Does Anyone Have Diabetes?

Updated on June 11, 2008
A.W. asks from Saint Charles, IL
5 answers

I need some help here Mamas. I was just diagnosed with Diabetes yesterday (while in the hospital for chest pains- not the best weekend). They really didn't give me any information about it or what to eat or even how to test my blood sugar. (I got the test stuff today and just read the instructions that came with it and checked it). I have no idea even what normal blood sugar is (mine was 171 tonight). I am waiting for a call back from the hospital's diabetes management class coordinator but in the meantime I'm at a loss. I think I'm a type 2 but that's only because of the medicine I'm on (the info from the pharmacy said it's for type 2 diabetes so I'm assuming that I'm type 2). I didn't really think to ask any questions while I was at the hospital (I was kinda in shock). Can anyone tell me more about diabetes in general and what kind of things I can eat. I know carbs are important but I don't know how much I can have. I don't know how often to test my blood sugar. I don't know much at all about this. Thanks Mamas!

*Edit to Add* I have an appointment with the physician for next Monday. I ordered a couple of books off on Amazon.com about Diabetes. The hospital gave me two sheets of paper about it before I left the hospital. But the other part of this is dealing with the fact that I have diabetes and this is a lifelong thing. I feel a little sad about that. Am I the only one?

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N.D.

answers from Chicago on

A.-

My heart goes out to you! I was diagnosed with Diabetes when I was just 25. I was devastated and I went through all of the stages of grief, especially since I was deathly afraid of needles. There were times that I vowed then and there that I would rather die than test myself or worse yet, give myself injections. In the end, I found a way to cope and this is my 7th year.

Diabetes. Yes, it's a lifelong thing but it can be managed and you don't have to be extreme. Just make sure to test yourself, eat healthy and exercise. Once you get your blood sugars under control, you will find a healthy balance for you.

I don't know how old you are but generally adults that are diagnosed with diabetes are Type 2. The only change to this would be if your blood sugars were terribly high and you can't be managed with oral medications. IF this happens, then you are what's called a Type 1 1/2 diabetic. I would highly advise getting your blood sugars under control before varying with your diet.

Blood sugars. You should keep them under 100 in the morning (before eating) and under 140 2 hours after meals. I would check your blood sugars first thing in the morning and 2 hours after every meal. Document these results so that when you see your PCP next Monday, you have a record. Additionally, I would ask him to do an A1C. This is a blood test that looks at your blood sugars over the past 3 months (yes, they can tell) to see what your average is. Anything under 7.0 is considered okay for diabetics. Non-diabetics are under 6.0. My A1C, after 7 years, is a 5.9 so it can be done and trust me, I'm not that good about my diet and/or exercise but I do check my sugars and take my meds.

Meals. You should count your carbs. I would keep to 30 grams of carbs for your breakfast and lunch and 45 grams of carbs for your dinner. For snacks, I would keep it to less than 15 grams and I would do 2 small snacks if possible per day. The good news is that this should help you lose weight...if that is a problem. :)

Don't be too alarmed. Some diabetics have extremely high blood sugars when they are diagnosed. While 171 is high, some blood sugars can be over 500. So, you aren't doing terribly. Take your meds as directed and feel free to contact me at any time. I know all too well how scary this can be and I'm so sorry that this has happened to you and that you have gotten so little direction. Rest assured though, that you will be in good hands soon enough and that waiting until Monday isn't going to hurt you. Just watch your diet and track your blood sugars so that your doc can help you the best.

I hope that I have helped and that I have answered your questions. Please feel free to write anytime.

Kind regards,
N.

[email protected]____.com

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L.R.

answers from Chicago on

My husband was diagnosed with diabetes about 5 months ago and he had several appointments with a nutrition counselor on how to manage his diet now that he has diabetes. Since you're waiting for the call to schedule that appointment, I would go to the library ASAP and get the book "Diabetes for Dummies." It is a great resource on how to manage your diabetes. I can't believe the hospital didn't send you home with some information ~ especially since your BGL was so high.

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C.G.

answers from Chicago on

Wow, sounds like a terrible hospital to leave you with no knowledge of what to do. You need to make an appointment with your primary care provider ASAP to get educated on this. 171 is high unless you had just eaten. Get in to your provider ASAP.

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A.R.

answers from Chicago on

Here's a crash course to diabetes:

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder where the pancreas does not secrete insulin properly. In a nutshell, when you eat food it gets broken down into glucose. Glucose is the main form of energy for the body. Glucose can only 'deliver' that energy to the cells of the body is insulin is present in the bloodstream. What happens for a diabetic is that they eat food, break it down into glucose, but then the glucose can't get to the cells to provide them energy because there is not enough insulin or the insulin is not responding properly to the glucose. As a result, the blood is overloaded with glucose. Eventually the body passes it out through urine.

I honestly believe that you have an immense amount of control over diabetes and can make a profound impact on what's happening in your body with sound nutrition, exercise, and healthy decision-making. Definitely contact your family doctor and insist that you be tested further. Ask for a referral to a clinical nutritionist to help develop a plan. Follow through with whatever directives you have been given. Those with diabetes are more likely to be obese, which is linked to a myriad of other life-shortening issues like heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, etc.

The first steps to getting this under control would be:

-stop eating processed foods (high in refined sugar and other garbage that does nothing good for your body)
-start shopping the perimeter of the grocery store - fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats and low fat dairy products
-carbs are very important, but make sure you're eating the 'right ones' - 'whole grain' or 'whole wheat' should be the first ingredient on any label you see
-eat five to six smaller meals a day, about two to three hours apart. This will help to regulate your blood sugars and you will not have 'highs and lows'.
-if you are not exercising, start immediately! You do not need to do marathon training; I'm talking about starting with a 30-minute walk. Put your baby in the stroller and walk the neighborhood or the mall.

I know it was tough to hear such bad news, but know that you can make healthy decisions that will impact your life positively.

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M.T.

answers from Chicago on

I'm 35 and have had Type 1 since I was 17. I check my blood sugar when I should and don't eat sweets unless I have low blood sugar. With type 2 you probably won't have as many low blood sugars to worry about. I have two healthy children and I am in pretty good health. In fact, I just had an eye appointment the other day, and the eye doctor said I have no signs of any complications in my eyes and to keep doing what I'm doing. My sugars aren't perfect all the time. I use an insulin pump (with type one it's controlled by taking insulin). Anyways, overall though, my ac1 has been around 5.7-6.4. So, you can lead a full healthy life, but it takes a little bit of work. Take your medicine, check your sugar and keep going to the doctor - find a good endocinologist! I went through a period after I found out where I was sad that I had to have such a lifelong disease. As years passed and I've stayed healthy (I have never been back to the hospital for diabetes since I was diagnosed) I changed the way I feel. It's a disease you can control. So many people have some sort of disease - I'd rather have this than other things. Good luck to you - you'll be feeling much better as you get your blood sugars more under control. The diabetes nurse educators will help you with that - they may ask you to email blood sugar logs to them once every so often so they can help you make changes in medication or diet. You'll be fine!!! :)

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