Information on Diabetes

18 Replies

My Doctor has just told me that my blood test has revealed that I am type 2 diabetic. This is a bit of a shock but as I want to deal with this in as sensible way as possible I wonder if anyone can give me information on a couple of questions. The Doctor did not suggest any particular diet or where I can go for advice, but all he said was NO sugar NO honey, bananas, pineapple, grapefruit and not to bother with special diet foods. I have been on to various web sites and there is no mention of No sugar just that I must keep to a healthy diet and lose weight. I am not particularly overweight, maybe half a stone, and consider I already have a healthy diet, however I am partial to a little too much chocolate. I shall be going back to UK before Xmas so can pick up some information over there, but until then I am really confused as to what I should be eating and what I should be avoiding. Just wondered if anyone can give me some advice to point me in the right direction please. Any help would be most gratefully received.

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LKB-396118 1257281683

Hi, Cygnet.

Firstly, don't panic! I am also type 2 and was diagnosed about 5 years or so ago. I keep healthy by diet and exercise alone and do not yet need to take medication. When first diagnosed (in the UK, before I moved over here full time) I was more overweight than you are now so the first advice I was given was to lose weight. My doctor gave me an old A4 copy of a 'Weetabix' diet sheet - and until I could get an appointment with the diabetes clinic that was all the info I had.

I have found that some of that early info I was given (even by the first nurse I saw!) was a little miss-leading. Have you any idea what your blood sugar levels are? Have you been given medication? Have you been given a home testing machine? I would love to help you, if you like you are welcome to PM me and I will help. Let me know where you live - if you are not too far away I can let you have copies of some of the diabetes diet sheets etc that I have accumulated over the years.

Cygnet-393506 1257368426

Thank you LKB have sent you a PM.

arcoat-392332 1257459951

i'm sure your doctor would refer you to a nutritionist at the hospital if you said you needed reasurrance that you were eating the right things etc

will in 56 1257467750

I was diagnosed with high sugar levels but not high enough to be diabetic. I was also slightly overweight but my doctor showed me the food pyramid and told me to eat 200 gms of bread a day. This is to balance the fast and slow sugars. The link to the pyramid is

Since I started that about 2 years ago I have lost several kilos and my sugar level has dropped and is now under control. I can eat virtually what I like but in proportion to the pyramid so fruit and chocolate are no problem.

Dumbo 1257492207

I went through the same thing. I'm a bit sceptical about the testing I had in the UK. On the basis of ONE test I was declared Type 2 diabetic. This involved a blood test, drinking 500 ml of Lucozade and sitting down for 2 hours then another blood test. Result 7.1 (whatever the units are). However, since then, all my weekly tests were normal and the 3 monthly HbA1c test was 5.9 which is normal! This is with no change to my diet or exercise regime.


KingArthur-418189 1257499760

Hi there

The info for diabetic diets is very confusing indeed. I am type2 and overweight. I am on medication which does not seem to work. Am on 2 NovoNorm before breakfast, lunch and dinner. Was on Metformin as well which gave me severe stomach problems and such sudden drop in BSL that I very often fainted and keeled over. Average BSL is around 20, anything below 8 sends me into a flat spin. Metformin has been stopped now. Must go and find a diabetes specialist, my doc seems out of his depth - he blames me for having the condition !!!

Breakfast: 3 slices of light Rivita with scraping of low-fat "butter" (Bridelight 17%), 1 low-fat yoghourt

Lunch: 120g lean white meat, grilled, and 200-250g green veg, steamed

Dinner: 120g lean meat/fish, grilled, and 200g green veg, steamed, 1 medium potato, boiled

No cheese, sugar, jam or marmelade, alcohol, eggs, sweets, or bread of any kind (other than Rivita). No snacks of any kind.

I am on this 1,000 cals diet for almost a year now - weight still the same. If I eat anything else or slightly more, my weight shoots into orbit. Fruit of any kind or amount sends my BSL off the scale, btw.

Henry 1257507310

Hi Cygnet.

(This will be a long post, but I wish I had had this advice at the start)

First of all, welcome to the diabetic 'club' and secondly, don't worry, as worry and stress raises your level. I am probably healthier now than before I was diagnosed three years ago!

I am type 2, my AC1 was 12 when diagnosed and I was going to be put on tablets, I refused as wanted more time. Now my AC1 is 6.8 and I have reviews only every 6 months and I am not on medication. I was never really overweight but lost a stone and now at my perfect weight for my height and build, which really helps.

Basically, 'you are what you eat' is so true, the first thing is to cut down on portion size, try not to snack and don't skip meals. A heavy meal last thing at night is the worst thing for your morning level. But a stroll after your meal would help, but I found impractical, but did it for a month or so to get the levels down. The days I do physical work, like gardening etc and not sat at a desk all day, I do get lower readings.

This was my regime for a year to get my levels down, breakfast; toast, must be brown, never white and nothing sweet on it, cut out sugar in coffee, sweetener in tea. Lunch; I had a big tub of salad, which is slow release carbs, stopped me wanting to snack mid-afternoon. Evening meal; more or less normal diet, meat or any protein slows the intake of carbs(sugar) and potatoes are best when less refined, i.e mash is worse, oven chips or jacket potatoes with skin on is better. A few glasses of red wine will also give a lower level and despite what people think, white wine doesn't give a higher reading, beer is not so good. I avoid all sweet drinks, diet coke is fine and I tend to have cheese as opposed to a sweet after a meal.

Some fruits have more carbs , i.e banana's so check on web sites which are the best, as with other foods. The best web site by far is and although being American, it is better than UK sites, the forum help is amazing.

Do not waste money on special diabetic foods, but basically try to cut out all sugar and lessen your refined carb intake, eat smaller portions and take a little exercise daily, I took up swimming three times a week and I lost all my extra weight and got my levels down.

It is not all about refined sugar, but carbs, which turn into sugar and slight changes in lifestyle. You can have the odd treat of anything once you are under control, if fact I have a little dark chocolate most nights and the odd dessert.

Try to get a meter to check your level one a day, I find mornings are best before food; I aim for a reading of about 8, which gives me a six monthly proper AC1 reading of 6.8 when done at the doctors.

Everyone is different, so you might find some foods affect you more, my lowest reading is always when I have wholemeal spag- bol and worst after a Chinese which is probably all the sugar in the sauces.

Good Luck, don't panic and don't expect to lower your level overnight, your body will change once it is lower, so you can be less picky. You can't reverse diabetes, but you can slow it right down. Some people chose to keep a similar lifestyle and go on pills, but to me that's an easy unhealthy option and some cannot lower their levels, no matter what they try, but at least if you try, you have done the best you can.

Feel free to ask for any more tips.

ChrisWay 1257513156

SLK, thank you for a wonderful resume of your handling of the Diabetes. I too am Diabetes Type 2, and have to a degree followed the same route as you have, although I do use sugar but in the Splenda form, which is recommended by Diabetes UK, and used a lot by Anthony Worrell Thompson (The Chef) who himself is Diabetic. In the main I use his recipes which gives the right types of food, and the right amounts of the carbs, proteins, etc etc. One thing, which is my choice, I very rarely eat deserts or sweets, but I am a fruit and cheese man. My ACI levels are normally around the 5.5 - 6.5 levels, which are good. I was overweight, and still am, but not as much. I do exercise, but I also suffer badly with my legs, due to a previous illness, and fluid retention. I do walk a far bit, having a dog. At the present time I am on Metmorfin, but having recently changed surgery and doctor, due to the lack of consultation and help, on my next review, next month, if my figures remain the same, he will be taking me off this medication, but as not yet decided with to try the Novonorm. Hopefully none at all. I do believe that the Metmorfin has caused stomach problems for me.

I do have to be honest, and say my life has not changed as much I thought it would be on diagnosis, mainly because I refused some of the previous doctors ideas, and done some research myself. Thankfully now, my present doctor has assured me things could have been worse if I had continued with the previous doctors methods. My present doctor insists I should not have been placed on medication so soon.

Good luck with the Diabetes, there is no need to worry. One thing I will say, DO NOT BUY OVERLY EXPENSIVE DIABETIC FOODS. Most supermarkets now will sell such things as sugar free jams and marmalades, if you want that on your toast. I do. 1257628651

Im a type 2 diabetic, managed for 5 years without medication, a change in life style meant that within a week of discovering my illness I felt better than I had in years. I lost a lot of weight very quickly and even now am still having to buy smaller size clothes every year, now I'm on medication, many of the symptoms I had 5 yrs ago were reappearing, I'm now on Metformin, I feel great again but my blood results still aren't right, so I'm not sure what the Dr will do now. If you need to talk email me and I will send you my phone number. Being diabetic is not the end of the world, just need to change a few habits, make sure your Dr gives you the form to CPAM to give you 100% cover on diabetic related medication and treatment, you should also get a meter free. 1257629109

Quote King Arthur;
Must go and find a diabetes specialist, my doc seems out of his depth - he blames me for having the condition !!!

Well it is your fault, as is my condition, being overweight causes the problem, and staying over weight makes it get worse. Having the medication will not help if you continue with the very life style that got you diabetes in the first place. if your on a sensible diet, one that the normal healthy person lives on then there's the perfect diet for a diabetic, add a little exercise and get ready to feel better than you have in years, just keep the sugar intake down but keep some handy just in case you need a sugar top up, you will soon learn to recognise the signs that your sugar level is low. Just be ready to spend lots of money on new clothes as your weight drops off.

KingArthur-418189 1257665550


You obviously have not bothered to read my post.

I will repeat part of it: My diet consists of the following. I have never taken sugar in anything, I do not eat sweets of any kind and never have, not even as a child.

Breakfast: 3 slices of light Rivita with scraping of low-fat "butter" (Bridelight 17%), 1 low-fat yoghourt

Lunch: 120g lean white meat, grilled, and 200-250g green veg, steamed

Dinner: 120g lean meat/fish, grilled, and 200g green veg, steamed, 1 medium potato, boiled

No cheese, sugar, jam or marmelade, alcohol, eggs, sweets, or bread of any kind (other than Rivita). No snacks of any kind.

The above is my doctor's idea of fun.

GnV-403724 1257666545

low fat anything means it contains sugar... 1257670332

I had a similar experience and sent for Diabetes for Dummies. I think this is a wonderful book and will tell you all you need to know.

Henry 1257671679

I have to point out something that has been said on here is not strictly true, Diabetes can be hereditary. I have never been that overweight, never really had a high sugar diet, and have always lived quite an active lifestyle. Diabetes has been in my family on my mother's side for years, admittedly most people on the course that I attended were overweight, which did bring on diabetes, and the change to a less active modern lifestyle has brought on more cases.

As for food , most food is,labelled and just choose the bread etc with the lowest sugar level. Aim for foods with less than 5g per 100g.

KingArthur-418189 1257672049

Thanks, Mike@m, have just ordered the book !!!!

ChrisWay 1258216805

I have to agree with GnV that anything Low Fat is high/very high in sugar content. I remember when first diagnosed with Diabetes, I went out and brought things that I thought would be great for the diet, mostly Low Fat foods. Sounds obvious does'nt it. How wrong I was, when I was shown some empty cartons by my Doctor, I was amazed at how much sugar was in them. There is only one type of yoghurt I eat now, and that is Greek Total, No Fat, and Sugar Free, or make my own using the same style from Easy Yo.

My diet is based on mostly white meat, lots of vegetables, fruit, homemade soups, fish etc. No deserts unless it is fresh fruit and the yoghurt above. No sweets. I follow a lot of Anthony Worrell Thompson recipes as he is diabetic also. Sadly, I do not appear to be losing the weight as much as others do. I do do exercise, ie, taking my dog for a walk, 2 or 3 times a day, plus my daily walk around the shops, and supermarket. It is coming off, but not as I would like it. Nevertheless, I persevere.

KingArthur-418189 1258221755

The "butter" I use for spreading on Rivita has only 17% fat and traces of sugar (needed for flavour)

I cannot eat fruit of any kind, not even a small apple or clementine, without my BSL going into orbit.

Since taking 2 2mg NovoNorm before food 3x per day, my BSL is now "constant" at 20% each time I measure. I am at my wits end. Doc requires 0,8%. I have also gained another 3kg despite the 1,000cal diet mentioned earlier, with no cheating.

The Mides 1258224265


I have had Type 1 diabetes (multiple insulin injections each day) for 44 years now, and am still around, so DON'T PANIC! If you have Type 2 the best advice I can give is to get in touch with Diabetes UK on the web and search their comprehensive info base. Other than that, take plenty of exercise and eat sensibly. That means finding out the carbo-hydrate value of foods and limiting your daily intake. Your doctor should be able to advise on what amount is suitable for you. Processed, sugary foods should generally be avoided, as should so-called 'diabetic' foods (there is no such thing, except in the minds of big food companies looking to their profits rather than your health). I get through (at most) 170 grams of carbohydrate a day - about 40 each at breakfast and lunch, then maybe 50 at dinner, 10 or 15 before bed, with mid-morning/mid-afternoon amounts if I have been physically active. This equates to a couple of thin bits (2 and 2/3 ounces) of toast for breakfast, the same at lunch and not much more at dinner. You can substitute potatoes or pasta for the bread, but it is really the carbohydrate count that matters. Do avoid cakes, sweeties, chocolate, sugary buns, fatty processed foods like crisps and all the other rubbish that packs the shelves. Use artificial sweetener rather than white sugar - also honey which will cause your blood sugar to rise. I take lemon in my tea rather than milk, as milk contains carbohydrate and must therefore be counted as part of your daily limit. Other than that, I eat copious amounts of vegetables, fish, meat, houmous, Marmite, cheese and enjoy my glass of dry wine. Get yourself a blood-glucose meter and keep your readings in single figures - about 7 to be comfortable. Find out about the carbohydrate values of everything you propose to eat before you eat it (see food info labels on packets, also Diabetes UK (Above)) Also note that natural foodstuffs generally absorb into your blood stream more slowly than processed foods.

If you eat sensibly and keep yourself fit you will do fine, but you do need to consult the appropriate medical people to get your own regime and then stick to it. Hope this helps

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