Newly to this and need direction

By momsjunk Latest Reply 2010-08-18 09:19:15 -0500
Started 2010-08-14 11:56:10 -0500

My name is Gloria. I have type 2 diabetes and other medical problems as well. My doctor isn't giving me any guidance on this except to change my diet and to exercise. Exercise for me is limited due to other health issues, so it's pretty much just walking.

My blood sugar levels vary alot every day. My numbers aren't as high as some of yours but they vary from 195 to 61 throughout the day. I have found that I feel fine when I'm in the 130's and 140's. I can now detect when my sugar is dropping and I need to eat. When the numbers are high and low I have the same symptoms - extreme tiredness (lethargic even) and irritability, vision blurred, and my head just feels foggy. I can't seem to concentrate. Making decisions in that state is not a good idea, and I've definitely learned not to drive while feeling this way. Is that normal for everyone?

I have been reading labels and articles and trying to piece information together to help me with my diet. I've learned that fresh fruit is only good for me when my sugar level is low, otherwise it goes too high. I have cut out ALOT of sugar and starch even before my diagnosis. I eat more protein but have to be careful because of my high cholestorol. I'm allergic to fish, seafood, and citrus. I've been on a heart healthy diet for a few years because of all of my issues. I've gone back to eating 6 small meals a day just recently, however sometimes I forget to eat and that's when my sugar drops too low. I haven't lost any weight at all, but I haven't gained any in a year either.

I don't know what an A1c (?) test is but my insurance company says I need one. I asked my doctor for medication to help me regulate my blood sugar. He won't give me one. The swings I experience are horrible and often times I can't work a full day. It's difficult to make plans to do anything because I don't know how I'm going to feel when I wake up in the mornings.

Are these things normal? Is there a specialist I can see that handles diabetes? My primary doctor just isn't helping at all. Thanks for any help you can give me! I look forward to checking this site often for recipes and support.

16 replies

momsjunk 2010-08-18 09:19:15 -0500 Report

Thanks Ann for telling me your story. I was like that with my doctor. Finally one day I went in and was extremely sick. He finally SAW that there was something wrong and I wasn't just making it up. He ordered tests and nothing was that far out of line, but my blood sugar had dropped into the upper 50's. I tried telling him that my body is sensitive. I don't have to have numbers way out of line to have symptoms. He believed me then because he actually saw me experiencing the symptoms. But then he just diagnosed me and left me to flop around with no guidance. "Lose weight and exercise, control it by diet". I'm learning that a lot of us were told that. I'm so glad I stumbled upon this site. God led me here, I'm sure of that. Everyone has been so supportive. There are great recipes on here too. My poor son has resumed his role as "guinea pig" - lol!

ann type 2
ann type 2 2010-08-17 14:09:54 -0500 Report

Welcome Gloria, I am a recently diagnosed type 2 diabetic but for some reason I went undiagnosed for 3+ years. I had suffered so many health problems such as a hysterectomy for borderline ovarian cancer, gallbladder removal, heart spasms which at times felt like a heart attack so I ended up having to have a catherization to make sure that I had no blockages anywhere, severe fatigue , dozens of endoscopies to figure out what was causing my severe abdominal pain, nausea 24/7 I was living on prescription medication to control this. I got to the point where I wanted my life to be over because I was only 33 and always in the hospital ,obese, loosing all my hair and had 2 young kids that I never had the energy to do anything with and I felt as if my doctors thought I was a hypercondriac every time I needed to see them. I am very grateful that I finally put my faith and strength in god and myself as well to finally have the courage to stand up to my doctor and say that something isn't right . Some doctors need to understand that you are paying for their services and that you have a right to disagree with them and if you feel that they are not doing you justice as a caregiver definately go find someone who cares and will sit down and listen to what you have to say as well. My doctor was always diagnosing me with borderline diabetes and just left it at that. I was told to exercise and try to loose some weight but was not told to be concerned about being prediabetic. Now I have to stick myself with a needle every night because my prediabetic numbers that were in the 160's and above turned into 500 and above because I stopped checking my blood sugar because he made it seem like not a big deal . We all care for each other on this site and I feel very blessed for the advice that has been given to me by others I just hope that my response helps you. DON"T GIVE UP WE ALL CARE ABOUT YOU

Sharrina 2010-08-16 18:40:57 -0500 Report


I really don't know what an A1c so make sure you be careful with insurance companies you know they are all about money. I believe if you want to stay healthy and remain lean, you should make every effort to choose a calorie apporpriate diet providing 45 to 65 percent of its calories from carbohydrates and 20 to 35 percent from the right kind of fats. A balanced diet that is high in complex carbohydrates helps control body weight and maintain lean tissue.

Anonymous 2010-08-15 23:20:38 -0500 Report

Happy day,
Welcome home we will love you listen to you pray for your most of all we will walk this journey w/you on this site. I mean that's if you let us, here is a lot of ((((HUGS)))) to get you started. Be blessed & know that you are highly favored in the name of Jesus.

Working 4 Jesus, & Loving it.
Mama Dee

Kaiyle 2010-08-14 15:36:37 -0500 Report


You and your doctor will decide what your target blood sugar levels should be.
For people without diabetes, according to experts, blood sugar levels should be:
Between 70 and 120 mg/ dL For people with type 2 diabetes:
Fasting (not eating for a period of time): up to 130 mg/dL
After meals: less than 180 mg/dL

Why should I check my blood sugar?
Monitoring your own blood sugar levels with a meter is a good thing to do. It helps you see how food, physical activity, and medicine affect your blood sugar levels. The readings can help you manage your type 2 diabetes day by day or even hour by hour. Keep a record of your test results and review them with your doctor at every visit.

How do I test my own blood sugar?
You use a tiny drop of blood and a meter. Be sure you know how to test your blood sugar levels the right way.
How often should I check my blood sugar levels?
Self-tests are usually done before meals, after meals, and/or at bedtime. Ask your doctor when and how often you need to check your blood sugar.

If I test my own blood sugar levels, do I still need the A1C test?
Yes. The results of both the blood sugar tests that you do yourself and A1C tests help you and your health care team get a complete picture of your control of type 2 diabetes. Learn more about the A1C test.

A1C is a blood test done in a doctor’s office or in a laboratory. An A1C shows your average blood sugar level over the past 2 to 3 months—and, by extension, how well your blood sugar is being controlled over time. Generally, doctors recommend that you get an A1C test up to 4 times a year.

It's important to know your A1C because it tells how balanced your blood sugar level is staying over time. Balanced blood sugar means that your blood sugar level is neither too high nor too low. It stays within a healthy range.
If your A1C is higher than it should be, don't lose hope. You CAN take steps to help bring it down. Every step you take now can help you lower your risk of future health problems caused by diabetes.

What should your target A1C be?
You and your doctor will decide what your target A1C should be. For most people with diabetes, the American Diabetes Association recommends an A1C of less than 7%. Another group of experts, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, recommends an even lower A1C of 6.5% or less.
Read the full article at

I hope this will be of some help to you, and welcome to the DC family.

YaYaSkidz 2010-08-14 15:00:52 -0500 Report

When I was first diagnosed I had your experience - no support, no clue. I basically went 10 years without treatment and it caused much damage. Then, I was teaching and crashed, right there in the classroom. I made some changes because of that crash — maybe they will help you.

I ditched my family doctor. He didn't know what he was doing and I needed help. I felt guilty for about 3 seconds. I asked a nurse (because they KNOW) who to switch to. ENDOCRINOLOGIST!!! He put together a team of doctors for me. I now have a family doctor who ISN'T afraid to say they don't know. She sees me every three months and treats the big picture. I have an endo who is mostly in charge of my meds and blood labs and big tests (bone density, ekg, etc) - although everybody writes for me, they just always phone each other first. I have a retinopathy guy, a gastro guy (I have acid reflux and gastroparesis) and a really cute foot doctor. None of them are afraid to work together. They are awesome. Get a doctor you respect and knows his business.

I can't exercise much either / health problems / no money for a gym. So I got an exercise bike that I can do short spots on. I started walking Walmart. I sit in my chair and do Richard Simmons as much as I can. But I find a way to move.

I am on the Mediterranean Diet / 5 small snacks a day for my gastroparesis. Usually people with heart problems are on this but It works for me. I totally know what you mean about forgetting a snack - during the school year I get so busy during the day I forget. Or I'm so tired at night I forget.

I prepare the best I can for the bad days and enjoy the good days. I so understand you on that one. I never know if my digestion is going to be good or bad. I eat today for 10 hours from now as far as BS. I can't eat my way out of a low BS, I have to drink juice. It gets confusing but I've finally gotten a routine. Get an endo to put you on the meds you need and get a ROUTINE. For me, consistency was the key. I put together a list of what I can and can't eat / what triggers me and I put together some rules to live by - like I don't eat after 8pm - and the swings were gone.

I did end up on insulin and oral meds. When I was diagnosed with the gastroparesis my endo had to switch my meds but God love him he heard the diagnosis and knew exactly what to do. I was really bummed about the insulin but I'm really happy now because I am in control. And ain't that something?!

Good Luck to you. You'll land on your feet.

momsjunk 2010-08-14 14:14:32 -0500 Report

Thanks to all of you for welcoming me to the group. I appreciate the information you've given me already. I was diagnosed a year ago, so now I know I need to get the A1c test. I really am trying to get this under control so it quits running my life. I will be on here often, now that I've found this site. Thanks again. You'll be hearing from me again. Have a great weekend!

RAYT721 2010-08-14 14:21:57 -0500 Report

Just an FYI… the a1c test is actually just a part of a standard blood lab test that the doctor orders at the same time as checking cholesterol, triglycerides and everything else. It's not like a test you have to study for. :) :) :)

monkeymama 2010-08-14 17:29:23 -0500 Report

Ray here is right about other additional testing that should be getting done as well. There is a schedule when you should roughly be getting these tests done. Micro-Albumin levels, kidney function, fasting blood sugar, cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL/LDL. Along with weight, BP checks, vision check-ups, podiatrist (feet), and that. If you would like, I can send you the diabetes checkpoints that I have. Along with some other cool and helpful stuff. Just let me know.

RAYT721 2010-08-14 13:25:38 -0500 Report

First of all welcome to our community. I am glad that you found your way here. Your diagnosis without much support seems common, I'm sorry to say. I was pretty much told that I am diabetic and should lose weight and exercise and watch what I eat… no sugar. That was about it. I was not told about medication options. I was not told to get a meter. I wasn't told of support groups. I felt like the only diabetic in the universe and the only information that I'd ever heard of diabetes was this horrible condition that causes so many life threatening or life altering complications. Let me tell you… there is life after diagnosis and it's not a horrible one. The way "we" are supposed to eat now is how we probably should have been eating all of our lives… limit calories, limit sugar, limit carbs, limit sodium, etc. This doesn't mean go without food. This means altering the foods we do eat… brown rice instead of white, good bread instead of bad, etc. This doesn't and shouldn't mean we need to go from 6 regular soda/pop a day to the same in diet. In addition to limiting sugar, we should limit sugar substitutes as well. Balance. Moderation. Reduce stress. All of these little things are put together to help with the mind, body and soul. Being diabetic doesn't take your life away… it changes it to a better and happier and healthier one. Right now you're not on medication (like myself) and I think that's a good thing. An a1c level test is a 3 month average so the initial diagnosis of diabetes really isn't the best time to give an average of glucose levels. If your blood sugar was high for one month but low for two, the average is altered. They are waiting for a full three month period in order to test the a1c for a better indication of your glucose. I can't tell you a thing about lows because I was only low once in the past 4-5 months. My highs are not insane. I was once 170 but never exceeded that. I have joined the YMCA where I do treadmill and wife does water aerobics. We both got into a group class with floor aerobics that we enjoy. While some of us share your experiences and some of us do not, there's probably not a single person here who is exactly like you. Your unique in many ways but you are special as well. Come on and sit a spell. Get to know us and let us get to know you. We will share our ups and downs along with your ups and downs. What foods you like and that like you may differ from ours but by sharing we will find ways to help each other. Feel free to add me as a friend. I have found this to be a warm and inviting place to talk not only about medical conditions but about life.

monkeymama 2010-08-14 12:18:30 -0500 Report

Hello there Gloria! Welcome to our community and you will find a lot of wonderful and great people here. There is a doctor that can help you with your diabetes. Some people find that working with their PCP and others find great help with a Endocrinologist. The work with issues with the endocrine system (pancreas, hormone, glands, and that). If you are looking to go with this direction in your care. Ask your insurance company who they will cover. The other thing is to research online for endocrinologist where you live/close to where you live. See what patients are saying about the doctor. Look at how they are graded and their evaluations. There are cites that are free for people to look at (I can't remember which one I used). I began with my PCP but them was moved to a Endocrinologist to care for my diabetes. After having issues with my first one, I researched through and found a WONDERFUL Endocrinologist. It is a little drive for me BUT how I am doing right now and how he handles my diabetes has been worth every bit. When and if you chose to go with a different provider for your diabetes, ask yourself what you are wanting and needing in a doctor/provider. Make sure you leave room for flexibility and be reasonable. The key to our success is not just us working towards a common goal. Rather, also making sure we have a good medical team treating us. I have found that more are willing and successful when this occurs.

A Hemoglobin A1c measures your BG over a 3 month period of time; in a percentage. Ideally you want to have this percentage to be 6% or better. Try to hang in there and I wish you the very best of luck.

MAYS 2010-08-14 12:17:09 -0500 Report

I know that you are or may be a little nervous as well as curious.
Take your time and try to remain relaxed and calm.

The type of specialist that you are referring to is called an Endocrinologist,
"Endo" for short, let's try to get an understanding of diabetes, what it is, what it does and cannot do, and most importantly the control that you have in managing your diabetes !

Let's take away the fears, myths and misconceptions first, replacing them with truths, facts, confidence and action, the results will amaze you.
We are all here to help you, and you us.


MAYS 2010-08-14 12:08:00 -0500 Report

Gloria, Welcome to the Diabetic Connect Family, your "new" Family!

Here you will meet some of the greatest people ever, supportive, caring, helpful and most of all, understanding.
Here is a link that I would like for you to click on:

Explore this site, make friends, join in on the discussions, ask questions, become one of the family, we are all here to learn from one another and to offer support, we are glad that you have decided to become one with us in making everyone's adventure with diabetes as pleasant and informative as possible.


sweater 2010-08-14 12:04:36 -0500 Report

you need to see an endroconoligist specialist in diabetes.
A1c gives a average of your sugars for a period of time I have one every three month.

sweater 2010-08-14 12:03:56 -0500 Report

you need to see an endroconoligist specialist in diabetes.
A1c gives a average of your sugars for a period of time I have one every three month.