Should Pre-Diabetes use a monitor?

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DeeL
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2004
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 3/22/2009 11:26 AM (GMT -7)   
This is my first diabete post.  I hope I don't drive you all away with too much info!  redface   A month ago my Dr. said I'm pre-diabetic (Insulin resistant/metabolic syndrome).  For several years my fasting BS is a little over 120.  I've always had problems with mid morning hypo-gly.  Regular fasting chem screens is all I've had for BS tests.  At the same appt. Dr. said my ultra-sound showed fatty liver and gallstones.  I also have fibro and arthritis and don't get much exercise because of pain.  I take Cozaar and Toprol for BP, Prozac for fibro, and Prilosec for hiatal hernia.  Occasional Xanax to help sleep.  My BMI is 30.
 
He gave me 50 mg. Metformin to be increased to 100 mg. in a month, and said to lose a little weight.  I asked to see a Nutritionist--for which I feel I wasted my time and money.  about all I got there was 'use between 1300 and 1400 cals a day'.  I have no idea how many gms of carbs.  I know of course to limit "white" or starch things and try to eat lots of fiber, fruits and veggies, which is trouble with IBS.
 
At first the Metformin was causing lots of bowel problems then it lessen off, but I felt weird and sleepless at night.  Since Dr. increased my Cozaar & Toprol at the same time I don't know if the Met was causing the weird feeling at night.  I had been adding chromium picolinate and Alpha Lipoic acid supps. so I quit that but still couldn't sleep hardly at all.  So I quit the Met a few days ago.  I actually don't feel any better yet.  I'm trying to stay around 1300 cals a day still but have only lost 5 lbs in a month, feel weak and hungry all the time.  Dizzy, headachey and hard to keep my balance.  A lot like the hypo-gly symptoms.  I've had a couple of episodes of turning very pale and slow heart rate and BP, almost fainting after trying to do some gardening.  I don't know symptoms of high BS, or when to take something sweet if I feel in trouble.  He didn't prescribe a monitor.  Can I get one without a Rx?  When in this pre-diab. state should a person be monitoring?
 
I would prefer to not take Metformin and learn more about how to eat.  My exercise will always be quite limited but I'm moving around more.  Just grocery shopping is a task at this point.  This is so depressing mad .  I feel like a failure!  I've collected several diabetes and insulin Resistance books and been searching to web.  The style of eating seems to make sense, but then I go to the store or look in my cupboard and feel like O.K.--now what do I eat?!   I wish someone would just say "here's a menu, eat this!"  It is all so confusing.  I got a Track3 food monitor to record what I'm eating but after a month of feeling horrible and tediously recording I'm so sick of it with almost no results--except a gallstone attack last night.

LanieG
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5406
   Posted 3/22/2009 11:42 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Deel, wow, you must be frustrated.  First, in answer to your question about using a monitor, I believe yes.  You can buy one without a prescription but to get the supply of test strips you'll need every month, you'll need a prescription.  Talk to your doctor.  Are you old enough for Medicare?  Look into that and your insurance so you don't have to put a lot out of pocket.  Talk to your doctor and tell him you would like to have a monitor - shouldn't be too hard to convince since you have a history of high fasting readings.  Since you're so-called "borderline" like me, there's no way to know what your blood sugar is if you don't test, absolutely, it's important use the blood glucose monitor.  It would be easy to tell you to cut way back on the carbohydrates (starches) like bread, rice, potatoes and pasta and to exericse but you're also dealing with other ailments and medications that might complicate that.  Only you know what you can eat that will not bother you.  All I can say is that the starchy vegetables like potatoes, carrots and corn (a grain, actually) will keep your blood sugar elevated.  If you can stick to meats/chicken/fish, eggs, other vegetables, cheese, nuts, salads - depending on what you can eat - you'll be better off with your blood sugar.  Smaller meals more frequently to avoid some of those hypos.  Swimmng?  Do you have access to a pool?  Walking around the neighborhood a couple of times a day?  However, could those spells you're having be low blood pressure?  Do you have a cuff to measure your blood pressure?  Maybe you need to go back to the doctor and talk about these episodes.  Let us know what happens. 

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


DeeL
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2004
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 3/22/2009 12:18 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Lanie--I'm 67 so could have Medicare, but my hubby still is working, so don't.  I will have to check about insurance for meters.
 
My BP does drop along with heart rate during those times, but only then.  Part of the time, like at the doctor's office, it is still around 160 top number.  Bottom one is always pretty low.  I have an appt. on the 31st, but I have to have all my ducks in a row before I talk to Dr. because otherwise it is "how are you" then stares at his computer where they have the records now, and if I don't bring everything up it isn't covered.  I am having Blood tests before going and don't know if I should be back on the Metformin before I do it.  I just want to feel better and stopped it without telling him.
Getting Old is not for Sissys


LanieG
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5406
   Posted 3/22/2009 1:24 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Dee, there are a lot of unknowns.  For example, was your blood sugar really high before the metformin? You don't have a way of knowing that.  If you did have really high blood sugar before, then maybe your body is adjusting to the lower blood sugar because of the metformin.  That doesn't necessarily mean you had low blood sugar during those episodes, just low compared to what you were used to.  A person could have the sweats, some dizziness, the shakes just getting used to a normal blood sugar level.  Again, without a way to test at that time, you don't know what's going on with that.  Or, maybe the dosage is too high for you?  Losing weight is really helpful for blood sugar control and don't feel that 5 lbs in a month isn't good.  Most doctors would tell you a pound a week is good.  I think you'd better tell your doctor that you stopped the metformin because of the side effects.  Please don't keep that from him.  You have a solid reason to get a glucose monitor since he put you on meds.  Please look into getting one somehow.  You can even get a free one by asking for one.  You'll get a meter, a little lancet with supply of ten tips and about 10 test strips.  And then, of course, you'll need a constant supply of the strips, and that's why your doctor would need to write a prescription for that brand.  Try these websites for a freebie.  Then you'll know which one you're comfortable with and talk to your doctor. 

www.FreeStyleLite.com

www.BayerDiabetes.com/us/

www.lifescan.com

 



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

Post Edited (LanieG) : 3/22/2009 2:29:03 PM (GMT-6)


Tony McGuire
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 483
   Posted 3/25/2009 10:55 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the web sites, Lanie. I knew FreeStyleLite but not the others.
Wife: Liz
Dogs: Koshka & Chomp


LanieG
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5406
   Posted 3/25/2009 5:18 PM (GMT -7)   
Tony, there may be other companies that give freebies, too.  I used to think "how generous" but then I realized it's a hook because we have to continually buy the test strips thereafter for each particular brand.  This is why there's no "one size fits all".  And this is where they make their money.  mad   Well, anyway, we get free meters.

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 3/27/2009 1:43 PM (GMT -7)   
I evidently have a different scale I'm supposed to use. I was told ANYTHING below 110 was great, and up to 140 was just fine. Based on that, I've been keeping a loose watch on my BS. While it hasn't been much fun, I've kept my BS 'averaging' around 125/127. My last 4 A1C were 16.9, 7.9, 7.3 and 7.2.

The 16.9 was outrageous, of course, and two different doctors told me they hadn't seen anyone living with an A1C that high; I laughed and they didn't.

EVEN IF NOT DIAGNOSED FULL DIABETIC, if you are close I'd sure recommend starting to use a meter if you can get one and the cost of test strips doesn't run you out of house and home. Everything you can do to hold off the beast is to your benefit.

Watch those carbs, and exercise as you can.
Wife: Liz
Dogs: Koshka & Chomp


Jeannie143
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 3/27/2009 8:18 PM (GMT -7)   
Deel,
If I may comment, I hope you will reconsider the metformin. It's one of the safest diabetic drugs around and it actually works in your body like exercise to lower your insulin resistance. And I'm surprised that your doctor is calling you "pre-diabetic". He's giving you a diabetes medication and your sugars are running above normal and have been for years... Hmmm... Wonder if he's just trying to break you in slowly to the idea of having diabetes.

As far as someone giving you a menu... I follow the "nothing white except cauliflower and cottage cheese" food plan. Got me off insulin! Worth looking into. Read back in the posts and see how others have had success with cutting their starches. Good luck with this.
~ Jeannie, Forum Moderator/Diabetes & Fibromyalgia
I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much. ~Mother Teresa

"People are like stained glass windows: They sparkle and shine when the sun's out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light within."- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross


LanieG
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5406
   Posted 3/27/2009 9:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Everyone, it seems GPs have all different ideas as to what their patients' blood sugar levels should be.  Maybe this is because the ADA for years had guidelines that said it was "ok" to have readings up to 140 - as you say, Tony.  And the ADA only classified fasting blood sugar above 126 as diabetic, so if you came in between 100 and 126, you were only pre-diabetic.  From what I've learned in the last few years, I think that's detrimental to the patient to go on for years with those readings.  Some doctors still think like this, that you just need to keep under 140.  And then others put patients right on meds with one fasting blood test result instead of trying a more conservative approach to see if the patient can bring the blood sugar down with diet and exercise.  In my own case, (as I've said ad nauseum) I wish my doctor had prescribed the glucose meter years ago so I could have started on this earlier.  My annual lab tests were creeping upward through the years until about 3 years ago and she (my doctor) said I was "pre-diabetic".  Well, the bottom line is:  we all need to learn as much as we can about this disease and understand how it affects us and how we can take charge of our health and avoid further complications.  It's never too late.   
yeah
Lanie
forum moderator - diabetes
diabetes controlled so far by low/no carb diet and exercise; no meds


DeeL
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2004
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 3/27/2009 9:23 PM (GMT -7)   
wink  Hi Jeanie,
Thanks for your comments.  I wish I knew more about the Metformin and what it actually does. (I see I miss spoke before--I was on 500 mg. then up to 1000, not 50 mg.!)  They aren't time release version which I hear is better.  The doctor had up'd my BP meds at the same time as I started the Met, and I don't know if the adverse symptoms I've been having are from 'which'.  I've read about Met on the web but only found the classic patient stuff which doesn't really tell me how it works and why I should be on it this early in the game.
 
You may have noticed I joined the fibro forum here 4 years ago.  It was a wonderful help when I was first diagnosed with fibro.  Thanks to all the caring folks like you! :-)
Getting Old is not for Sissys


Tony McGuire
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 483
   Posted 3/29/2009 5:07 PM (GMT -7)   
I hope no one took my comments as 'what you should consider good'.

I have neuropathy that is likely going to put me on Disability; 3 of the 4 major nerves from knees to toes are shot and shooting intolerable levels of pain 24/7. Can't be controlled well by drugs (Lyrica/Cymbalta/Methadone/Morphine) or nerve blocks.

My reading are definitely WAY TOO HIGH to use as any standard but atrocious.
Wife: Liz
Dogs: Koshka & Chomp


LanieG
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5406
   Posted 3/29/2009 7:19 PM (GMT -7)   
Tony, you've got a lot on your plate health-wise.  Do you think your meds should be reevaluated if you can't get your readings lower?  How's your diet?

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

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