Just Diagnosed as Being Borderline Diabetic What Do I Do Now?

Updated on March 13, 2012
K.B. asks from Belleville, MI
21 answers

I was just told I am borderline diabetic. I am overweight and I know the first thing is to exercise and loose weight. I am at a loss as to how many calories and how much sugar naturally found in foods and fat etc. I should have. I have looked on line and have found some info but not enough to make me feel comfortable. I have already stopped eating bread and made myself some cabbage soup and haven't had any sweets since I found out Wednesday, no potatoes and I never drink pop I only drink water or decaffe tea's. I am the kind of person if they told me to stop breathing or I am going to die I would LOL. I have been afraid to eat anything since my Dr. thinks being a vegetarian would cure this. Just to be clear it is not my joints that hurt it is a muscle in my leg it locks up if I can't grab something I will fall it locks up and I can't walk. I am really upset that my Dr. said just loose weight and eat more fruits and vegetables and that was it. I am calling the office tomorrow, Monday and asking to set up an appointment with a Nutritionist but in the mean time I wanted help from you Mom's that are in the same situation. I have a problem with one of my legs it locks up on me and hurts really bad ( I never know when this will happen). I went to Physical Therapy which made other things hurt such as my shoulder, knee and my hip hurt all of which didn't hurt before. I need suggestions on exercise I can do that doesn't involve using my leg. I have a Wii and the Wii Fit balance board and discs. I love to do the yoga and I use to do the step workout and running but I can't now. Any help and or encouragement would be appreciated. I am scared to death about this and would love to hear from those that are in the same or have been in this same situation. I am taking Arbonne's Omega 3's, and vitamins so I am good there. Thanks Mom's

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So What Happened?

I met with the Dietician today she explained everything to me and I will meet with her again in a month. She told me it isn't about sugar and that I can eat things I thought I would never be able to eat again. We set up a plan and I feel better already. She also said my numbers aren't really bad at all and that is the way I want to keep it. Just to be clear again my leg is not messed up due to weight although I do know loosing weight helps a lot of stuff but mine is a muscle issue and it isn't my joint that hurts. I want to thank everyone that responded I appreciate it. If anyone finds a magic cure let me know. I think mine was caused from stress and inactivity which I am fixing both things now. Thanks again.

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answers from Minneapolis on

Meeting with a nutritionist is a great start.

I have a friend who was diagnosed as a Type II Diabetic but then changed his diet and walks every day for exercise. His doctor now says that no one would ever know that he once had that diagnosis. His diet is mainly vegetables, fruit, lean protein (chicken, fish, and egg whites), and very few carbs (bread, cereal, pasta, potatoes).

Yoga is very good as an exercise. Can you increase the frequency you do that? Have you tried Pilates? Can you do water exercises?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

There is much information I can provide you. I've worked with diabetics and helped them to loose weight and maintain their blood sugars.

Because you are a member of Mamapedia, you receive a complimentary confidential nutrition consultation.

Send me an email if you are interested and we can set up a time to talk. We can do this over the phone or in person, as I see you are in Belleville and I am in Brighton.

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answers from Chicago on

I am also borderline after having gestational diabetes with my third pregnancy. I am glad you're going to call for a referral to the nutritionist. That is the best thing you can do.

Until you can get there, think low carb. No white breads or white pastas, no sweets, no sugary sodas. Think lean protein. Chicken breasts, turkey, egg whites.

As for exercising, have you tried swimming? You'd have to use your leg, but being in the water should make it easier and it's a great form of exercise.

Best of luck!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Tulsa on

Pilates was not nearly as hard or painful as I imagined. It helpes stretch and strengthen the core/middle of your body.


Pilates was not nearly as hard or painful as I imagined. It helpes stretch and strengthen the core/middle of your body.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

My first recommendation would be to go to your local library and take a few books out on the subject. I had gestational diabetes with my first pregnancy (10 years ago) and was forced to learn a lot about it. I recommend doing your own reading so that you can evaluate and question anything a doctor or medical professional says. There are many schools of thought out there and many of them are conflicting. The first nutritionist that I saw gave me a very specific diet to follow (remember -- I was pregnant) but that diet had so many carbs in it that when I followed the diet my blood sugars went up so much that I then went on insulin (non insulin meds are not recommended during pregnancy.) When I was pregnant a second time, the doctor sent me back to the nutritionist, and i initially refused as I had only seen her 18 months earlier. Happily, I did go to the nutritionist, but I saw a different person than the first time. This second person helped me read food labels and understand the idea of net carbs per serving. She also did not want me eating nearly as many carbs as the first nutritionist. With the help of some books and the 2nd nutritionist, I was able to stay off insulin with my 2nd and 3rd pregnancies -- which is statistically very unusual as typically gestational diabeties becomes progressively worse with each successive pregnancy.

As a first step, I would suggest removing most/all of the refined carbs (i.e., the "white" foods.) Try to cut out refined sugar and substitute a fruit for something sweet. If you must have a carb, have the most fiber filled carb that you can. Also, it is best if you eat your carbs with a mix of other foods containing protein and fat. Those other foods help slow down the absorption of the carbs and balance out your bloodsugar. Its really good to try not to eat carbs all by themselves, unless they are veggies or a high fiber fruit.

How were you diagnosed? Was it fasting bloodsugar, Hemoglobin A1C, or both? if you haven't had a hemoglobin A1C test (which is a blood test) you should have that done soon. Fasting blood sugar tells you what your blood sugar level is right then, but nothing more. HA1C shows you what your average blood sugar levels were over the previous 4-6 weeks, so it is a more meaningful test.

Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

My dad was prediabetic and on all kinds of blood pressure meds. When he cut out refined sugar his life drastically changed (pastries , candy, soda, desserts...). As the weight dropped he was encouraged to make more changes, like going almost completely to a plant based diet. He did a 180! He also took a class called CHIP. Its a program out of Loma Linda University. They are always taught by physicians and start with a complete work up so you can mark your progress at the end of the class . See if you can find one in your area or one on-line.


Unless a Dr. goes out of his/her way to learn about nutrition, it is not a very involved part of their medical training. Trust me, your dr. is not the person to go to for weight loss advice either. You are better off to get help from the nutritionist. But more than anything you need to be inspired to make changes, so start reading about improving your health. Skip weight loss books, there is too much conflicting information (eat bread, don't eat bread, eat lean meats, don't eat animal products......). Even on this very site, you are being given some pretty bad advice in my opinion. Best of luck to you weeding through it all.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Providence on

Whole wheat, high fiber foods( make sure to look at the sugar/carb amount in them. ) the lower the carb and sugar the better. Also, eat lots of protein-chicken,fish( good ones are Salmon,especially). Load up on veggies like spinach, broccoli, collards. Blueberries are very good for you, as well as almonds. Beans. Meeting with a nutritionist will be beneficial for you. Omega 3's are very good for you. Drink lots of water, no drinks with sugar or the sugar free drinks.

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answers from Austin on

My doctor told me to use something like the "Sugar Busters" diet....

I am also in that category... I need to lose weight, then my blood sugars would go back down.

Basically, you need to reduce a LOT of different carbohydrates..... carbohydrates break down into the sugars/glucose that is the problem.

Much of this has to do with foods that are listed as "high glycemic" items... many items have naturally occurring sugars in them, also.


Now... knowing all of that, and actually doing it is a completely different thing. My doctor told me that last June, but I still haven't done much in changing things, although I know I really need to.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I have a similar problem where my knee locks and sometimes buckles. I also have pain with it. I have also been carrying around an extra 10lbs since I turned 40 almost 3 years ago and my mother and aunts are type 2 diabetics.
I decided 8 weeks ago I was going to be healthier. I totally cut junk food out of my diet eating no refined carbohydrates. I also eat alot more protein and fruit which does contain complex carbs. I eat a handful of nuts per day. I do not count calories. I am also rarely hungry. I think my high protein and low carb diet is much more satisfying than a high carb diet. I also only drink water, skim milk and green tea.
I also bought a recumbent exercise bike and have gone from going 5 miles/day to 25 - 35 miles per day. (it takes me about 4 minutes to go 1 mile).
I have lost 11lbs which takes 44lbs of force off of my knees and my knees are starting to feel better. I am in physical therapy too.
(I am having a really difficult time walking but I can ride the bike without any problems. You didn't say what exactly is wrong with your legs but perhaps you need to strengthen the muscles in your legs so they do not get worse. If you can't ride a bike then you could perhaps try swimming).
Best of luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Redding on

Everyone's systems work differently, so a nutritionist who can evaluate your particular situation will be the very best thing for you. They will talk to you about what to eat and what not to eat as well as what times of day, what foods to avoid in combination, etc.

You should know that many, many people are found to be borderline diabetic and it's possible to see this as a good thing. You know you need to make some changes and you CAN make them so that things don't progress any further. It may seem daunting at first, but it just becomes a normal way of life after a while and as you start feeling better, it will become easier.
THE MAIN THING is not to be afraid to eat AT ALL. That is the worst thing you can do. Your body will think it's going into starvation mode and turn everything into fat because it has to make a reserve for itself of some kind. If your blood sugar is already out of whack, that won't help anything.

You may be somewhat limited in ways you can exercise, but fortunately, there are lots of different ways to do it.

Try not to be scared to death. The nutritionist will be a big help to you. You may be surprised at the number of things you can eat as opposed to all the things you can't.
I work with a guy who is full-on, insulin dependent diabetic and he's always sharing baked goods and "treats" that he makes at home and are healthy and nutritious, but also quite delicious. There are certain breads that he avoids such as croissants, but he loves English Muffins and has no problem having those. You don't have to be deprived of everything or live on cabbage.
It really might not be as bad as you think.

Best wishes to you!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

My boss cut out most carbs and all processed carbs. They have an unatural effect on blood sugar. The only carbs he takes in now are from vegetables, beans, and limited fruits. He stopped eating all processed foods and no more sodas. He has dropped a ton of weight, feels so much better, and is no longer borderline diabetic.

The 1st 6 months, he just dropped weight, but the test results came back the same. It was the cutting of his carbs that got him regulated. It only took 2 months and his test results were well into the normal range.

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answers from Seattle on

Your meeting with the nutritionist will address many if your question, for example how many calories you should be eating to loose weight. They may have you do a food diary for a week or two so you could start with that today: write down everything you eat and drink and how much of it. It will help them assess how to best modify your diet.
As for working out: you have to stop making excuses. Your joint are very likely hurting because they are carrying too much weight. Instead of making it worse by diying it on the wii at home, get yourself to a fitness trainer and have them help you with a customized program that is easy on the joints but still gives you a good workout. Anything you can do in the water is easy on the joints as well, so check out if your community pool offers water fitness classes or simply take up swimming.
Diabetes type II can almost always be prevented by loosing the extra weight... but it is going to be hard work!

If you need any motivation: my godmother was diagnosed as pre- diabetic in her 30s, by 40 it was full blown insulin dependend type II diabetes, by her mid-50s she had lost most of her eye sight due to diabetic retinopathy and started having issues with her feet (diabetic neuropathy). She finally decided to loose the weight and follow her dietary restrictions and her diabetes is controlled with diet today, no more meds, but unfortunately the complications are irreversible so she remains almost blind and in danger of loosing her feet, should she injure them again.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

My mom is diabetic and didn't do anything when she was diagnosed as pre diabetic. It's a shame because a few changes couldn't a made a huge difference in her current quality of life.

I'd say your first step would be heading off to the library to get some books so you can learn about the medical ins and outs of this condition plus you can get a couple cook books at the library to give you some ideas for tweaking your eating.

Walking is the best overall exercise you can do. If you are unable to walk then pick some stretching exercises that will get you moving a bit. Something is always better than nothing so instead of worrying about what you can't do concentrate on what you can accomplish.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

Just do not go sugar free. That is really bad for your body. Cut down your sugar intake by getting used to adding less to items like tea or desserts. When I make Koolaid I only use 1/2 of the amount suggested and the kids don't know any different since I have always done that.

Eating a bit more healthy is good too. Don't go drastic or you'll get bored and hate it, then revert back to the old way of eating.

Take it one step at a time. Going outside and taking a walk around the neighborhood, even if you have to do like Susan Powter did back when she was overweight and couldn't walk down the street easily. She would walk back and forth in front of her yard while her kids played. She lost a couple hundred pounds if I remember right.

Finding ways to go healthier does not mean doing without the foods you love. It might mean finding ways to cook them with less fat or to find a way that is less sweet but the process of finding these new habits should be fun and enlightening.

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answers from Dallas on

I have an idea for you but first a warning. My husband is in the same condition. I watched the Nutri-System commercials on TV for months with great interest and finally signed up. I have great respect for the accomplishments of Nutri-System, and its true they give you exactly what you need in their recipes/food, but you must be careful. I found a large percentage of the food to be pretty gross. Powdered hamburgers, powdered scrambled eggs etc. And they don't really represent it this way but you get into a large financial commitment ordering even the smallest program. I wish I had spent the money on a nutritionist. It would have to be less expensive. So consider this and make sure you get references before you choose someone.



answers from Amarillo on

Start out with moderation. Look at what you are eating and cut it in half. Look for ways to make the foods better by changing the ingredients in it. Drink more water without flavoring if possible to help flush out the system. Do get with a nutritionist for you and do look up recipes on the web for diabetics. They are actually good (hubby is diabetic due to medical issues) and follow them.

Above all else don't panic and go to extremes. Try to exercise and move the painful leg some. Remember your muscles haven't had a good workout in a while and you have to work on getting back into shape. Just know that you can do this and that all will be well. I, too, have had this diagnosis and have stayed and am not diabetic. It means that you could become diabetic if you don't watch what you are eating and doing.

Change the way you eat and make it a real life change not a temporary one and do eat the veggies and fruits and whole grains not processed grains. Also plan your main meals and have a mid morning and afternoon snack to keep your glucose level even and not fluctuating like a rollercoaster ride.

You will like the new you. Remember it didn't happen overnight so the change can't be done overnight. Set a goal and work it.

Here's to a healthier and slimmer you.

The other S.



answers from Detroit on

Go get the 17day diet from dr Moreno n follow it. Also make ur self feel better talk to a nutricoanist. Pretty much though if u follow the diet u will be fine



answers from Detroit on

Carbs are not all evil. :) But processed ones are. Eat whole grains (oatmeal, whole wheat bread/pasta, brown rice, etc...) The fiber they contain helps regulate when the sugars are released into your bloodstream, so it slows them down. Fruits and vegetables will help too, since they are full of fiber. Eat lean meats, the fats from the meat are what make it difficult for insulin to work and deal with the sugars in your blood. Being vegetarian (as long as you're eating whole foods and not highly processed junk foods) would definitely help you out! I'd recommend watching forks over knives - its an eye opening documentary!!

The nutritionist will help you out a lot as far as portions, what to eat and when to eat it. For now, eat as many fruits and veggies, whole grains, legumes as you can, those are powerful and full of fiber.

Walking is one of the best ways to regulate your blood sugar, so get in as much walking as you possibly can.

Best wishes!



answers from Detroit on

It's a good thing that you are aware of the risk. Keeping things simple will make it easier to manage. Nutritionist will help and they will give you more details. But but at the end of the day, you really are trying to just have a balanced diet and gradually change your lifestyle/eating habits. If you feel deprived, it won't last. My mom had issues with aches and joint pains when she was heavier. When she lost the weight (because she was diagnosed with diabetes), it relieved the pressure on her joints and helped tremendously. She did have osteoarthritis but it was exacerbated by her weight. She was able to manage it much better at a healthier weight.

Once you have it, diabetes is irreversible so it's important to prevent it. Start with just switching to more chicken and fish - grilled and not fried. Reduce your portion size and try to have whole/real food rather than packaged/processed food. It means you cook more. Replace white bread with whole grain. Potatoes (baked) are better than rice or bread. Replace chips with popcorn or carrot/cucumber/grape. Take stairs instead of elevator and park a little further away to add walking into your day.

Small changes make a really big difference. Diabetes isn't necessarily about the sugar you eat (although it matters a lot) but how your body processes things into sugar and your body's response. Everyone's body chemistry is different. Whole grain, vegetables, fruits all have fiber which will help naturally manage the process and help you feel satisfied.

Track everything you eat. They have pretty simple apps or web sites that help you do this. Average woman (5'4", 140 lb) shouldn't need more than 1600 calories a day. You'd be amazed at how quickly you reach this. Staying aware of your foods helps to eat less and make good decisions about what you eat.

Good luck!



answers from Grand Rapids on


I have used the livestrong calorie counter (link above) with great success! You log the food you eat and it tracks for you the calories, carbs, fats, proteins, etc. Their database is huge (it is usually but not always right - double check with the labels you have) and they have an iPad/iPod app if you have one (makes it really easy to track!). It's free, they do have an "ad free" gold membership you can pay for but I don't know what extras you get from it - I have always used the free one and not had any problems or needed anything more, nor have I been bothered by ads. You can even create your own meals of things you eat often, so I have my 2-3 lunches I tend to eat during the week saved on there and I can track them with one click. You can input fitness too (which actually gets me to work out more!) and the amount of water you drink daily. Hope this helps you!



answers from Portland on

Welcome to the sisterhood. Don't despair. Your life is now changed forever, but if you are proactive, you may find your health will be better than it has been with years of eating the "wrong" foods.

I've been diabetic since I turned 55, going on 10 years now, and I'm maintaining well enough that I still haven't had to go on insulin. I simply make sure I walk more (many old injuries keep me from exercising too hard), cut out as many carbohydrates from my diet as possible (this DOES take some effort and self-education), and remind myself between meals to eat only high-fiber, high-protein, no-sugar snacks.

It does help to lose weight, but be aware that diabetes makes that harder to do (especially belly fat) because it makes you insulin resistant, and your body is more likely to store the extra blood sugar as fat instead of burning it in the muscles. So lose as much as you can now, before you have full-blown diabetes. And most people don't know that even thin people can develop diabetes – they have the gene for it, and it will sometimes show up later in life in spite of the best eating and exercise.

And I test my glucose levels religiously. You'll need to get a glucose testing meter if you don't have one already just to make sure you're not getting higher glucose readings than you expect. Regular A1C tests are also important – this is done with a fasting blood draw at the doctor's office.

I strongly recommend getting at least one comprehensive book on Type 2 diabetes. You'll get an overview of ALL important information from a book like The First Year, Type 2 Diabetes (http://www.amazon.com/The-First-Year-Essential-Diagnosed/.... It will teach you how to manage your diet and exercise, use a blood-testing device, and everything you need to know to keep the disease under control and avoid the common side effects that will destroy your quality of life.

For now, make a real commitment to eating fewer high-carb foods. For me, this means pasta, breads, desserts, and most fruit. You can look up low-carb diets on the internet and get loads of information and menu ideas. And don't make the mistake of avoiding exercise because of balky body parts – keep looking until you find exercise you CAN do. Swimming, perhaps? Good luck!

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