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    I am so discouraged
    alliej0225 posted:
    I have posted on here before but can not find it now. I was diagosed in December with type 2 diabetes. I have watched my diet, exercised, and have been trying to watch my sugar intake, along with carbs. I went to the endrogonoligst (hope I spelled that right) yesterday. This was my first visit to him. My primary care doctor has been treating my diabetes. He did a full blood work up. My total chlosterol was 573. And I am taking medicine for this. I have been for several years. I have a bruised bone in my right foot and it is in a boot. (I went to an ortho Tuesday because my foot wasn't getting better. My horse stepped on it) My bood sugar is all over the chart. One time it will be so low that it doesn't even register and 3 hours later it will be very high. And now I am told that I have catracts on my eyes by the endro doctor yesterday. I have been trying to do what I was told and it seems like the more I try the worse I get. The doctor told me yesterday that if we couldn't get my chlosterol down and my sugar regulated that he wouldn't be surprised that I might have a heart attack or a stroke in the next 1 - 3 years. I feel like I am damned if I do and damned if I don't. Can anyone give me some advice or at least some encourgament. And I know my spelling is terrible this morning. My mind can't seem to funcion properly. Thanks for listening.
    DavidHueben responded:

    Just a few thoughts/questions early in the morning:

    1. It is crucial to do more than try and watch your carbohydrate intake. You need to be very precise, especially when you are newly diagnosed. That means calculating the exact number of grams of carbohydrates for each meal and recording your intake in a journal. Then share the results with the physician. That can help the doctor tailor a treatment plan.

    2. Obviously your cholesterol number is way too high. Does your diet contribute to the elevated number? Do you consume lots of fatty foods and/or meat?

    3. What medications are you taking in an attempt to control your blood glucose and cholesterol?

    4. Are you at a healthy weight?

    5. Now that you are seeing an endocrinologist, you should ask for referrals to both a CDE and a dietitian who specializes in diabetes care.

    6. Having cataracts is pretty common as we age. I had cataract surgeries in November and December. I now see 20/15 in both eyes. I do have to wear reading glasses for computer use and reading.

    I hope you get some answers and a proper treatment plan in the near future.

    Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack. - General George Patton Jr
    mhall6252 responded:
    Allie: David has given you some very good advice. I'm going to repeat some of it - the information that follows is something I wrote for someone else who came here asking for help. I think it might help you, too.

    1. With Type 2 diabetes, you are probably "insulin resistant". That means that your body is not using insulin properly and so your blood glucose levels rise after you eat and stay elevated for too long. Getting at least 30 minutes a day of exercise, even just walking, will help your cells be more receptive to the insulin your body is already making. Eventually, this will help lower your glucose levels and cholesterol levels. Try to increase a little at a time, adding whatever type of movement works for you. Make it a habit.

    2. Losing just 10% of your body weight will help bring your glucose and cholesterol levels back in line.

    3. You need to change your diet and control the amount of carbs you eat. To get started, try to stick to 3 carb servings for breakfast, 4 for lunch, 4 for dinner and 1 carb serving for a snack if/when you are really hungry and need to eat something. So, what is a carb serving? 15 grams = 1 carb serving. It's important to spread these carbs over a period of time (no saving up for a carb overload). Additionally, you can eat proteins (lean meats, nuts, eggs and cheese) but limit your portions to control calories. Try to use olive oil more than butter or other fats. Don't skip meals. The most important meal is breakfast; so if you are not in the habit of eating something for breakfast, it's time to start.

    4. And what is a carb? It's anything that is not a fat or a protein. Vegetables, fruits, sugar, flour (and anything made with these like cereal, crackers), rice, potatoes, etc. are carbohydrates. These are things you must limit. You should select more "non-starchy" fruits such as berries and citrus and limit starchy and sugary fruits like bananas or watermelon. You should select "whole grains" such as whole wheat bread, brown rice, cereals that say specifically "whole grain" as the first ingredient. And lower carb vegetables like green beans, celery, salad veggies, bell peppers, cucumbers can be eaten almost as much as you want. Just be cautious of salad dressings. Full fat versions can add a ton of calories, low fat ones can add too many carbs because the fat has been replaced with sugar to make it taste good.

    5. The nutritional information of most prepackaged food is available somewhere on the label. It's the law! Learn to start reading labels and you'll find what you need to keep track of your carb grams. For fresh foods and chain restaurant meals, is an awesome resource. You type in the name of the food and it will give you the nutritional information. You can change portion sizes and it will scale the information.

    6. You should start testing your glucose levels. Buy an inexpensive meter at WalMart along with testing strips or ask your doctor for a prescription for a meter and strips. Be on watch for free or reduced price meters and strips. Test your glucose first thing in the morning before eating. Then test 2 hours after eating a meal. If you can afford the strips, test more frequently at first. Testing is a feedback mechanism - it lets you know how your body is reacting to your food intake. If the cost of strips is an issue, rotate which meal you test after, on a daily basis. So today you test 2 hours after breakfast, tomorrow test 2 hours after lunch, etc.

    7.Your doctor will check your A1c check periodically. That will give an average of your glucose levels over a period of about 3 months and let you know how you are doing longer-term.

    8. Read Dr. Dansinger's information - linked on the right side of this page - for helpful tips to reverse diabetes. You will find a wealth of information there and by just reading these discussions.

    9. Keep a journal of your food intake, exercise and glucose test results. You can find one at

    phototaker responded:
    Allie, I remember you! What David and Michelle suggested is so good for you. David, as he mentioned just had his eyes done.
    A friend of mine also had cataracts, and she can see so much better, so that one will be great after you get this done.

    It probably feels very discouraging when the doctor told you about the heart attack. It's true, and he probably needed to tell you this to jump start you to taking care of yourself even better.

    It sounds like you're very discouraging about your sugars going higher and lower, so this might be the thing to work on first. By eating healthier, it will also help your cholesterol numbers. I'm surprised your numbers are still high with the medicine, too, so diet and exercise WILL help bring those down. Some people even when eating right get higher levels.
    Just do the best you can!

    When your blood sugar is lower, do you take anything like orange juice or glucose pills? What score is the lower score?
    Sometimes if you drink OJ, and too much, it will send your scores UP, and you will have the up and down effect. Michelle has talked about this before.

    You're going to be okay. Just take it a day at time, and really work at looking at what you're eating. You'll get this figured out. I know when I'm eating healthier, my numbers are right on. It's when I have too many carbs at one time, they go up.

    Give us an example of what you eat for a day. Maybe that would help.

    We're here, but you have to do the work to get this under control. You can do it!!
    flutetooter responded:
    Allie, just click on your picture square here and you will access your posts from 3 months ago with 62 replies. Your posts don't really make a lot of sense in that people are giving you all kinds of good hints and encouragement which you don't seem to be taking seriously.

    Test every morning for fasting glucose. Write it down with the date. Test two hours after every meal, or at least after dinner. Write it down. Keep a chart or every single thing you put in your mouth with the exact measuring cup amount. Write it down on the chart so you can see the relationship between your blood glucose numbers and your eating habits. Do this for a week and then report back as to what is happening.

    In your past posts you mentioned a lot of medicines. Which one is for your cholesterol? What medicine are you on for your diabetes? How much and how often do your take it?

    You say you are trying to do what you are told. Exactly what are your instructions other than to just "get your numbers down"? Did they tell you HOW to get your numbers down? When your blood sugars are all over the place it is very hard to concentrate. That is why writing things down will help.
    If at first you don't succeed, try, try again!
    nwsmom replied to flutetooter's response:
    Flutetooter, if you're measuring all your foods, a scale is preferable to a measuring cup. Scientific analysis is generally done by weight.
    Kitchen scales can be purchased almost anywhere kitchen equipment is sold, and can range in price from quite inexpensive to WOW.
    jambajuice responded:
    It sounds like you are well aware of the danger you're in...

    It sounds like you have done the smart thing and consulted your physician and a diabetes specialist, too...

    It sounds like you have sought the advice from others facing similar challenges as you, and...

    It sounds like you are not feeling well and, based on all the information you've recieved, you've arrived at the realization that it is time for change...

    Congratulations on the hard work you've done to this point...

    The only thing left is to take the last step: Get control.

    Eat healthy, exercise, daily, and follow your doctor's advice...

    It's just three things...I hope that's encouraging to you.
    flutetooter replied to nwsmom's response:
    nwsmom, I DO use a scale to measure my own foods, but thought that Allie wouldn't be that exact and just needed an easy to obtain measurement since she seems very confused.

    I also post a chart of my commonly eaten food amounts with the exact gram amount for 1/2 cup (my usual portion) of each. These numbers were obtained from Corinne Netzer's Complete Book of Food Counts which contains protein, fat, carb grams as well as calories, cholesterol, sodium and fiber. It is my "bible". I record my daily totals in grams.

    By the way, I am not doing "scientific analysis", just monitoring my own intake, so Allie - don't pay any attention to what I said in my post. Diabetes, and all the factors which affect glucose uptake, such as sleep, anxiety, exercise, medications, even the ripeness of the fruit rather defy an exact "scientific analysis"! Just look at how much disagreement there is between so called experts.
    If at first you don't succeed, try, try again!
    alliej0225 replied to flutetooter's response:
    Maybe that is one reason I was totally confused. I went to the Diabetic Treatment Center here and they gave me a diet to follow. Well, it wasn't working very well. They were telling me that I didn't eat enough. When I told the doctor that I went to see, he told me a different account of what I should be eating. The Center had told me to eat fruit for my meal not for my snack. And then gave me a list to eat for snack. The doctor told me to go ahead and eat my fruit for snack, just to watch my carbs and add the other protein and things I needed. He gave me a little booklet that made perfect sense to me. This is how the booklet describes portions and carbs. Four fingers are about 4 carbs per meal. Your palm is about 3 to 5 oz of protein. Your open handful is about 1 cup of food. A tight fist is aabout 1/2 cup or 1 carb choice. Your thumb is about 1 tablespoon. Your thumb tip is about 1 teaspoon. This has been easier for me. It also includes information on foods that have carbs, protein, etc. He increased my metformin to 1000 mg 2 times a day, added actos 30 mg at bedtime, synthroid 75 mcg in the morning. I am very sensitive to meds and it is going to take a little while to get my body accustomed to all these meds. Right now I fell like death warmed over (lol). I know I just have to give it time. I normally walk every morning but I bruised the bone in my right foot and am in a boot for 3 weeks. My husband has gotten me a stationary bike. So, I am going to pedal away and go nowhere lol. I don't know what I would do without the support of this community. My husband has no idea what I am going thru and no one else in my family has it. My sister was diabetic but she died in 2009. And I don't want to do like she did. I saw what can happen when you don't take care of yourself. So thanks everyone for listening and all the advice that you give me. I do listen and try to learn. Hope everyone is doing great. Oh, and I have to wait until my sugar is under control before I can go to the eye doctor. He doesn't want to see me until it is.
    DavidHueben replied to alliej0225's response:

    You might find it easier to count the number of grams of carbohydrates in the foods you consume rather than to use the exchange system (that's what you are currently using).

    All packaged foods have the number of grams of carbohydrates (and other nutritional elements) listed on the packaging. For other foods such as fresh vegetables , fruits, and food in chain restaurants, you can use the tool to find the grams of carbohydrates.

    Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack. - General George Patton Jr
    mhall6252 replied to alliej0225's response:
    Allie -- way to go! You are taking charge and getting your own grip on things. You will make progress, you will feel better soon, and you will be proud of your accomplishment!

    You go, girl!!!!

    phototaker replied to alliej0225's response:
    Allie, we're all so proud of your hard work! You're doing so much better!!

    I agree with David. I just count my carbs. It's SO MUCH EASIER.

    The fruit thing is tough, and depends on the individual diabetic.
    Since I'm not on medicine, I can't tolerate fruit by itself. I have to eat it with nuts or some other protein. I normally have it mid-afternoon or around 9:00 at night, as a snack. I eat a tiny apple with plain almonds. Some other diabetics on here are able to tolerate fruit more. I LOVE fruit, but I have to be careful.

    You'll get this eventually. Just take your time with it.

    So sorry about your foot. What an angel your husband is to buy you a stationary bike. That's a great idea! He must love you to want to see you be healthy.

    I hope your sugar stabilizes soon, so you can have your eyes checked.

    Be sure to stick around, and let us know how you're doing.
    phototaker replied to phototaker's response:
    Allie, it's also okay that you find your way easier for figuring out how to measure your food intake. That's what makes this blog so wonderful. We learn from each other. What works for one person might not work for someone else. It's good to hear other ways of doing things. If it works for you, continue doing it.

    I wished I had a diabetic treatment center to show me to how to do things. I attended two diabetes classes which were helpful in describing what happens to your body when you don't take care of yourself, and other slightly helpful things, and to two different dieticians(that were not that great). The 2nd one did tell me about reading labels careful on serving sizes, which was helpful, and about the fist size portion for meat or fish, but mostly, I learned things from reading what other people posted on WebMD. That's why I stick around now, to learn new things AND to help others with ideas. We have some really good people on here that can help. It's also great having Dr. Dansinger, too, when he's able to help out.
    alliej0225 replied to phototaker's response:
    I used the web site that someone listed above and found that I am not eating the amount of carbs that is listed on the guide. Is that good or bad? I have the other, protein and others. I just don't eat very many carbs. And if I do, it is very little, such as not even a fist or palm or potatoes. I drink unsweetened tea and add sugar subistute in it. And I have found some very small oranges and I have one a day. I eat plain popcorn. I am told that this isn't enough. But it is for me. Am I eating enough? And since I started taking the new medicine, I don't have an appitete (don't know if I spelled that right). Mostly just sick to my stomach and don't feel like eating. I know that I have to give my body time to adjust. And I am trying to be patiente about this. Patience is not one of my virtues lol. Thanks for listening. I am so glad for the advice and replies. Please don't stop.
    DavidHueben replied to alliej0225's response:

    I am repeating myself, but rather than try and piece together an eating plan with input from this board and web sites, I believe you could benefit greatly from working directly with a dietitian who specializes in the treatment of diabetic patients.

    A registered dietitian who understands your medical history, your medication protocol, your caloric and carbohydrate requirements, and your food intake history can be very helpful in tailoring a nutrition plan specific to your requirements.

    If you do choose to consult a dietitian, it is crucial you follow their directions to a tee.

    Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack. - General George Patton Jr

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