Totally Overwhelmed .

By Smokebaby Latest Reply 2013-01-25 20:20:26 -0600
Started 2013-01-13 09:43:27 -0600

I was just diagnosed this past week. I found this sight and have gotten tons of great info to help me understand what is happening to my body. But I do have to say WOW TONS to know and TONS to stop doing and TONS to start doing.
I am taking all the meds the way I was told to but left with alot of questions about my diet. I cant get in to see the dietitian for a couple weeks. I would like to jump start my diet and hopefully be able to be a little ahead of the game before I meet with her but this part is where I get totally lost … what are exchanges ? what are the best foods to eat and avoid ? how do I know when and how much to eat ? Are the questions ones only my dietitian can answer ? any advise is so welcomed !
I love this site ! You are all such wonderful people !

18 replies

Ridgewalker 2013-01-25 20:20:26 -0600 Report

Learning the glycemic loads of foods is the most important information. Just go to a bookstore and get a little book like The Easy GL Diet Handbook $10 US

Lentyl 2013-01-18 11:41:49 -0600 Report


When I was first diagnosed I found a book written by Dr. Stanley Mirsky, M. D. who had worked with Dr. Elliot Joslin. Dr. Mirsky's book is excellent and he explains everything is a clear and understandable way. I followed his suggestions, lost about 30 lbs. and brought my BG from over 33 to 12 in five months. Foolishly I went off his book, trying other suggestions. Weight returned but my BG has settled to about 7.5. Perhaps you might find Dr. Mirsky's book helpful. It's title is - Diabetes Survival Guide. Now deceased he was Mary Tyler Moore's physician. Keeping carbs low has been a great help for me as well as using a computer programme that keeps track of everything related to diet. Kathleen's Diet Planner.

I wish you lots of success.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-01-18 10:01:53 -0600 Report

Hi Smokebaby,

I am a therapist and not a physician but I just wanted to say that I am glad you are here. It's so important to have a lot of emotional support when you are adjusting to a new medical diagnosis. It brings up a lot of emotions, and being newly-diagnosed can leave you feeling really overwhelmed. Reaching out for support, and getting ideas from others who are walking this roal along beside you, is a great way to get started. Support and knowledge are power!

Nice to see you!


DeanMM 2013-01-15 17:45:42 -0600 Report

I was diagnosed about 5 years ago and you learn very quickly about what works and what does not. Use your meter to see how your body reacts to different foods. Protein is the key to being able to sustain yourself between breakfast, lunch, and dinner. After dinner, I do not eat at all again until the morning. Between the 3 main meals, I eat fresh fruits and vegetables. I like to have two servings of vegetables and a salad with my entree at dinner, I do not eat desserts unless it is a special occasion, and I drink tea, coffee and water. I just stopped drinking diet Coke since I found it seemed to make me hungry (could be my imagination or classical conditioning). This type of diet, rich in fresh vegies and fruit, and smaller portions than before diaganosis will also help you lose weight, which lowers blood sugars for Type 2 folks. Do not forget to exercise at least once a day.

Lakeland 2013-01-14 16:22:42 -0600 Report

I post this alot, but it was so helpful to me. when planning a meal, pick the carb first. if you want the bread then skip pasta and dessert, if you want dessert then skip bread.

the best carbs for a diabetic are the carbs that have fiber in them, the fiber, i was told, takes longer to break down, so your sugars won't spike. high fiber carbs are whole grains, beans. on the lable fiber is listed under carbs & if the carb has a fiber higer than 3 can be deducted when you count carbs.

make sure you get a protien, eggs, meat, fish chicken.

one time we went out for breakfast & the place had a special pancakes, fruit & yogert parfait== for a diabetic that is horrible. pancakes, the syrup the fruit is ok but the sugar in fruit also spikes my sugars, so in that case I pick something else.

they also suggested eating a snack, like carrots or something, inbetween to keep sugar levels even, & also helps over eating at meals.

I found sandwich thins are higher fiber & are good sandwich breads, the fiber one bars, I use as snacks, check the fiber number on the labels.

and a nice walk can drop my sugars 30 to 40 points, so if you over do it, take a walk,

I hope this helps you, it did me.

Smokebaby 2013-01-14 15:58:13 -0600 Report

You guys rock ! I'm taking this thing one thing at a time and already thanks to your wonderful advice things are coming together. Again thank you all !

sloane 2013-01-14 12:44:05 -0600 Report

Honestly you will get the hang of it after a short while.. Having two sons with diabetes, I understand what you are feeling. You don't need to count exchanges unless that is the preferred method of your health care team , Like carbs they are just a way to measure your consumption and make sure you eat the proper amounts of food. We now can just look at a meal and know approximately how many carbs we have. It becomes second nature and it's such a healthy way to eat!! Good luck and any questions, ask away!

MAYS 2013-01-14 06:25:06 -0600 Report

Welcome to the family!
Managing your diabetes gets easier with time and kvowledge on the subject, there is no set plan, it varies with the individual you must find out what (meal plan) works fpr you.
You may wind up taking a bit of information from here, and a bit from there but eventually you will have a plan so work very close with your dietician/ mutritionist and your other diabetes management personnel, in the meantime these links may interest you:

Once again, "Welcome to the family" explore and enjoy this wonderful, helpful site, manage your diabetes and enjoy your life!


Set apart
Set apart 2013-01-14 05:45:27 -0600 Report

Welcome to DC, like the others said keep a journal log your foods and check your BG before you eat and 2 hours after you eat. This will tell you what foods you can eat and which foods will cause a spike in your BG! Take one day at a time, I believe we are constantly learning how to live with D! One important thing is to know that it belongs to you and no one else so take charge and you will feel great! Exercise is a key factor!

Harlen 2013-01-13 20:22:47 -0600 Report

Give your self a brake it takes time to get it all down
I like to use the book the calorie king it has all the foods carb counts and fats
It has saved me tuns
A log works real good too
and yes I use a scale too lol lol
Best wishes

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-01-13 16:01:51 -0600 Report

Smokey, keep a food journal until you can get to she your dietitian. I started with a measuring cup and a food scale then logged everything I ate and the amount. Of course my dietitian was useless and screwed up my diet but with the help of my doctor and a friend who is a Certified Nutritionist, I got my diet plan back together.

There are tons of things to start, stop to know and to try. With me, overtime, everything I do became routine. Good luck to you and welcome to the DC family.

GabbyPA 2013-01-13 15:17:06 -0600 Report

To be honest, what you might want to do is keep a log of what you are doing now, without the dietitians input. That is what I did. I kept a log for a week of what I normally ate. That really opened my eyes to see where I needed to change and how to go about it. You automatically get more mindful when you have to write it down in the first place, but it does show your areas of weakness.

Then choose one or two things to work on. It does get so overwhelming to try to do it all at once. So pick one thing. Maybe to focus on carb counting. There are a couple of really great videos on that which can help.
The pin cushion guy is my favorite. Keep on logging and you will start to find patterns.

This will also give you a starting point with your dietitian so they know how you work daily. Sometimes they can be kind of general, so giving them tools to help you specifically is a huge help.

To find the foods that work for you, testing is going to be your biggest ally. There are general rules to avoid white processed foods, juices and starchy veggeis. To combine carbs with fat, fiber or protein helps reduce spikes and portions are important. It takes time to get things in line for you.

rpf 2013-01-13 12:55:44 -0600 Report

Well it's a great change the kind of brings attention to what you're eating and get exercise getting nonprofessional turkey salad and protein shake and afternoon chicken or steak with a possible heard they don't potato or sweet potato at night I tell you what it is amazing my life is changed very that I will not let this disease beat me just another bump in the road anyway wish you the best luck please get out and walk 2 to 3 miles a day and watch your carbs and I promise you'll be just fine

Nick1962 2013-01-13 12:32:04 -0600 Report

Hey, welcome to the family!
Yeah, there is a lot to learn, but as James below said, you don't have to do it all right now. In fact, I don't think you can. Since this is unique to each of us, we all had to go through the learning process about how best to treat ourselves and still maintain a certain desired lifestyle. One thing you'll see quickly around here is that we all don't follow the same "diabetic" type diet, and you don't have to either.
The first thing though is to find out what foods do what to you, so you'll need to start a food log. It might be just temporary, but it will help you learn #1 just how much you are over or undereating, #2 just how your current diet affects you numbers, and #3 where you need to make changes to get in the correct range. Like James, I don't count anything anymore. If it had a certain carb level, it was removed from my diet or used only sparingly. Some people call it "eating to your meter", and I really don't have to think about it anymore. I know what foods affect me and I can usually guess within 10 points what my BG is.
Take your time and ask questions. Thats why we're here!

jayabee52 2013-01-13 11:27:58 -0600 Report

Howdy Smokebaby!

It is important to view this diabetes in terms of a race. The race we run as People with Diabetes (PWDs) is not a sprint, but a marathon. If we try to run it as a sprint we exhaust ourselves and burn out. IMO, It is better to take a longer term view of controlling our Diabetes Mellitus (DM). So it is not absolutely vital to get every aspect of one's DM nailed down immediately.

Generally speaking "Diabetic Exchanges" are as defined here ~ Generally speaking the exchange system is what a RD will tell you fo follow.

I find the exchanges to be confusing to me. I prefer to do carbolydrate counting, myself, and have had good success in managing my Blood Glucose (BG) levels using that method.

I don't want to overload you too much with theory. Just ask specific questions and have people here answer you.

Praying God's richest blessings be upon you and yours!

Until Next time

James Baker

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