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BARMBY1234

Need advice for my partner. PLEASE

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BARMBY1234

My partner was informed a year ago that he has Pre-diabetes. He was told that he would receive a hospital referral for advice etc. That referral never came and my partner did not make enquiries about why. I asked him too frequently. So here we are a year letter for a GP review of his Fasting Blood sugars Now he is going to do this but obviously tell the doctor he never had a referral. But my partner says that he has purchased a well known book about managing Pre Diabetes yourself and in the book is a special diet with milkshakes, food regimes etc including how to lose weight too.He is a bit overweight. He says he will follow the book's advice and diet. I want to know if I am correct in disagreeing with this and have said that he should follow the diet regime and advice that the professionals at the hospital will give him when he goes which he says he will..But he will not follow their regime because he is scared they will put him on all sorts of medication. So he says this book will suffice.

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Kit

Following the recommendations of the medical professionals will very likely rush him speedily into full blown diabetes.

 

What's the book?  There are a number of really good resources out there.  There are also a massive number of really bad ones, so its hard to give endorsement to what the book says without knowing what the book is.

 

My personal recommendation is to have him get himself a blood glucose meter with inexpensive strips and start testing himself before and 2 hours after meals.  See everyone reacts somewhat differently to different foods, and the meter will show how he personally reacts.

 

As for diet, many of us here go for a low carb high fat diet (lchf).  We get the majority of our calories from dietary fats, eat a moderate amount of protein, and minimize carbs as much as possible.  I personally average around 30g total carbs a day.  That's what my body can tolerate.  He may be able to get away with more than that.  However, another benefit to this diet is that the majority of people tend to loose a significant amount of weight.  Its also very satisfying and been pretty easy for me to stick with the last 2.5 years.

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samuraiguy

Doctors and books can't do as good as setting some blood glucose goals and then using his meter to either eliminate, lower the portion size of or find a low carb alternative to any food that puts him over his goal range. It needs to be more of a lifestyle change (exercise and diet), because it has to be something he can stick to long range.  It's the maintenance phase that kills most diets because people can stick to most things a month or so, but when it comes to the rest of their life they often give up because their diet that allows them quick weight loss is too restrictive and doesn't reflect real world food choices.

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Cora

I had a peek at this diet - it's basically advertised as a low carb Mediterranean diet. Don't spent too much money with them and maybe just take the book out of the library. You can find tons of good, healthy, and yummy low carb recipes on line. And Calorie King will tell you how much carb is in the food you want to eat.

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TX_Clint

"the diet is based on low carb Mediterranean style eating" The diet appears to be one of those good resources. I'd also go with what Kit and Sam say. Ah.. Cora too!

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meyery2k

Barmby - While there are a lot of books and Google has tons of hits on the subject, my personal experience is that you will get no better advice than what is found on this forum.  The people here live with diabetes day in and day out and will give you real world advice.

 

To live with this will require a change in lifestyle.  The "fix things quick" books might get your partner started in the right direction but the real trick is to figure out a life long strategy.

 

It is very possible that this can be prevented from developing into full blown diabetes. 

 

I would encourage your partner to take a look at this forum.  It will be up to your partner to decide what changes, if any, will be made.

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Moonpie

I agree with all of the above, & especailly with the recommendation to get a cheap meter & test strips, He will need to test food for himself, & find out which ones raise his blood sugars the most. We all differ on that front, it is not one size fits all, when it comes to food. Blood sugar 101 has some good beginners advice also ( on testing), oh & welcome. I also agree with Kit that many Diabetes professionals, hand out harmful advice regarding carb consumption.

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miketurco

You can buy an A1c Test Kit (maybe called HbA1c Test Kit) at walmart for $20. Not that a person should self diagnose, but that's probably your best bet at finding out where your partner stands. Regarding diet, low-carb is the way to go. As Kit pointed out, following the dietary advice of "medical professionals" is a bad idea. They'll put your partner on a high carb diet (180 carbs/day!). His weight will balloon and his situation with diabetes will worsen. Many people with diabetes eat less than 180 carbs/week, which does wonders for their health.

 

This is a great forum with many smart people who speak from personal experience and success. Do that A1c test and post the results here. T2 diabetes isn't the end of the world, it's an opportunity to straighten out one's diet and so forth, and potentially be much healthier than before. You're in on this early and that's a good thing.

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hexex0

It honestly depends on what his current condition is.  If the revisit, a year later, shows that he's progressed into diabetes (honestly myself and many others would ague that pre-diabetes is diabetes, but there is still a medical distinction for treatment) then medication might be beneficial -- they'd likely start him on metformin which is a pretty mild drug that typically works well at lowering blood glucose in type 2 diabetes.  I would suggest letting the diagnosis determine the treatment insofar as meds.

 

As far as diet, yes, they will probably tell him to be sure to eat cereal and pasta and, frankly, it wouldn't surprise me if they told him to be absolutely sure to polish off a bucket of candy canes every morning, and that's where his desire to self-treat is most helpful.  Definitely follow the low carb, or at least low GI diet, and let the meter determine the success.  Adjust where necessary.

 

The key here, as others have said, is that there is no 8 week fix here.  A permanent lifestyle change is warranted.

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Uff Da

Welcome to DF.

 

Some diabetics can get by with more carbs in their diet than others, as has been mentioned above. While I suspect that the diets given to patients by doctors and dietitians work for some, others are not so fortunate. In my case, I was full blown diabetic when I was initially given a fasting blood test in 2011. My BG (blood glucose) was 289. (A non-diabetic would have been under 100.) A subsequent A1c was 11.5. My doctor gave me a sample diet to follow. My blood sugar went up to 548 two days in a row! I ended up going to the ER!

 

Now it is entirely possible that someone who was just pre-diabetic might have succeeded on that diet, especially if he had been a big carb eater before. But from my telling you this I just want to emphasize that yes, it is fine to hear what the doctor and dietitian have to say. An initial diagnosis and having a starting point is good. But it can't end there. It is no substitute for getting a meter and testing what actually happens. Test before a meal and again afterward to see what the foods in the meal do to the BG. You might want to test both 1 hour and 2 hours after the meal at least a few times to get a good picture of how high the BG gets (often around 1 hour). The 2 hour test will often have the BG coming down close to the pre-meal level, except with foods like pasta, legumes and pizza, which may take longer to reach the peak and often stay high much longer. People differ, so you'll want to suggest to your partner that he test for himself. You might later decide to test just once after the meal. If the number goes too high, one can decide to drop that food altogether or just limit oneself to smaller servings. It takes a while of testing, but eventually you get a good picture of what foods are acceptable or if the numbers stay too high, medication may be needed.

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BARMBY1234

Thanks for the advice. I am just worried about this eight week plan of losing weight  and it states in the book to lose two stone in eight weeks. Isn't this a bit quick. He is two stone overweight and I am pleased he wants to lose some weight. I am so confused as I want to give him support etc but not sure this eight week plan is the best option. He says he wont necessarily lose it but" its a start".. To be honest our diet isn't that bad..I don't think!. He is a vegetarian and eats Quorn meals. He does drink beer now and again. He eats fruit and vegetables..Maybe not enough.. I must admit he does like bread. What is the first step if we don't go with this book of losing weight in eight weeks. I feel he wants the quick method to resolve the weight and the Pre-Diabetes. Do we just start cutting out certain foods depending on the the test strips say. Where do we get the Test Strips etc. Sorry for all the questions. It just seems a little confusing and I think I am panicking a bit. We have a thirteen year old child and I don't want her to hear about' Dieting' all the time as she is at the age when she is starting to look and her appearance more. Perhaps I am wanting some straight forward plan to start with so we know where we are. My partner is due to have a fasting Blood Sugar next week.

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miketurco

Getting going with this diabetes stuff as a vegetarian is really tough. The bread would have to go for sure, but that's just the beginning. Losing one stone in two weeks is technically possible but very unlikely. Two stones -- no way. A crash diet will drop his blood sugar like a rock. He'll take a fasting test at the doctor's office and it'll come up clean. Problem is when he goes back to eating regularly again, his sugar will go back up. Period. There is no quick solution. IMHO.

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hexex0

Thanks for the advice. I am just worried about this eight week plan of losing weight  and it states in the book to lose two stone in eight weeks. Isn't this a bit quick. He is two stone overweight and I am pleased he wants to lose some weight. I am so confused as I want to give him support etc but not sure this eight week plan is the best option. He says he wont necessarily lose it but" its a start".. To be honest our diet isn't that bad..I don't think!. He is a vegetarian and eats Quorn meals. He does drink beer now and again. He eats fruit and vegetables..Maybe not enough.. I must admit he does like bread. What is the first step if we don't go with this book of losing weight in eight weeks. I feel he wants the quick method to resolve the weight and the Pre-Diabetes. Do we just start cutting out certain foods depending on the the test strips say. Where do we get the Test Strips etc. Sorry for all the questions. It just seems a little confusing and I think I am panicking a bit. We have a thirteen year old child and I don't want her to hear about' Dieting' all the time as she is at the age when she is starting to look and her appearance more. Perhaps I am wanting some straight forward plan to start with so we know where we are. My partner is due to have a fasting Blood Sugar next week.

 

It can be overwhelming, but try not to panic, just get an accurate diagnosis so that you know where you're starting here.

 

I believe a crash diet is a poor approach, especially based on the premise that some weight will be lost, the diabetes will reverse, and a crisis will be averted and then everything will return to normal.  In fact, thinking about it as a diet at all is going to be counterproductive, so I would urge you not to do that.  Losing some weight quickly may improve the blood glucose numbers, maybe even push them out of the pre-diabetic range, but after reverting back, the progression will simply advance again.

 

It is possible to "reverse" pre-diabetes in some cases and in some people, sometimes even indefinitely, but it means being dedicated to changing diet and exercise habits indefinitely.  "Reverse" is an unfortunate term, because it indicates a cure.

 

He will likely need to manage by some daily combination of carbohydrate reduction, regular exercise, and potentially medication (but again, it depends on his current condition).

 

Maybe best to see what that is so you know what you're dealing with.  Definitely be wary of a single fasting finger stick for a diagnosis.  It could easily come up "normal" -- considering it's been a year and there was a previous diagnosis, someone should be doing an a1c in order to see the average blood glucose over the past few months.  If they don't, you can encourage them to.  If they won't, as others have mentioned, you can do it yourself with a $20 kit.  It's best to be sure what you're dealing with.

 

This is something you could do now.  Many drug stores sell home a1c kits.  Walmart sells inexpensive meters and test strips.  You can ask the pharmacist for help, but typically even the least expensive ones are fine for your purposes.

 

A good start would be to test in the morning, then test 1, 2, and 3 hours after a typical meal that he'd normally eat.  Plenty of people here would be happy to help make sense of the results.  Or, just do the a1c at any time, once.

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JohnSchroeder

I wouldn't worry much about the weight issue.  Consider that secondary or irrelevant to the blood sugar.  Eat to your meter (testing after meals), adjust diet as needed.  That combined with some exercise and the weight will come off at whatever pace it wants to.

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meyery2k

When I was first diagnosed as diabetic it was a big change for me.  It was the wake up call I needed to make some positive changes to my health.  I adapted to low carb pretty quickly but, to be honest, I did it in stages where I reduced my carbohydrate intake.  I saw the success in this with my diabetes and my weight which encouraged me to embrace it.

 

Rather than diet, it helped me to realize that I needed to figure out something I would do the rest of my life.  My family has actually been very supportive and my youngest daughter (who is off to college now) also adopted some of my changes herself.  She often comments that my meals are better than hers lol...

 

I agree that a current A1c and several fasting readings would help determine where your husband is at and help determine the next action.

 

I would advise trying to cut the carbs as much as possible and to take up some exercise.  See where this puts the BG and then test from there with certain foods.  Some foods may not have much of an effect on BG while others are devastating.  For example, I can eat potato with little effect but bread and rice noodles send me up over 140 in short order.

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Uff Da

It is generally recommended to avoid trying to lose more than two pounds (slightly less than 1 kg) a week. And personally, I think that just half that rate of loss is probably more realistic over the long run. It would mean a diet that one is more likely to be able to maintain.

 

On average it takes eating 3500 calories less than one has burned to lose one pound. Most of that will probably need to come from reduction of food intake, but to lose it mostly in fat stores rather than considerable amount of muscle, too, it is best to increase exercise as well. Of course, with a blood glucose problem, most of the calories eliminated should come from the carbohydrates. As others have said, a slow and steady weight loss is more likely to be successful in the long run than a crash diet.

 

2 stone = 28 pounds.

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Kit

Thanks for the advice. I am just worried about this eight week plan of losing weight  and it states in the book to lose two stone in eight weeks. Isn't this a bit quick. He is two stone overweight and I am pleased he wants to lose some weight. I am so confused as I want to give him support etc but not sure this eight week plan is the best option. He says he wont necessarily lose it but" its a start".. To be honest our diet isn't that bad..I don't think!. He is a vegetarian and eats Quorn meals. He does drink beer now and again. He eats fruit and vegetables..Maybe not enough.. I must admit he does like bread. What is the first step if we don't go with this book of losing weight in eight weeks. I feel he wants the quick method to resolve the weight and the Pre-Diabetes. Do we just start cutting out certain foods depending on the the test strips say. Where do we get the Test Strips etc. Sorry for all the questions. It just seems a little confusing and I think I am panicking a bit. We have a thirteen year old child and I don't want her to hear about' Dieting' all the time as she is at the age when she is starting to look and her appearance more. Perhaps I am wanting some straight forward plan to start with so we know where we are. My partner is due to have a fasting Blood Sugar next week.

 

There is no quick solution to diabetes.  Loosing 20 pounds won't magically make him not diabetic.  For someone who is very much over weight, it can help and sometimes a lot, but it won't go away.  By the time our bodies have started showing elevated blood sugar levels, its already too late.  The system is broken and all we can do is manage it at its current state.  I know this can sound harsh to hear, but its better to be fully aware of the issue than to keep oneself in denial.  I've seen what denial in regards to diabetes can lead to and its not pretty.

 

He can get meters and test strips, etc at any pharmacy or even online.  I use the ReliOn Prime from Walmart as the strips are dirt cheap ($9 for 50) and its easy to go through strips quickly at first as he gets his feet under him.  He will need a meter, strips, a lancing device, and lancets for the lancing device.  There are a ton of videos on Youtube showing how to use all of these items.

 

Be careful on fruit.  Its full of sugar.  Yes, I know, its natural, but then so is sugar cane.  Our bodies see it all as sugar, even non diabetics.  Its just diabetics who can't cope with it anymore.

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