Diabetes and Diet

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hairygrape | 21:11 Tue 22nd Sep 2009 | Body & Soul
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A relative of mine in her early seventies was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes a few months ago. She's managing the condition with a regime of diet and exercise. The diabetes nurse at her clinic is pleased with her performance and she's been given today a figure of 5.7, I think for her blood sugar.
However, despite all this she left the clinic almost in tears today as a result of what the nurse told her.

The nurse said that she had never known a patient manage diabetes by diet and exercise alone for longer than two years. It seems that after this time period, every patient has to have either tablets or insulin injections for the rest of their lives. Bearing in mind that she's terrified of needles, is treatment like this inevitable? She's not the most capable tablet swallower either.

Many thanks


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I too have Type 2 diabetes and although I've had it for a few years, it's very well controlled with one tablet a day.
I don't need an injection and this has never been mentioned either by my doctor or the practice nurse. I'm not particularly good at watching my diet and I'm not allowed to do any exercise because of other more severe problems. I only know personally one person who has to have insulin injections for Type 2 diabetes so I would tell your relative not to worry too much about the future, but take one day at a time. I hope this helps.
hi hairygrape,
i have type 2 aswell and take metformin tablets, 2 with each meal 3 times a day and i inject a slow release inslulin just once a day, at night time before bed.
neither are a problem, and i think youre relative will be more than fine if in the end she needs to have extra help.
my insulin comes in the way of a pen, not the usual imjection type we automatically think of, with a tiny fine needle. i just select the amount of units i need, gently press the tiny needle into my tummy, you can hardly feel it, and press the end of the pen to release the insulin. and thats it, its not a problem attall and it lasts for 24 hours.
i just about eat what i like, but am extra careful with the amount of sugary things of course, but i cant say i go without much and my diabetes is in good control.
so tell your relative shes doing great as she is with her diet and exercise and 5.7 is excellent, so keep up the good work, and IF she does have to move onto medication she will be fine and will get lots of help and advice and support from her nurse, so she has nothing to worry about.
hairy.......your diabetic nurse is quite correct.
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Thank you all. Sqad, I wonder if you'd be kind enough to explain the reasons why her present regime is not going to work in the long term. What exactly happens in the body to stop the diet and exercise from controlling the condition?

Many thanks
Hairygrape sorry to be late, but have been out with the wife for lunch....double egg and chips.LOL

Now, all scientific studies have shown and all agree, that Type 2 diabetes is a PROGRESSIVE disease, whatever treatment is, metformin....etc, but there are no markers to suggest the speed of progression in each individual person.

What happens in the body you ask:

For some sufferers of Type 2 diabetes treatment with dietary changes and tablets is not entirely effective for diabetes management, and they may then need insulin injections

The underlying factor leading to Type 2 diabetes is a failure of the pancreas to produce sufficient insulin – the blood glucose controlling hormone. This may be for one or both of two reasons. The first that there are insufficient insulin-producing cells in the pancreas to meet demands. The second that there is resistance by the body’s target cells to the insulin which is produced, thus requiring increasing amounts to ensure effect. Either way the ultimate poverty of effect of insulin is related to over weight or obesity

Sorry it is basic and general, but I hope it helps, if not contact me.
Spot on, of course, but I wish I could have double egg and chips! Such things I do crave, but I must be a model diabetic in some respects. For most of my life I have never had anything sweet from one year's end to the next, and have never found it any hardship at all. I can't really understand why anyone likes sweet things, esp not sickly sweet things and esp not to excess.

But hairy,

while as sqad confirms, her present regime is not going to work in the long term, 2 years seems a bit pessimistic. Mine worked for 5 years after diagnosis. Perhaps the fact that I was diagnosed at a younger age (late fifties) had something to do with it, but it seems to me that not being diagnosed until her early seventies is a positive bonus. On the assumption, that is, that the diagnosis had not merely been missed, as she is still able to manage the condition with a regime of diet and exercise.

And liike filibuster I can't do any exercise because of other more severe problems. Now a lot of people do seem to get in a terrible state when they are diagnosed, even when it's the only thing theyve ever been diagnosed with! I recently saw a webcast of an elderly rugger bu88er in otherwise rude health who was quite distraught at the idea that he should do anything at all about his diet, least of all the 10 pints of bitter on Friday nights and the 12 on Saturday nights. But provided that you do have a modicum of sense, it really doesnt seem to me to be nearly as distressing as so many other things that can happen to you, especially as you get older.

I haardly dare say this, and have not even reported it to my GP, but I am hoping it's not just a flash in the pan that I have reduced my metformin to 2x500mg p d., having at first been thought not to have responded to it well, been put on a glitazone combo, asked to be allowed to stick with metformin on the advice of my cardiologist, been gradually stepped up to 4 p d and still told they
would have to 'add something in'.

I do take my fasting blood glucose readings (tho not quite every day) and for quite some time on these 2 a day they have been between 6 and 7 μmol (I think that's what we're talking about, but check with sqad).

I hope I shall not be punished for my hubris in posting this.
Question Author
Thank you Sqad. I'm very grateful to you for taking the time to explain this. My thanks go to mallam as well for adding some interesting comments.

Thanks again.
awwww ;o( no little mention for my little input then, no? ok .... ;o(
Well I will mention the loving-kindnesses of the looby. Obviously kindly meant, but perhaps not specifically acknowledged as they were a bit scary: 2 presumable 500mg Metformin with each meal 3 times a day and a slow release inslulin just once a day. I thought the maximum dose of Metformin was 4 p d. As I said before when my readings were still going up on that dose, they were saying they would have to 'add something in'. Probably a glitazone of some sort again. Was that the point at which they added in the insulin? And did they then still have to bump up the Metformin? That would rather suggest that you might be better off trying to get the dosage down by being a bit more careful than you say ("i just about eat what i like, but am extra careful with the amount of sugary things of course, but i cant say i go without much").I have had the temerity to think and even say on here that I have got mine down, at any rate pro tem.

Reading my posts again, I think I may not have made it clear that contrary to what this patient's nurse said, it was 5 years after diagnosis before I needed any meds at all for this, and that the drug regime I have described above has been working at various levels of efficiency for several years since then.

Reassuring to hear about the insulin pen tho! Friends who have finished up on insulin, or been on it on and off, had not mentioned that.
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It is good to see that your relative has managed her diabetes by own self. But one more solution of her problem which is ayurvedic treatment. It is the treatment on which you may trust because it include natural herbs in its all the medicines and provide many benefits along with recovery of diabetes. I would suggest her if she thought to for medicine use only ayurvedic medicine. Get more info- Media URL:
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