Diabetes Support - My situation




View Full Version : My situation


berryblondeboys
02-01-2011, 01:27 PM
OK, up until December 3rd, I lived in my denial little world of still being 'healthy' at this weight. I went to the doctor to find out that my 3 months of headaches were caused by extremely high blood pressure (never had BP issues before) 230/130.

And, I had an under active thyroid AND my blood sugars were high - 143.

So, they started me on BP meds. That came under control quickly. The thyroid is getting close (was 43, now is 15, needs to be under 3 and near 1 is better), but my blood sugars the next time was 209.

My doctor thinks a lot is messed up because of my thyroid, so he's not wanting to 'call it' with diabetes yet. He's checking my thyroid in 6 weeks (about 3.5 more weeks) to see if it's now OK. and in three months (now about 2.2 months) to see if my blood sugars are OK. In the mean time he told me to exercise and eat low carbs, which I had already started a week earlier.

Question is though - I had gestational diabetes 5 plus years ago and I had to test my blood sugars 7 times a day and I went from having 200 plus walking blood sugars to about 70 within three weeks by controlling my diet/carbs.

So, I'm wondering, should I be doing that, testing after meals now so I know how I'm doing and what works for me and what doesn't? I have eliminated bread and rice and simple sugars. I have in small proportions potato (was not a problem for me when I had gestational diabetes) and the Barilla Plus Past (which is high fiber and high protein, but I don't know how my body reacts to that).

I know the doctor is giving me time to get it sorted out and waiting to see if my thyroid is the culprit, but wouldn't it help to have more guidance (test readings). I looked at buying them, but WOWZERS! Expensive! Last time insurance covered that expense. Should I ask my doctor to say I need them, temporarily while I get this all sorted out? What would you all do?

BTW... my kidneys are functioning fine and everything else seems OK. And my hope is that with eating a better diet and losing all this weight will allow me to go meds free (except for the thyroid).


Ruthxxx
02-02-2011, 11:57 AM
I don't know much about thyroid but do know that eating healthier and lowering carbs has mightily improved both my BGL readings and my BP. "Expensive"? Do you mean the test strips or a lab test?

berryblondeboys
02-02-2011, 06:58 PM
I don't know much about thyroid but do know that eating healthier and lowering carbs has mightily improved both my BGL readings and my BP. "Expensive"? Do you mean the test strips or a lab test?

I mean the test strips. They are like a dollar a piece. and to really know what my triggers are, I should test an hour after every meal, so a minimum of 4 times a day while I figure it out. WHen I was pregnant with gestational diabetes, it was 7 times a day - at rising, 1 and 2 hours after each of my 3 meals. That's when I learned (at teh time) I couldn't eat any bread of any sort. No rice or brown rice, but could eat potatoes. Then I couldn't manage pasta, but there wasn't this new high fiber/ high protein pasta then.


Dusti
02-03-2011, 07:17 PM
I don't have the blood pressure problem, actually, mine tends to run low which is because of my hypothyroidism. I do know that thyroid problems can play with blood sugars a little but it seems it makes them go too low instead of high. My last TSH test was 1.15 and I feel so much better. I am also a type 2 diabetic which was diagnosed after the thyroid got more under control. I agree that should should test yourself before/after meals just to have an idea what your body is doing with certain foods. Cutting out bread, rice, pasta, etc is such a good idea for blood sugars plus it aids with weight loss.
Tests strips are very expensive but what I do when I am testing different foods and such is buy the ones from Walmart (Relion brand) because they are less than a dollar per strip. I wish you the best.

astrophe
02-03-2011, 08:11 PM
Look, it is an investment in your health.

Get the strips, and just pace it out so you aren't testing so often.

Maybe morning fasting, and then random 1 or 2 hrs after a meal.

And start doing diabetic exchanges for your calorie level. Aim more for whole foods, low gi foods. It won't hurt you, and if you need to go there because you are diabetic, you'll be ahead of the learning curve.

GL!
A.

berryblondeboys
02-03-2011, 11:15 PM
Thanks everyone. I already am eating a low Glycemic diet, but I want to know where I'm at. I would hate to be eating something that is tripping the sugars and not know it. Or avoiding something that is actually fine!

It's actually been incredibly easy to give up the simple carbs. What's not so easy is finding enough low fat/cholesterol alternatives. I don't like most dairy products (milk, yogurt, cottage cheese), so that gets limiting. Otherwise it's meats, beans and nuts - which I'm eating too.

Does insurance even cover test strips, I wonder? They must!

I just relooked at my blood sugar results too. The December 12th ones were 134. The January 11th ones were 209 (getting worse as my hyphothyroidism is getting better). I started exercising Jan 3rd and eating low carb Jan. 12th when I saw the lab results. They won't be checked again until mid April.

Dusti
02-04-2011, 01:00 AM
A lot of insurances will cover tests strips but usually for a 30 day prescription. The thing is the doctor has to put on the prescription how many times a day you test. What could happen is that they put you test once a day and then you pay your co-pay and you will probably be paying more than a dollar per strip. So it's very important that the doctor write the prescription for much more than once a day. :)

Ruthxxx
02-04-2011, 08:57 AM
Are those your HA1C results or post-prandial.

Yes, get your doc to write a prescription for the strips with refills.

berryblondeboys
02-04-2011, 10:33 AM
Are those your HA1C results or post-prandial.

Yes, get your doc to write a prescription for the strips with refills.

Ruth, you lost me there! I don't know what that means. I looked these up on wikipedia. I'm assuming these numbers are pre-prandial as they were done after fasting 8 hours (overnight). Basically, these are 'equivalent' to my waking glucose levels (plus the hour to get to the lab, of course).


And, I remembered wrong... I've been doing low carb since Jan 3rd too... it's been so easy I forgot it's been a MONTH.

Ruthxxx
02-04-2011, 10:55 AM
HA1C is a test done with fasting bloodwork at the lab. It shows you what the average reading was each 24 hours over a three month period. They are usually expressed in metric. Readings between 6.0 and 7.0 are considered controlled diabetic.

To convert American readings to the ones used by the rest of us, divide by 18.

I hope this helps.

berryblondeboys
02-04-2011, 12:07 PM
Does that mean you give a vial of blood EVERY DAY for 3 months at a lab? Good grief I would die. Took them 4 pokes with three of them digging and digging to get one decent vein.

I'm hoping testing every day at home on a test strip would be good enough!

Ruthxxx
02-04-2011, 01:58 PM
Nope! The single test every three months establishes your HA1C the same as if you tested hourly for 24 hours for three months and then averaged it. Your red blood cells have a "memory"!

Nice picture, by the way!

berryblondeboys
02-04-2011, 03:49 PM
Thanks! My son took it in late November, the day I got my hair chopped off (24").

I'm not quite sure I get it or not. maybe that's why he chose 3 months to retest?

All I know is that when I ahd gestational diabetes, with diet, I was able to get my fasting glucose level down to about 70 on the dot after about 3 weeks. And with testing 7 times a day, I only had high blood sugars when I was experimenting with what worked and what didn't (the first week or so). Otherwise, everything was going well. But that was with pregnancy. A whole different thing altogether.

I'll have to read up more. His feeling was taht I could possibly get this under control without having to take meds.

fatmad
02-04-2011, 07:00 PM
You are right, your gestational diabetes is different from what you are experiencing now. But related. You are wise to work at weight loss and I think it would be helpful to test too, but not too many times a day.
You could do fasting and after lunch one day, and after breakfast and supper the next. And doing pre-meal levels may not be as important right now. If you really want to see how you react to certain foods, the 2 hour post meal value will be more important.
Remember too, that exercise will help all of that. Hope you are feeling better with the thyroid meds too.
Since the sugars got worse, you might want to bug Doc into prescribing strips for several tests a day, and or an oral med to get it into line. A wait and see approach for diagnosis is reasonable, but not for action!

berryblondeboys
02-04-2011, 09:03 PM
Since the sugars got worse, you might want to bug Doc into prescribing strips for several tests a day, and or an oral med to get it into line. A wait and see approach for diagnosis is reasonable, but not for action!

We're trying the diet approach first to see if I can get things in line on my own. And since my thyroid is/was still a big question mark, it's still hard to know. Which is why I think test strips would help me in knowing if what I'm doing is working or not.

I haven't had any rice, bread, simple sugars since January 3rd. I've had a bit of barilla plus pasta which is supposedly better and small amounts of potatoes that at least with GD, didn't raise my blood sugars, but who knows in a nonpregnancy state.

Homeschoolmomto2
02-11-2011, 12:33 PM
I have the same issues as you with hypothyroid and diabetes. I was just diagnosed about a month ago after years of suffering with hypo symptoms and Dr's blowing me off with my complains of symptoms. I hope the thyroid is the reason for your diabetes as mine, I hope is.

Sittingrumpy
02-12-2011, 02:48 PM
You can go to walmart and buy testing strips for some meters for like $21 for 50 of them.

I couldn't find them for my meter so I replaced my meter with a walmart one and have saved so much money.

synger
02-18-2011, 09:21 AM
I second the testing-various-meals idea, rather than after every meal. Doing fasting and after every meal is four strips a day. THat can add up.

I tend to do my fasting one day, and another day test at one-hour-after and two-hour-after a meal. The next day I might test after another meal.

Basically, I tested breakfasts until I found a couple breakfast menus that didn't spike me. So I ate those in rotation for the next few weeks while I moved to testing my lunches. And then dinners. So as I went along I built my "repertoire" of meals-that-don't-spike-me. Now I have a good base of "safe" meals, and only test after meals that include new things or bigger portions of things I've already tested.

Another strategy I've heard folks talk about is to go very low carb (like Atkins "induction", which is salad, meat, eggs, and low-starch veggies) so you know you won't be spiking, and then occasionally add in a more moderate-carb meal and test after that to see how your body reacts.

I also recommend testing at 1 and 2 hours during this initial testing phase, because some folks spike earlier than others.

Personally, I've found that I am usually fine if I avoid carbs in the morning (no oatmeal for breakfast, but I can tolerate one slice of high fiber bread), and if I limit other meal carbs to about 30 grams (two slices of bread, or an apple, or 1/3 cup rice). If I eat more carbs than that in a meal, or without adequate protein with it, I spike.

Remember, though, that you don't have to figure it all out today and tomorrow. Every time you test, you'll add more to your knowledge of how your body reacts to food... and you'll build up a knowledge-base of meals that work for you (and the foods that don't!).

jendiet
03-12-2011, 01:20 PM
i just got dx with gestational diabetes and am trying to find what in my diet works for me. my insurance does cover my test strips. My dr. wrote my strip refills prn.

georgepds
04-06-2011, 05:38 PM
...
So, I'm wondering, should I be doing that, testing after meals now so I know how I'm doing and what works for me and what doesn't? ....

There is a school of thought that says you should measure your BG 1 hr after meals, and try to eat meals where your BG at this measurement time is < 140. For people without diabetes, this is always the case. For people with diabetes, this only happens if you chose the size and type of meal carefully. For most of us with diabetes this means low carb meals

Jenny Ruhl over at bloodsugar101 talks about this method.

The thing is, each of us is a little different, and depending on the stage of the disease some can eat more carbs than others.

myhaloisintheshop
04-06-2011, 06:51 PM
I am somewhat in the same boat. I ignored some health issues until I was in a car accident and HAD to go to the doctor. My blood pressure was high so she put me on meds and it helped but something was still "off" I asked her to test my blood sugar and after giving her some of my symptoms she was certain that my tests would come back positive for diabetes. Well....it did. But my A1C was 6.5--right at the lowest level to be considered diabetic.

I thought I would be testing over the next few months but she told me to adjust my diet and excercise and come back in 3 months. She also put me on metformin 2x a day. She wants to see how my numbers are then before she puts me through testing every day. Sometimes adjusting carbs and losing weight and excercise is all it takes to get it under control.

I will say I feel sooo much better than I did. I think Im on the right track. I hate the idea of testing multiple times a day. ugh!

fatmad
04-06-2011, 07:49 PM
I thought I would be testing over the next few months but she told me to adjust my diet and excercise and come back in 3 months. She also put me on metformin 2x a day. She wants to see how my numbers are then before she puts me through testing every day. Sometimes adjusting carbs and losing weight and excercise is all it takes to get it under control.

I will say I feel sooo much better than I did. I think Im on the right track. I hate the idea of testing multiple times a day. ugh!

Unless you are type 1, there is no real need to test several times a day. My BIL doesn't test at all, just does a1c every few months. This may not be bad, but I personally prefer to be very hands on and in touch with what I can manage.
You are doing really great, losing weight and doing well, so you may prefer to do things this way.
Since type 2 runs strongly in my family, and was just barely obese (by bmi status, just into the obese range) when diagnosed, and every in the family had progressive diabetes, I chose to confront the beast head on and try to carefully control my sugars to prevent blood vessel damage, (lots of family with kidney damage, amputations, vision loss etc) to deter the long term effects. Paranoid? maybe, but its tolerable.

Feeling better is a great way to "test" yourself too, so congrats, and keep up the good work. And welcome, feel free to join us in the chat line.

georgepds
04-08-2011, 03:52 PM
Unless you are type 1, there is no real need to test several times a day. ....

Depends...

I have a (bone thin) friend in Paris that is a T2 on insulin. She's always fighting here doctor for more strips for testing. Her problem is low BG. Last time I saw her, she told a tale of passing out on a bus, only to be woken by the driver at the end of the line. Even T2 diabetics can have lows.

The other problem is control. The method of eating to your meter helps quite a few get control

Depending on the stage of the T2, the only problem could be high BG, and though it will eventually kill you, it won't do it right away. Those who are in the early stage of T2 diabetes, can often control with diet and exercise alone. For these people, an occasional A1C is sufficient

fatmad
04-08-2011, 09:46 PM
Depends...

I have a (bone thin) friend in Paris that is a T2 on insulin.
t

of course I meant in your basic situation. The above illustrates some of the (medically) interesting arguments about diabetes. For instances, how do we define the difference between type 1 and t2? Your friend sounds like a true type 1, but the onset was not typical. Of course anyone on insulin needs to test regularly, and isn't a "typical" type 2 anymore. If diet, exercise and meds other than insulin don't help enough, (and for some, even doing everything "right" they still progress, and there are many who are unable to change their lifestyle enough to prevent the disease from progressing) they will have to get to where they are testing regularly,
Another interesting argument is occurring about "eating to your meter" with a new idea of injecting to the intake. So my friend who is also a type 2 who has progessed to insulin/type 1, counts his carbs with the meal and takes insuline to match carb intake. He has been more stable, less brittle this way, since starting a month ago, but we will see in the long run. He has also had times when he did really well for a while, and then his system goes haywire, an infection starts somewhere for no reason, and its months trying to get back to normal. So we are hopeful, but not convinced yet.

georgepds
04-11-2011, 01:06 PM
...
Does insurance even cover test strips, I wonder? They must!


Mine does, but they limit to 3 per day ( I need a prescription from the Doctor for it to be covered )