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filmfann's avatar

What should I expect when dealing with type 2 Diabetes?

Asked by filmfann (40119 points ) February 22nd, 2014

This week my Doctor told me I have Type 2 Diabetes.
My wife is freaked out. I am supposed to take a class next week on testing myself, etc.
Any advice on food, and what to avoid?

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17 Answers

talljasperman's avatar

Avoid cola, unless it is coke zero, and no excess sugar (No beer ).... Try eating non-instant oatmeal, have more fruits and vegetables, Don’t eat more than the equal to a deck of cards in meat in one day . Buy a diabetes cookbook.

Bluefreedom's avatar

I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes in March of 2006 and I was completely caught by surprise since I don’t fit the profile of a person that should have diabetes. It’s a bit of a shock at first to be told you’re afflicted with diabetes but after doctors get you set up on a treatment regimen and you get a good diet stabilized, it gets much easier.

When you go to your first class regarding testing your daily blood sugar levels, they should also set up an appointment for you with a registered dietician who can accurately forecast a good starting diet for you and detail what is good and bad for a diabetic to eat. They’ll most likely forecast a maximum calorie intake that you should follow on a daily basis.

My endocrinologist told me that corn and potatoes aren’t good food for diabetics because they don’t break down well after ingestion. Rice is also a problem due to high carbohydrate content. Carbohydrates raise blood sugar levels quickly while proteins raise blood sugar levels slowly. Starchy foods are also items that you’ll want to eat in moderation also.

Something you’ll also want to ask for, if they don’t already give it to you, is a breakdown of all symptoms that diabetics are prone to during high and low blood sugar events. After a while, you’ll become accustomed to the signals your body is giving off and won’t have to consult notes anymore. One thing to remember is, if you blood sugar levels get too high, they can be brought back down with doses of insulin. If your blood sugar levels drop really low, this can be dangerous because if sugar isn’t introduced back into your system soon, your body could seize up and you could potentially die.

One of my first cousins is a trauma nurse who has dealt with diabetics many times and I have received all kinds of good information from her and my endocrinologist over the years while treating my diabetes.

trailsillustrated's avatar

My ex husband has this, he’s a really good cook and doesn’t eat starches, lots of grilled vegetables and fish. He has that pregnant man syndrome ( fat stomach) , he sees a dietician. It’s not a life sentence, you just have to eat carefully and well.

johnpowell's avatar

My mom has this. I can’t offer up much except for saying that it isn’t a death sentence. She actually looks so much be better since she now has her diet under control. It was the kick in the ass she needed.

chyna's avatar

My brother was diagnosed as pre diabetic and since we have several grandparents and uncles and aunts that are diabetic, he immediately started eating healthier. He used to be a meat and potato only guy to someone that eats raw veggies for snacks.
Veggies, cooked and raw, fish, and chicken is a good start to your eating habits. This doesn’t mean you will never be able to have potato’s or meat again. Just not every day or even once a week.
My brother reversed his pre diabetic issues but still eats healthy. He lost 35 pounds and has kept the weight off for 3 or 4 years now.
Good luck!

Pachy's avatar

My friend works for JDRF, the leading global organization focused on type 1 diabetes (T1D) research While yours is type 2, I’m sure they could lead you to great sources of professional help and information.

jca's avatar

I don’t have diabetes but diabetics that I know (and from what I’ve read) tell me that you can keep your blood sugar in check by exercising. Consider starting a walking routine or something a few times a week.

marinelife's avatar

Avoid carbohydrates, especially simple carbohydrates like desserts with sugar, potatoes, rice, corn, etc.

Be prepared for a balancing act with food, exercise and sleep (all of which are important).

Cut down on snacking, especially after dinner.

JLeslie's avatar

The diabetic diet is basically the healthy diet we all should eat. Lower carbs, lots of veggies.

Fruits can be very high in sugar, so you need to watch that if your previous mindset was fruits are “healthy.” Especially juice, because the sugar is as high as Coca-Cola, whole fruits in moderation. Complex carbs have sugar absorbed more slowly than refined carbs.

I think an appointment with a dietician can tell you good basics. When I met with one regarding my cholesterol many years ago she asked me what I currently ate and drank and gave me information about those foods and recommended where I should modify and alternatives. It was very helpful. You will have to become more aware of how many carbs and sugars are in the foods you eat and adjust.

If you are overweight losing weight should help. Exercise should help too. My non medical opinion is the biggest help is change in diet usually. Change in diet results in the weight loss if you are overweight. My exboyfriend started a diebetic oriented diet when his bloos sugar started coming back high and he lost over 20 pounds.

zenvelo's avatar

I don’t have diabetes, because I was told that if I didn’t do something I was headed there quickly. So I adopted an exercise and eating routine to get my body out of danger.

In général, I don’t eat anything the converts easily into sugar. My carbohydrates are a low carb tortilla with my high protein breakfast (usually an omelette with meat and veggies) and vegetables and occasional fresh fruit. I eat a nuts to snack on, I am not shy about healthy fats (nut oils, olive oil, avocado).

And I started an exercise routine of at least five days a week. I started in January of last year walking 2¾ miles a day, now I run about 18 miles per week. And i mix it up with other exercises to improve my overall health.

Good Luck, you can do it! And it might even be easier now that you live up in the foothills!

jca's avatar

If you are a fan of sweets, the good thing is that we live in a time when most desserts are available in some kind of non or low sugar form, so you won’t feel deprived. I know people may tell you “artificial sweeteners are bad” or “you should try to avoid low sugar desserts because they do contain sugar” but, easier said than done. Nobody wants to feel like they’re missing out if they’re in a group and everyone else is having something. If you want to enjoy something, jello, ice cream etc., find its low sugar or no sugar alternative and have it, in moderation, of course.

zenvelo's avatar

Be careful following @jca ‘s point about artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners can cause the same effects on the body as sugar.

Weaning yourself from sugar and sweeteners will cut the cravings with a couple weeks. It’s the use of sweeteners that causes continued urges for them.

Seaofclouds's avatar

My advice to patients preparing to meet with a diabetic educator is this:

Keep a honest food log from now until your appointment. Take it with you to your appointment. When the educator starts talking about nutrition, you can look at your log to get real examples of what you could/should do different that relate to how you normally eat. Sometimes, the information is very generic and can be hard to put into your situation.

As far as “sugar free” foods, talk to your doctor about this first. I know several doctors that would rather their patients eat the occasional bit of actual sugar than eat “sugar free” stuff on a regular basis. If you are going to look into “sugar free” products, get to know some of the ingredients. Many “sugar free” candies (especially chocolate) are sweetened with maltitol or other alcohol sugars. These sugars can have a laxative effect if eaten in a large enough quantity.

Aster's avatar

My s/o and His best friend are both diabetic. Don’t drink any kind of soda and don’t eat sugar. Don’t agree to new meds for this; stick with the tried and true pills. My s/o’s best friend told me he loved going out alone each night for a banana split. He told me this three months ago. Then two weeks ago he said he just was diagnosed then I saw him and wow; has he gained weight in the stomach area. I mean, who wouldn’t want to have a banana split every night? His life holds little pleasure for him and I know this was important to him, poor guy. Don’t eat sugar, go light on sugar free foods and find an exercise you really enjoy. Drink lots of filtered, icy water. I want to say because I think it’s important to know that my s/o has been addicted to sodas since we met in 1986. He began with full sugar sodas, then shifted to Aspartame sodas and is now on some “TEN” orange soda. All to extreme excess. He stays dehydrated and never touches water . And he hates most veggies. It is so heartbreaking and infuriating to watch him go downhill doing everything wrong. Yes; you can actually have some sugar; just go lightly with it. And exercise.

jca's avatar

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/21/sleep-apnea-may-worsen-diabetes/?src=rechp

Sleep apnea may worsen diabetes. See link above, NY Times article.

Kardamom's avatar

The Mayo Clinic has a lot of good information about dealing with and living with type 2 diabetes.

Here’s a general Overview

Here’s some info about Your New Diet for Life. You’ll have to make some changes, and start paying a lot more attention to what you should eat, and what you should avoid. The diabetic diets are actually not particularly restrictive and have lots of good things that most people should be eating anyway. It helps to keep charts on your refrigerator, of the good and bad foods, so when you get hungry, you don’t have to constantly wonder about what is OK. Also, you can carry a cheat sheet in your wallet so when you go out to dinner or to a family party. It also helps to have a chart on your fridge reminding you that you need to eat certain foods at certain times of the day. You will most likely be eating smaller, but more frequent meals, sometimes when you get busy, it’s hard to remember to eat when you’re supposed to.

Learn to love spices such as Turmeric and Cinnamon

Sign up for the Mayo Clinic’s Newsletter devoted to topics about living with Type 2 diabetes.

Buy yourself a new apron, because you’re going to be spending some quality time in the kitchen. Invest in some new cookbooks like This One and This One

Be prepared for friends, relatives and total strangers to ask you stupid (not really stupid, ignorant is more accurate) questions about your disease, and what you can and cannot eat. Treat them kindly, because they just don’t know any better. Learn to not get upset when people try to get you to have “just one small piece of cake” or tell you, “but I made these pastries just for you.” Learn to say no, sweetly and kindly.

Learn to spot the symptoms of Low Blood Sugar and know that you need to eat something as soon as you realize it’s coming on, don’t try to wait it out. More Info about spotting and treating low blood sugar.

Learn to read Labels. There’s hidden added sugar in lots of common foods, especially processed foods.

Become familiar with The American Diabetes Association. Lots of good info on their site.

See the Pyramid without having to go to Egypt.

You’re a Superman, so know your Superfoods

Keep in touch with us, we’ll travel this road together : )

filmfann's avatar

One of my big surprises here was that potatoes were a big no-no.
I love baked potatoes, and this isn’t going to be very popular.
Thanks everyone!

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