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Emma

Newly diagnosed - 19yr old Type 2

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Emma

Hi everyone,

My son is 19 and hes pretty inactive and has been told by his doctor to lose about 10kgs. My numbers will probably seem different as we live in Australia. Today was the first day we tested his blood sugar. About half hour after waking up and before breakfast, it was 7.4. Then later on about 2 hours after lunch (2 minute noodles) the reading was 8.6. Then for dinner (he had a small piece of steak, small serve of cous cous and green veges followed by Coco Pops for dessert, we tested blood sugar 2 hours after dinner and it was 15.4. Im pretty scared for him and this is all really new to us. I dont know where to start. He must be feeling scared too and I dont want to panic orcscare him..so I just said to him that its early days and we will figure out how to manage it as we go along. I know he needs to be more active but what and how much? I really hope some of you can give me some simple early guidance of how to take the first basic steps. Its all a bit overwhelming and I think Im going to be on this forum a lot to ask questions! Lol...I really want to avoid him having to take Metformin. Also my son is terrified of blood tests and I feel he also suffers from social anxiety (but thats another topic)...thanks to all who share! 

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adiantum

Hi Emma, Welcome to the forum.

I'm hoping neither you or your son will get scared as you are in the right direction by testing his blood glucose.

That meter will tell him what  foods he can tolerate & what he cant.

Is he registered with the NDSS? so he can get subsidised test strips?

I was diagnosed 11 years ago & still  dont take meds,not even Metformin but thats mostly because I get awful side effects.

To be med free means he has to seriously watch his food intake.

at first  keep the carbohydrates below 100g a day.

If hes been to education classes, I'll give you different advice but be assured we here & authors   know what works .

 

Fat is not a bad  choice , carbs are the enemy. He will lose weight if he maintains a high fat/low carb diet.

 

The foods you listed are good & bad.

The steak  was good as was the greens but  the noodles,  cous cous & cocopops.were bad.

Breakfast is my favourite meal...eggs & mushrooms but bacon & eggs are fine although  toast is  pushing it a bit. 

Limit to1 piece  at first with real butter,not margarine.

 

Exercise is important  with walking one of the best. At 19 yrs he might enjoy going to the privacy of  his room  with music &  dancing.

I'm hoping his taste in music initiates great dance steps. I have to pretend I'm stomping on grapes to get the pace up.

~Lee

 

Edited by adiantum

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meyery2k

I can share my own experience.  I was diagnosed with diabetes 4 years ago.  I started with metformin.  I was given a recommended diet from the American Diabetes Association and was initially pleased that many foods were listed as OK.  My inner brain didn't quite buy into that so I dug some more and found this site.  Figuring people with diabetes would know how to live with it I jumped in to the low carb high fat diet.  It was a change and it was a little difficult to adapt to but my glucose dropped to normal and stayed there.  I also started exercising which, at 150kg, was a challenge. I would huff and puff after 3 flights of stairs.  I started with 10,000 steps a day or more.  I was sore, I was tired, but I wasn't going to let diabetes take my feet.

 

The weight started to come down.  I too, was encouraged to lose about 10 kg.  I did that with not too much difficulty and then decided to see just how much I could lose if I worked at it.  I tried to stick to about 1500-1800 calories a day.  High fat.  I counted what I ate and not necessarily the oil I would use to cook with so I probably ate more like 2000 calories a day.  I used to have to buy fat men's clothes.  I cried in victory when, in the fitting booth, I could wear size 42 pants which I had not done for years.  I started as a size 46 and am now a 36 (all US measurements).  I still have those pants and am amazed that they were once tight on my hips.

 

I think the metformin was good for me to start.  From what I understand, it has a mild appetite suppressing function.  I had a few days of gastric trouble but that ended fast.  I have also read that eating a lot of carbs while taking metformin seems to exacerbate the gastric side effects.

 

Fast forward 4 years, I lost about 50kg, and kept it off.  I got into cycling which is a passion.  No medicine needed.  I present as a non-diabetic.  I still am insulin resistant so I can't go back to the classic food pyramid we were all taught was so beneficial but I can control my diabetes with diet and exercise.  I do things at 53 years old, I never could have done when I was 40.

 

I do hope you stick around and ask lots of questions.  I did.  We are here to help. ~ Mike

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Emma

Thanks Mike. You have given me some great help. Im really looking forward to learning a lot about diet from you over time. Hopefully, my son might join up here too but at the moment I feel hes not at the committed stage 😊

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meyery2k

@Emma - I hope your son will choose to commit.  80% of this battle is mental.  High glucose also affects you emotionally.  I remember being more aggressive and easily losing my temper.  You can't scare or shame people into changing.  We have to want to change to make the change.  Encourage your son, love your son, accept your son.  Try to encourage small changes.  It is much easier to take little steps and enough little steps become big steps.  I can ride a bike 100 miles now.  I am asked how it is done and the answer is one mile at a time.  Some miles are easy, some are tough but they all get ridden lol...  4 years ago, I couldn't ride a bike around the block.

 

In the interest of a starting point, see if he might be interested in simply walking.  Doesn't matter where, just walk.  I lost my first 35 kilos just walking and I wasn't all gung ho about it.  I set a goal of 10,000 steps.  I would count whatever walking I did while working and then do the rest in one session in the evening.  As I became more fit (it didn't take that long), I would try to march to music.  See if he might try to schedule walk 3 days, rest 1.  Rest days are important.  He will be sore.  

 

For diet - see if you can encourage him to eat no more than 100g of carbs a day.  Good carbs like green vegetables, nuts, and the like.  Perhaps small quantities of berries.  Soda, sugar, pasta, rice, grains should be eliminated.  They will wreak havoc with glucose control.  You guys already see that with the meter.  A long term goal could be 50g a day but that is pretty hard to do from day one, so start with 100.  

 

TV drama emphasizes making all these big changes and making a big to do.  Change is necessary but it is more easily done slowly and success will usually encourage more change.  Remember, for both of your sakes, the challenge is mental.  He will need encouragement from you.  I could not have done this without both my daughters help.  Especially my youngest.  Everyone gave up trying to get me to change.  My youngest never gave up and managed to get through to me when no one else could.  Nobody, including me, thought there was an athletic class cyclist buried within me.  I had to break the jail of my mind first to find that out.

 

I was classified as hyperactive as a child.  I almost certainly am ADD.  It does add challenges but they too can be overcome.  In fact, losing all the weight and cycling gave me the confidence to get up on stage and perform in musicals and plays.  I pretty much sum up to if I can ride a bike all day I can fill in the blank lol...  I can't dance to save my life, I am not a great vocalist, but I can project my voice and passably act.

 

Hopefully, he will check out this site and see that we offer hope.  While most of us are geezers now, we remember what being 19 was like :)

 

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adiantum

@Emma If your doing the cooking you could try serving new style dishes & blame the pandemic instead of calling it diet.

Instead of using pasta or rice, use the birds eye riced cauliflower & broccoli.

 

Clint  posted a recipe for gingerbread cake so I  hope he repeats it here as it looked delicious.

Theres great recipes in this link..

https://www.diabetesforums.com/forums/forum/10-recipes/

 

 

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Emma

Thanks so much adiantum and TX_Clint. I feel really welcomed. Meyery2K, I also want to say thanks for your helpful advice. Hes a pretty quiet guy and also stubborn. Im hoping the stubborness will help him stick with this new lofelomg journey that he is about to undertake. I have to say for the most part, he eats healthy. He would eat avocadoes on toast for breakfast, a nice healthy lunch with ham or a wrap with cheese and ham  but he doesnt move very mich and snacks like choc cereals and big drinks of milk and latherings of mayonnaise will have to taper down gradually. For dinner, I will now try just giving greens...hes not a big potato, yam or pumpkin eater and he does like greens. Thanks for reminding me to be patient..I dont want to force him as he is a young man now but at the same time, Im feeling sick with fear for his future and desperately want to fix him now. 

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adiantum

Emma, can you direct him away from those cereals  ?

Look at the carb content on the package & see how that fits in with 100g a day.

Carbs are addictive. 

Can you  try providing better snacks?

 devilled eggs 

sausage

cabanossi & cheese 

nuts

 

You or he can make excellent cheese crackers very simply.

Onbaking paper place dsp grated parmesan cheese & m'wave on high about 1 min.

When cool they will be crisp

These are the best Ive had.

 

I also used to eat a lot of cereals. I'd drive up to the sanitarium factory & buy their seconds..lots ofthem.

Their seconds were better then whats on the market, like more fruit & nuts then was supposed to be & lots cheaper.

Hmmm I must go up there one day as the estate is lovely

Edited by adiantum

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Emma

@adiantum those cheese crackers sound like a great idea! I do think he will be able to adjust to eating no carbs pretty well. He really likes things like olives or cheese, nuts and things you suggested there. I guess its just trying to forget that bread or a wrap is usually the basis of what all those things he enjoys goes on. Last night for dinner he had a lamb chop, broccoli, beans, cauliflower and a drink of cordial (we havent completely changed favourites) then afterwards he had a bowl of oats with fruit yoghurt. Two hours later, he tested blood sugar and was 11.2...then night before after a dinner of steak, green veges and cous cous followed by Chex choc cereal it was up at 15 after 2 hours. I do think hes starting to find some motivation. He said well tonight, Im not going to have anything after dinner and then check 2 hours after to compare to previous nights. Weve been keeping a diary of his readings and what hed eaten and when etc. Im not judging him or making harsh comments...Ive just said that this is the start of a new journey and these first few weeks are going to see him getting used to what works best for his body and see how things affect him. I should mention, he also does a bit of weight training but the last few days hes had a severe ear infection so has been on antibiotics and feeling a bit off. Today he is keen to train again so I will see if the weight training also helps his readings after dinner (he usually trains before dinner).

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Dowling

Testing after exercise is not a good thing especially prolonged or something like weight training. To understand yhis you have to know how your body works. Moderate exercise like walking for 10 or 15 minutes will bring your glucose down but strenuous exercise will bring your glucose up. Over all regular exercise is good and that high will go down in a short while if it is part of your routine. Unlike a high from too many carbs which can give you a high for an extended period.

 

How your body works on a low carb high fat diet. Normally carbs give you glucose and therefor energy. When you switch to LCHF your body doesn't have enough glucose for energy so it switches to burning fat. Therefor you lose weight. When you do strenuous exercise first you burn off all the available glucose in the blood. Hence your reading will go down. As the exercise gets more strenuous the liver releases stored glucose and your reading goes up. If exercise is done on a regular basis it will soon return to normal. Aim for 3 or 4 times a week at first and it need not be weights all the time. He would be wise to find a diet and an exercise he likes and something he can stick with for a long time. Suggest in a gentle way that he is not on a diet but is making a lifestyle change.

 

You are wise not to push. The incentive has to come from him. He has to want to make the change for his own health. I had a big incentive to make the change because I watched what diabetes did to a couple of family members who died after a long painful stretch from complications of diabetes so I admire anyone who makes the change without any graphic reminders.

 

I do hope your son will take this seriously and make the change. He's lucky to have your support.

 

If you are looking for recipes check our recipe forum and other sites on line. Any keto site will have good low carb recipes. My favorite on line site is "All day I dream about food" but there are plenty of on line sites. If you are the one making meals learn to count carbs and read labels. Before long you will know what food he can eat and what drives up his glucose.

 

As for testing the best time to test is first thing in the morning and at 2 hours after a meal. By then his glucose should have gone down. if not go over what he ate that was carby and cut down or eliminate it from his diet. It won't take long before you know all the culprits.

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Emma

@Dowling, wow, thanks for all your valuable information. I have a lot to talk about with Noah. When you say not to test after exercise, at what time after exercise should he test? For example, if he did some weight training today at 5pm, then ate dinner at 6pm, should he then test not until 8pm? I am generally a fit person myself and I am very keen to support and encourage him in his new lifestyle. Just trying to find a balance between taking charge and making sure he sticks to new changes and also allowing him to take the reins and learn as much as he can to become an independent young man equipped with personal experience and knowledge of how to manage this himself. Early days yet...but I am really glad I have found a group of people like you guys to help us out. He also likes bushwalking which we were doing once a week as well as about 15mins of weight training 3 times a week until this virus put restrictions on everything. Now we are sort of limited.

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meyery2k

@Emma - One idea - You guys look like you are doing many things right already.  Just some changes to the diet to try and keep the carbs down.  I probably wouldn't get too hung up on testing after exercise.  Once in the morning.  Before a meal and 2 hours after a meal so he can learn how diet affects glucose.  Once everything is dialed in and becomes a habit then morning test and maybe a random test after a meal just to see how things are working.

 

I used to love rice, pasta, bread, grains, potatoes.  I have found that I can sub mushrooms, zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli, nuts, and so on.  Once I got used to eating those things regularly, I don't really miss the carbs.  Now, I get upset when I can't get good fresh mushrooms lol...

 

One of my favorite side dishes is to simply get some oil or fat heated in a pan on low medium heat, chop up zucchini and mushrooms, maybe throw in some cauliflower or daikon (Japanese radish) and a handful of nuts.  Saute until done.  Season with salt and pepper at least.  It can become fun to throw in things like onion powder, garlic powder, curry powder, cumin, italian seasoning, pretty much anything to give it some flavor.  I can't really mess it up except by using too much salt.  Top with a little sour cream.

 

Works with breakfast, lunch, or dinner as a side.

 

 I have to watch the quantity but I have found hummus to be a good side for me.  Just test.  Results can vary from person to person.  It just seems like there are many ways to be broken lol...

 

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Hammer

Emma, first, you have come to the right place for advice.  The members here don't judge anyone, they just want to help others.  We have all been in the same place that your son is in, so we all know what that's like.  We have all learned from each other, the proper way to treat diabetes, and we are happy to pass on that information to other newcomers.

 

As was mentioned, carbohydrates are addictive...the more you eat, the more you crave.  Carbohydrates are the single biggest thing that increase your glucose levels, so the fewer you eat, the less you crave them, and the lower your glucose levels will be.  At 19, your son will find it harder to avoid carbs, because, if he hangs out with some friends, they will typically want to go to a fast food restaurant, or a pizza place, but those places are bad for a diabetic.  People who are not diabetic always seem to try and persuade diabetics to eat high carb food.   Their typical response is, "Well, a little bit won't hurt you."  As a teenager, that type of peer pressure will make you do things that you shouldn't do, just to be accepted by those peers.  The thing is, it isn't their life that depends on eating properly, it's your son's.

 

It's great that you came to this forum, but it would be better if you son came here also.  The reason I say this is because, teenagers typically don't listen to what their parents say, but when strangers tell them something, they usually listen.  Diabetes is not a death sentence.  If he controls his glucose levels, diabetes will become a non-issue in his life.  Once he learns what he needs to do to control it, it just becomes a daily routine, and it will not control his life, he will control it.  Diabetes is the only disease where you have control of it, not your doctor or anyone else.  

 

Please stay here in the forums, and ask as many questions as you want, no matter how ridiculous that you might think that they are.  The members here don't find any questions ridiculous...that's what we are here for...to try and answer questions for others.  Oh, and the questions don't have to be strictly about diabetes, they can be about most things, as there are members here who have experience in many different areas, so there is always someone here who can answer whatever questions that you might have.

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Emma

@meyery2k Noah is really in to cooking and he does like trying different things (as long as they taste good to him). Hes got a little stash of left over pan juices so your ideas about frying up Japanese radish and other veges and mushrooms will probably appeal to him. I do really appreciate all of your hekpfulness. 

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Emma

@Hammer, one thing Ive noticed straight away is that people here are very helpful and non-judgemental...isnt that just so important in a beginners journey? I think so.

I will suggest the idea of browsing this forum...he might but hes also not completely at the stage of being keen. I am sure he'll come around and as this is our first week of having his diagnosis, Im sort of letting it settle in his head...I think it might be an inner grief and shock process for him. Hes processing the readings and its all ticking over. Today we went out and he picked out some things like pepperoni sticks, antipasto, some parmesan cheese to make melted cheese crackers (thanks adantium), mushrooms and avocadoes...these are all things he likes. I talked to my husband about the fact that we are all in this together and meals will be cooked and we are all going to eat the same. I havent yet told my 17 yr old son yet (hes sailing through as a top athlete, great grades not an ounce of extra fat and loves junk food) My 17 yr old will have a massive overhaul and doubt hes gonna be happy but Ive got him some secret stashes. Anyway thanks and I am really liking reading everyone elses posts too.  

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Dowling
6 hours ago, Emma said:

@Dowling, wow, thanks for all your valuable information. I have a lot to talk about with Noah. When you say not to test after exercise, at what time after exercise should he test? For example, if he did some weight training today at 5pm, then ate dinner at 6pm, should he then test not until 8pm? I am generally a fit person myself and I am very keen to support and encourage him in his new lifestyle. Just trying to find a balance between taking charge and making sure he sticks to new changes and also allowing him to take the reins and learn as much as he can to become an independent young man equipped with personal experience and knowledge of how to manage this himself. Early days yet...but I am really glad I have found a group of people like you guys to help us out. He also likes bushwalking which we were doing once a week as well as about 15mins of weight training 3 times a week until this virus put restrictions on everything. Now we are sort of limited.

 

If that is the case then yes test at 8PM. Testing after exercise is not necessary. The important test is after meals so you can see how what you ate effects your blood glucose. Normally I'd say test before meals to get a benchmark of about what your blood glucose should return close to but it wouldn't be right if he exercised before eating.

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adiantum

@Emma,as your son has been running on high blood glucose for some time, he will probably suffer some temporary discomfort known as a false hypo.

He could become very uncomfortable & shake or sweat. It wont last long but its best he's prepared for it.

 

If at home he could just rest or even drink juice, but it could become scary if out bushwalking etc.

Perhaps he could carry a small packet of jubes or jelly beans.

 

These false hypos wont last long  & not everyone experiences them. 

It wont be a genuine  hypoglycemic episode  as he's not on insulin.

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Emma
On 5/1/2020 at 8:54 PM, adiantum said:

Emma, can you direct him away from those cereals  ?

Look at the carb content on the package & see how that fits in with 100g a day.

Carbs are addictive. 

Can you  try providing better snacks?

 devilled eggs 

sausage

cabanossi & cheese 

nuts

 

You or he can make excellent cheese crackers very simply.

Onbaking paper place dsp grated parmesan cheese & m'wave on high about 1 min.

When cool they will be crisp

These are the best Ive had.

 

I also used to eat a lot of cereals. I'd drive up to the sanitarium factory & buy their seconds..lots ofthem.

Their seconds were better then whats on the market, like more fruit & nuts then was supposed to be & lots cheaper.

Hmmm I must go up there one day as the estate is lovely

I just wanted to let you know that I made the cheesy crackers and he really loves them. He had a few with a bit of salami on top and said they taste like cheese biscuits without the biscuit bit. I wonder if I might be able to sprinkle some smoked paprika or chives on top of them next time for a little variety. Thank you for sharing the idea with me! 😊

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Emma
2 hours ago, adiantum said:

@Emma,as your son has been running on high blood glucose for some time, he will probably suffer some temporary discomfort known as a false hypo.

He could become very uncomfortable & shake or sweat. It wont last long but its best he's prepared for it.

 

If at home he could just rest or even drink juice, but it could become scary if out bushwalking etc.

Perhaps he could carry a small packet of jubes or jelly beans.

 

These false hypos wont last long  & not everyone experiences them. 

It wont be a genuine  hypoglycemic episode  as he's not on insulin.

Ok. Thats good to know. I'll be sure to look out for any signs. He is fighting an ear infection with antibiotics too..might not be helping either. Thank you.

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Dowling

Him being sick might have his glucose running a bit high. Don't worry about it it tends to do that when you are sick. I don't know if you know that antibiotics tends to kill the good gut bacteria. If I have to take them I always take a Probiotic during that time.

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Hammer

Emma, as Adiantum mentioned, your son might feel some false hypos.  Your body has a built in alert system to let you know when your glucose levels drop too low.  Anything below a 70 is considered low.  If your glucose levels have been high for a while....say 160, then you lower your carb intake and you rapidly drop down to say, 90, while 90 is good, to your body, it's accustomed to 160, so it treats that 90 as a low.  When your body detects a low, it releases adrenaline to let you know that something is wrong.  If you are sitting down reading a magazine, your body is going at maybe 5 miles an hour, so to speak.  When the adrenaline is released, your body goes from 5 mile an hour, to 100 miles and hour.  When that happens, your heart rate speeds up, you get hot and start to sweat, your whole body begins to shake, since your body is now racing and you're just sitting down, so it has no way to use up the energy.  A false hypo feels exactly like a real hypo, only a false hypo won't hurt you, it just feels bad.  If he starts to have a hypo, just give him something sweet...a piece of candy, a cookie, some fruit juice, anything, just don't over do it and give him a bag of candy, or a whole bag of cookies.  The idea is to slowly bring his glucose levels down over time, not all at once.  If it's done slowly, he won't feel any hypos.  

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Emma
11 hours ago, Dowling said:

Him being sick might have his glucose running a bit high. Don't worry about it it tends to do that when you are sick. I don't know if you know that antibiotics tends to kill the good gut bacteria. If I have to take them I always take a Probiotic during that time.

Yes Ive got some natural yoghurt always in the fridge and I bought some little vials of Jalna to reinstate his army of soldiers...lol.

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adiantum

@EmmaI think it was the D educator that filled out my form to register me.

The form is within this link. You can print it out & get the doctor to sign & tell him you want it for the cheaper test strips so you can test often.

A friend is quite wealthy  so she pays $7 for her 50 strips.

https://static.diabetesaustralia.com.au/s/fileassets/diabetes-australia/ce7d2178-f159-45c4-8b2b-1142622b84f4.pdf

 

For a free BG meter just ring or email CareSens & they will post you an excellent meter so your son can have one in the car as well as at home.

I cant find the CareSens link but this one asks for $10 postage for a free meter.

 

https://www.pharmacodiabetes.com.au/Refined-CareSens-N-POP-Meter/

Edited by adiantum

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Emma

@adiantum oh thats great! I will be sure to look into the CareSens meter. Will also print that out and speak with the GP. ❤❤

 

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