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Being diagnosed with diabetes
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Cosmos91 posted:
Hello,
My mother was diagnosed with diabetes today, never have I felt so disheartened in my life. I kept thinking "why my mother?", she eat's healthy, is not overweight and is a pretty active person. My mother is 48 years old. Can her sleep problem possibly be one of the sources for this cause? or possibly because her insulin just does not function the same due to her age. I am just confused and disheartened over the situation.
It started last week, both me and my mom went for a physical check up, My sugar level was normal while my mom's was elevated at 171, the non fasting average is 135-140, we thought maybe this might of been a mistake so my mother was also asked to come for a follow up, this time with fasting procedures.
After getting her shot, the doctor came in about an hour after and told my mother she had diabetes. I was confused to how he was certain and how would it be possible to get results that quick? Never did he mention the level or a1c, was he possibly basing off the previous level of 171? I had many questions but such little chance, the doctor quickly walked in and out, too quick for a conversation.
I guess I am just upset with myself that I didn't get to ask the questions I wanted to because I was shocked that my mother had diabetes. All the doctor said was she had diabetes and prescribed metformin and told us to come back after two to three weeks. Never did he mention the precautions she should take and the healthy dieting that she should start, which led me to wonder the severity of my mom's diabetes or could it even be prediabetes? It just felt like, "Here you go, you have diabetes, now run with it.". I guess I may just be pessimistic over the situation. I just feel helpless and never have I experienced or been in such a situation.
Any advice would be appreciated, I am trying my best to let my mother know everything will be fine.
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brunosbud responded:
Cosmos91, I hope your mother (1.) Follows her doctor(s) every instructions, visits them, regularly, and never skips taking all prescribed meds. (2.) Eats the freshest, whole food diet free of added sugar she possibly can. (3.) Follows her doctors recommendations to exercise/walk at least 30 minutes, everyday, no excuses. (4.) Quits smoking, limits all alcohol and never take supplements or vitamins unless instructed by her physician. (5.) Gets a solid 8 hrs of sleep without fail. (6.) Sets goals for herself and visits with friends & family whenever she's able, and (7.) Loses weight, if needed, check both her blood pressure & blood glucose, periodically, to make sure her levels are consistently maintained at a safe range. If your mom does all these things her diabetes will not only be "well controlled" but, in all likelihood, she'll be in the best shape of her life.


You see, Cosmos91, what you don't understand, now, but you may, one day, learn is this...

The worst part to living the life of a well-controlled diabetic is the "diagnosis".
 
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jacobedward02 replied to brunosbud's response:
Hi,
When newly diagnosed with diabetes, many people feels scared. So take care of your mother by following diet :
You can eat a variety of vegetables for each meal. They can be filling, like cabbage and carrots(1/2 cup each), green beans and turnips all in one meal.
Salads(with romaine lettuce)
A handful of most nuts a day, are okay. Almonds, walnuts are good for lowering the cholesterol some also.
 
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brunosbud replied to jacobedward02's response:
Exactly. The treatment and control of diabetes are the cornerstones of preventative medicine. In other words, if every person simply assumed they had diabetes, forget the "diagnosis", they would lead far better and healthier lives.

A1C of 6.7 is a completely fabricated, silly and arbitrary criteria, imo, that's done more harm than good. Diabetes and metabolic syndrome is a continuum; Everybody walks it. Everybody's at risk.
 
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auriga1 responded:
Sometimes age and weight make no difference when it comes to the body being able to use insulin properly.

I was in the exact same boat as your mom with higher than normal blood sugars in my late 30's. Always on the thin side and active.

I understand your shock. Needless to say, I was in a total state of shock at my diagnosis, too.

I must confess, I don't like this doctor. I understand many are busy, busy, busy but still to throw out medication as the solution to this problem is being irresponsible and lazy.

I am very fortunate that my PCP at the time referred me to an endocrinologist (specialist in the endocrine system of which the pancreas is part of). He works with a team consisting of a diabetic educator and a registered dietician. It has helped me immensely.

Educate yourself so you can help your mother. If she needs a referral to a diabetic educator and/or dietician, please see if she can get one. It is always helpful to have a support system.

If your mom is willing and able, see if she can get in to see an endocrinologist. Talk to others and find out if they are happy with their doctor. Word of mouth goes a long way. As I said previously, this doctor is just throwing medication at your mom without explaining anything at all. This does not help anyone's frame of mind.

Things will be fine. If the diagnosis of diabetes is a valid one, she will need to change her eating habits to help her blood sugars stay in control. This is a way of life for the rest of her life if she does indeed have diabetes.

Carbohydrates, not just sugars, are what makes a person's sugar go up if their body cannot utilize them properly. Your mom will have to count carbs. Processed foods are not a good thing as well as breads, potatoes, rice, pasta, carb rich veggies. This is where a dietician can help your mom distinguish from good carbs and bad carbs. Your mom will have to look at nutrition labels and read the TOTAL CARBOHYDRATES line. Diabetes is a disease of carbohydrate metabolism. All the food we eat has carbs except for your proteins and fats.

Take things one day at a time and read everything you can find regarding diabetes along with your mom.

Keep in touch and let us know how she is doing.
 
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nutrijoy responded:
You've gotten some decent advice from other forum members but self-education and self-management will be the cornerstones to your mother's successful control of this manageable disease. You are not alone in having to cope with clueless physicians. This blog post at the Diabetes Self Management website is not atypical of what many first-time diabetics encounter from their own PCP's. You will find many helpful tips and articles (as well as blogs) at the Diabetes SelfManagment site. Be sure to read the site's "Comments" section following each blog entry. Jan's blog entry about her interview with Alan B. King , a California-based endocrinologist, is what a newly diagnosed diabetic should and has every right to expect from a knowledgeable physician. Sadly, as you have already experienced, it is often not the case.

While my own experience was not quite as poor as what you encountered with your mother's doc, I insisted on a referral to an endocrinologist and am grateful that the doctor that had been assigned to me expedited that request (at a med center; I do not have a PCP that I can call "my own"). While my endocrinologist did not provide specific, direct guidance to me personally, he did provide some very valuable insight into the nature of the disease including background education that steered me in the right direction to successfully self manage my diabetes (my A1c is currently at 4.8 and holding). There are an incredible number of websites that deal with diabetes but only about a dozen or so that offer tips and viewpoints that are "outside the box"; something that I personally feel is important for genuine tight control of blood glucose levels instead of simply subscribing/adhering to complications-inducing "protocols."
 
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Cosmos91 replied to brunosbud's response:
Thank you brunos, truly appreciate it. I have been making her exercise daily and start being more conscious on her choice of meals. I hope for the best.
 
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Cosmos91 replied to jacobedward02's response:
Thank you Jacob, we have already started on some great vegetables.
 
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Cosmos91 replied to auriga1's response:
Thank you so much auriga. That was my assumption as well, we left the doctors visit unhappy because all the doctor did was tell my mother she had diabetes and prescribed metformin, we were both at a state of shock. It would of been more assuring and easygoing for my mom if the doctor took his time to possibly give a brief explanation on what new changes must be made and at least let her hear that "everything will be fine". It just seemed as if the doctor didn't care at all.

I have been reading up on a lot and been telling my mother all the changes she must make. When we go back for another visit in two weeks, I am going to ask for another doctor, hopefully it will be a better one, someone who is more sensible and I will definitely ask the doctor to refer my mother to a good endocrinologist if possible.

Thank you again auriga, I'll keep you updated once we go through the next visit.
 
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Cosmos91 replied to nutrijoy's response:
Thank you so much Nutri, those blog posts were very good. It makes a lot of sense. I have been learning as much as I can to inform my mother. The next visit will be in two weeks. I will ask the doctor to refer my mother to a good endocrinologist. You are very fortunate to have a great experience, I hope no one will ever get the poor response and experience that my mother received.


Thank you again.
 
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Cosmos91 replied to Cosmos91's response:
Hi guys, Is it normal for a doctor not to mention what type of diabetes one has? All the doctor said to my mother was that she had diabetes. There seems to be several types that contribute to it. Hope to get a lot of answers in two weeks.
 
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nutrijoy replied to Cosmos91's response:
It is estimated that 85% to as high as 95% of newly diagnosed diabetics are Type 2. Many, if not most doctors assume that a patient has Type 2 until/unless further testing reveals otherwise. My endo classified me as Type 2 and assumed that I was just insulin resistant. When all of the oral meds failed to help lower BG levels (I was already physically active and was not overweight), he finally ordered a C-peptide test and found that my serum insulin level was well below reference range values. I was already insulin-dependent when that determination was made and the highest A1c test that I ever experienced was just 6.1.

In the eyes of most physicians, an A1c of 6.1 didn't even qualify me as being truly diabetic but my endocrinologist was more experienced and wiser. His exhaustive tests (3 hours in duration) showed conclusively that I was indeed diabetic but he never changed my diagnosis of being Type 2 even though he privately admitted to a pathologist friend of mine that I was probably Type 1.5. Quite frankly, the "type" of diabetes that your mother has is not very important. You just need to know if she is insulin inefficient (i.e., insulin resistant) or insulin insufficient. That will dictate the best therapy to pursue and also significantly influence the dietary recommendations tht would be most suitable for her.
 
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susankline responded:
In my opinion, you are correct in thinking that your mother's doctor did not give appropriate advice. As a Kaiser Permanente member, I was entitled to 2 classes on dealing with diabetes and I am glad I took them...very informative. The advice given by other members of this site is very good, but you may want to ask your mother's doctor for information on classes that she and you may attend to learn more about the diet and how many carbs may be consumed in a day.
I kept a diary for a while and could definitely see the correlation between my diet and the number I was reading on my meter. Exercise and diet brought me to a place where I no longer need medication and will only need an A1C test every 6 months. Others may have very different experiences, but I am very happy with mine. Your mother is young and I hope you and she persist in getting some real education on this disease, not just ' here's your Metformin' .
Very best wishes for success,
Susan
 
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rufus45 replied to nutrijoy's response:
It is quit possible that you are type 1.5. It seems that most type 2 become time 1 after a while the pancreas becomes more and more leasy and stops producing insulin.

Doctors are not the greatest communicators. When I was diagnosed with type 2, the doctor prescribed me pills and sent me home. No more info.

What a disaster. I changed doctor and my new doctor put me in contact with an endocrinologist that has been following me for the past 10 years,

What is most important to control diabetes in spite of dieting, exercising, loose weight ...etc you have to check your glycemia regularly to adapt your medication accordingly especially if you are on insulin treatment.
 
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gloriaekr responded:
Dear Cosmos,

While I have to applaud you for being so concerned for your mom I have to wonder what she is feeling and what she is doing to educate herself about diabetes?

It seems as though you take alot of responsiblity for her but ultimately it is her body and her health. so is she learning as much as you are? and is she as committed as you are to her heath and wellbeing?

I wish you both the best.


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