Recently Diagnosed and Struggling to Get Numbers Down

By amylynne01 Latest Reply 2011-03-02 12:40:38 -0600
Started 2011-02-27 18:44:47 -0600

I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes on February 12, 2011. I had been feeling extremely tired, thirsty and hungry for a few months, and my co-workers suspected that I might have Diabetes. I made an appointment with my Doctor, but the Saturday before the appointment, my friend (whose 12 year old daughter is a Juvenille Diabetic) decided to take my bs at my son's basketball game. The glucometer (which reads to 600) just said "hi". The look on my friend's face scared me half to death. My mom took me straight to the ER, where I was given 14 units of insulin and hooked up to IV fluids. I was given a script for 500 mgs. of Metphormin two times a day and sent home that night. Many were surprised that I was allowed to leave the hospital given that high of an initial reading, but I was glad to go home.

I began taking my bs twice a day, and it averaged between 200-300 for the next few days. I went to the appointment that I had originally scheduled with my Doctor, and she added 10 mg. of Glipiride in the a.m. I'm still new to all of this and am struggling to get my numbers down. My Dr. told me that I don't fit into a Type 1 or Type 2 box. I have been extremely thin my entire life, so in that respect, I guess I'm more of a Type 1. The meds seem to be helping somewhat (my lowest reading to date has been 167—-first thing in the a.m.) I've been counting carbs, drinking 8+ glasses of water a day and taking my medication, but the numbers still hang out in the 250 range from afternoon to evening. My cortisol levels are also high, but she is hoping that is due to the fact that I have run high for so long (my A1C was 12.6) My Doctor told me that if the numbers don't go down in the next two weeks or so, that we're likely going to start insulin. I do not want to do that. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

19 replies

PetiePal 2011-03-02 12:40:38 -0600 Report

Welcome to the club no one wants to be a member of! I'm sorry to hear about your diagnosis and the extremely high levels you're starting off at. I was diagnosed last August and my sugars were in the 300s at the time. I was peeing more than ever, very thirsty and had some skewing of my eye lenses. Luckily I caught it early with a screening. I was at a 11.6 A1c at the time.

I started off almost exactly like you did…Glucophage (Metformin) 1000mg (2x500mg) morning and night and 2mg of Glimepiride (Amaryl). Your numbers are much higher so I can see why they'd start you off at 10mg. 7 months later I'm down to a 6.1 and feeling pretty great. Weight is still an issue but I'm working on it!

The important short-term thing IS to get your numbers down that's for sure. I highly highly recommend "The First Year: Type 2 Diabetes: An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosed" by Gretchen Becker and Allison B. Goldfine (Paperback - Dec 27, 2006). Now I know it says Type 2 but the info in here relates to both Type 1 and Type 2. Another great one is Death To Diabetes. This is a bout a guy who had levels in the 700-900s and was in a coma and got to a point where he's OFF meds almost entirely. Both excellent reads and can give you some great basis on what to do.

The oral meds are a good start but one thing you need to realize early on is that what may be a good treatment and work for some will not work for all and your diabetes is very much a "person-specific" disease. It may take some working with a team of medical professionals, (such as a diabetic doctor, endocrinologist, dietician, cardiologist, opthamologist even a neurologist), to find the right "combination" to crack the lock. The most important things you can do right now:

-Educated yourself. Seriously, become a sponge and read up. Read the articles here, watch DLife: Your Diabetic Life on Sunday mornings on CNBC, read some books, articles, the web etc. Learn as much as you can. Schoolhouse Rocky was right, Knowledge IS Power.

-Modify your diet. You need to get with a dietician ASAP if possible and figure out what a good number of carbs per day or meal is.

-Sign up for Diabetic Classes. Your doctor should have referred you to a local diabetes center or a hospital that gives out classes. They'll give you a meter, teach you how to test, and give you a "crash course" on your condition.

-Join a support group! Diabetes is a tough this to handle emotionally and you're going to feel like you're on a roller coaster of sorts for some time and a monthly or weekly group does WONDERS to keep you motivated.

-Be active on our site! This site is an incredible boon to relating and conversing with others JUST LIKE YOU.

-Exerciseeeee…Yep the Dreaded Word! If your sugar levels are high one of the most important things you can do to help get your sugars down are to begin some kind of daily regiment. Exercise will help you in many ways:

-If you're overweight (which it doesn't sound like but I'm just listing here!) you'll drop some of the excess taxing your beta cells less
-It will speed up the red blood cell regeneration rate a little bit helping to lower your a1C. (Remember that's the average blood sugar over 3 months, so if yours was 12.6 there's no way to really know if a bunch of those 12.6 RBCs are about to die and be replenished so your number may in actuality be lower today!)
-Exercising more speeds up your metabolism and can also bolster the beta cell function.
-Lowers insulin resistance
-Plenty of other reasons :)

It sounds like you're doing the carb counting thing and getting enough hydration and it may just take a little bit to start responding but if it DOES come to insulin please listen to these two facts:

Hang in there!

tabby9146 2011-03-01 18:15:07 -0600 Report

I like what someone said about not all type 2s are very overweight, some are thin like me. I was 33 lbs, overweight, but it was all in my mid section, I did not have a pot belly,l it was a miracle that I didn't the way I ate, but it was a thick midsection and a lower tummy pooch. I was skinny in the arms and legs, now I am at ideal weight and people are shocked to learn that I am type 2. But like they said, all shapes and sizes. Good luck to you. Glad you are here with us! I love this board and all of my questions were answered. Lots of good support here. I don't have support from anyone in my family and none of my close friends have it, so I get it here.

tabby9146 2011-03-01 18:02:58 -0600 Report

so sorry you went through this scary ordeal. I am glad you are ok and I hope the numbers come down real soon. I know it will be scary if you hve to go on insulin (I am not on insulin) but I sure do understand that concern. However, as I have read on here many times, it isn't to be feared. It will really help. But i know, much easier without having to be on it. Do take diabetes classes, I did and they were a big help to me. Fortunately my insurance paid for it and I hope yours does too.

christie donahey
christie donahey 2011-03-01 13:36:06 -0600 Report

well i would like to start by saying sugarfree everything !!! there is a technique for eating when ur bs is high called free foods such as eggs for example and greens like brocclii and absolutley no sodas even diet and remember stay calm because anxitey raises ur bs too if u wanna talk about it in depth u r free to call me @ 817-521-8891

jayabee52 2011-03-01 13:45:04 -0600 Report

When eating sugar free baked goods you have to note the carbs in it. They can affect your Blood Glucose numbers ("BG#s") big time. I used to eat diabetic cookies and I was amazed my BG#s went up! And then an hour or so later I had to RUN to the bathroom because the sugar alcohols had a laxitive effect on me BIG TIME.

Swbtab03 2011-02-28 11:34:22 -0600 Report

I would also suggest since you ar new to this is go to local hospital and register for nutrition classes for diabetics, I went here in PA, for 3- 3 hour classes and opend my eyes to many things, and right here on DC is wealth of information. Always follow what the doctor tells you though he/she will have the best course of treatment for you. need to vent or ask questions got some great people here to ask so welcom to DC and with some changes in your lifestyle it will get better.

MAYS 2011-02-28 10:09:52 -0600 Report

You really should talk to your medical team about this.
There should be more options available to you before insulin injections.

What medications are you currently on, and what is the dosage?
Has any other medication possibilities ever been discussed with you?

Have you seen the following, a diabetes educator, a nutritionist, and an endocrinologist.
Diabetes doesn't develope over night, nor will it improve to the point of progress even though your meter's numbers look impressive, it takes both time and effort.
Don't get discouraged, diabetes is different for everyone just keep doing what you are told to do by your medical team and document your results for future reference and discussion with your doctor.


DonHenault 2011-02-28 09:05:37 -0600 Report

II was diagnosed in Oct 2010; it was a wake call for me. One of the first things I did was to read everything that was out on Diabetes. This made thing very confusing, I took a step back and started looking at what I could fix in my life. This changing my eating habits first I started by reducing that amount I ate. Next, I looked at what I ate. I bought a little carb. Counting app for my iPhone and I started to reduce my carb intake. I am feel better and my sugar is almost where it should be.

For me the key thing is to remain upbeat and positive. In addition, I chose a couple places to get my information from so that I no longer confuse myself.

Kirla 2011-02-27 19:56:12 -0600 Report

Feb 2009 I was diagnosed with a fasting blood sugar of 366 and A1C of 14.1. Started to eat a salad every day at supper. Also started to eat lots of low carb vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, cucumbers, spinach, pickles and sauerkraut. Started to drink 8+ glasses of water every day.

I then bought a meter and started to test my blood sugar before and after each meal. At first I was testing 2 hours after each meal and when my numbers dropped a lot I started testing 1 hour after meals.

By testing I found that foods like bread and most foods made of grains along with pasta, rice, corn, potatoes, oatmeal, cereals, chips, crackers, cakes, cookies, candy, soda, fruits, fruit juices, milk and most foods that contain more than 5-6 net carbs per serving as found on the package label all spiked my blood sugar. Some people can cut back on these foods and some people like me have to stop eating them.

I found by reducing and eliminating high carb starchy foods helped me a lot. By adding small amounts of chicken, beef, pork or a hard-boiled egg to my meals helped reduce blood sugar spikes also.

Good luck

Bunny Cakes
Bunny Cakes 2011-02-27 19:15:23 -0600 Report

Welcome to the community! Sounds like they have you on a pretty good start medicine wise but you also need to work on a good diet.

As diabetics a pill won't fix us, it can help but if we don't add to it with diet and exercise we'll still have high numbers. So try to work on getting some more exercise.

As for the diet you need to start a good low carb plan for yourself, a good place to start is 45-60 carbs per meal. Carbs turn into sugar and that raises the sugar level in your blood. Also try to make the carbs you do eat good, slow acting carbs like brown rice, whole grains and vegetables. And of course cut back on sugary things, you may not have to cut out sugar completely but that depends on your body.

Talking to a CDE (Certified Diabetes Educator), or a nutritionist, can be a great deal of help. If you can't find one at least start reading up on as much diabetes information as you can find in libraries and on the internet.

As for not fitting into a type one or type 2 box, I think it's a bit silly. Diabetics come in all shapes and sizes, not all type 2 are heavy people, some (like Halle Berry) are quite thin and fit and almost always have been that way. I'm not saying your doctor is wrong but that statement seems off to me.

amylynne01 2011-02-27 19:30:22 -0600 Report

Thanks for the advice! I will have a meeting with a nutritionist, but it probably won't be until the end of March (my insurance has to approve my application first). I really do need to up my exercise. I try to walk for about 20 minutes a day, but I know that's not enough.

I probably didn't do a very good job of explaining the Type 1 or Type 2 box thing. I have characteristics from both Types, and she was just meaning that she was having a hard time definitively saying which Type I am.

Thanks again!!

Bunny Cakes
Bunny Cakes 2011-02-27 19:37:13 -0600 Report

20 minutes a day is better than no minutes a day, just build up to a bigger number as your body acclimates to exercising. As one of the other members always says "Baby steps" are key.

whitetigress 2011-02-27 19:06:01 -0600 Report

Unfortunately, now more than ever, it will be important to eat balanced meals: carbs, protein and fibre as well as lots of veggies.

If you are going to have fruit with your meal, have it last.

The secret to getting your numbers under control is a combination of protein & fiber. Beans are an excellent example of food that is high fiber, high protein and low fat!

If you are going to have a sweet, eat it within 15 minutes of finishing your meal.
If you are going to have "seconds" or more, again eat it within 15 minutes
of eating the first course.

These tips should help to get your numbers under control. :)

whitetigress 2011-02-27 19:07:35 -0600 Report

By the way, with metformin, you must eat. Do not skip meals or wait longer than 4 - 4 1/2 hours between eating times. If you skip a meal, your numbers will go UP.

melcoujes 2011-02-27 19:47:29 -0600 Report

Why does this happen with metformin? I have had rebound hypogycemia (sp?) where my numbers in the morning arer always high. Before bed the numbers are normal.

whitetigress 2011-02-27 20:43:23 -0600 Report

Are you on metformin? I have no idea. I was taking metformin but my body didn't like it - because of the artificially high numbers. It was suggested that I take the metformin before bed instead of with dinner and my numbers were higher in the morning (I mean high), than when I took the metformin at dinner. They were still high in the am but not as high. I was also on glyberide.

I told my doc that I was going to stop taking the metformin and did about 3 months ago. Now, my numbers are within the healthy range and I do not experience the spikes I was having with the metformin. I don't know why metformin does this, but I always listen to my body first. I can't comment on your situation specifically because I don't have any information.

Suffice it to say, before metformin my A1C was normal for the last 4 times it was checked, which means one year… just on glyberide.

Next Discussion: Eating on the road »