your age, but it’s not so definitive.

I wouldn’t worry so much about higher sugars for a while. I had sugars all over the place when I was first diagnosed.

Start off by trying to stay under 200, that is a feat on its own when you are starting out.

If your sugars get over 300, you should go back in or to a hospital because that’s when it becomes troublesome.

Otherwise know that you are already taking steps to get it managed.

Everyone here deals with the defeated feelings and the worry, so don’t be afraid to reach out, this is a friendly place


5:30 am? or 530 BG level?

Sleep can be an issue when you drop too much or climb too high. You can experience symptoms from it and also from quicker fluctuations in blood sugars. One issue you are probably getting is false low symptoms. When your body is used to higher numbers, when BG levels start to drop into more normal levels you will experience false low feelings. At a 9.8 A1c, your body is used to averaging 235. So you can feel lousy even at 150 because you are not used to it anymore. It will go away as you get used to more normal numbers.

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5:30 in the morning. My alarm for work goes off at 6:45, do I get a lovely hour of hot flashes and cold sweats before I have to get up.

Thanks Timothy. I will def ask about confirming diagnosis, though after reading through other posts regarding symptoms, I don’t think I’m T1.

It’s really just the anxiety that is effecting me the most right now. It comes in waves and is hard to get past.

Hmm…you sound like you are possibly having hormone issues. One problem diabetics have is what we call DP (dawn phenomenon) or FOTF (foot on the floor). DP is a rise in blood sugars from hormone releases getting ready to wake up for the day, usually occurring between 4-6 am. FOTF is hormone releases after you are awake.

The problem becomes as a type 1 you don’t make enough or have stopped making insulin to deal with the increase in blood sugars and as a type 2 you don’t utilize the insulin well enough that you make to deal with the increase. Plus you could have thyroid issues that can make it worse.

When I don’t take my supplements for my thyroid my DP goes through the roof. As a type 1 I have a pump that gives me extra insulin in the morning. But when it’s bad I can wake up sweating at 5:30 am and know my BG level is going to go up. If you are a type 2 I think some people have said they eat a few carbs first thing and it helps to stop it or when they thought I was a type 2 they had me eat a small amount before I went to sleep and that did help. You might have to experiment to see what works for you.

It would also explain the higher waking level of blood sugars you have mentioned. One way to tell if DP is what is happening is to wake up and test at 4:00 am to see if you are at a more “normal” level for you. FOTF you test when you first get up as the increase happens after. And you can have both.

Some type 2’s might have better information about what helps them.

I am not a professional. But I do know if you worry about the anxiety it will make it worse? You start to get anxious about the anxiety. Try not to go there, just try to accept it’s normal to feel anxious about changes. Sometimes easier said than done. There are medications of course.

You might look into passion flower. One of our favorite herbs we used to sell at our store.

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I do test when I get up after my alarm, and it tends to be higher which I do think is due to dawn phenomenon. Pre diagnosis if I woke up before my alarm I could go back to sleep, now I just lay there stewing. I try to not eat dinner so late so that it doesn’t go up so much in the morning but so far I’m still sweating.