Hey RTurner57 – welcome to TuDiabetes. People here have been an awesome resource and support group for me since I joined up – I was kinda freaking out and feeling very stressed about it. I feel much better now.
If your A1C is 7.4, that means that your average blood glucose for the two or three months before your test was 166. That’s too high but not awful.
As a type 2, the best thing you can do for yourself is to get some exercise every day. Exercise decreases insulin resistance and will bring your A1C down. Even if your leg is holding you back from doing aerobic stuff, doing free weights (lats, pecs, biceps, triceps, etc.) will still give you value in terms of lowering your insulin resistance.
Learning to watch out for and avoid too many carbs could very well take you the rest of the way to a normalized A1C. It won’t change your genes – we’ll always have diabetic genes. But exercise and avoiding too many carbs – plus the metformin – might be all you need to get back into the safe BG zone (A1C under 6) and avoid diabetic complications for life.
You may need insulin injections some day, but my doctor recently said something that made sense to me, “You could just inject more and more insulin to overcome your insulin resistance, but it would be better for your long-term health to eat a healthier diet and get more exercise, so you need to inject as little insulin as possible.” For me, healthier means very low carb and watching my portion sizes (not overeating low-carb foods).
There is a bit of a debate going on right now about how many carbs are good, but I think that eating around 45 grams per day is about right for me – that works out to 10 for breakfast and 15 each for lunch and dinner. I’m trying to get most of my carbs from green vegetables (broccoli, lettuce, asparagus, cabbage, etc.) and almost none from grains like rice or corn, starchy veggies like potatoes or flour products such as pasta, pizza, bread, etc. If you’re young and very active, you might not need to go that low. Some people go as low as 20.
The way to find out is to test, test, test, test. Write down what you eat and then test at one hour and two hours. You’ll quickly see what you can and cannot tolerate.