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Earleen
@earlyrn

Posts: 3
Joined: Nov 15, 2018

New diagnosis of Diabetes; want to improve by evening habits

Posted by @earlyrn, Wed, Nov 14 10:04pm

Good evening. I am a retired RN, and although it seems like I should understand this disease, and know how to take care of myself, I am a patient , who is dealing with a new medical problem, and not really sure what to do. I was recently diagnosed ( about 8 weeks ago.) A1C was 13.5 and the first blood sugar check was 480. I am better controlled today, but only because I am on Tresiba. I am having a hard time with food control at night, I have always been a person who snacked in the evening, I am on the high end of normal for my BMI, but I have a family history with Diabetes. I am active and have always taken walks with my dog daily. 2-3 miles. Also biking and swimming. So I think my activity is good, but I need help with my evening bad habits.

REPLY

We have some things in common–my A1C was over 11 when they found my diabetes 6 years ago. I, too, am pretty active; walking 5 days a week, 150 minutes total. And, I also love to have late-night snacks. Since you are retired nurse, you could easily understand a book I will recommend to you, it is called Understanding Diabetes by–H. Peter Chase 11 edition. It has a picture of the cartoon character The Pink Panther on it, but make no mistake about it, it is an excellent book. My wife is a PNP, and this book came highly recommended by a doctor at her hospital. Try to limit your late-night snack to 15 carbs and 7 grams of protein–that is what the book recommended. Anymore and you will see it rise a whole lot the next morning. I sometimes have 30 carbs for a late-night snack, but always "forget" to check the next morning–o.k., I "forget" on purpose, because it will be very high. Best of luck to you my friend. Will keep you in my prayers!

Trying to control carbs was the worst period of my life and i am sure for everyone around me. I found the book "Wheat Belly". I followed the program eliminating all grains. It was easier than limiting for me. I have reversed the diabetes and no longer take medication. All worth it. I feel great.

@earlyrn, Welcome to Connect, the Diabetes/Endocrine System group. We try to help each other and explain what works for us. This disease is difficult because it is different for everyone, and what works for one person may not work for someone else. As a nurse, you probably understand the terminology and ranges already.
Do you have an endocrinologist? Many of them recommend a dietitian who can help with your individual meal plan. They can suggest snacks for you to try. I am a relatively new diabetic (2 1/2 years). As a teacher, I started with the best: Mayo Clinic information. I purchased The Mayo Clinic Diabetes Diet, which is a wonderful paperback book that guides a new diabetic through the good and bad of foods. It also has a 14 day menu and tips for eating. I also researched everything I could find on the internet so that I would be knowledgeable about what I wanted to discuss with my endocrinologist. I also recently purchased The Pink Panther book recommended by @chocolate5lover. I have not had time to read it yet; the holidays have taken over, but as January comes in I will have time to read that source.
My A1C was at the highest 6.1 and it was 6.0 at the last dr. visit. My daily blood draw averages 118-120. My endo calls me a controlled diabetic because my numbers are all within range and I take no medicine. My A1C was 5.9 one time last year, and I said, "I guess I'm cured." He said, "That doesn't happen: Once a diabetic, always a diabetic" because the damage has been done and has to be kept within the range that works for each patient.
As a nurse, you have exercise already in your routine; you need to find something for snacking. I wouldn't try to guess, I check the web for carbs and calories, especially. Before you decide to snack or eat anything, can you see an endocrinologist? They have the best answers and can steer you to a dietician who can help you personalize your diet. I hope you can get to a specialist in Diabetes and have your blood profile run and get the information you need for eating. It is a hard disease because so many factors play into it, but if you learn the ropes, so to speak, you can get along with it and not experience trouble.
I'd love to hear from you again. This site in Connect is the place to get help. Connect gave me the suggestions and made diabetes tolerable.
I look forward to hearing from you again to see what you find out.
Come in any time.
@retiredteacher
Volunteer Mentor

Hello @earlyrn

All of us with a diagnosis of diabetes understand your difficulties adjusting to a diabetic lifestyle. As Carol, @retiredteacher, said make sure that you see an endocrinologist and get set up for an appointment with a dietician. A dietician can work with you to develop a good plan for times when you are used to eating foods that are not the best for you. A good dietician can help you prepare for those snacking times and offer you suggestions.

You can also subscribe to Mayo's newsletters about Healthy Diet and Diabetes. Here is one http://diet.mayoclinic.org/diet/eat/how-to-eat-more-and-lose-weight?xid=nl_MayoClinicDiet_20181115,

It sounds as if your activity level is good and that is a big plus for you. Activity is really important to keep blood sugar lowered.

Do you have any other health problems associated with your diabetes? Is your vision and kidney function OK?

@chocolate5lover

We have some things in common–my A1C was over 11 when they found my diabetes 6 years ago. I, too, am pretty active; walking 5 days a week, 150 minutes total. And, I also love to have late-night snacks. Since you are retired nurse, you could easily understand a book I will recommend to you, it is called Understanding Diabetes by–H. Peter Chase 11 edition. It has a picture of the cartoon character The Pink Panther on it, but make no mistake about it, it is an excellent book. My wife is a PNP, and this book came highly recommended by a doctor at her hospital. Try to limit your late-night snack to 15 carbs and 7 grams of protein–that is what the book recommended. Anymore and you will see it rise a whole lot the next morning. I sometimes have 30 carbs for a late-night snack, but always "forget" to check the next morning–o.k., I "forget" on purpose, because it will be very high. Best of luck to you my friend. Will keep you in my prayers!

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Thank you for the info. on the book, and the suggestion for following my nighttime carbs. I am working hard at getting this disease under control.

@hopeful33250

Hello @earlyrn

All of us with a diagnosis of diabetes understand your difficulties adjusting to a diabetic lifestyle. As Carol, @retiredteacher, said make sure that you see an endocrinologist and get set up for an appointment with a dietician. A dietician can work with you to develop a good plan for times when you are used to eating foods that are not the best for you. A good dietician can help you prepare for those snacking times and offer you suggestions.

You can also subscribe to Mayo's newsletters about Healthy Diet and Diabetes. Here is one http://diet.mayoclinic.org/diet/eat/how-to-eat-more-and-lose-weight?xid=nl_MayoClinicDiet_20181115,

It sounds as if your activity level is good and that is a big plus for you. Activity is really important to keep blood sugar lowered.

Do you have any other health problems associated with your diabetes? Is your vision and kidney function OK?

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Teresa, I will take your suggestions about seeing a endocrinologist and Dietician.

@earlyrn I thought I would see if you were able to get an endocrinologist appointment. He/she really needs to check your blood profile and tell you what is in or out of range. There's no guessing in diabetes. For example, I like bananas and thought they were healthy, but for me they aren't. They raise my potassium level so I have a banana only once in a blue moon. There are other reveals from the blood profile that help the dietician determine what will work for you. One of the main things is to control the numbers, I know it's the holidays, and it may take longer to get an appointment, but as a nurse maybe you have some pull. Will you try to make an appointment soon? If you get snacking under control since you already exercise, you may not have much more to do to control your diabetes. I'd love to know what you find out when you've had you appointment. I hope you get in and come away with what you need to help you.
@retiredteacher, Carol
Volunteer Mentor

Hi @earlyrn, I wanted to add my welcome. You'll notice that I modified the title of this discussion to correspond with the question you asked and help bring more people into this conversation who may benefit from the great advice you're getting from others.

You may also be interested in reading information shared in these discussions:
* My Diabetes 2 Backwards Numbers—Anyone else? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/my-diabetes-2-backwards-numbers-anyone-else/
* Another confused starter https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/another-confused-starter/

Have you been able to make small changes to your evening habits since first posting on Connect?

@retiredteacher

@earlyrn I thought I would see if you were able to get an endocrinologist appointment. He/she really needs to check your blood profile and tell you what is in or out of range. There's no guessing in diabetes. For example, I like bananas and thought they were healthy, but for me they aren't. They raise my potassium level so I have a banana only once in a blue moon. There are other reveals from the blood profile that help the dietician determine what will work for you. One of the main things is to control the numbers, I know it's the holidays, and it may take longer to get an appointment, but as a nurse maybe you have some pull. Will you try to make an appointment soon? If you get snacking under control since you already exercise, you may not have much more to do to control your diabetes. I'd love to know what you find out when you've had you appointment. I hope you get in and come away with what you need to help you.
@retiredteacher, Carol
Volunteer Mentor

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@retiredteacher Carol, I know of course that bananas are high in carbs, but I had no idea that the potassium in them was a problem. Is that just a problem for you, or a problem for diabetics? I do eat bananas, generally only a half at a time because of the carbs, but no one ever said I should not. In fact I have mentioned it to my endocrinologist and he didn't comment on bananas at all except for the high carbs.
JK

Liked by chocolate5lover

@contentandwell

@retiredteacher Carol, I know of course that bananas are high in carbs, but I had no idea that the potassium in them was a problem. Is that just a problem for you, or a problem for diabetics? I do eat bananas, generally only a half at a time because of the carbs, but no one ever said I should not. In fact I have mentioned it to my endocrinologist and he didn't comment on bananas at all except for the high carbs.
JK

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@contentandwell JK. I had no ideal about potassium either. When I first went to my endocrinologist and he ran all the tests, especially the blood profile, my potassium level was out of range. Potassium is good for the body as an electrolyte and keeps muscle cramps at bay; however with diabetes, potassium outside the range is really BAD for kidneys. Since I've had some kidney problems, he told me to stop eating bananas. So I did and the next appointment, my potassium was in range. He told me a banana once in a while would be okay, but not as a regular fruit choice. Other foods are potassium sources, and I avoid them too. I don't want to weaken my kidneys any more than they already are. Ask your dr. about it. You may not have to be careful of that.
@retiredteacher, Carol
Volunteer Mentor

@contentandwell, JK I don't know if it's just a problem for diabetics or if it is a problem when the amount in the body is too much. I never knew anything about it until I was diagnosed with diabetes 2 and my endo did the profile. My potassium was out of range. I didn't ask him if all diabetics have this problem or just me. At the time I knew so little about diabetes that I was still in the mindset of not even knowing what to ask. I don't see him again until February I'll ask him then or I imagine you could Google and find the info. I bet Mayo has information on it too.
@retiredteacher, Carol
Volunteer Mentor

@retiredteacher

@contentandwell, JK I don't know if it's just a problem for diabetics or if it is a problem when the amount in the body is too much. I never knew anything about it until I was diagnosed with diabetes 2 and my endo did the profile. My potassium was out of range. I didn't ask him if all diabetics have this problem or just me. At the time I knew so little about diabetes that I was still in the mindset of not even knowing what to ask. I don't see him again until February I'll ask him then or I imagine you could Google and find the info. I bet Mayo has information on it too.
@retiredteacher, Carol
Volunteer Mentor

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@contentandwell @retiredteacher I was a diabetic for several years and no one said anything about bananas or potassium. It was not until I was diagnosed with CKD that I had to watch my intake of potassium (and sodium and phosphorus) because my kidneys couldn't handle it.

@marvinjsturing

@contentandwell @retiredteacher I was a diabetic for several years and no one said anything about bananas or potassium. It was not until I was diagnosed with CKD that I had to watch my intake of potassium (and sodium and phosphorus) because my kidneys couldn't handle it.

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@marvinjsturing I knew nothing of potassium's role until my endocrinologist ran my blood profile. If it's in normal range, then there apparently is no problem, but mine was too much over, so that was one of the items he told me to avoid. I think mine does have to do with my kidneys and the carbs in bananas. I still eat one occasionally. They are good for my husband's heart disease, so what's good for him doesn't work for me.
I haven't had time to research yet with the holidays, but eventually I'm going to check it out, and see what's going on. Then when I go for my appointment, I'll ask my endo.
@retiredteacher, Carol
Volunteer Mentor

@retiredteacher

@contentandwell JK. I had no ideal about potassium either. When I first went to my endocrinologist and he ran all the tests, especially the blood profile, my potassium level was out of range. Potassium is good for the body as an electrolyte and keeps muscle cramps at bay; however with diabetes, potassium outside the range is really BAD for kidneys. Since I've had some kidney problems, he told me to stop eating bananas. So I did and the next appointment, my potassium was in range. He told me a banana once in a while would be okay, but not as a regular fruit choice. Other foods are potassium sources, and I avoid them too. I don't want to weaken my kidneys any more than they already are. Ask your dr. about it. You may not have to be careful of that.
@retiredteacher, Carol
Volunteer Mentor

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@retiredteacher I just went and checked my test results — I have just about every test possible every month for my transplant team. My potassium is within range, going from 3.5 some months up to 3.9 sometimes. The range is 3.5 to 5.3 so bananas are definitely not a problem for me — only the carbs in them are a problem. I do try to fit them into my carb allowance because they really are good for you.

They keep an eye on my kidneys also because the immunosuppressants have made my creatinine go a bit high. I have to drink 80 – 100 ounces of water a day to keep them flushed. My creatinine number is still slightly higher than range but low enough that it is acceptable. Not much they can do about it, they have tried two different immunosuppressants and the one I am on apparently is less problematic.
JK

As a diabetic myself, I can relate to some of the problems we have. I take Tradjenta once a day, Novolog before meals, and Basaglar at bedtime. If I don't have a reasonable (yeah, I know, what does reasonable mean) bedtime snack apparently my liver kicks in and makes too much glucose overnight. Have been on this regimen several months and A1Cs have been normal as well as finger sticks.

My biggest problem is dietary because I'm also in stage 3 renal disease and must watch potassium and phosphorus and have a history of kidney stones so have to limit or avoid foods containing high amounts of oxalates.

Going on a strictly vegetarian diet (no meat or dairy whatsoever) has helped with both issues. The only animal product I use is egg white so it's not quite a vegan diet. It's been a real challenge balancing carbs and vegetable protein with low-potassium, low-phosphorus foods but my in 8 months my GFR has gone from a stage four 28 to a stage three 37.

Of course, different diets and different meds work differently for different people, just thought I'd share what has been working for me lately.

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