Hi Amanda, your question will get you answers in a wide range of numbers depending on the source! The American Diabetes Assoc., your doctor, another person's doctor, your neighbor - they all seem to have a different answer. So, here's what I've come across: a healthy non-diabetic would probably have a reading of less than 120 about 2 hours after a meal. Theirs would rarely go above 140 after eating. The diabetes "industry" will probably tell you "less than 140" is ok. But if you do more reading on the subject, you'll find that blood sugars in ranges higher than 140 (or even higher than 120) on a regular basis might be damaging to your internal organs over time. And you never want to be near or over 200! Some factors that give you high readings after eating would be the amount of carbohydrates you ate and also the amount of food you ate even if you didn't overdo the carbs. I hope that gives a little insight! Welcome to the fuzzy world of diabetes. :)
Hi Amanda, last fall I was where you are now. So, here's what I've learned but keep in mind that every person's body (and pancreas) handles food differently perhaps. First of all, your numbers are elevated and would be either "prediabetic" or "diabetic" depending on the doctor you're seeing. You'll probably be given a glucose tolerance test in which you have to drink that sugary liquid. There's another test, a simple blood test, called the A1c which can tell your blood sugar levels from the past 3 months. I'm not sure if there's a "certain number" but the ADA online says: "criteria for diagnosing diabetes are met when any of the following results have been repeated on at least 2 different days: a fasting blood glucose level is 123 or higher, a 2-hour oral glucose tolerance test os 200 or higher, symptoms of diabetes are present and a random blood glucose test is 200 or higher. (Symptoms are increased thirst, increased urination, unexplained weight loss, fatigue, blurred vision, tingling or numbness in hands or feet.)"
I don't know about the symptoms before turning into diabetes. When I was diagnosed as pre-diabetic, I didn't have any symptoms, but that's me. Feeling shakey and sick could be really low sugar, hypoglycemia, but you said you haven't had readings that low. I don't know about those feelings in the 150 range. I used to have readings that high in the past but never those feelings.
The last part of your post is dangerous to you!!! Don't let anyone ever tell you to ignore this. Being pre-diabetic IS serious. You might be able to avoid future complications and illness by controlling your blood sugar now. Read as much as you can of the past postings on this forum and you'll find a lot of information. Buy Richard Bernstein's Diabetes Solutions. Or, at the very least do these: 1. Cut down or cut out white foods like potatoes (deadly to diabetics), cakes, cookies, rice, bread... 2. Eat moderately, not a lot at any one meal. 3. Eat more vegetables and meat, chicken fish. 4. Record what you eat and the time and your blood sugar readings so you'll know what foods raise your blood sugar. 5. Exercise like walking, do resistance training with dumbbells.
I used to have fasting numbers from 110 to 126 but now they're in the 80's and 90's. I've lost about 30 lbs from last summer and I think that's also helped in addition to a complete change of how I've been eating. My last blood work came out so good my doctor wrote "outstanding" on my copy. But - I'm not "there" yet and I do know I'll always have to follow this way of eating because I still cannot eat carbohydrates without spikes in the blood sugar.
Good luck and remember, we're here to help you. We're all in the same boat.
Lanie is an expert already and she really knows all about diabetes (WAY more than I do... I was only diagnosed in April), but I can tell you this... Lanie is RIGHT.... DON'T ignore this! Whoever told you that is plain WRONG! My late father was pre-diabetic (they used to call it "borderline") before he became full blown, and had to go on insulin shots. I feel lucky that I got symptoms, or mine could have gone undetected longer! My FBS was over 200 when I was diagnosed, and my doctor just said "you have diabetes!". Now I'm following the advice of the members here and doing everything I can to keep my numbers low, and I have to take oral meds. I know it's a blessing to have HW and have all the input of others in all stages of this disease to help me along. I feel it is WAY better to take control of this before it becomes full blown diabetes like mine is. (((Hugs))) and stay with us!
P.S. That nurse is nutty... 700???????? I sure wasn't anywhere near that range when I had symptoms!!
Post Edited (tangerine bear) : 7/7/2007 5:26:25 PM (GMT-6)
Hey Amanda, that's hard to say if anyone can 'get rid of it'. I have no idea. Much of this depends on why a person is diabetic to begin with. Heredity, some medicine can cause very high readings, different reasons .... Diabetes has been in my family for 2 generations, but I'm controlling mine with just diet and exercise so far. I discovered that if I cut out carbohydrates, as I have already written about before, and stay on my exercise program that I can indeed control my numbers. I used to have numbers in the 150's and 160's after meals. Now, it's maybe around 115 to 118 after eating. Also, I've lost weight (which I needed to do ), so all that has helped me "see the light" so to speak. You can do your best to control your own numbers too - consider it a challenge and strive to meet it. The thing is not to give up.
Thanks, Bear, for your kind words! Honestly, I'm no expert! I only know what I know, and what I know came from reading nearly everything on this forum and elsewhere online. The amazing thing is that I found I was able to lower my readings. Honestly, I think everyone can do the same thing. Have you read Jeannie's latest posts? She's doing really well and just with changing her own diet. (To understand the functions of the pancreas, beta cells, insulin, etc., ask Jeannie because I still don't fully understand all that, but what I do know is how to eat now!)
I figured I'll do whatever it takes to meet this disease on my terms. If, however, my new way of eating can't control my numbers, then I would go on meds but not before. Girrrrrrrl Power.
And, Bear, good luck with your lab tests. I know you can bring them down, too!
One more thing. I know this might sound strange to you, Amanda, but many if not most of the forum people here disagree with the diet guidelines of the ADA. (You're in the States?) The ADA and many doctors still advise to follow the food pyramid and eat a diet of about 55% carbohydrates, whole grains, etc. Well, if you do that, you probably can't control your blood sugar yourself. (Of course, not everyone is in a stage where blood glucose can be controlled without meds.) In any case, your doctor may hand you a print out with a diabetic "diet" and if it's from the ADA recommending all those carbs, your numbers will not go any lower. My own doctor (a GP) did that and the nutritionist told me I could cut the carbs way down to around 40%. I did and couldn't figure out why I still had such high numbers - well, hello? Carbs drive blood sugar up. So, several things happened at once. I remembered reading the South Beach diet at the beginning and Phase 1 (no carbs), I learned about the Glycemic Index, I tried not eating carbs and I got better numbers, I read a lot online about carbs, and one of the members here (Thank you, Fergusc!) recommended the Richard Bernstein book. Suddenly, it all came together and I was enlightened. If you don't know about the Glycemic Index of foods, search online for it and you'll learn which foods you'll probably be able to eat with impunity (the lower GI foods).
Amanda! Your life reads almost exactly like mine. I knew nothing about diabetes even though my mother and her mother had it, but no one talked about it. And I know for a fact that my mother never followed a good diet. Anyway, "good" carbs are the ones that have a lot of fiber so your body doesn't process them very quickly. (I cannot describe the process in medical terms.) The longer it takes your digestion, the better. So, you're looking for fiber content on anything you buy. Depending on your own body, you might do very well with a small about of carb with a meal as long as you eat it with protein (meat, chicken..) and vegetables. When I make dinner, I make sure I also prepare vegetables I can eat and small salad stuff with oil and vinegar dressing. Prepared dressings have added sugar - so read their labels for carbs. Balsamic vinegar has some carbs. So, a typical dinner for me is 1 piece of chicken (not Southern fried!), sauteed vegetables in Smart Balance (or olive oil if you prefer), a small wedge of cheddar, some salad stuff to nibble on. I love sauteed red peppers, or green, and mushrooms. One week I made them every night because I do like them! Brocolli, cauliflower with melted butter or Smart Balance or cheddar. And a glass of white wine - if you're not taking diabetes medicine. I have never forced my family to change their diet. If I'm making a rice dish, I serve it but I don't eat the rice. I'll eat the rest of the meal as I described but never the rice. For myself, I have cut out potatoes and bread because I just cannot eat them and keep good blood sugar readings. I've tried all kinds of bread, whole berry, high fiber, etc. Just doesn't work for me, so you have to see how your own readings are. Moderation is the key. Once I ate a really big meal of only good food but my readings 2 hours later were high. I just ate too much. We had steak, those sauteed vegetables (maybe 2 different kinds) and a salad. Well, just eating too much at one meal will also give you high readings, so try to eat less. Sometimes, I'll same a portion of dinner and eat it later as a snack. In restaurants, I tell them to substitute another vegetable for the potatoes, and I always take leftovers in a box home because restaurant meals are too large. This way of eating will become easier as you get used to it, honest! As for a sometime dessert? Eat a small portion of a slice of the cake after the meal if it's served and you don't want to feel left out. I will do that if we're eating out or celebrating something. Or, I just eat a portion of my husband's. He's ok with that. You can't beat yourself up or keep yourself in a cage. Drink diet soda if you have to drink a Coke. I was ignorant about all this until it fell into my lap but I've learned so much from going online and from the forum. I'm much healthier now all around, so in a way it's a blessing, but I'll always be either "borderline" or a diabetic. In my case, it's not going to go away but I can live with it.
Now, my coffee. I wanted to reply quickly this morning while I had time. :)
Take care, Lanie
Post Edited (lanieg) : 7/8/2007 8:30:49 AM (GMT-6)
Post Edited (Jeannie143) : 7/8/2007 1:38:30 PM (GMT-6)