newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes

By lunchlady14 Latest Reply 2015-02-03 14:30:59 -0600
Started 2015-02-02 18:22:40 -0600

Two weeks ago I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. My number was 6.1 my doctor started me on metformin and said to watch my diet. Said to come back in may for a blood test. My question is …is that normal? Everyone I have told said I should be testing my levels all the time. I feel so lost and confused. Its like my doctor has left me hanging to figure this out on my own. Is 6.1 an ok number not to be concerned with? Or should I look for a new doctor?

8 replies

Nikita007 2015-02-03 09:13:11 -0600 Report

Hi lunchlady. Yes, it appears to be normal. I was newly diagnosed under 3 weeks ago. My second appointment was yesterday. My doc told me she'd see me in three months, but will call in a month for a phone consultation. My number was 16. at 385. I'm on Metformin and a statin for my heart. After doing tons of research I've learned statins are not the best thing to be on. As my heart and kidneys are fine, I told her I wanted off of them as soon as I finish the bottle (have about about 14 days left). I can share with you what's been working for me. Even with my high numbers, I'm in pretty good physical shape. I do light weights and aerobics more consistently now (had problems with a meniscus that kept me grounded for a while). Crucial though is the food! I've been reading tons of literature and have bought several books. Hands down the most invaluable for me are Dr. Joel Fuhrman's Eat to Live and The End of Diabetes. I eat mostly low glycemic carbs in the form of vegetables. Low glycemic fruit (berries), no flour, wheat, pasta; no dairy, no sugar of course, no artificial sweetners. I still have coffee, but moved it to midday with just a smidge of creamer. While Fuhrman doesn't advocate for much animal protein (he believes too much animal protein causes inflammation which is the root cause of the disease), I do have allow myself to have about 4 ounces a day in the form of salmon or lean protein, usually sprinkled on top of a salad or sauteed vegetables. Best thing is, I'm never hungry. I made the BIG MISTAKE of thinking I could add in sprouted grain breads (Ezekiel) because I wrongly believed they didn't contain gluten. My second blood draw at the clinic revealed only a ten point drop after two weeks: 375. BUT after I found out my mistake I immediately threw out the bread and have been gluten free for a week. To further prove how gluten sensitive I am, my doctor sent me home with a Glucose testing kit yesterday. I waited two hours after my last meal and tested. It was down almost from 385, to 191!!! And this morning I held my breath as I tested: 169!!! So, YES, make sure you read everything you can about nutrition. Sadly, I realized that much of the ADA nutrition guide menus actually keep us diabetic. Try to stick to the low glycemic foods 55 and lower, or just a few in the middle range. Good luck. Take solace that if you get your food and exercise under control, that number will be under 5 (a great range) in no time. You Don't have to be on insulin. Always ask questions and seek out several opinions. When my symptoms showed up: nocturnal leg cramps, my MD put me on B6 and muscle relaxers. When I went to a ND, they took almost 2 hours to go through all my health history and asked all kinds of questions. They were the ones who discovered my diabetes!! I work with both my MD and ND for full comprehensive treatment. It's paid off! I expect to be off meds by the end of the summer.

GabbyPA 2015-02-03 05:47:14 -0600 Report

Since your doctor was not very helpful (I find very few of them are) it's great that you came here. The things you can learn from everyone here will give you a great head start and you can go back and teach your doctor a thing or two.

First, get a notebook or journal and keep track of what you are doing. This will help with your next doctor visit so that he will see what you are doing and then hopefully be able to guide you in some further goals. I log the times I do anything, test, eat, exercise. I log what I eat counting the carbs, calories, fat and protein. I write down if I am sleeping well or not, if I feel emotional in some way or if I am going through anything big. This will help you start to see patterns.

You can get a meter and test strips from WalMart for about $20.00 to get you started. Testing is easy, but it takes a little practice to get it down. The pharmacist should be able to demonstrate how to do it for you. I would start out testing first thing in the morning when you get up. That is your fasting glucose and you want that to be 70-100 as a goal. Don't freak out if you are not there, that is just a goal. Then test at least one time during the day. I usually test either 2 hours after a meal or right before a meal. Then I test before I go to bed. This will tell you what your body does at night.

There are many schools of thought on carbs. You will want to talk to your doctor about a goal, but here is a good way to start. I ate my normal meals for a day or two, did my testing and wrote down all that I ate. It is your bench mark. Then you start to see what the food is doing to your levels. So you can start to make adjustments. Here is an example of what I mean. Let's say you eat cereal with milk, a cup of coffee and maybe a fruit for breakfast on a normal day. You see that your level go up when you test 2 hours after you have eaten by 60 points. You want a rise of less than 40 after a meal, so you can make your adjustments. Introduce lower carb choices such as eggs or turkey sausage to your breakfast and skip the cereal. You will find lower carb foods that satisfy you and keep your levels lower as you work your way through. It takes time and patience and some good discipline in the beginning, but things get easier as you go along.

It's a lot to start with, but we are here to help you though. For carb counting, I recommend this video to get you started.

jayabee52 2015-02-03 00:15:14 -0600 Report

Howdy LunchLady
You say your "number" is 6.1. Does this number refer to your A1c or are you in a place where you measure your BG (blood glucose) levels in mmol/l (we use the mg/dl system in the USA)

"Everyone you told" is correct.
You should be testing your levels more frequently than every 4 mo! You can check back with your current Dr and ask for a meter and a scrip for more testing strips (enough for a minimum of 4 tests a day) You also may wish to ask if Dr has a Registered Dietician (RD) to which to refer you. You may also ask for a referral to an Endochrinologist (Endo, a Dr who has studied the endochrine system — make sure this Endo is a diabetes specialist)

Should your current Dr give you grief about any of this, that Dr does not have your best interests at heart and you can feel justified in finding a new Dr and then firing this one.

Please let us know how it goes
God's best to you

lilleyheidi 2015-02-02 23:09:22 -0600 Report

Frankly, a lot of doctors don't know or care much about newly diagnosed diabetics. Especially if their A1c is not HIGH HIGH. They leave you hanging. Or at least this is what I have been hearing a lot of. Your left to discover a lot of things on your own. If it were me, I'd write a full list of questions (how many carbs a day should I be eating, can you refer me to a dietician, can i get a script for a monitor and strips, etc etc) and make an appt ASAP to see that same doc, don't wait until May. Tell the nurse you need to see him right away. And advocate for the things you need. Then come here and continue asking us questions. We don't have ALL the answers, by any means, but we've all been there, done that, and have figured a lot of the things out by trial and error and have some of the answers.
At this point, i wouldn't be overly concerned with the number 6.1, it's not that high at all. And I wouldn't look for a new doctor unless your just not happy with the one you have in general, if your happy overall with this one, I'd just get in there asap armed with a list of questions and get answers.
As for diet, start counting what you eat daily for carbs, write down what you eat, and look up the carbohydrate count, and then start lowering it. There is no magic number for how many carbs you should eat, there are guidelines, and averages, but everyone is different. A lot of people try to stay around 120 grams of carbs a day, a lot of people go way less than that. So, it's really up to you and your dietician and your doctor and what research you do.
In terms of exercise, a lot of us don't like that either, your not alone there. Try to find ways to increase your activity, even if it is parking at the far end of the parking lot, and walking a bit further each day. Maybe taking the stairs once or twice a day at work. You don't have to be a gym rat, but if you can increase your activity by 20 minutes a day it will make a great improvement on your glucose numbers.
But, overall, talking to your doctor is your best bet, and keep coming back here. Best of luck to you. Heidi

Jibber Jabber
Jibber Jabber 2015-02-02 18:28:25 -0600 Report

Don't feel bad you're not alone…my doctor did not even mention self testing when he diagnosed me…Personally I think that is negligent…How are you suppose to find out how certain foods affect your BG…how are you suppose to figure out what your carb limit is???…I went out the next day and bought a monitor and strips myself…If I would of relied on just my metformin I would of never realized that many of the "healthy" foods that we are encouraged to eat make my BG spike like Mount Everest…

lunchlady14 2015-02-02 18:58:05 -0600 Report

I don't ever feel like my blood sugars levels ever drop. Plus I don't even know what range I should be in. Other people have told me to watch my carbs and sugars. But like you said what are those limits. I'm almost 39 and have a few health issues that could possibly come into play but I have no idea! I know I should lose weight to. I've been debating on a new doctor or going to weight watchers. I don't have time for gyms and frankly just don't like exercise!

Refined Ruffian
Refined Ruffian 2015-02-03 10:20:51 -0600 Report

The importance of becoming physically active is downplayed entirely too much in much of what I have read since being diagosed (last month). Yes, you need a new diet, a healthy way of eating. Myself, I am following the Eat Clean principles. Controlling carb intake is the key.

But lean muscle mass is extremely effective and efficient at using the sugar in your blood. You do not need to become a bodybuilder or marathon runner. But a fit body will burn the sugar and fat, even when at rest. Bad food days will have less negative impact. Perhaps there is a sport you would like to learn, or trails you would like to walk? Increasing your fitness level also has the wonderful side effect of making you feel great!

Please, do consider becoming more physically active.