Nutrition and exercise suggestions

I am a recently diagnosed T2D, and I also have rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. My other conditions limit my ability to exercise much because I can’t stand or walk for more than a couple minutes before the pain starts increasing. Depending on how I feel I can sometimes manage 5-10 minutes once during the day, but that usually makes the rest of the day really hard ( I have a dog and have to pace myself as hubby travels for work and I am alone. I don’t like to ask the neighbors for help unless it’s an emergency.

I also have trouble cooking or preparing anything that takes more than a couple minutes. I can’t do any chopping and opening jar or cans is hard because of my arthritis ( very bad joints in hands, hips and knees. Pain in most other joints is bad but not as bad as the other three). I am having a very hard time managing my blood sugar given my limitations. It seems I am either too high or too low. I take glyburide, 5mg in the morning and 500mg of metformin twice a day.

I am tired of lean cuisine ( lower carb ones), sandwiches, and protein bars. My husband shops and tries to get things that equal 45 carbs for meals and 15 for snack which is what I was told to do.

Is there a pool nearby? I teach water aerobics and it is a great way to work out when you have arthritis and fibro (my mom has fibro). An indoor pool is best as the water temperature is warm.

Outside of the pool, I suggest Silver Sneakers which can be done in a chair. Many gyms offer these classes which are often subsidized by health insurance.

Both classes are fun and social too.

I am not taking meds at this time (T2), but am managing by following a High Fat, Low Carb diet. My cholesterol numbers are the best ever as are my husband’s (he is doing the diet too). We dine on fish/meat, dairy, nuts and “grown-above-ground” vegetables.

My blood glucose numbers are stable and are now considered “normal” by my doctor. It is just one more thing to consider.

Best of luck to you!

Have you seen a physical therapist who could help you determine what you could do? I do water aerobics and have several people with these conditions in my class. Water helps them feel better. Could your husband chop vegetables,have salad greens in bags for the week so you could have some salads. Ask him to buy some steam in the bag vegetables .they are in the frozen foods. Just pop in the microwave. Yogurt,cheeses , crackers are good snacks or lite lunches. Have you met with the dietitian to help plan meals for your needs? Have you looked into having someone drop off a few meals all cooked for you on various days? Sometimes we need to think outside the box. You might also check with an occupational therapist ,she could suggest some adaptive equipment for doing things like opening jars and cans. Hope this helps,nancy

LauraLin -

Just curious..with your RA are you taking any steroids- perhaps chronically to help maintain your RA in check? If you matter what you do...might not be able to get your BS but so controlled.

As for exercise - really enjoy swimming...its a great feeling to be weightless for a little bit. My fellow co-worker who also has RA and I took water aerobics...might want to try that.

Good luck!

Cyclinglady: your meal plan sounds interesting to me. Could you give me an idea of some typical meals for you? I’m also going to look into the silver sneakers.

Twinchick22: I should see a physical therapist. I have gone to a diabetes class that the diabetes education center associated with he clinic all my doctors are part of put on. I tried to ask questions but they really didn’t answer my questions. I see an endocrinologist a week from Friday and will ask him some specific medical issues I’m having. I could pop in to see the dietician then. The education center office is on the same floor. I do use the steamfresh bags. This week I am going along (there is a bench by the pharmacy I sit on and it’s near the frozen foods at the end of his shopping. So I can see varieties )

Krztina: I can’t take steroids. They send my blood glucose to dangerous levels. They are partly to blame for my A1C three months ago being 11. My rheumatologist checked my blood sugar along with a few other tests checking liver function and inflammation levels. He called me the evening after my blood work was done, right after the lab called him. My blood sugar was 475. He prescribed glyburide to help while I got into my pcp. He used to give me a medrol dose pack when I was going to travel or in bad pain but he said no more.

Oh my LauraL. Those of us with multiple chronic illnesses are like a big jigsaw puzzle. And, just as you are doing here, a lot of the time we need to figure out what works for ourselves.

As a dancer, my first of 3 knee surgeries was at 16 and so I have regular old osteoarthritis in several joints. Fibromyalgia was diagnosed in 1996 and ended my 40-year dance career---largely due to the unpredictability of fatigue and fibrofogs---I was, after all quite accustomed to all manner of aches & pains--but can't schedule rehearsals with such unpredictability. Now there is also hypothyroidism and the beginning of liver problems, even though my D is tightly controlled. So I am also a poster child for the diabolical whimsy of our common scourge, The D!....

It took me years to figure out how to exercise anymore. As others have said, swimming is fantastic, but not easily accessible for me. I have evolved a number of different gentle workouts: grunt work with a little weight work & resistance bands specifically for my knees & the rotator cuff injury I sustained in a fall--these I learned from PT sessions and have kept at. A little Tai Chi--excellent. A series I can do in a chair, if standing is painful (my left foot has nerve damage). And a dancey part that means being transported by some loved piece of music, even if all you can do is sway and swing your arms around. I can also stretch out in many ways in a nice hot bath. And I have developed walking routes that can take 10" to 45" depending on the type of day. And they all give me social interactions which are very important to our general sanity: Pretty gardens and nice neighbors and furry friends for whom I have one pocket of dog treats and one of cat treats.

You don't do all these things all the time! I think of it this way: Okay how do I feel and what kind of day does it look like: Click on Menu: Choose from Menu which couple of options seem possible. Adapt.....

I'll check in again tomorrow with some food ideas and workarounds. Spontaneity is dead to you now, but Guess What? There's lots of space for flexibility! Don't despair. We are all here to help!...Judith in Portland

I like grilled meat and fresh veggies, maybe some minced onions and brussels sprouts. If chopping's tough, Trader Joe's sells a mirrepoix (carrots/ onions/ celery) that would go with the sprouts for some flavor, along with whatever sort of spices you like. Same thing with grilled meat. I've sort of burnt my daughter out on it in the first half of the summer but when it's BBQ season, I pretty much eat that and it's not too many carbs...

I would try a heated pool if you can. I have mild fybro and the high bg makes it worse. I would also do moist heat/tens/gentle exercise if you can. I had injuries and at one point, also like you, could barely move around and do things like chopping/typing etc. Maybe get pre-chopped veggies as others have suggested. I did that a lot. It is only recently that I have started chopping them myself again now. Red wine helps me alot as a natural anti-inflammatory and arnica has helped me too. Sometimes I have to take the other ones but I try to avoid them as they're hard on your organs.

Amy's makes some nice precooked preservative free frozen meals.

My friend with bad arthritis does her exercises in a spa. She finds the heat gives her a lot of relief and helps her mobility. She also does tai chi, Dr. Paul Lam does excellent tai chi dvds that you can sit to do in front of your tv at home.
Good luck,

I second the Tai Chi suggestion, and the DVDs mentioned are good. Also ones by David Durion Ross.

They contain simple slow motion movements that can be done standing or sitting. My 80+ year old parents have started to do this with improvement in balance and strength and range of motion.

I love tai chi, so I will definitely check out dr. Paul lam. Swimming isn’t really accessible to me right now. Our neighborhood pool is not heated and when it’s warm enough it’s swarming with loud children which I just can’t tolerate in those numbers. I also can’t drive right now between the narcotics I take for pain and the crazy stuff D has done to my eyes. My husband is only home on weekends and already does so much. There is a possibility of having a friend join me this winter both her and her 3 year old love to swim and it would be fun and good exercise to play in the pool. I can handle children in small numbers but neither of us can afford that right now.

I will check out Amy’s. I have had them before and like them. I do walk some everyday with my dog. How far depends on what’s hurting and how bad – some days my upper body hurts more and on those days I can take my dog farther. (Fortunately I have wonderful neighbors who help with the dog on bad days (he is a small terrier who gets on well with their golden retriever and it’s easy for them to take my little dog on a walk with theirs)

Thanks for all the great ideas. This group is so much kinder and more helpful than the Facebook group I tried. Some of the people on that were a bit mean.

Have you tried exercise bands? You may find that using the bands and employing isometric exercises work much better with your joint problems. Weight lifting also may be tolerable, particularly protocols like "Slow Burn."

I also would recommend you explore a low carb diet. You don't "have to eat carbs." There are many off-the-shelf and easily prepared foods that fit a low carb diet. I really like rotisserie chicken and you can always get all kinds of things already cut on stuff at the salad bars at groceries. I also cook in large quantities and then have frozen and refrigerated leftovers for many meals from a single cooked dish.

Hi LauraLin. I go to a gym-fitness center that takes Silver Sneakers, which is a free program. This fitness center does not have a pool, but it has a NuStep 4000 exercise machine. This Nustep is rather like a recumbent bicycle, using your arms and legs. With a recovering displaced shoulder and very arthritic arms and legs (one knee is a total replacement), I find it is perfect for me. Best luck.

There are lots of recipe ideas for simple low carb, high fat meals out there. The key is adding fat back into your diet to keep you satiated and to keep your blood sugar constant.

I am going camping, so I will be eating lots of meat and veggies with lots of butter (cheating as we will be in an RV). On the road, I buy those frozen veggies that can go right into the micro. I get plenty of fiber from my veggies which I consume even for breakfast! Eating things like eggs, bacon and cheese for breakfast will keep you full. Basically I just eat to my meter. If I get a spike, then I ban that food from my diet. It works for me.

I forgot to add this: here is a good recipe for a very easy low carb gluten free breakfast: 1-2 T Chia Seeds & Flax Seeds, 1/4 C Blueberries or another berry, Pure Stevia Extract. Add some Heavy Cream. All you need to do is add some boiling water to the seeds and let them sit for a bit, then add the berries, stevia and Cream. This is great oatmeal substitute.

My CDE recommended this with either peanut butter or another fat for treating dp which I haven't tried yet. I have had this with a boiled egg & some veggies & cheese(another easy low carb option) for breakfast/brunch the past 3 days and it is delish!

For DP you need to have this around midnight with no bolus before you go to sleep and it can trick your liver into not releasing so much glycogen. I hope it will work for me when I get the chance to try it for that- I have been up all night working the past few nights and had a later dinner but I will try it soon.

when someone has diabetes they have a problem with they pancreas. the pancreas creates insulin which is used to take the sugar from your blood and put it to work in your muscles.

type 1 diabetics pancreas have stopped producing insulin altogether, type 2 ppl still produce some insulin, but not enough. i

insulin is not something you get from food. only your body makes that. this is why diabetic must control the intake of sugar, including all forms, such as fructose etc. your b


I have RA, fibromyalgia, Graves disease, and diabetes. I am in the same boat that you are in, but the best thing for me is a low carb diet, stretching exercises, and plenty of rest. Many people don't understand that the lack of a restful sleep can cause weight gain and/or the lack of weight loss. In addition, my RA meds do not help my diabetes so I have to work hard to keep my diabetes under control through diet and exercise. It's a balancing act to say the least. I cannot do weights or any strenuous movements with my joints; but, stretching has helped my flexibility and range of motion at great deal. In turn, it's given me the ability to feel ok, enough to move more.

As others have said, once you go low carb you will not even think about eating a "regular" sandwich with the bread. If I eat starchy foods I can feel a flare coming on.