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Diabetes
Old 07-08-2011, 03:23 PM   #1
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Diabetes

OK... last year I had a physical that showed elevated sugar levels... this was the first time, but I had not been to a doc in maybe 5 or so years..

I went in a week or so later and got another test and he said I was pre-diabetic and gave me a meter to check myself out... I failed to do it...

This past weekend we were talking about it and one of my sisters said it was on both sides of our family, so I decided to test. I got a very high reading the first time. I was worried and still got a high reading the next day. I used the test solution and that reading was high, so I thought it might be old strips (they say to throw them out after 6 months on the bottle)...

I went to get new strips and was shocked that they cost so much... but while there I saw that CVS was offering a free screening... so today I went to get it... Got bad news that my A1C level was 8.6... so it looks like my earlier readings were correct....

So, made an appointment for the doc next week to determine my next step... lose weight is #1 with me... I have gained about 20 lbs since getting married and need to lose that.... not sure what #2 will be...

Anybody that has gone through this have any suggestions?


Also, if there is a CVS near you and your family has a history of diabetes I would suggest that you go see if they have this free screening.
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Old 07-08-2011, 04:04 PM   #2
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Usually an A1C above 6.5 means diabetes, not pre-diabetic.
1) Lose weight
2) Improve your nutrition (watch the carbs and the portion sizes).
3) Get educated about this disease.
4) Get regular checkups and keep using the meter and logging the results

Once you have it you have it, but you can definitely control it and live a long and healthy life.
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Old 07-08-2011, 04:34 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by DFW_M5 View Post
Usually an A1C above 6.5 means diabetes, not pre-diabetic.
1) Lose weight
2) Improve your nutrition (watch the carbs and the portion sizes).
3) Get educated about this disease.
4) Get regular checkups and keep using the meter and logging the results

Once you have it you have it, but you can definitely control it and live a long and healthy life.
Last years test was not that high... todays test was...

Thanks for the post..
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Old 07-08-2011, 04:51 PM   #4
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If you haven't seen this thread check it out - it is about weight loss but the method is to eliminate glycemic load on your system.

I also like the diet supported here. I eat more of the things I want - steak, eggs, etc. I am not overweight and not pre-diabetic, but believe that the diet is better for overall health for everyone.

Good luck.
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Old 07-08-2011, 05:13 PM   #5
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Texas Proud, I have dealt with blood sugar problems myself. You took the right step, see your Doctor ASAP. That A1C is on the high side. Before you do anything again I would talk with your Doctor. The warning five years ago was not enough to scare you. I think wakeup will get you moving. Once the Doctor gives you the OK to exercise then I would do it. Don't mess around with this disease. With a good program of exercise and diet you will live a long life. It takes some getting used to but you can do it. Oldtrig
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Old 07-08-2011, 05:32 PM   #6
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I've been through this too. My main suggestion is don't freak out and change your lifestyle too drastically too quickly. That's a recipe for failure. This disease isn't one that will kill you in a couple of days. You've got time to educate yourself and figure out how you want to deal with it.

I would highly recommend reading Blood Sugar 101. This woman is very smart and down to earth, and cuts through a lot of the BS and guilt surrounding diabetes and blood sugar levels.

My second suggestion is to start shopping the perimeter of the grocery store. Don't go down the aisles, except for something very specific (like olive oil). The aisles are filles with processed foods, which are the real problem with your blood sugar (and weight). If you shop the perimeter you'll be in the fruits and veggies, meats, cheeses, things like that. Sadly, there's no help for it. You've got to stay away from breads, potatoes, and highly processed foods. But it's not really that hard, once you learn how to do it.

If you aren't exhibiting many of the symptoms (thirst, frequent urination, cuts that are hard to heal, tingling or numbness in the feet and hands, etc), you may be early onset. If that's the case, starting to take care of yourself can result in a quick turn around in blood sugar levels. I've been able to manage my diabetes for 7 years without meds, and my lifestyle isn't too different than it used to be.

Good luck. Let us know how things go.
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Old 07-08-2011, 06:08 PM   #7
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The author of the website that harley referenced above, Jenny Ruhl, was just interviewed in a podcast at 486: A Crash Course In Blood Sugar 101 With Jenny Ruhl | The Livin La Vida Low-Carb Show

She really packed in the info over the course of the hour. Like harley, I think she is one of the very best non-medical persons on the subject.
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Old 07-08-2011, 07:15 PM   #8
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Hello Texas Proud - Have you checked the CDC website on diabetes ? I recommend it.

CDC - Diabetes & Me - Diabetes DDT

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Originally Posted by Texas Proud View Post
Anybody that has gone through this have any suggestions?

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Old 07-08-2011, 07:43 PM   #9
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There is really no such thing as pre-diabetic. Once your blood sugars are out of range then most are already diabetic. I call it denial. Nobody wants to change eating habits but thats what you have to do when you are trying to get your blood sugar down. I had a person tell me a few months ago that he was not diabetic because he only took a small pill and not insulin. He probably weighs 350 and can hardly walk. He is only 52 but looks much older. He is not about to stop eating those good things. He will have to pay the price sooner or later. I choose to eat things that are healthy and walk walk and walk some more. I weight within 5 pounds of what I did when I finished high school in 1965. I was active then and continue to be now. I believe thats the trick to stay healthy. My 2cents on this. oldtrig
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Old 07-09-2011, 12:00 AM   #10
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There is really no such thing as pre-diabetic. Once your blood sugars are out of range then most are already diabetic. I call it denial. Nobody wants to change eating habits but thats what you have to do when you are trying to get your blood sugar down. I had a person tell me a few months ago that he was not diabetic because he only took a small pill and not insulin. He probably weighs 350 and can hardly walk. He is only 52 but looks much older. He is not about to stop eating those good things. He will have to pay the price sooner or later. I choose to eat things that are healthy and walk walk and walk some more. I weight within 5 pounds of what I did when I finished high school in 1965. I was active then and continue to be now. I believe thats the trick to stay healthy. My 2cents on this. oldtrig
Well, there is such a thing as pre-diabetic. I don't remember exactly what the cut-offs are, but I think if you have an FBS of 127 or more you are diabetic, and perhaps FBS >100 prediabetic. I do believe that the treatment for each condition is the same, unless you have wildly out of control blood sugars and must go on insulin. Quit eating that crap you eat, quit drinking beer, and start moving, ideally both some aerobic and/or some weight training on almost every day of the week.

Forget complex carbs, it's marketing. Cut way, way down on all carbs, and treat sugar and corn syrup and fruit juices as if they were rat poison.

I had an uncle whose doctor in 1955 told him he was pre-diabetic. He quit drinking beer, worked out, and only died in his late 80s (about 50 years later) when he was struck by lightning, still not a diabetic. Also, my brother has been a diagnosed diabetic, on all kinds of oral meds for >25 years. His wife died, and I went down to teach him to cook. Really, he had no idea how to cook. I taught him low carb eating and cooking. Within the month he collapsed in a restaurant, got strapped to a gurney and taken to the ER where he was found to have a blood sugar of 25. His clueless MD told him that since he was not on insulin, he could not be going low. Wrong! Some oral meds send you right down, if you are taking in very little carb and also exercising. Also, he had never been given an Rx for a meter and strips.

He got a new doc who was not so dogmatic, and is now off all meds and his last A1C was 5.2. So diabetes does not mean you are going to die, now or in any very near time. It does mean you have to get real with yourself and just get down to business.

I believe you said that you are overweight 20 pounds or so. If you think that, you are likely more overweight than this. Do Atkins induction, get that weight off, and your sugars may be normal again. (This you must discuss with the MD. I would be very wary of doing any VLC diet while taking any diabetes meds that have a pancreas stimulating function.)
See the links above to Jenny Ruhl. She will help you more than 95% of the doctors. Be very wary of so-called diabetes educators and nutritionists.

The other suggestions in this thread also should be very helpful.

Ha
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Old 07-09-2011, 01:57 AM   #11
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You say you gained 20 pounds since you were married but were you over weight prior to that? 20 pounds is not going to cause you to become diabetic but 50 + may well. Normal blood sugar level is 100, 100-120 is pre diabetic, 120+ is diabetic. A1C above 7.0 is either pre or diabetic i forget, 7 or below is ok.

My A1C was 7.2 and I was worried. I was 50 or 60 pounds over weight and did not get much exercise tho I did eat a healthy diet. I lost 50 pounds and walked on a treadmill every day for 2 miles. Exercise and weight loss does wonders but if you are a diabetic not due to weight and poor diet then maybe dropping the weight and getting exercise may not bring your sugar back into the normal range. This dropped my sugar back to normal so my problem was over weight and lack of exercise which I was able to fix without any medication.

I never realized just how serious being diabetic is until I had this wake up.
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Old 07-09-2011, 10:56 AM   #12
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Also, my brother has been a diagnosed diabetic, on all kinds of oral meds for >25 years. His wife died, and I went down to teach him to cook. Really, he had no idea how to cook. I taught him low carb eating and cooking. Within the month he collapsed in a restaurant, got strapped to a gurney and taken to the ER where he was found to have a blood sugar of 25. His clueless MD told him that since he was not on insulin, he could not be going low. Wrong! Some oral meds send you right down, if you are taking in very little carb and also exercising. Also, he had never been given an Rx for a meter and strips.

He got a new doc who was not so dogmatic, and is now off all meds and his last A1C was 5.2. So diabetes does not mean you are going to die, now or in any very near time. It does mean you have to get real with yourself and just get down to business.
This is an amazing story, especially the current 5.2 A1c (which is truly normal - average blood sugar of 103) without taking any meds. It almost makes you wonder if he ever was diabetic. Of course the A1c is an average over 2-3 months so one could be experiencing highs and lows to reach the average. Has he ever worn one of those new meters which measures blood sugar every 5 minutes for four or five days so the data can be displayed as a graph?

For those who are interested, the formula relating average blood sugar to A1c is

Ave BS = ( 28.7 x A1c ) - 46.7

I also agree that Jenny Ruhl is one of the best sources of information on this subject. Another, whom she often references, is Dr. Richard Bernstein who wrote Diabetes Solution. Dr. Bernstein has been a Type I diabetic since childhood and has been on insulin since he was diagnosed. He gave up his engineering career to become an endocrinologist, and has been a very strong advocate of the low carb approach to controlling diabetes well before it became popular with the medical establishment. His book is more technically oriented than most (probably due to his engineering background) but still very readable and loaded with useful information.
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Old 07-09-2011, 11:08 AM   #13
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This is an amazing story, especially the current 5.2 A1c (which is truly normal - average blood sugar of 103) without taking any meds. It almost makes you wonder if he ever was diabetic. Of course the A1c is an average over 2-3 months so one could be experiencing highs and lows to reach the average. Has he ever worn one of those new meters which measures blood sugar every 5 minutes for four or five days so the data can be displayed as a graph?
I doubt very much that he has. But as I say, he is over 65 now, and was first diagnosed before he was 40, with a lot of doctor visits over the years to different doctors in different cities, if he were not diabetic someone would have told him, or his previous insulin stimulating meds would have killed him.

He does have an iron will, and he really, really does not want to get into trouble with diabetes. If he believed that the best treatment of diabetes was to let hornets sting the tip of his nose, he would start breeding hornets.

I think a willingness to do whatever it takes is the answer to many things. Though clearly not all.

Ha
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Old 07-09-2011, 11:26 AM   #14
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Don't mess with diabetes....it will kill you!

It killed my Dad, almost killed my brother and my Doc of 21 years told me it would kill me unless I changed my eating habits. She calls sugar white death. She is right.
We all have come up with our own program that works but kidding yourself is killing yourself. Take any test you want, if you are a diabetic you have to change, and make lifelong changes. I think of myself as a food a holic and have made and am making changes that I can live with and, more importantly, enjoy life. Here is what I have done in the past 5 years since I was diagnosed as a pre diabetic.
1. visited a nutritionist to learn about my disease and food choices.
2. Check the sugar content on every canned or processed food I buy. Baked beans, as an example can vary by 300% of the average sugar per serving.
3. Excercise. I do at least 30 minutes on a treadmill 7 days a week. my goal is 300 minutes a week in total excercise.
4. Gave up all "sweets" like cake, pie, donuts, etc. I haven't eaten anything on my banned food list in 5 years.
5. I believe in the volumetrics method of eating. Salad is a favorite. a full bad of salad is less than a 100 cal. And, not fat salad dressing cuts calories by 75%. Lean chicken, pork, beef are heavy on my diet, I try to stay away from processed foods but I could be better, I just do the best I can.
6. get and take recommended medications. I formerly took twice of what I take today but I get a physical every six months and listen to the Doctor.
Results? I lose about 3 lbs every six months, I'm no longer a pre diabetic, my joints don't ache as they did before I lost weight and I enjoy eating my new foods. In fact, I LOVE veggies, more than I used to enjoy a donut. Overall, I'm down 35 lbs, six inches in my waist and have recently had my clothes altered since I, for the 1st time in my lifetime, believe I can keep off the weight and still enjoy life and eating.
Take this seriously.......diabetis is a killer......I'm just not going to let it kill me.
Good luck to you and all others fighting this fight.
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Old 07-09-2011, 01:48 PM   #15
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Texas Proud,

This is another forum that I have found very helpful for learning and sharing with others:

Diabetes Forums
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Old 07-09-2011, 02:42 PM   #16
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Anybody that has gone through this have any suggestions?
I have been diabetic (Type 2) about 4 years or so. My suggestion is to change your diet, begin or continue a daily exercise program, take prescribed meds, see you doctor regularly and follow you A1c score like your life depends on it.

Relax, millions of Americans are walking arould with it.
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Old 07-09-2011, 03:21 PM   #17
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Patients kick the insulin habit through diet, exercise - latimes.com

This is an interesting LA Times piece about Southland residents who took effective charge of their diabetes. The first guy profiled I have had an email correspondence with from time to time. He knows what he is about, and he has a recent book

Amazon.com: The New Diabetes Prescription: The Diet, Exercise, and Mindset Revolution (9780982544129): Aaron Snyder: Books

In this book he details his diet and weight lifting and "cardio" training- which is mostly intervals. As Jenny Ruhl mentioned about herself in her interview linked elsewhere, Aaron gives himself some blowout days to escape from the tight behavioral control otherwise needed.

I don't do this, if I take on something I want to really care about it, and donuts or pancakes or any other high carb edible treat do not pass that test for me. My blowout is 5 cherries instead of 4.

Ha
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Old 07-09-2011, 03:45 PM   #18
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People can believe what they want. Who set guidelines for this disease anyway? If you have had a blood sugar reading that is out of the normal range then you are probably diabetic. I can make my A1C go to around 5.2 so do I have the disease? yes. I do this by eating low carbs and walking. If I eat high carbs and did not walk then I would be in trouble and also my A1c would go over 6 for sure. I call pre-diabetes early stages diabetes. It will normally not progress if you do the low carbs and exercise but you are still a diabetic. If you really want to know how you are doing then eat a meal that has in excess of 200 carbs and see what your meter shows?? We could argue the point all day and no real winner. The point I make is when a person has had a B/S reading that is high then take it serious. The word pre seems to make people think they are OK.
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Old 07-09-2011, 03:50 PM   #19
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Ha,

Did you see Larry "J.R." Hagman's story at the botton of that page? I personally wouldn't be happy with an A1C of 6.4, especially if I had been getting it lower with insulin. Unfortunately, the story didn't mention what the A1C was with insulin.
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Old 07-09-2011, 03:52 PM   #20
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The word pre seems to make people think they are OK.
That is a little hard for me to understand. If the dermatologist says a person has a pre-cancerous lesion on his face does he think that he should not attend to it?

Normal, prediabetes and diabetes can be diagnosed or assigned by different means, but what is usually used is the formal definitions that people in the practice of medicine use.

And I agree with you, if you are told that you have pre-diabetes you should act as if you are well on the way to diabetes, and make necessary lifestyle changes. But do you have diabetes now? Not according to medical opinion. Would you however start taking insulin? I don't think that would likely be suggested.

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