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Old 06-14-2002, 04:16 AM
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Living with diabetes

You've no doubt heard that Diabetes is an epidemic in this country. I was diagnosed last year and am diet controlled and determined to stay that way as long as possible. My father's family has a horrific history of sudden deaths (my own father's heart stopped beating but re-started when he hit his chest when he fell!) and amputations. I was devastated when my favorite Aunt suddenly dropped dead while standing at her sink from diabetes related heart problems. I was diagnosed 3 months later and have never known such fear! I lost 42 pounds within 4 months making my doctor so proud she said I should be a motivational speaker. Sadly due to stresses from DH losing his job, I put about 20 pounds back on. He has a great new job and I am determined to get back on track. Unfortunately the new job requires a move, something that after 20 years in the Army we are used to. (retired in 1999) Moves are never stress free though so I am looking for help and ideas on how my fellow diabetes sufferers deal with stress eating and sharing some ideas, thoughts on diabetes, "good" foods and health in general.
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Old 06-14-2002, 05:41 AM
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Nagymom, I am not a Diabetic but I have the same fears as you did coming from a family that sounds simliar to yours with medical problems. My Mom and Grandparents are diabetic. I just want to let you know that I am here if you need to bounce some of that stress off rather than seeking the food. I will keep you in my thoughts. I know how hard it is to keep yourself undercontrol and I wouldn't want you to put the weight back on and face medications of other health problems. So keep focus and keep exercising (Walking) and eating healthly foods and items that are OK for you.

Sue
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Old 06-14-2002, 07:10 AM
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THANKS SUE!

The kind and encouraging words are sincerely appreciated!

Jayne
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Old 06-18-2002, 10:22 PM
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I am "pre-diabetic" and have a family history of adult-onset diabetes, so I watch it very closely.

As far as stress eating, I still do it somtimes, but I find I do better when I plan meals and (especially during a move) snacks ahead of time and have them ready to grab and munch at any moment. Also, my whole family loves the Mediterranean style of eating (recommended by my doc), which is tasty, simple to prepare, and full of good, whole foods. You can read about it for free in any number of books from your library. I really like "Low Fat Lies, High Fat Frauds" for a starting point because I like to know why, and it explains things, as well as gives lots of basic recipes.

Drinking LOTS of water all day long helps me control stress eating. I think you're supposed to divide your weight in half, and that's about the number of ounces you need each day minimum.

Also, have you ever researched some of the related health issues, including other hormones? From what I've read, particularly low thyroid (which I have) can cause circulatory problems or aggravate them in diabetes. You might get some really great tips if you look into some of these "sister" diseases because there's a lot of information about them. They often occur in the same person together. A classic book about thyroid (which has a great section on diabetes and circulation problems) is Broda Barnes' "Hypothyroidism: The Unsuspected Illness." There are also some good websites.

Hope that helps!
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Old 06-19-2002, 03:34 AM
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Hi Anngj

Thanks for recommending that book. Im also hypothyroid and I try to read everything I can get my hands on about the subject. There is also a history of diabetes in my family but thankfully, so far I havent been diagnosed with it. Both my grandmother and my aunt suffered from it.


Im here too if anyone wants to talk.

Tami
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Old 06-19-2002, 04:02 AM
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Thanks anngj!!

I will definitely be looking for the book you recommended. The movers are due in ONE week (yikes!) so it will have to wait until the other end but I look forward to finding it. I have written it down and put it in my box so that I can look at the library once there. I had planned lots of trips with the grandkids to the library anyway.

My doctor has checked my thyroid in the past but I may ask her to check once again.

Ajrsmom, please take it seriously! I knew I was at huge risk but kept putting off lifestyle changes (meaning eating right and exercising ) and ran out of time. When my favorite Aunt died I was scared silly but did I do anything? NOOOOO 3 months later it caught up with me. Now I nag my kids who have a history on BOTH sides so are at extreme risk too.

Have a great day ladies and thanks for the feedback.
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Old 06-19-2002, 05:05 AM
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Diabetes

I was misdiagnosed with diabetes in December. Here are some of my ideas:
1. Insist on two diabetes tests - American Diabetes Association says diabetes should not be diagnosed on the basis of one test.
2. Make sure one of the tests is the HA1BC (I think that's the right name). It measures your sugar counts and averages over 3 months.
3. Look at the test results. Take the doctor's test results and go to the lab and compare to their test results (mine were INCORRECT!).
4. Be very careful about being labeled diabetic. It can effect your future employment, your ability to get life and health insurance.
5. If you have a positive test, start checking your blood sugar yourself several times daily, so that when you return for another test you can be prepared with your test results.
6. Make sure if you are glucose intolerant that your charts state that and not diabetes.
7. If you have a positive test, get busy. You have three months before a second HA1BC test. Start eating right, exercising, work at it.
8. Obviously, if your sugar counts are really high, immediately insist on another blood test. Hey, diabetes isn't anything to fool around with.
9. My tests were so incorrect and I was sent to classes - the whole bit. Come to find out, my sugar is 4.7, diabetes startes at 6.4!! - my doctor made a huge error, or the clinic did. So check and recheck. This has made problems in my personal life.
10. Whether your diabetic or not: eat right and exercise. Control your cholesterol and blood pressure.

You can tell I feel very stongly about this subject. I can't emphasize enough to make sure the tests are correct and not like mine. I have steam coming out of my ears, as I recently applied for insurance and was turned down, I am sure because of this non-existent "problem".
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Old 06-19-2002, 05:47 AM
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Heart felt thanks for such good advice! I am currently "diet controlled" and my previous HA1BC have come back beautiful! My cholesterol, last checked a year ago, was 165 which is fabulous!. My last fasting blood sugar was 100, well within the allowed normal.

To be honest, I have not been to the doctor in almost a year. WHY? Several reasons. My husband was laid off in down-sizing cuts and I re-gained approximately haf of the 42 pounds I lost after being daignosed. I was embarrassed to go back since my doctor was so proud of my accomplishment.

Another reason I haven't been may be denial. In spite of it all I feel good. I never had any symptoms of diabetes: no weight loss, fatigue (other than fatigue attributed to anemia and vitamins with iron are fixing this) excessive thirst or dizziness.

I refuse to do self blood checks and would have them done in the office but the last few were fine so I just decided to go it alone. In the back of my mind I wonder if I am truly diabetic. Like you, I wonder if there was a mistake or if I just had an episode of high blood sugar without diabetes, something I've read about since being diagnosed.

I suppose that the real reason I hesitate to go back is that I'll find out it's a true diagnosis and since I FEEL good want to believe it was wrong. Not very smart I know but that's where my head is.

In the meantime I am extremely careful to watch sugar grams and won't touch anything over 7 grams. I also try to watch carbohydrate counts and only fudge when we have pasta, which is not often.

Thanks again all of you for the feedback. I can't tell you how helpful and appreciated it is!
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Old 06-19-2002, 08:55 AM
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nagymom,

Just like mulberry204 says about diabetes tests sometimes being wrong, your lab or doc could have been wrong on your thyroid test before, too. I keep bringing it up because of the heart and other circulatory problems you mentioned. The link to thyroid is HUGE--and totally treatable. (Also, anemia fits right in there, too.)

In my case, the first doctor put me on a diabetic diet, etc. He said thyroid was fine (despite over 20 symptoms), but I asked for a copy of the labs and was shocked to find that many docs would have interpreted my numbers much differently. (See About.com's thyroid section for a start. They also have a helpful diabetes section.) The second doc, using the same labs, has never said a word about diabetes and is treating other hormone challenges, including thyroid and progesterone (which presents with similar symptoms to thyroid). And I feel better.

You're right to try and get to the bottom of this--we're talking about your life here. Best wishes with your move and in your new home!
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Old 06-19-2002, 09:59 AM
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I was diagnosed as being hypothyroid at the age of 27. This came after having every other test imaginable done because the dcotor refused to believe that I could have thyroid problems at that age-even though I had all of the classic symptoms......very cold, I would sleep almost uncontrollably 18 hrs a day, dry skin & weight gain. They were convinced that I was diabetic. Here is what the RN said to me the day I went in for the prognosis...." We have run every test available on you and everything has come back negative. There is only one test left ( the thyroid tests) and we dont believe that would affect you now. I can run the test just to make sure. Are you sure youre just not lazy ?"

I was young and naive then and scared to death something was deathy wrong with me or I dont think I wouldve left the office with that nurse still standing after saying that last sentence to me !

It ended up that indeed my thyroid was low...pretty darn low....and I have been on Synthroid ever since then. This past year( I was 33 then) I started having the same symptoms plus more.....hair loss. We were also trying to conceive so my gyno. suggested that I see an endocrinologist to get to the bottom of things. Everything was out of whack......my thyroid, hormone levels and iron levels were all screwed up. Since diabetes ran in my family, he ran tests for that too. I was very overweight too. I am happy to say that last month-after almost a year- I got a great report that all is ok now ! I forgot to mention that through all of this, I was diagnosed with PCOS-Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. This is something that cant be cured BUT can be controlled.

For the first 3 months that I saw this doctor, I got tested for everything every month, then it went to every 2 months & now I dont go back for six months. My iron levels are back up so I dont have to take iron pills, just a good multi vitamin with iron should be ok--that plus Ive added a lot more iron-rich food to my diet.
Ive lost 45 lbs since then and Im still losing !! ( trying very hard to anyway ) For me, I must say that I think losing weight, eating healthier and exercising has made the biggest improvement overall.

One more note to everyone that has thyroid problems...... I started out taking Synthroid and was told that just about all of the generic thyroid medicines are the same---They are WRONG ! I used to get my prescriptions filled at Wal-Mart and for some reason, the pharmacist there decided on her own to change my prescription to Levoxil. I noticed the change and called my doctor and she said that it "probably wont hurt anything". Well, it did ! After that month, I was definitely having problems and sure enough, my levels were low again. My doc. put me back on Synthroid only and I have been fine.


A BIG THANK YOU to all of the great advice in this thread !
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