Blood sugar questions

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Andrew22
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 3/4/2009 10:56 AM (GMT -7)   
I want to thank anyone in advance who takes the time to read this and respond.  I have recently had some symptoms related neuropathy (tingling, burning, stinging) in hands and feet.  I looked through a bunch of old bloodwork and noticed some glucose tests.  In 2004, I had a glucose level of 94.  In 05, it was 101.  In 07, it was 108.  These were all fasting glucose tests.  I only noticed them because they were in bold and labeled as "impaired glucose tolerance." So after this, I did much research and learned that it's prediabetic.  I recently had blood work done at the doctors office and my glucose came back at 90, which wasn't a fasting level.  I obtained a Accucheck blood meter and took my fasting blood sugar 3 mornings in a row and they came back at 95, 96, and 97.  I have yet to test much during the day and after eating but I plan to.  Last night I had a bowl of cottage cheese and some broccoli and cheese and it was 107 after about an hour after eating.  From all of the individuals with an enormous amount of experience on here, I guess I was hoping for some advice.  Should I follow up with an endro?  I'm very unhappy with my doctors office and may switch as I feel I should have been alerted to my higher fasting glucose levels earlier, even if not diabetic in level.  Again, I only found out after I requested copies of my medical records and reviewed them myself.  Does anyone know if neuropathic damage can take place from hovering in the 90s level fasting consistently?  I know this is the "normal" range but I have read many things suggesting that's not necessarily the case.  I am exploring other avenues of my neuropathic pain, I'm having an MRI of my brain.  I know one has to be responsible for their own health, but I guess in a way I feel betrayed by my doctor for not taking the time to alert me at the higher levels.  Does anyone have any advice in how to proceed?  Should I change my diet? Follow up with an endo? Do more tests?  Thanks in advance.
 
Andrew

Phishbowl
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 547
   Posted 3/4/2009 11:49 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi, Andrew,
First, let me say "kudos" to you for looking out for yourself. Not that I have anything against doctors but, I think our future is moving towards more self care & prevention than emergency care from professionals (but that's another story :-)

Try not to be so hard on your doc. They tend to be generalists and couldn't possibly keep up on all the latest news for any one particular set of issues (Diabetes, MS, Arthritis, heart disease, etc.). They have guidelines to follow; where blood sugar levels are concerned in this discussion, and according to your lab results, you still fall within acceptable targets. The good news is that "the powers that be" are recognizing that those levels need to be lowered. They've done so but not lowered them enough or quickly enough to catch the growing population of those who need a lifestyle change (Diet is the first area to address regardless of diabetes type). Doctors have an unbelievable time trying to convince full-on Diabetics to get their act together that it's not surprizing to hear they may be somewhat "jaded" to climb that uphill battle with pre-diabetics :-) Unfortunately, most of them just don't know any better. You've got your head up outta the sand and are looking around. Many folks just prefer to keep their head buried. Your numbers look good so far so, be aware but, don't let the numbers get the best of you either !-) Not sure what your area's doctor's guidelines are for referrals to specialists but, you could always express your concerns and ask to be referred.

Do your lab results give you an HBA1C level? This test (an A1C for short) gives the results of your average blood sugar level over the past 90 days. Having a glucose meter handy means that you can test to find out what foods might elevate your blood sugar levels (i.e. pasta, rice, grains, processed goods being some of the usual suspects). Your cheese & broc din-din was "no carb" if that's all you ate so, it should be expected that your post meal readings would be normal. Start a food diary, if you haven't already, and start logging all you eat and how much, exercise, and the times for each along with your blood sugar readings if you really want to make sense of the numbers. A little more info on what you eat might help us understand where you might be at with the "carb" knowledge, too. (Sounds like you might be low-carb?).

I'm afraid I don't know much about neuropathy other than it's effects can be caused by avenues other than Diabetes. I think some of the other members might have some first-hand experience to share. I'm sure they'll chime-in soon.
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


Andrew22
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 3/4/2009 12:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you for responding.  I'm not really a low carb guy, although I'm considering it now.  My diet mostly consists of meats and dairy I would say.  I eat a lot of burgers and cheese, don't care much for sweets and never really have.  I would say I used to have an ice cream shake maybe once a week though.  My main weakeness was Sprite, although I really only drank it because I have had stomach issues and it seemed to help.  I would say I averaged 2 to 3 cans a day for a few years.  I don't drink any anymore though, I quit after learning of my blood sugar.  I haven't had a HBA1C level done.  Do you think I should request that?  Or would keeping track on my own for a few weeks be sufficient?  There are times where I would go heavy on carbs such as a night out at olive garden, but in general, I think my carb intake was moderate at best.  I think my carb knowledge is very low.  I think I would have a hard time knowing what to eat and not eat...do you know of any good sites that may help with this? 
 
Maybe you are right and I shouldn't be that hard on my doc, but I have always been a real fighter with my health, I look into all possiblities of what could help and try to do whatever it takes...so I feel I could have done something sooner.  It just upsets me.  On a side note, I have had an unfortunate amount of medical problems for my age of 25, so I suppose my multiple run ins with doctors that I felt ignored how I felt may factor in to my bitterness. 
 
I work out quite often, maybe 3 days a week weight lifting along with some brisk treadmill walking, and I think I'm in pretty good shape.  I have lifted weights for years.  In terms of diet again I would say that since graduation from college in 07 my diet has been much more balanced.  I like a variety of foods, other than sweets.  But it sounds like many fruits are high in carbs so I'll have to investigate that as I eat a lot of fruit. 
 
I guess if it were you, would you keep an eye on it yourself and adjust your diet and see where it goes?  Or would you pursue a lot of tests and a specialist? 

Tony McGuire
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 483
   Posted 3/4/2009 12:32 PM (GMT -7)   
I guess after having Diabetes for a few years, and major pain from peripheral neuropathy from that Diabetes, I'm a little tainted.

90s are NOT high, from anything I've encountered including the Diabetes Care Clinic and dietitian I go to.

Of course, the standards for me are different, but for me anything below 120 is great, and 120-140 is still 'acceptable'.

After 2 trips to 2 different neurologists, who both said basically that I had 'extreme' neuropathy, one saying 3 of the 4 major nerves are effected, I had an MRI last week. Initial response? Normal.

You can see from the meds in my signature that I'm not having a great time of it. WITH the meds my pain level comes in at a steady 5, with breakthrough at 7 and higher.

Everyone is different, some in major ways. While I would be tickled to death to have your numbers, it may be that those blood sugar levels are high FOR YOU, and point to the onset of Diabetes.

Sorry I can't give you 'nailed-down' advise, but the fact that we are all so different is exactly why doctors are in such high demand - especially the good ones who can sort us each out.

So, I'd say go see your doctor and explain how you are feeling. Or, find another and explain how you were feeling and your desire to get started on a different footing.
Wife: Liz
Dogs: Koshka & Chomp
Brain Zaps: Gabitril
Kidneys: Simvastatin
Diabetes: Metformin, Insulin
Pain: Methadone, Morphine IR, Cymbalta, Lyrica


Tony McGuire
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 483
   Posted 3/4/2009 12:38 PM (GMT -7)   
"I guess if it were you, would you keep an eye on it yourself and adjust your diet and see where it goes? Or would you pursue a lot of tests and a specialist? "

If you want assurance, go get tests done (the HBA1C that Phishbowl spoke of is a 90 day view of your blood sugar levels and usually a good indicator on the Diabetes track).

Otherwise, watch your blood sugar levels and if you have high 'fasting' numbers (mornings, before eating) get checked.

Beyond that, enjoy life.
Wife: Liz
Dogs: Koshka & Chomp
Brain Zaps: Gabitril
Kidneys: Simvastatin
Diabetes: Metformin, Insulin
Pain: Methadone, Morphine IR, Cymbalta, Lyrica


Andrew22
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 3/4/2009 12:42 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the response Tony.  To your knowledge, is there any way to know if 90s is high for one person and not that high for another?  I mean, who could determine that type of situation?  Also, if you don't mind answering, (if you do no problem) what kind of neuropathy symptoms do you have?  Just curious to see if they are similar to mine.  I'm really sorry to hear about your situation and hope it improves for you, and thank you for taking the time to respond.

Andrew22
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 3/4/2009 1:13 PM (GMT -7)   
"Otherwise, watch your blood sugar levels and if you have high 'fasting' numbers (mornings, before eating) get checked."

I guess I don't really know what "high" fasting numbers would be. It seems like some consider the mid 90s high. I know the pre-diabetic range is 100-126, but I guess I don't know when high is too high.

Phishbowl
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 547
   Posted 3/4/2009 1:41 PM (GMT -7)   
With the testing you're already doing, plus maybe a few more 2-hour after eating tests... you'll have established a good idea of what your baseline is. You seem to hover around the 90's. Normal for "normals" and great for pre-diabetics/diabetics. By keeping a diary and say, noting that 2 hours after you eat rice for example, to register way off your norm (like say 150's), would clearly indicate that you have trouble metabolizing that particular carb. By doing the testing yourself and keeping a log book, you'll very quickly see patterns yourself where food affects are concerned.

I don't think the levels you've shared warrant a trip to the specialist (an Endocrinologist, in this case). Having said that... I am not a doctor. A full assessment of your own personal medical history by a doctor may lead you to one but that's who you need to have the discussion with. Side note: even with a specialist, the patient is in charge of their well-being 24/7. They may have more information to share, especially when riding the diabetes roller coaster :-) , but it always comes down to the patient taking the reins of control.

Knowledge is power and the first thing to learn about is what gets put into our mouths. The best place to learn what a diabetic diet is (think: low carb), is from diabetics themselves. You'll find a wealth of information in this forum if you read past posts. The diet world is a vast and confusing place "out there". Many of us have tried many things, including those recommendations from ADA/CDA and have basically concluded that eating as fresh/natural as possible and "nothing white but cauliflower & cottage cheese" food plan can be a healthy, accommodating, low-carb lifestyle.
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


LanieG
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5406
   Posted 3/4/2009 1:44 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Andrew, welcome to HealingWell.  Sorry about the neuropathy.  Only a doctor can tell you if this is because of diabetes, so you'll need further tests.  Your blood sugar numbers don't seem to be very high but they might be creeping up there, putting you in that vague "pre" stage.  That means you have to be careful: careful with diet especially.  If you're still getting a lot of physical activity in especially with lifting weights, that's great and very very helpful.  Exercise and strength-building helps control blood sugar.  The diet, as mentioned, should be lower carb in order to keep your blood sugar under 100 in the morning when you wake up.  Next, you need to take your blood sugar 2 hours after you eat a meal.  Someone mentioned the A1c.  This is a blood test in the lab which will tell you what your average blood sugar has been over the past 90 days (more or less).  Since it's only an average, it will not tell you about lows or highs.  To determine whether you have diabetes or not, the doctor would schedule you for a glucose tolerance test (GTT).  This is a test you do when you come in fasting, they take blood, you then drink a sugary glucose drink and they measure your blood after one hour and then two hours.  This test will tell how you metabolize carbohydrates.  Your low-carb diet along with exercise can control a "bordline" diabetic (like me) on a daily basis, but the GTT will absolutely tell if you do have diabetes or not.  It seems to me that your blood sugar is pretty much controlled.  You need to have your neuropathy evaluated as that is more of a concern right now.  Is it actually related to diabetes or not?  Only a doctor can determine that.  I don't know if a person can have nerve damage from blood sugar hovering around 100 or in the 90's.  I hope not!  But we're not doctors here, so please see your doctor.  Ask if he can order further tests or if you need to be referred to a specialist.  And let us know what happens, ok? 

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


Andrew22
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 3/4/2009 2:14 PM (GMT -7)   
LanieG, Thanks for the info. I know you recommend going to the doctor, and it's not that that isn't sound advice, but honestly, I think I receive more help on here than they give me. To be honest, most of my doctors visits start with me explaining my problems, then them looking at me oddly, then me recommending a course of action and them usually agreeing. It would be an idea to get a glucose tolerance test, though. I really believe that I would need to see a specialist to get any answers about blood sugar around the 90s being too high as I don't think my GP would be able to tell me. And to be honest, I think some Endo's would look at me crossed eyed for going to them with fasting in the 90s like I shouldn't be there. But anyway, advice is well received, and I appreciate it. Something is causing my problems, and maybe it's just my own anxiety, which I have had for several years following a hefty concussion. Anyhow, I will see what the MRI of my brain shows...maybe MS? who knows. Either way, appreciate all of the help. Wish you all nothing but the best.

Phishbowl
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 547
   Posted 3/5/2009 7:56 AM (GMT -7)   
A "normal" person will almost always have a blood sugar reading of between 4-7 (72-126), regardless of what they've eaten. While your fasting levels may be slightly elevated, they are within acceptable limits. It would be interesting to know your levels say 2 hours after a meal with pasta, rice, bread, potatoes, or sugar. To a diabetic, eating a bowl of pasta/potatoes/rice is like eating a bowl of sugar :-) Not as accurate of course, but essentially you would be performing your own GTT if you tested 1, 2, then 3 hours after you ingested (a Cup of coke works just as well and can be more controlled than food).

You may want to try some of these "home tests", especially if you want to bring a doctor some evidence that you may need to see someone else. It's possible that seeing a specialist for your neuropathy might be more in order?? As Lanie explains, the glucose readings you've shared don't put you in the diabetes category at the moment but, periodic watchfulness would quickly indicate when you might need to pay more attention. In the meantime, learning more about food is always the best place to start improving health :-)
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


Andrew22
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 3/5/2009 8:48 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Phishbowl. I am currently seeing a neurologist for the neuropathy, not sure else where to turn. In the meantime, I'm trying to do some self investigating. I ate a steak, baked potato with everything (sour cream, butter, cheese), green beans and mushroom soup, and cottage cheese for dinner last night. 1 hour after dinner, I came back at 110. 2 Hours after, I came back at 101. This morning fasting I came back at 96, which is about the usual. Interesting though...I did test at 85 yesterday BEFORE I ate dinner. For lunch I had something I think was low carb....salad with quite a few different veggies on it....and caesar dressing. So maybe that lowered my levels, although I think I just run lower during the day than at my fasting level. At the doctors office I was a couple hours removed from eating and tested at 90, so I think the pattern is me testing lower during the day than at fasting for some reason. Do you have any thoughts on why that might be? I'm going to try drinking a Sprite and do the test after that, and then see what I get. Until the last 2 weeks, I had drank Sprite 2-3 a day for years, maybe my whole life essentially. But anyway, I will let you know what the test shows. Can't thank you enough for your input.

LanieG
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5406
   Posted 3/5/2009 9:47 AM (GMT -7)   
There's something called the "dawn phenomenon" which might be why you test lower during the day than when waking up.  In my opinion, your numbers are great!  And considering all the food you eat at one meal! shocked    But then, you're young and probably muscular from the work-outs, so you might be metabolizing it all rather quickly.  The dinner you described (in addition to being fairly large) has the potato which is high carb, but the sour cream, butter and cheese helps draw out the carb effect and may help keep your blood sugar lower afterwards (called "postprandial").  The green beans:  maybe, depending on how much you ate.  The soup?  Was it canned?  If so, it may have additives, especially if it's the cream-style that would have carbs.  The other dinner food is not carb-laden.  So, I think you're doing fine and your blood sugar is not a problem - but maybe it will have a tendency to creep up as you get older, so you're wise to be aware of all this.  Your earlier post mentioned a concussion - is the neurologist saying the neuropathy could be related to that?  Good luck with the MRI.  Keep us informed, ok?

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


Andrew22
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 3/5/2009 10:24 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for your input LanieG. Actually, I have to really thank you all. It's great to know that there are people out there who want to help. The green beans and mushrooms soup were both from the can, and I ate a substancial amount. The dinner is a little heavier than I normally eat, honestly, I was just hungry for some reason! Yeah, at least I'm aware of it now, you are right about that. I certainly no my concussion could be a factor, maybe scartissue or something...who knows. I have had a number of mental and physical effects from the concussion that have lasted years. The neurologist actually told me none of this was from my concussion (by none of this I mean symptoms other than the neuropathy such as headaches and dizziness and lathargic) which I know isn't true....I mean she wants me to believe that coincidentally all of these things started at the same time I happened to get a concussion and never let up? That's a tough sell. I mean, I have been living with it so I think I would know. But as far as the neuropathy, I really don't know. I don't think concussions generally cause that, but perhaps i injured my neck when I fell and didn't realize it as it was never xrayed. So I will just have to see what happens. I can't express my gratitude enough to all of you. My own anxiety and depression type issues stemming from the head injury may drive me to be irrational, and talking to so many individuals with so many experiences really helps me sort it.

LanieG
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5406
   Posted 3/5/2009 11:48 AM (GMT -7)   
So, Andrew, if I were you, I'd aggressively pursue the neuropathy problem and maybe you should consult with another neurologist. Besides this MRI, there are other tests that can be done, like electrodiagnostic studies that test nerve function.  I gathered this from searching online - I don't know about these "nerve conduction studies", just what I'm reading.  But I do know that headaches and dizziness might indeed be from injuries to the neck/spine.  I also know that these and other long-term pain can cause depression and anxiety, so it's essential that you find answers to them as well as the neuropathy.  Neuropathy is from nerve pinching or damage from many causes.  So, be sure to follow through on this and let us know what's going on.  Everyone here on the Forum tries to be really helpful and maybe others have had experience they can share.

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


Tony McGuire
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 483
   Posted 3/7/2009 8:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Andrew,

Glad to see you've gotten some answers while I was away. Most of your questions I don't have an answer for, cause I haven't been "normal" on the blood sugar front for many years.

On the neuropathy front, I have input.

PAIN. RIPROARING, BURNING, SHOOTING, GRAB YOU AND SHAKE YOU UPSIDE DOWN PAIN.

For me, it started out as tingling in my left foot. Then periodic tingling in my right foot, and minor pain in both.

After surgery to fix an infection in my right foot, on the same day as the surgery I went to full-blown pain in both. I get breakthrough pain with the meds that is in the 8-10 range on pain. The bottoms of my feet feel like someone comes by periodically to beat on them with a bat. If I go too long without taking the pain pills, it feels like someone is pouring boiling water on my legs from the knees down.

My left leg ALWAYS feels like it is going to cramp at any second, but it almost never does. Both legs jump around, when I am sitting or laying, but only periodically.

Two fingers on my right hand go numb for hours at a time. My left hand goes numb at times. My face goes numb but not for as long at a time.

I can't walk very well, with the meds throwing off my balance and the bottoms of my feet hurting so badly. Can't stand without walking for very long, either, because of feet.

That's the major stuff, and most of everything. Any questions, fire away.

EDIT: Besides my PCP, Foot Specialist, Pain Specialist, I've been to two Neurologists which is where the stuff going on with my hands & fingers was blamed on the neuropathy from diabetes as well. I've also recently had a brain MRI, which was 'normal'.
Wife: Liz
Dogs: Koshka & Chomp

Post Edited (TonyMcGuire) : 3/7/2009 8:55:34 PM (GMT-7)


uniquelyme
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1037
   Posted 3/28/2009 3:00 PM (GMT -7)   
 
 
Hey Tony,
I just noticed that you also post on the CP forum like me...I was just diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes almost 2 weeks ago.  I also take Metformin, but no insulin (yet).  I also noticed that you take methadone for pain.  We have a lot in common, and I was just wondering if you have noticed any problems with your diabetes and taking the methadone...or any other pain meds for that matter? 
 
Thanks 4 ur time,
Me.

 
We are all in the same boat...unfortunatley it seems like it's sinking...
 
Rhonda
Post Lamenectomy Syndrome
Hemi Lamenectomy
Spinal Fusion
 
120 mg. Methadone daily
60 mg. Oxycodone daily
Lyrica as needed 
 
Type 2Diabetes 
Metformin 500 mg. once daily
                                                                     

 

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