What Else Can I Do...

By sugarbeat Latest Reply 2013-11-21 12:58:43 -0600
Started 2013-10-10 17:32:19 -0500

I have been diagnosed with diabetes for three years now, and began with average blood sugar levels of about 140, but the past 6 months they have been rising. I have been to several doctors (GP and endocrinologists), dietitians, specialists, and I have left them all standing and scratching their heads. I am 5ft 9in, and weigh 190 lbs (was 212 to start). I am muscular in my build, so I don't consider myself extremely overweight. My starting A1C was 8.8, and I was able to get that down to 6.1 at one point. But now my A1C has risen up to 7.4 and my daily fasting blood sugar levels are now averaging about 185 on my meter…doing the exact same things.

I've been told to get my levels down below 130 and an A1C below 6.0. I exercise on a reclining bike 1-hour on M-W-F and then I walk 30 minutes after dinner on S-T-Th-Sat. A typical daily diet is made up of 1 hard boiled egg and tsp peanut butter and 6oz of skim mild for breakfast, 8-10 raw almonds for a snacks twice a day, a small salad with vinagarette dressing for lunch, and a hamburger patty (no bun or condiments) and a handful of raw vegetables for dinner. I drink 8 12oz bottles of water on average every day. That is a total of less than 1500 calories a day and hardly any carbs and yet my blood sugar levels are still increasing.

What am I missing? What else can I do?

I am getting to the point where I feel depressed, agitated, and resentful at meals. I am about to toss in the towel and say forget it.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be wonderful to hear! Thanks!

11 replies

jaydoubleyou23 2013-11-09 23:13:03 -0600 Report

It seems like you're doing everything right. My A1C is also currently 7.4. Which, is considerably pretty decent. It is recommended to be below a 6.0, but for lots of people after the first year of diagnosis, it gets a lot harder. Maybe lower your carb ratio or increase your units of lantus;or if your on a pump, up your basal/bolus rates. Best of luck!

JoleneAL 2013-10-27 14:15:30 -0500 Report

The first year I was diagnosed, I was on Metformin only. I walked on the treadmill for 1 hour every day, 6 days a week and lived on green beans and salads. I couldn't get my sugar under 200 EVER. I finally asked for Lantus (long acting insulin). I took my first shot of 10 units at night and the next morning my waking BS was 110. I asked my doctor what the hell? He said diabetes doesn't follow a script. What works for one doesn't for the next one. He said, I treat the patient, not the disease. I added fast insulin as needed a couple years ago. I have morning spikes to over 250 for no reason 1 hour after waking. Everyone is different. Also, as someone noted in their comment, stress will cause your sugar to go up. Yoga, relaxation music, or a good massage helps. Breath. Relax. This disease has a mind of its own at times. I can go weeks without having to use any fast insulin and then it changes. I adjust to what is going on with my body with medication and diet and move on with my life. I have enough stress without stressing about this that is manageable.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-10-16 13:12:02 -0500 Report

Sometimes you have to look at your diet and adjust it. I have had to do that repeatedly. There is no sure fire fix. Diabetes is not the same for everyone. You have to find what works for you. I eat about 1000-1200 calories per day. My meals consist of a meat, a vegetable and a carb. This helps keep my blood sugar leveled out.

You also have to check out underlying problems. If you are depressed, agitated and resentful, these alone can cause your blood sugar to be out of whack. If I were you, I would sit down with a dietitian and work out a meal plan that you can use.

My doctor never told me to lower my A1C to any particular level. When I asked why, he says it causes too much stress on his patients when he tells them that. I tend to agree with that. I set my own goals and I work towards them. It can be frustrating only if you allow it to be. I choose to no longer be frustrated when I don't reach my goal because I know that somewhere along the line I did something wrong. I just keep going.

I didn't try to go from my high A1C number to a lower A1C number at one time, I did it in quarters which didn't create stress or frustration. After each A1C test, I worked with my neighbor who is a certified dietitian who simply changed my diet as needed. Now it has been lingering at 6.5 for the past year. I don't worry about it as that could be my normal number.

GabbyPA 2013-10-11 18:13:20 -0500 Report

You may also want to look for some underlying issues. Is there an infection going on that you don't know about? Is there undue stress right now over something in your life or in the life of someone you love? Are you sleeping well?

One of my biggest issues is nights that have too much pain in them to sleep well. I will always wake up with high numbers. Nights where I sleep well through the night and wake rested I usually have better fasting numbers.

Even weather changes can make things out of wack. Look at everything.

sugarbeat 2013-10-14 13:51:54 -0500 Report

Well, I am always stressed, who isn't in this economy and goofy government. I sleep somewhere in between waking several times a night to not sleeping enough…if that makes sense. I use a CPAP machine, so I have sleep apnea as well. The CPAP helps a lot, and I do better with it than without it. That is an interesting point about fasting numbers. I will start to track that and see if there is anything that I can identify. Thank you for the suggestion!

Nick1962 2013-10-11 08:46:26 -0500 Report

I think Lakeland below has it right. More fiber and you don’t need to cut the carbs that drastically. Try to get some carbs/fiber in when you know you’ll use them like before or after exercise. Might want to cut back on the water too – while it’s important to be hydrated, there’s still the risk you’re actually flushing out your system and requiring your body to produce the glucose – it’s in survival mode.

sugarbeat 2013-10-14 14:05:55 -0500 Report

Thank you for your suggestions. I just started to try eating more high fiber in my diet. I found a whole grain wheat bread with 4 grams of fiber and I am adding more raw vegetables like celery for snacks. I didn't think about the water, and I will drop that over time and track the differences. You've suggested things that I haven't thought of nor has the medical folk mentioned them. Some times I think they want me to stay sick so they can make money from my insurance companies. I am one of the lucky people that is double insured, by my wife's employer and my own employer. Funny how once they find that out they really pour on the testing, pill prescriptions, and specialty referrals!

Just for my own interest I went to a new doctor and told him I wanted him to find out what is wrong with me. I didn't give him names of prescription medicines I was taking, prior diagnosis…nothing. I wanted to start from scratch and see if his diagnosis was the same as my prior doctors. He told me after my examination, blood tests, etc. what he thought I had wrong with me. Funny thing is that my prior doctor had me on 9 different meds for things like diabetes, gout, thyroid, high cholesterol, shingles, etc, and the only thing the new doctor said was that I had diabetes and slightly elevated cholesterol. I went from taking 9 different meds to just two. But since then I submitted my medical insurance to them and now he is ramping up the tests and frequency of my examinations and blood work. I really don't trust doctors, insurance companies, food manufacturers, politicians,…well…basically anything that involves someone getting paid money. Seems most have lost their ethics and love of the common good. I have become cynical and angry…and I guess that equals stress!

Nick1962 2013-10-14 14:39:20 -0500 Report

I hear ya! A lot of what many of us here learned, we learned through trial and error – and mostly error at that. Finding the right doctor is a tough thing because they all have slightly differing treatment methods and philosophies. And of course the amount of their time with you is limited unless you’re willing to write out a 4 digit before-the-decimal check for a routine exam. Some prescribe “maintenance:” drugs just given your age and pre-disposition which you may not even need. It pays to question this sometimes, which many folks don’t.
The increased visits are a good thing (I used to go quarterly) for a diabetic because it kind of forces you to be accountable for your progress. Depending on your insurance plan, it might earn you some discounts if they have some incentive programs too. I know we dropped ours nearly 30% by participating in several.

Lakeland 2013-10-10 18:49:44 -0500 Report

hi, did anyone suggest eating vegetable snacks between meals? I'm overweight & a type 2 diabetic, I was told (& here's a website http://www.allergy-and-diabetic-health.com/hi...) that the goal of a diabetic is to be level, not lows & highs in blood sugars. I eat a big breakfast, eggs, light sausage, a high fiber bread for toast, make sure the fiber content on the nutrient label is 3 or above. the high fiber makes the body work harder to break down food so sugars won't spike. milk is a carb & peanut butter has lots of sugar in it. I realize you don't eat much, I'd try adding something that's high fiber & try adding a snack. the website I posted, says what I was told, if you don't eat enough the body make glucose. It's just a thought

sugarbeat 2013-10-14 13:47:05 -0500 Report

Thank you for replying. I really need some sage advice since all the directions from the healthcare group haven't helped, so I thought I had to go drastic. But your suggestions that I might be causing other mechanisms to kick in for survival mode may make sense. I can't believe that my body cant handle even the most restricted diet. So, I will read the web site you offered, and give it a try…hey, what do I have to lose! Thank you, again!

Glucerna 2013-11-21 12:58:43 -0600 Report

I like to tell people that monitoring blood sugar levels is almost like a weather gauge for your body. By that I mean that when blood sugar levels rise, there are potentially a variety of reasons: carbohydrate intake, stress, sleep patterns, illness. Diabetes management changes based both on the individual person, as well as what's going on in your life and often how long you've had diabetes. If you're not sleeping well even with the CPAP machine, let your doctor know. Stress management and relaxation techniques are often really helpful. You have a great team on your side here as well. ~Lynn @Glucerna

Next Discussion: My boyfriends diabetes »