(sorry this will be long – a post and reply)
This is what I did after I was diagnosed.
I “joined the club” in August of 2016 with an A1C of 6.9 “just under that 7.0 wire”.
The Diagnosis was no surprise.
I had been screening 12 years - family history - so nothing to sink in, no shock to wear off.
I saw the lab results and got started.
The first step, I cut out all added sugar – no sugar in coffee, no Coke/Juice and no sugary foods (still miss my chocolate donuts).
I did nothing more with… read more
I did more reading and found the DiRECT study designed to invoke remission.
Their “program” was less than 130 carbs/1500 calories a day, noting that 26% of calories from carbs seemed to be the “magic number”.
I adopted the 26% and compromised at 1650 calories a day.
During the next three months I found “foods” that I could “plug in” to that diet.
I wasn’t worried about the “nutritional value” (yet).
Feb 2017, D+6 months my A1C test came in at 5.4 – clinically not diabetic.
Now I could re-introduce some foods (potato/pasta) I had totally cut out.
I started to really “eat my meter” and tweak the number of carbs in a meal and not blow myself up.
After all, we need to keep “eating this way” forever so if we don’t make it as satisfying as possible while striving for “total health” benefit we are not likely to stick with it or will cheat often.
By now the weight was starting to come off.
When you eat fewer calories, weight comes off – that is “THE” Secret formula.
No funky diet, no special foods, you don’t even need to exercise (which is great for maintenance, cardio health and circulation, but very few can exercise their way to ideal weight – that is a “fantasy”).
Just eat less calories then you “need” and the weight will come off.
I was down 46 pounds in 4 months.
I made no other changes for a few months – weight loss was slowing but was still shedding a couple pounds a month.
Feb 2018 (D+18 months) weight down 60 pounds (exceeding my goal), still losing a bit, off to the Dietitian to figure out a “maintenance plan”.
Her advice – add calories until I either hit 2000 OR I started to gain back weight.
Over the next couple of months I put the calories back.
With weight remaining stable, I stopped at 2000 calories and called it good.
So in about a year and a half, my “diet” was pretty well ironed out; the weight was lost and holding and the sugar control was solid.
From then until now my A1C has remained at 5.4 (save a single 5.5).
I still count every calorie/carb, plan all my meals and track everything that goes in my mouth.
That may sound like “work” but now it’s such an “ingrained habit” that I don’t even notice – it is “second nature”.
In the spring of 2019 – about 2 ½ years into “my program” I sat with the Dietitian and she conducted an in depth analysis of “what I was eating”.
I was concerned the way I was eating may be leading to the unintentional deficiency of some vitamin or mineral (when you restrict what you eat, that is possible to likely depending on what you cut out)
After almost 2 hours of chatting, questions and checking charts, Allison shook her head and said “I got nothing – there is nothing I can think of to add or change”.
So I have just “stuck with my program”.
So far, this is working “for Me”
You don’t need to figure it all out on “day 1”.
Take the time to “ease in” and you will increase your chances of success…
@A DiabetesTeam Member no diabetes meds ever
Because I was right on the line at 6.9 (guideline says medicate at 7.0 or higher) the Doc offered metformin.
Since I had seen my lab results about 2 weeks before my appointment I already (knew where I was) and did some serious reading on the matter - pros/cons of medicating - talked to my pharmacist (was already on meds for cholesterol and BP and he also dispenses the dozen prescriptions my wife is on so already had an established trust of the guy who is also certified as a Diabetes Educator).
What I didn't want to happen was a situation where I couldn't determine whether (what I planned to do) would be "effective".
If you make a pile of changes during a period when you are medicated how do you evaluate how well your changes worked compared to how well the meds worked?
I wanted to develop a "baseline" so told the Doc that I wanted to see what I could do in 90 days (the standard recheck period upon initial diagnosis) and also stated that if I couldn't get to "sub 6.0" then I would "ask" for the meds.
Had I taken the prescription I never would have known how much I could effect it myself.
But having done that I know "now" that as soon as my A1C creeps up near 6 (5.7 or 5.8) I "am" going to go on a low dose (500 mg) of Metformin.
In Europe they prescribe low dose to "pre-diabetics" and they have great data on delaying onset for 10 years or more, so the soon as my (control) starts to move I will use the meds to try and "arrest it" for a while longer.
The more years you can stay "sub-6" with or without meds the better the long term outcome.
The nastiest complications tend to take 15 or 20 years to set in really bad. So it becomes a game of "kick the can".
My goal is to keep good enough control at least for the next few years that I push the chance of a debilitating complication "beyond my natural lifespan" (which if we simply shoot for life expectancy that is somewhere in the early 80's).
I have a plan of where I want to be at 60 and 65. Because if I'm still holding the line at 65 that gives me "good odds" of "dying from old age" before the Beast can take me down
PS - if my A1C had have even been that 0.1 higher at 7.0 or greater I would have gone on the meds without question - control is way more important than "I want" - control keeps you alive and complication free - "I want" is a path to a very nasty outcome because Diabetes doesn't care what you want, doesn't care how you feel about it, doesn't care if you find it hard or depressing or too much to handle - no control and it WILL take you down hard.
Cold feet "can be" a complication but you are so newly diagnosed it is unlikely that diabetes is the cause - while peripheral neuropathy is "super common" (50% of us will experience "some degree") it does take a good few years to develop (but it is usually the first).
Ok, I waffled back and forth there, but needless to say, unless you were undiagnosed for 5 years or better, your feet are just "cold" or at the very least, the cause is almost certainly "not" diabetes.
My feet have been like ice my whole life, just crappy circulation to my extremities. While it certainly is not the diabetes in my case that does make (me) much more susceptible to developing peripheral neuorpathy.
Crappy circulation means that even at early stages of neuropathy my (symptoms) would be amplified.
(maybe that is what you were getting at with your comment about where will you be down the line?)
Beacuse of that I am super careful with my feet and legs - never go barefoot as an example "ever" - slippers all the time in the house, even for a night time trip to the bathroom.
(My Father had extreme neuropathy that got so bad he "should have" had one of his legs amputated for sure and probably both. No way he was going to go for that so he endured dozens of operations to remove necrotic (dead) tissue from his legs - beyond a mess. It was this that ultimately led to his death. The repeated infections put too much strain on his heart and his cause of death was Congestive Heart Failure as a complication of Diabetes. So I am maybe just a little bit psychotic about taking care of my feet and legs - but I don't "sweat the cold feet" which are just "cold feet for now")
Thank you - but I do believe that it is the Discipline that leads to the Control (or at least the best control you can achieve) - simply "cause and effect" 😀
Thanks @A DiabetesTeam Member. Yeah, I think I have circulation probs...probably my high cholesterol (gotta' deal with): “If you have high cholesterol you may be at a higher risk of circulation problems, which lead to cold feet. Trouble with circulation (also called arterial disease) is the result of the build-up of cholesterol and inflammation in your blood vessels” (cited from https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/cold-feet-r...).
Also I did a search here on neuropathy and appreciate your previous comments. I am so sorry for what you experienced with your father which must of have been excruciating to experience. I can see how you will do everything to take control of what you can.
Yeah, no more Southern CA flip-flop living for me perhaps...just to be careful. I've gone sockless a lot but need to change!
We never share your personal information with anyone.