Diabetes Diagnosis, In Shock

Posted by babette @babette, Mar 26 2:45am

Some background: Once upon a time I was a healthy, active, 60 year old woman. I had low back pain, which I addressed by the occasional cortisone injection, and MS, in remission for years. My R knee began to be painful 2 years ago, and I had a total R knee replacement. The surgeon botched it, the device failed and I had to have another complete TKR on the same knee.

Next up was a long workup for ankylosing spondylitis, which I was diagnosed with one day, then diabetes the next day!

I'm a good cook but pain makes it hard for me to stand for periods of time. I think I know what I need to do, but when I ate high protein, low carb over the past couple of days I was **starving.** I am completely lost, I never thought I would become diabetic and here I am. I don't even now when to take my glucose readings. My dh is also a diabetic so I'm v. concerned for both of us.

Positive things I've done: I'm planning weight loss surgery which is probably the best thing I can do for all of my health problems; I've made 8 PT appointments for the AS; made an appointment for private yoga sessions, and I have a stationary bike.

I would love to hear about what have been your best resources for dealing with this head on?

@astaingegerdm

@trellg132 – It is very difficult to know what and how you should eat. This is why you need specialized help from someone trained in diabetes nutrition.

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Like 45 carbs meal i think it was

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@astaingegerdm

@babette – Welcome to Mayo Connect! I know you are in shock- I was there too. After 60 it seemed as if the warranty on my body ran out! I had also tried to live a healthy, active life. Genetics play a large role. I realized that I had inherited many of my father’s health problems, diabetes one of them.
After spending 10 years dealing with autoimmune and other issues I was well enough to deal with the diabetes. I knew I had to lose weight. My daughter had lost a lot of weight doing a low carb, high protein diet. I joined a program locally. It was very tough the first 2 weeks. I craved my carbs so bad! It got much easier and the pounds disappeared. I was never hungry. I ate a fairly similar diet as I did before minus all my beloved carbs! 45 lbs in a few months. My blood sugar was much lower and steady so I could go off my diabetes medicine and continue controlling it through my diet. You measure your fasting blood sugar- after you wake up. Keep a record.
There are many ways to eat to reach the same result- I was happy to like my diet since it did not vary much from my regular diet.
What does your doctor say?
My doctor told me that nowadays diabetes is considered a cardiovascular illness..that scared me.
The local hospitals usually have diabetes educators- check it out.
Moderate physical activity is important too.
Don’t wait! You can do it!

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I often was annoyed at well meaning people telling me what I could eat, as though I was too uneducated to figure it out. I learned to hate the idea of angel food cake and would rather not have any cake at all than that gummy stuff. The only gummy food I like is no-cal Jello, sometimes with no fat cream cheese on top. I eat it for the flavor and I also have a cheese cake recipe with Truvia or Stevia in it. But I need crunchiness to be happy. Romaine lettuce has more flavor and more nutrition than any other lettuce. It needs to be dark green to be healthy for you. I am not giving up yummy food. I just don't have room for dessert after I have eaten all those veggies and some protein. Milk fills in the holes quit well and satisfies my hunger. And it metabolizes slowly so you last longer without eating. I repeat, I am not sacrificing or doing without. I continue to explore new foods I have never tried, skipping the sushi, however. Dorisena

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@trellg132

Like 45 carbs meal i think it was

Jump to this post

Three carbs per meal at 15 grams per serving, more or less, is a good goal. You count milk as a carb in some plans. AIt gets better. nice big bun is two servings, usually. Read the labels. In the beginning, if you are still hungry, by all means eat something but not carbs. Try nuts or cheese in small amounts. Yeah, I know, it is fattening, but at least you aren't suffering and complaining.

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@astaingegerdm

@babette – Welcome to Mayo Connect! I know you are in shock- I was there too. After 60 it seemed as if the warranty on my body ran out! I had also tried to live a healthy, active life. Genetics play a large role. I realized that I had inherited many of my father’s health problems, diabetes one of them.
After spending 10 years dealing with autoimmune and other issues I was well enough to deal with the diabetes. I knew I had to lose weight. My daughter had lost a lot of weight doing a low carb, high protein diet. I joined a program locally. It was very tough the first 2 weeks. I craved my carbs so bad! It got much easier and the pounds disappeared. I was never hungry. I ate a fairly similar diet as I did before minus all my beloved carbs! 45 lbs in a few months. My blood sugar was much lower and steady so I could go off my diabetes medicine and continue controlling it through my diet. You measure your fasting blood sugar- after you wake up. Keep a record.
There are many ways to eat to reach the same result- I was happy to like my diet since it did not vary much from my regular diet.
What does your doctor say?
My doctor told me that nowadays diabetes is considered a cardiovascular illness..that scared me.
The local hospitals usually have diabetes educators- check it out.
Moderate physical activity is important too.
Don’t wait! You can do it!

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Thanks for this empathy and support! I know I can do it but, like you, once I hit 60 I could not believe so many health issues would come my way. My parents lived in good health until nearly 90, so I think of 60ish as still young. My doctor is fully supportive of my newly adopted eating plan: mostly plants, seeds, nuts sometimes chicken or fish, olive oil. She's also very supportive of my weight loss surgery plans – that program takes a while so if I can have my surgery I by the end of summer I'll be thrilled. And who knows how much I'll lose in the meantime? 🙂 As if this isn't enough I have ankylosing spondylitis so exercise has been challenging; I'm starting PT in April. And will increase my moving from there!

Thanks again for your kind post!

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@babette

Thanks for this empathy and support! I know I can do it but, like you, once I hit 60 I could not believe so many health issues would come my way. My parents lived in good health until nearly 90, so I think of 60ish as still young. My doctor is fully supportive of my newly adopted eating plan: mostly plants, seeds, nuts sometimes chicken or fish, olive oil. She's also very supportive of my weight loss surgery plans – that program takes a while so if I can have my surgery I by the end of summer I'll be thrilled. And who knows how much I'll lose in the meantime? 🙂 As if this isn't enough I have ankylosing spondylitis so exercise has been challenging; I'm starting PT in April. And will increase my moving from there!

Thanks again for your kind post!

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Hi, @babette It's nice to "see" you again, although I am sorry for the circumstances that now bring you back to Connect.

I was diagnosed with diabetes back around 2009 I think. I lost a lot of weight and have almost maintained that (I have some extra pandemic pounds right now that I'm trying to lose) and now my A1c ranges from 4.6 – 5.5! Weight loss makes a huge difference. I try to keep my carbs somewhat low but I do not skip them entirely anymore.

I was not familiar with ankylosing spondylitis so I just googled it. I am sure it does make exercise more difficult but hopefully, the physical therapist you use will be able to give you some exercises that you can do successfully. I do cardio exercises daily and do some form of weights at least every other day. Cardio is important to me because everyone in my family has died from heart problems, plus it burns more calories. If there are any of those that you can do that would probably help with weight loss and your A1c but of course, check with the physical therapist.

I hope you will let us know how things are progressing.
JK

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@contentandwell

Hi, @babette It's nice to "see" you again, although I am sorry for the circumstances that now bring you back to Connect.

I was diagnosed with diabetes back around 2009 I think. I lost a lot of weight and have almost maintained that (I have some extra pandemic pounds right now that I'm trying to lose) and now my A1c ranges from 4.6 – 5.5! Weight loss makes a huge difference. I try to keep my carbs somewhat low but I do not skip them entirely anymore.

I was not familiar with ankylosing spondylitis so I just googled it. I am sure it does make exercise more difficult but hopefully, the physical therapist you use will be able to give you some exercises that you can do successfully. I do cardio exercises daily and do some form of weights at least every other day. Cardio is important to me because everyone in my family has died from heart problems, plus it burns more calories. If there are any of those that you can do that would probably help with weight loss and your A1c but of course, check with the physical therapist.

I hope you will let us know how things are progressing.
JK

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JK! So good to see you here. I hope all has been well for you.

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It is nice to see that everyone finds a way to deal with a diabetes diet that is suitable for that person. It is not realistic to follow a diet that is totally different from a diet that has been comfortable for years. We just have to tweak it some.

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If you feel better after eating a different diet, you don't miss some of the heavy food we ate in years past. I guess i was always trying new recipes and changing menus and my family enjoyed most of it. The hired man would eat any vegetable if you put cheese on it. Well, not beets, of course. They bought me a wok for Christmas and i spent an hour each night cutting up food and tossing it in the wok. They didn't know what it was, but they liked it when it was flavored with soy sauce. They liked left over beef, chicken and shrimp tossed with the veggies. i like soup made with left-overs and flavored with bouillion.
Milk based soups have good flavor when flavored with chicken bouillion. I guess i tweaked a lot of leftovers in that wok. Dorisena

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@babette

JK! So good to see you here. I hope all has been well for you.

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Things have been as good as they can be considering the more than a year of isolation we have endured.

I hope your physical therapist is good, they can vary a lot. I've had horrible ones and good ones.
JK

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On physical therapists, I had a terrible ones at nursing homes, even though the first place had employees with college degrees. The second one had a terrible one who couldn't possibly graduated college and he didn't attend to the patient very well at all. The third place had good therapists, but they wanted to address my mental status and I challenged them on that because they knew nothing of my status or mental ability. The place I choose to go has done an excellent job in the past and were very tough on me, bringing me to tears at times, but they made progress and the pain stopped. Now that I have pain again, I am willing to listen to their advice and treatment knowing that my body is declining at age 85. I must keep at it or be in a wheel chair, it seems. Dorisena

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@dorisena

Three carbs per meal at 15 grams per serving, more or less, is a good goal. You count milk as a carb in some plans. AIt gets better. nice big bun is two servings, usually. Read the labels. In the beginning, if you are still hungry, by all means eat something but not carbs. Try nuts or cheese in small amounts. Yeah, I know, it is fattening, but at least you aren't suffering and complaining.

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Dorisena, perhaps your math is slightly off on your last reply.

Babette: Yes, as previously mentioned, 45 grams of total carbs per meal is a good way to plan. Learn to read the carbs on labels, or use one of the many sites on the web that tell how many carbs are in the things you eat.

Too little carbs mean not enough energy, and sets other body issues in motion to try to raise its own blood sugar. Too many carbs means higher blood sugar readings.

On labels, read the number of servings per pack, as that is one way that food companies try to hide the actual amount. For instance, a frozen food entree should contain one meal for you of a net amount of 45 carbs (total carbs in package minus fiber).

By the way, I eat a lot of meat because I have other conditions that require lots of protein. You have to find what works for you and satisfies your dietary needs and your own wants.

Make certain you stay active in exercising, etc as that will make a huge part in helping you manage things.

Additionally one item to look at in the future is glycemic loads, and glycemic indexes. I wish you all the best in your new lifelong journey.

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@howardm

Dorisena, perhaps your math is slightly off on your last reply.

Babette: Yes, as previously mentioned, 45 grams of total carbs per meal is a good way to plan. Learn to read the carbs on labels, or use one of the many sites on the web that tell how many carbs are in the things you eat.

Too little carbs mean not enough energy, and sets other body issues in motion to try to raise its own blood sugar. Too many carbs means higher blood sugar readings.

On labels, read the number of servings per pack, as that is one way that food companies try to hide the actual amount. For instance, a frozen food entree should contain one meal for you of a net amount of 45 carbs (total carbs in package minus fiber).

By the way, I eat a lot of meat because I have other conditions that require lots of protein. You have to find what works for you and satisfies your dietary needs and your own wants.

Make certain you stay active in exercising, etc as that will make a huge part in helping you manage things.

Additionally one item to look at in the future is glycemic loads, and glycemic indexes. I wish you all the best in your new lifelong journey.

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Howard, perhaps there is a misunderstanding on my math. I was taught to count the grams of carbs and originally eat ten to 12 servings of carbs at 15 g. each which totals 180. This is too high for me, so I cut down to 10 servings per day. Even 150 grams is high and I have lowered that goal in the past few years. A Texas nutritionist guru recommends much lower levels but that is not sustainable for me.
My blood sugar has been below 100 the past two days even with a huge dinner the night before. I am pretty happy about it all after 15 years of change and better health. I am only taking one Metformin after dinner and plan to drop that this summer when my garden is producing. I can now eat thin spaghetti with my homemade tomato sauce with no sugar spike. I am beating back diabetes. Dorisena

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