Questions for the Pros

By Shelbo09 Latest Reply 2013-05-23 21:03:16 -0500
Started 2012-10-10 00:07:28 -0500 someone who is fairly new to this disease, I have a few questions..

I just started reading about beta cell damage for Type 2 diabetics.
How the influx of insulin, either too much or too little, will start damaging your beta cells to where eventually you're completely insulin dependent and will need injections…
Does this account for all type 2's? What if you have your BS under control? Are your beta cells still getting damaged?

At what level is your body/cells/nerves getting damaged? My doctor told me to stay under 140. Is this the safety net? Anything above 140 is doing damage within my body?

I'm having trouble with the "dawn phenomenon". My blood sugars will vary in the mornings when I wake up. Sometimes even as low as in the mid 70s-80's. But most of the time they are high. 110-120.
I can't pin-point when or why they are high or low in the mornings. Can anyone shed some light on this for me?

That's all for now. Thanks for the time! Talk to you pros soon ;)

11 replies

Anonymous 2013-05-23 21:01:00 -0500 Report

Food physical activity , msybe s vitamin or health suppliment you are taling. Protiem drink? Coffee creamer

SirLoin 2012-10-13 01:32:54 -0500 Report

I've been have some of the same problems. I've gotten to only checking my BS in the morning before breakfasts only. I usually sit in the 120 - 150. I want to get it around the 100 - 120 but am not sure what's causing the spiking. I usually eat 3hr before bed. I do have a desk job so don't get to move around a lot. I've taken to parking a good ways from the door to walk and I always take the stairs. When I get an opportunity to move around I can walk the floor but not for very long. I've pretty much stopped drinking sodas and eating normal sized sweets, when I have a craving for something sweet I try and stick with less than a serving size of a snack/fun size. The endo Dr Hansen really given me much guidance either. My last a1c was 6.9 I think.

Shelbo09 2012-10-10 20:34:47 -0500 Report

Thanks for the replies guys.

I read those articles Kirla, and thank you. Honestly it just scares me more and makes me more stressed out. Because I very very rarely have readings under 120 2 hours after a meal. And I'm only 22. I can't imagine the complications I'm going to have at 42 :( Im so scared of damaging my eyes and developing neuropathy.

My biggest problem is complete inconsistency with this disease.

I only get two 10 minute breaks at my job, so I have to eat something very quick. My lunch EVERY SINGLE DAY is exactly this.

I eat once slice of bread, yes one, folded up with some turkey, mustard and a little bit of mayo. Technically the only carbs I'm getting is from the slice of bread, which is 12 from the brand I get. I also eat a small bag of chips, which is maybe 16 carbs. So total, every day for lunch, I'm eating under 30 carbs.

Now here is an example of my inconsistency. I've always struggled with this from the beginning.

One night, we had a concert to get to and I didn't have time to cook myself anything, so I had to get some fast food. I know this is bad, but I got a chicken sandwich (took off the top bun) and I even ate some fries. I expected my BS to BE THROUGH THE ROOF when I got home. I worried about it throughout the entire concert. I get home, and my BS is only 96. I was shocked.

Next day, lunch is the same at work.
For dinner, I go to a nice little restaurant and eat a salad bowl. It had salad obviously, guacamole, little bit of ranch dressing, cheese, and a small serving of rice. I figured it couldn't be bad at all. Not as bad as a chicken sandwich and french fries. I didn't even worry about my BS. So I get home, 2 hours later, check it, and it's 175.

HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE??? How can I eat fast food and it be perfectly fine, go to a restaurant and eat something relatively low carb, and have a horrible reading? This has been my story since my diagnosis. I have yet to have any consistency.

I hope someone read all this because I'd like some input. Thanks to anyone that did.

Nick1962 2012-10-11 16:24:21 -0500 Report

Yes, I’m with Gabby here, that’s not much of a balanced diet. And like her I agree you could use more protein (and dare I say more fiber). Rather than the bread for lunch, I’d wrap the turkey in a lettuce leaf – in fact I’d double up on the turkey, or even chunk it up add some celery and/or other vegetables and a little mayo and make a chunky turkey (or chicken) salad. The beauty of this is you can make a big batch on Sunday, maybe two different kinds also, and not have to worry about cooking all week. The chips are really just empty carbs and fat – they have little nutritional value. When I eat carbs, like Gabby suggests, I try to make sure they come with a good source of protein (like your chicken sandwich did). As for your dinner salad – the only protein there was the small amount of cheese. While it was indeed lower carb (except for the rice), it did little for you nutritionally and the rice went straight into your bloodstream. Your body wants protein and will pull that in before it starts on the carbs.

My M-F lunch is a cup of raw vegetables and about a half cup of a nut mix. Boring I know, but I need to control weight and I sit at a computer all day. I get my protein with a salad in the evening (I prepare a “salad bar” on the weekends I can pick from all week), in various forms like cooked burgers or chicken or ham. Weekends I’m more active, so I eat a breakfast of eggs and some form of meat and cheese, and I’ll maybe have toast on one weekend day. I don’t do large meals (they might not even be considered “meals”) except on weekends, and even then carbs are very limited. I pretty much snack between “meals” and can keep my BG around 80 -110 all day long. No way will I recommend my diet for you, but I think there are a few things you could change up and get better results.

GabbyPA 2012-10-11 09:45:26 -0500 Report

It could be also that your testing after the concert was way more than 2 hours. So that could be a reason it was so low.

Here is what I noticed. You are not balanced. What I mean is that if you eat a salad and rice, you have nothing to help slow the rice down. You need protein or fat in there some where. That may be why the fast food was not as bad, because there was chicken and fat from the fried food.

I have always been taught to have some of each at the meal or snack. That is why you don't want to eat an apple alone. You want to have some cottage cheese or peanut butter with it to help curb the spike of pure carb in an apple. Even if it is a "low carb" count, if you don't balance it, it is going to tend to spike you.

GabbyPA 2012-10-10 10:36:48 -0500 Report

Since the gentlemen have dealt with your first part of the question I will try to help with the mystery of your dawn phenomenon.

If you keep a food log or diary, you can find patterns in what your bedtime snack is and if you go up or drop. As a general rule, around 3:00 am is when your body tends to drop or jump. For a week or so, you may want to set an alarm to test at that time to see what is going on. Keep that also in your food log so you can discover patterns. It might take more than a week, but you may be able to start looking at things to adjust or change.

Nick1962 2012-10-10 09:10:39 -0500 Report

In addition to James’ response, I’m no “pro” either, but from what I’ve read from Joslin and ADA, Beta cell studies have been going on since the 60’s. Beta cell death has been linked to “oxidative stress“ or the failure of antioxidants to neutralize the enzyme that causes the death. Inflammation has also been mentioned as a cause. Trouble is, I can’t figure out if they’re trying to say this cell death contributes to one getting type 2, or if type 2 contributes to the beta cell death. Since diabetes is a progressive disease for some, this may mean that yes, in time a T2 will become insulin dependent if subjected to glucose toxicity, but time and degree plays a big part in when that will occur. Basically you’re racing your own body, so your age, diet, and the subset of the type of diabetes you have (LADA or brittle for instance) plays a major role in the progression. There are just way too many variables to say this is a certainty in any one person.

As James points out, the roller coaster of highs and lows does appear to cause more damage, and I know in myself the better I keep my numbers level, the better I respond when I do have those times when I go “out of range”. Your numbers don’t appear to be so bad, and I would attribute those morning highs (and remember, I’m no doctor here) to dawn effect as you said. Try a higher protein snack before bed if you haven’t already and see if that doesn’t help. I’ll also say this again, try not to put too much stock in individual tests – your meter can be off, the test site can be contaminated, and other things contribute. I recently tested myself 5 times rapid-fire (test, wash, test, etc) within a 2-3 minute window and there was a 20 point difference. Your daily testing only shows trends and your A1c will give you a more accurate picture.

jayabee52 2012-10-10 08:34:04 -0500 Report

Howdy Shelbo, You raise are a lot of issues in one discussion. I would like to give it a try to answer you, however I am not a "Pro". I feel that very few people would feel that they are pros as well.

I am merely one of those who are walking the walk with this disease and one who may have a number of years of experience of feeling my way through this confusing and confounding experience of learning about my body and how it responds to certain foods or drinks or medications.

Diabetes is a highly individual disease. We can find a lot of commonalities with others but cannot say that because a certain action works for me it will automatically work for you.

That being said your question about complications coming over 140 mg/dl range, that is also very individual. What I have read is that 140 is not a magic number over which one automatically risks complications. However should one exceed that number for an estebnded period of time. I have also heard that riding the Blood Glucose (BG) roller coaster does the most damage. So as a GENERAL rule it is best to keep one's BG levels below 140 and to keep one's BG levels as stable as possible.

That is about all I can handle for now, but will tackle another issue a bit later.

Blessings to you and yours