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Nomie
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 12/18/2008 7:36 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi,I am usually on the IBS and Ostomy boards. Now this. confused I was just told my sugar levels are high. 6.4 and 85. I have no idea what these numbers mean. By doing searches the numbers are all 100 something. What does 6.4 mean and what does glutose 85 mean? My doctor said to see a nutritionist and exercise. Any advice before I can get the appointments? Do I have to stop eating carbs and sugar? Sorry but this is all so new to me.

LanieG
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5404
   Posted 12/19/2008 8:26 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Nomie, welcome over here but sorry you're going through this confusion.  Actually, I'm a little confused by the numbers you wrote.  85 is normal for most normal people in a random glucose test.  That is nothing to worry about - if it's really just "85".  I don't know what the 6.4 refers to.  Is it the A1c blood test?  If it is, it's somewhat high, averaging about 132 in the US.  If it's not the A1c and if you're in another country, it might be the glucose reading that's equivalent to our 117.  So, first, I think you need to get the doctor or nutritionist to explain what those blood sugar readings are.  Cutting down on carbs and cutting out sugar help control blood sugar.  I hope this helps.  Check back here and let us know what's going on.

Lanie
forum moderator - diabetes
diabetes controlled so far by low/no carb diet and exercise; no meds


Phishbowl
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 547
   Posted 12/20/2008 11:50 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Nomie

You first need to know which system of measurement you're using. The SI or the American measurement (you often read on American-based web sites). Sounds like you might be using the SI system to me.

Lab test usually check for 1) HBA1C, 2) your fasting glucose level, and 3) your insulin level.

1) HBA1C (A1C for short) - measures your blood glucose level as an average over the past 90 days. Lab reports often show the number as a decimal (i.e. 0.064) but it is usually read as a percent (i.e. 6.4%)
2) Glucose Level - measures your blood glucose reading at the time you had blood drawn (this blood draw would be veinous blood and more accurate than the blood from your fingertip, as in using a blood glucose meter. That being said, your meter should still read pretty close to the lab's).
3) Insulin Level - sometimes done to see how much insulin is floating around your blood at the time of the lab draw. A high number could indicate Insulin Resistance; a very low number could indicate no insulin production as in the case of a Type 1. In the States and some parts of Europe they use a GAD165 test to determine, by certain DNA/genetic markers, whether or not you are Type 1 or 2.

Some info about the two systems of measurement...

The SI System: mmol/L
The SI system (Système International)
- in Canada, Australia, Europe, and other countries
- uses moles per unit volume (millimoles per liter of blood)
- the term "mmol/L" is the abbreviation for millimoles (mmol) per liter/litre (L) and describes how much glucose is present in a specific amount of blood

• mmol/L is millimoles/liter, and is the world standard unit for measuring glucose in blood

The American System: mg/dL
- the American system generally uses mass per unit volume (milligrams per deciliter of blood).
- the term "mg/dL" then is the abbreviation for milligrams (mg) per deciliter (dL) and describes how much glucose is present in a specific amount of blood

• mg/dL is milligrams/deciliter, and is the traditional unit for measuring bG (blood glucose)

Conversion: To converse in American sugar lingo, the conversion is 18 or 0.055. For example, a blood sugar reading of 7.5 mmol/L
• multiplied by 18 yields 135 mg/dL
• divided by 0.055 yields 136.36 mg/dL.

Blood Sugar Levels:
- Your 8-hour fasting (preprandial) blood sugar is normal if it's 70 to 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), or 3.88 to 5.55 millimoles per liter (mmol/L)
- You are considered pre-diabetic, if your fasting blood sugar level is between 100 and 125 mg/dL, or 5.55 and 6.87 mmol/L)
- Current medical standards state that diabetes is formally diagnosed at fasting blood sugar level of 126 mg/dL, or 6.93 mmol/L.

If you have a copy of the lab report, it will usually indicate the parameters under which you should fall for each of the tests performed (Labs are all different). Anything falling outside "Normal" parameters gets highlighted in some way.

The 6.4, be it either your A1C or Fasting Glucose Level, is on the high side of "Normal" or the low side of pre-diabetes, depending on how you want to look at it :-) Either way, it is an indication that some attention and focus on diet and lifestyle is in order. Progression into Diabetes can be SIGNIFICANTLY postponed if some minor changes are made now. We can help with that :-)
Cheers,
- Phishbowl (Type 1 since Jan'05 - Levemir, NovoRapid)
"What's Not Measured Is Not Managed"

"It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows"-Epictetus


Nomie
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 12/20/2008 8:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks so much for your help. I live in the USA. Snow covered Ma. shocked I do believe I had the 90 day test. I had a fasting test last July and it said I had a hemoglobin Alc value of 6.2. In April of 2005 it was 5.8. I don't have the latest report yet but it was the 6.4. Not a true fasting test but it was a few hours before I had eaten anything. They said that did not matter as it was a test over 3 months. I am suppose to see a nutritionist and exercise.Now a little about me. I am 62 and diabetes do not run in the family. I do not smoke or drink and I am 5 feet and weigh 118. I have no symptoms of being diabetic except for being tired all the time. I Have a very bad case of IBS C and I had an over active thyroid a few years ago. I have that under control now. I do not eat right because of the IBS and being lactose intolerant also. I also crave carbs. I have cut way back and that is why I lost weight. I was 132. To
make things worse I am in a bad habit of eating before bed.Exercise is a problem right now because I have a bulging disk pressing on the sciatic nerve and have been going for PT. It is getting better. I work full time as a barber and tend not to eat much all day because it acts up the IBS if I eat. I do have to work. After work I am much to tired to exercise and my morning is taken up with the IBS problem. Sorry to bother you guys with all this. I just don't know what to eat or when to exercise or how to satisfy my craving for carbs. What a mess huh? Any advise is appreciated.

LanieG
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5404
   Posted 12/20/2008 10:17 PM (GMT -7)   
Well, good luck with all the snow you've got.  I think there's more coming.  I don't know about the foods you have to avoid because of IBS, so you're the best judge of that.  All I know is that to keep your blood sugar to more normal levels, it would help to cut way down on the carbs.  Curiously, eating carbs makes us crave more carbs, so if you can try to cut down, you'll eventually lose the craving.  This means bread, potatoes, cakes (and all that), rice and pasta.  Cutting those out or at least by half should help the blood sugar come down somewhat.  For exercise, try weight lifting using dumb bells or any objects that work your muscles.  You don't have to go jogging for the exercise, but whatever you do, clear it with the doctor so you don't end up making the sciatica worse.  Rather than skip a meal, can you munch on cheese, nuts, cut up vegetables that you take to work?  Or choose small amounts of food that you can eat that don't make the IBS flare.  Tiredness can be from several conditions - including too many carbs during a meal - but if it's chronic, it seems to me the doctor should order more lab tests.  Gee, this is great timing right before Christmas and New Year's to have to change your diet!  Congratulations on the weight loss!
Lanie
forum moderator - diabetes
diabetes controlled so far by low/no carb diet and exercise; no meds


Phishbowl
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 547
   Posted 12/21/2008 9:21 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for clarifying a few things, Nomie. That makes it easier to help you out :-)

So, the 6.4 is your A1C. Of note is that it has been going up (5.8 to 6.2 to 6.4). It means you've been averaging a blood glucose level lately of around 116. Average meaning sometimes you are higher - this could also be the reason for fatigue.

The "Glucose = 85" is your fasting glucose level at the time you had your blood drawn. 85 is actually a great level to be at (4.7 in my language :-) . The trick is to keep it around that level (carbs cause spikes).

Given your A1C, which is on the high side of normal, and your Fasting level being pretty normal, combined with the knowledge that your A1C over the years is increasing... you're a prime candidate for making some diet/lifestyle changes that'll slow the progression of this disease. In a nutshell: Limit carbs.

Have some Lactose Intolerance here, too. We found that pro-biotic yogurt actually helps with IBS without LI side effects. Use 1% or 2% milk (the lower the fat the higher the sugar concentration). Eggs are good, better without the yolk (trigger). Watch the caffeine (trigger). As Lanie mentions, some of the better snacks are protein/fat with little carbs (1/2 apple w/cheese, 6-10 almonds, meat/beans/fish/chicken in lettuce leaf, etc.). Avoid entirely or at least significantly limit: rice, potatoes, corn, roots, grains (or as I like to think of it: anything that can be made into flour) - there's too much starch, little nutritional value (instant carbs for energy), and can be deemed "empty calories" because they make you keep wanting more (vicious cycle :-)

The dietician/nutritionist is a great first step on the road to understanding nutrition and most importantly, portion control. (Sounds like you've got an idea about it all already - congrats on the weight loss!). With your IBS, they will help you tailor a diet that doesn't include those foods that trigger episodes. Lots of veggies are often the order of the day for many diabetics. With IBS, you may have to avoid raw and go with steamed instead for example. (My hubby has IBS so, I'm aware of some of the challenges here, too). If you read some past posts you'll find most of us found that, where "grains" were concerned... NOT following the ADA-recommended diet in this particular area results in much more stable blood sugars. As Lanie mentions, eating is important. Even if it's a few nuts & cheese. Getting your body into a routine is imperative for success.

Being on your feet all day, I can understand your sciatica. Is there any way you can add a small step stool/ couple of phone books to your cutting area? Having one leg slightly elevated without locking the knee on your other leg... will relieve pressure on your back. In between appointments, take 2 minutes to squat, rising and lowering a couple of times. It'll stretch the muscles. Add some wall lunges and some knee lifts and you've got a workout that'll at least keep you limber (and from aching more :-)

I've been on thyroid meds for almost 25 years. Make sure your Endo watches these levels, too. Some of your fatigue could come from here if the medication levels are not correct. Your thyroid is part of your endocrine system, as is Diabetes.

BTW, there's no such a thing as "bothering" us here. We were all in your situation at one time and are glad to help in any way we can. Keep those questions coming, keep on doing research, and put into action even the smallest of changes and you'll be well on your way to improving your situation for sure :-)
Cheers,
- Phishbowl (Type 1 since Jan'05 - Levemir, NovoRapid)
"What's Not Measured Is Not Managed"

"It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows"-Epictetus


Nomie
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 12/21/2008 8:37 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for all the help. I don't know about nuts but cheese is out. If I eat anything at all my system starts to act up. But something small seems to be ok most of the time. I was eating peanut butter crackers and later on a piece of fruit.They all make fun of me at work but I am used to that. Seems all they do is eat. And bad stuff at that but they feel good.Oh well.It will catch up with them in time.I need to worry about myself right now.  
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