New & Testing Question (Sort of Long)

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New Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 4/7/2006 9:21 PM (GMT -6)   
I am new to this board and a newly diagnosed Type 2 - 1/26/06.   At the time of diagnosis I was warned by my doctor of all the complications that I could get if I don't take this seriously, and was given a meter (which I was told not to use until I met with the dietician), a referral for the dietician, and a prescription for Metformin 850 2x day.  Nothing else, not what to eat, what not to eat, nothing.  Of course, I didn't wait to use the meter - especially since I was not able to get into the dietician for two weeks.  In the meantime I went out and bought a couple of great books.  The dietician told me to test 7-10 times a day, which I have been doing.  She said this was especially useful since this is new to me and I can see how my body reacts to different types of foods and in what amounts.
Today I had my first follow-up doctor's appt. and asked him to prescribe more strips than just 2 per day (I have been paying out of pocket for the others I use).  I told him I had contacted my insurance company and they would pay for as many as he prescribed.  He told me I was obsessively testing and accused me of wanting to test that much so that I could eat a ton of sweets.  I haven't had one single sweet thing since I was diagnosed.  He said I only needed to test 4 times per day.  I can deal with that, so I asked him to up the prescription to 4 per day and he flat out refused, and then said I really only need to test once per day - first thing in the morning, and occasionally if I felt low.  I asked him if he was doing this because of the insurance and I could understand if he told me his hands were tied, but he said no, that testing once a day was more than enough, even though he had just gotten through telling me to test 4 times a day.  Does that make sense?  Could you share how many times a day you test?  We ended up basically fighting over this and neither one of us was happy when I left.  I asked to see an endocrinologist and he refused to give me a referral. 
Also, the dietician told me that my fasting numbers should be between 65-99.  My doctor says my fasting level in the morning should be 126 or under.  Does this sound right?  Nothing I've read says that is right.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 4/8/2006 12:43 PM (GMT -6)   

I believe your doctor may have some non-compliant diabetic patients who are losing eyesight or limbs and that's where the first lecture came from. Preventable complications of diabetes by people who refuse to keep their sugar under control makes doctors feel discouraged. That being said, he turned around and contradicted himself... Keeping your blood sugars under control takes a bit of experience and you can't figure out which foods spike you if you don't test! For myself, I can't eat rice except sparingly. My father-in-law couldn't have potatoes except as a treat. Everyone is different.

My advice to you... (and remember you get what you pay for so free advice is worth nothing : ) is to purchase a Prestige IQ meter like I did. (I have no insurance.) The meter and 300 strips was $104 delivered. I bought it from a place online called DiabetiCare, or Diabetic Store or something like that. Just do a search for the meter and you should find a site with a good deal. The meter uses regular AA batteries and is easy to use. The big plus is that you don't need a prescription to buy it and you can test all you want until you get this figured out.

In a perfect world you would like to see your morning fasting numbers at 99 or below. Just testing each morning will show a pattern of how your meds are working and if you have something called 'Dawn effect' which will raise your numbers in the pre-dawn hours. Testing before breakfast and testing two hours after dinner will give your doctor some valid stats to determine medication doses for you but should be accompanied by a food diary. You should be keeping a record of food intakes as well as meter readings since using the two together will help you determine what foods are your special 'spikers'. Until you have your nutrition classes and get a handle on this thing it would be good to skip the cookies and sweets as well as the 'dietetic' or sugar-free foods. Many of these foods still have starches in them and the overall carbohydrate impact is what you need to deal with more so than sugar.

If you get hungry double up on your veggies and salads and add a bit of fats like olive oil or nuts (not honey roasted but regular) to your food plan. We will be here for you until you get this thing sorted out so don't worry. After a while you will be the one writing answers to the newbies. :-)
~ Jeannie

"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

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 534
   Posted 4/9/2006 11:03 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi Sanmarie,

Well, first off, what are your readings?  7-10 times a day is what a type one diabetic would have to do to control their insulin dosages and maybe even not that many.  It is overzealous to say the least and oh my, your poor fingers.  As a type II I test 4 times a day which is a lot but I do it mainly to establish a profile for the medicine I use which dramatically effects my after meal blood sugars, so I test before and after meals to see what the effects are. 

Right now as a newly diagnosed diabetic, your most important number is right after you get out of bed in the morning.  If you can keep it at 100 or less great.  Thats pretty much where a normal person would be.  The ACCEPTED range for a diabetic is 120 or less.  Im assuming that the medical establishment assumes that we still won't be doing damage at that level and that we run less risks of hypoglycemia by trying to push our blood sugar low enough to achieve morning numbers in the 90's. (that happens with me....I'll suffer numbers in the 50' and 60's at night to get to 90 in the morning and that is not good at all). 

Metformin is a first line diabetes drug.  It is universally prescribed to new diabetics and pre-diabetics as their first medication.  There are two basic classes of meds for a type II.  One class of meds fights your body's resistence to insulin; making you more sensitive to the insulin you are already producing.  This is the class that metformin (the generic name for "glucophage") falls into.  The other broad class of medications works on  your body to stimulate the temporary production of MORE insulin.  Typically these are taken right before a meal to help ameliorate a spike in your blood sugar caused by eating and help keep your BS constantly in a normal range.  These are typically NOT prescribed for new diabetics unless your intital numbers are really high.

Now, about the attitude of your doctor.  That is the attitude of a typical internist or GP and not an endocrinologist.  He wanted you to see the dietician because diet is important for keeping you normal but the 7-10 times of testing is really excessive.  HOWEVER, I would think that he would encourage you to test when you wake up and maybe 2 hours after dinner just to see how your body deals with a meal.  I think you would be better off with a doctor, either internist or endocrinologist that is more willing to explain things to you than to just take an intractable attitude of "Im the doctor and what I say is right".  I don't know what your numbers are so I can't advise you, but I sure would want a doc that would give me a bit more of an explanation as to "why".

Hope this helps

scool Warren
It's not that some people have willpower and some don't. It's that some people are ready to change and others are not. - James Gordon, M.D.
What some call health, if purchased by perpetual anxiety about diet, isn't much better than tedious disease. - George Dennison Prentice

I can only please one person per day, today is not your day...tomorrow doesn't look good either.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 101
   Posted 4/9/2006 11:39 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Sandi,
iam spooky and new to the site like you.My doctor,a considerate one at that,told the poor me that my fasting should not cross 100mgs and the 2 hour value should not cross 140mg.It gives you a cutie high when your values are under control but i found that these values keep changing whenever i test regularly every day,so i don't panic when these numbers start to get on my nerves.You are new to this numbers game,so play it right!
bye bye!Avanti to you(what's avanti by the way,it just popped up)

Post Edited (spooky) : 4/9/2006 10:45:55 AM (GMT-6)

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 4/9/2006 9:47 PM (GMT -6)   

This all started when my fasting blood work showed my glucose level at 120. I came in after fasting for 12 hrs. and tested by finger stick in the doctor's office at 159. After drinking that horrid orange stuff and waiting an hour I tested at 247 by finger stick. An hour after that I tested at 264 by finger stick.

I was put on Metformin 850mg 2x daily. I used to take it with breakfast and dinner. A week ago I changed that to lunch and before bed in hopes that I could get my fasting numbers lower. My fasting numbers in the morning have been anywhere from 114 to 154, usually leaning towards the higher. Since I changed when I take my meds they have been in the high 120's, mid 130's, and once in the 140's. My 2 hr. after breakfast numbers run from 122 to 182, no matter what I eat. My 2 hr. after lunch numbers have been as high as 206, but usually run between 91 and 114. My 2 hr. after dinner numbers have been in the low 100's only a couple of times, and are usually above 150 and have been as high as 205. The highest I've ever tested was 224, the lowest was 84.


Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 101
   Posted 4/19/2006 9:20 AM (GMT -6)   
    Dear Sanmarie,
                          a suggestion!Diagnosing diabetes using a finger stick is not accepted practice,though there is no doubt that you are now a type 2 diabetic with your fasting values touching at times 150mgs.Bye for now!take care.
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