Newly Diagnosed and absolutely overwhelmed

By irisheys122 Latest Reply 2012-12-01 05:49:19 -0600
Started 2012-09-25 23:51:12 -0500

I was so happy to find this support site!! Two weeks ago I had an A1C with results of 6.5. Primary doc said I am pre-diabetic, to watch my diet & not much else. But after reading everything I could find on the internet and the book "Stop PreDiabetes Now", by Jack Challem, I am convinced that my doctor's wrong and I truly am diabetic. I have tons of healthy eating & supplement info, but wonder if I should be testing. I don't know if you remember what it was like when you were first diagnosed, but I am so overwhelmed, I'm nearly paralyzed. Thanks for being here.

18 replies

Tony5657 2012-12-01 05:49:19 -0600 Report

Hi Irisheyes122,

Thanks for your book recommendation! I was diagnosed as pre-diabetic and am using a book by Dr. Ripich, "The 30 Day Diabetes cure." He instructs the reader to change bad habits and develop new ones through the 30 days, with each day's changes building upon the previous day. He stresses eating right (he lists good foods for diabetics), taking specific vitamins & supplements (listing reputable manufacturing companies), physical exercise and mental exercises to lower stress and focus on the positive. He doesn't claim you'll be cured in 30 days, BUT if you continue what you learned in the first 30 days, you'll start your healing process and eventually possibly become diabetes free. It's working for me.

I'd like to be your "friend" on this site but my d&@# computer is acting up and I can't get the "connect" link to work. I, like you, am really happy I stumbled upon this site. I've learned so many valuable things. :o)

Tony5657 in New Braunfels, TX

JSJB 2012-10-01 03:24:53 -0500 Report

A year ago I was pre-diagnosed, BS 250 and A1C 9.5, with this condition and was told to exercise and diet. My dr gave me a meter and said I should test every morning before breakfast. My last visit I was told it was excelent keeping BS between 100 and 110 and my A1C was 5.4, but the testing was done to keep a check on my sugar. There were times when it was high but still acceptable and when that happened I checked on what I did the night before and tried to correct the condition. Good Luck

old biker
old biker 2012-09-29 20:05:35 -0500 Report

Hi welcome to DC..Let me first say you have a great smile, now keep on smiling things aren't that bad. A1c of 6.5 says you are a the lowest end of the scale of what defines diabetes.. What I think your doctor should of pointed out. That at this point you probably need to make an adjustment to your diet and get out and do some walking or some other exercise daily. He mentioned diet but exercising is just as important!!!! Important thing is not to stress out. A1c of 7 or below is recommended for diabetics so there is no need at this point to worry about damage being done to your body.. Make the changes, I'm sure the book you read had some diet recommendations, cut down on your carb intake, keep smiling, and exercise..Go back in three months and see what your A1c is..Much luck and good fortune on your journey through life

MoeGig 2012-09-29 07:44:56 -0500 Report

Welcome to the club…it's really not so bad. The main thing you need to do is minimize your intake of carbs. That's the bad news, the good news is you can eat as much of anything else including most vegetables (not corn, potatoes), meat, fish,fats, nuts,cheese, etc. You won't be constantly hungry (eating carbs makes you hungry (spikes your blood sugar up and down)), and you will also maintain, or lose weight. You mentioned eggs below…these are great for diabetics, and a slice of toast is only 15 gms of carb. As far as fruits go, eat the fruit, but don't drink the juice e.g., oranges are ok (15 gms), but orange juice is not. I've been T1 now for 46 years and am quite healthy and active.

You should also test at least once per day an hour after you big meal. If the reading is more than 180, you need to get on meds; if it's less than 180, your A1c will stay below 7 which is fine.

Good luck. As I said, welcome to the club :>)

tabby9146 2012-09-28 12:22:36 -0500 Report

Welcome to DC! I can't add a thing to what anyone else has said, all great info. and I felt exactly the same and have learned the same as the others. Mine was caught early too, but I had symptoms that sent me, and I thank God everyday for that, I wish everyone could be fortunate enough to have some red flags that could get them to the doctor, it is easier when caught early, but there are quite a few on here that have improved vastly when it wasn't caught early, they have worked hard and I love reading those stories. Make sure to get fiber and protein in everything you eat, don't cut out too much fat, we need some of that everyday, don't worry too much about having some sugar in food, it is in just about everything ,when I went to class, they just said, 'everything in moderation' and the one thing they told us to completely stay away from was sodas so I do. I don't even drink juice. I drink water throughout the day, another good thing to do and try to stay away from the white stuff, rice, bread, white potatoes, things like that. You should test everyday, maybe 3 times a day to see how certain foods affect your blood sugar. My doctor told me to test upon getting up in the morning, the 2 hours after meals, later on, I was able to cut down to once a day testing, like I do now. It would be good to test before and after exercise to see how quickly exercise is going to lower BS and just how much. Always eat some good protein before exercising, and give it a chance to start working, I think they told us an hour after a meal, was a great time to exercise. I know I have repeated some of what others have said, it is so true about exercising a minimum of 30 mins. per day, it helps a lot!! There are still many changes I need to make even now (diagnosed in late 2008) I am always trying to improve. You can manage it.

awakening2health 2012-09-27 13:21:39 -0500 Report

Yes your doctor was wrong (sorry); an A1c of 6.5 defines diabetes. However, this is as mild as possible and still be diabetic. You probably should be on Metformin (maybe other drugs too). You certainly should not freak out! Your prognosis is excellent as long as you "wake up" and take care of things. In fact you can be healthier than you have been for a long time! Ultimately, LIFESTYLE INTERVENTION programs are twice as effective as medications in reaching treatment goals. This can not be overstated - diet and exercise are crucial and much more effective than medications. You may be able to get what you need from this site and books, etc, but there are many LIFESTYLE INTERVENTION programs throughout the country. The thing about eating write and getting good exercise is that you weill feel better!!!

mystikfairy61 2012-09-27 00:32:26 -0500 Report

Welcome to DC. My husband and I were both diagnosed April 23 this year so we were just recently in your shoes. My husband, with all he had heard from his mom who was diabetic, thought he was going to starve since he couldn't eat all he used to. But he has found ways to manage. We are still making changes and working toward control. My AIC was 9.5 and my husband's was over 14. Your 6.5 can be managed. Take your time and don't let everything overwhelm you. Don't try to make all the changes at once, and don't stress yourself out about it. It will happen in time and you are in the right place for support. HUGS

irisheys122 2012-09-26 21:25:22 -0500 Report

Thanks so much for all the support. I have hardly eaten in the past few days, because I don't yet have the right foods at home & was afraid to eat anything for fear of spiking my BS. Today is a bit better. Had a high protein dinner w/ broccoli, salad & an orange. Sure wish I could have toast w/ my egg beaters in the morning. My main question was: is my doctor wrong in saying I'm pre-diabetic instead of diabetic? I know that doesn't change how I need to eat, but it does change insurance coverage for anything I might need.

Nick1962 2012-09-27 12:16:34 -0500 Report

I can imagine this has come to quite a shock to you, especially if you’ve been in good health otherwise. The nice thing is though, it’s been caught early enough that it isn’t critical, and with all the good work you’re doing so far, it likely won’t be. It is still a serious condition that you do have to stay on top of.
If it will help ease your mind, you are in far better shape (numbers wise) than many of us here were when we were first diagnosed, and several had gotten themselves in line in just a few short months.
If I may, some tips I learned along the way: Don’t deny yourself food. Have that piece of toast with your eggs in the morning, but maybe cut it down to one slice every other day. We do need some carbs, so if its toast that will keep you happy, try to cut out another carb during the day you can live without. Denying yourself anything leads to binging on it at some point to satisfy the craving, and you end up getting sick and really spiking. Also, try to match your food with your activity level. I sit at a desk all week, so there is little need for me to eat like I do on the weekends when I’m doing yard work, house work, sports and exercising a heavier routine.
Last but not least, keep in mind before you were diagnosed you didn’t know your numbers and it really didn’t affect you. You were going up and down all day, blissfully going about your life. Don’t let your daily numbers change that now that you know them. They are simply a guide to let you know areas you need to work on. Your A1c is most important, and if you have the real need to know that before a doctor’s visit, you can get a home test. Sure, if you find a crazy high or low, you need to do something, but if you’re up past 150 an hour after a meal, or a little under 70 before one, don’t sweat it.
Learning to deal with this can be kind of fun because you really learn a lot about your body and how it functions. Sit back and take the time to have some fun getting to know you!

Almost forgot. Diabetes/pre-diabetes is really just a doctor preference in terms. It shouldn’t change your insurance coverage.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-09-26 12:01:44 -0500 Report

Hi Irish welcome to DC this is a great family to be part of. I was only overwhelmed for two days. The first day I had no idea what to eat or do so at 10pm. It was National Night Out and I went to an event. The Sgt of our Police Community Relations unit took one look at me and all I could do was cry in his arms. A friend came over and asked what was wrong and I said I have diabetes. He took my hand and asked if I had eaten anything. I said no because I didn't know what to eat. He got me some popcorn and told me to just eat what I would normally eat for dinner then work on the problem tomorrow. I then went to all of the events that night with our Sgt. who watched me like a hawk.

When I arrived at work the next day, a coworker who was diagnosed the same time I was but was confirmed by her doctor two weeks before me gave me a packet of information. Other coworkers shared printed information for me as well. Once I talked to my coworker and friends and family members I got a better understanding of what I had to do and jumped in head first.

I had two problems. A. I had too much information too fast and had to take a step back and stop reading about diabetes for a week. B. I actually focused on diabetes to the point that was all I was doing. I was losing weight so fast the doctor slowed me down.

My last A1C was 6.5. I no longer make diabetes my main focus. I have diabetes, it does not have me and I control my diabetes, it does not control me.

You may have to slow down and take a break from all that information. It will ease your being overwhelmed. At 6.5 you are ahead of the game. You can control this and you don't have to be overwhelmed doing it. So just for today, put all the information aside and do something fun and special for yourself.

Nick1962 2012-09-26 11:55:27 -0500 Report

Welcome and relax. It's going to be just fine. My A1c was 11 when first diagnosed 5 years ago, now it's 5.2 (up from 4.9, but stable). And yes, test as often as you can (within reason), and never take any one single number too seriously unless it's crazy high or low. You're looking for the trend, not that single point in time.

DeanaG 2012-09-26 11:42:27 -0500 Report

Welcome to DC!!
I remember how overwhelmed and scared I was when I was first diagnosed. Then I found this site!!

Proud Army Mom
Proud Army Mom 2012-09-26 09:35:32 -0500 Report

Hi Irish, and welcome :)

First - yes, I remember when I was first diagnosed, and I would wager that everyone has felt that panic and fear and being overwhelmed. So take a few deep breaths…

Your A1C of 6.5 is not terrible - many of us started out much higher - mine was 10. Now, it's 6.4, and it's moving in the right direction because I finally made some life changes including eating habits and fitness.

I would suggest you evaluate your diet. If you are not taking meds (and it sounds like you are not), then I would be willing to bet if you cut back on carbs (in the form of bread, potatoes, pasta, and refined sugar) and focus on lean proteins, a few servings of fresh fruit a day, some lowfat dairy and lots of veggies, and if you modify your life to include at least 30 minutes of cardio activity a day, you will most likely be able to get your A1C down to 5 or below without further intervention. But you have to be committed to making those changes I just talked about a permanent part of your life - not just for a few months, but for a lifetime.

Good luck - I know you're worried and scared, but you need to know that this is completely manageable, especially so early on, and it's within your control to achieve a very positive outcome here.