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JLeslie's avatar

Can you give me the basics for Type II diabetes?

Asked by JLeslie (61202points) 1 month ago

No one has diabetes in my family so I am clueless about this disease. I know very basic information. I’ve googled a little, but it would be easier for me if a jelly could provide some basic info. None of this information will be used for actual medical care.

What I am curious about is:

What determines whether a person is treated with pills or insulin?

What fasting number is normal for a diabetic? Is their acceptable glucose number higher than a person without diabetes?

What glucose number is very high and can create severe symptoms?

Can you tell me about the new home tests that have no needles?

Anything else that is important that I do not even know to ask?

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7 Answers

filmfann's avatar

Okay, I am not an expert, but I can give you basics.

First, the difference between Type I and Type II.
With Type I, your pancreas is not producing insulin.
With Type II, you are producing insulin, but it is the wrong shape. Think of blood sugar as a lock, and insulin as a key. When the key is the wrong shape, it no longer unlocks the lock.
Same concept here.
High blood sugar numbers can damage your nerves, especially in your feet. I feel like I have bugs crawling over my feet at night. This is Neuropathy, and it sucks.
Having high blood sugar can also leave you vulnerable to infections. If you get an infection, the infection can feed on and add to the blood sugars, making both worse. When I had a bad infection a few years ago, my A1c was over 9.7, and my blood sugar was over 300.
Diabetes can play the devil with many aspects of your health. Psoriasis, blindness, slower healing. It isn’t a little thing.
Blood sugar numbers between 116–125 is considered pre-diabetic. Over 125 is diabetic. (sometimes these numbers are adjusted).
Another number to pay attention to is your A1c. It needs to be under 5.9.
A1c is a way to measure your blood sugar over the last 3 months. The most recent month will value more than 3 months ago.

You need to test your blood sugar when you wake up, before you eat or drink anything.
Testing your blood sugar within 4 hours after eating is not a legit test.
I used to take insulin, but my blood sugar is under control enough that I now only take metaformin pills.
Remember, high blood sugars will kill you eventually. Low blood sugars (figure 0–40) will kill you quick. Low blood sugar is called Hypoglaucimia. Diabetics who inject too much insulin are flirting with that.

So, what do I eat?
I keep it at about 60 carbs per meal. Corn, bananas, rice are all bad, but can be eaten in moderation. Don’t drink sodas, even diet sodas. Alcohol is another moderation thing.
Walking a lot helps.
Feel free to message me if you have questions.

Oh, about the testing needles. It isn’t a big thing. On days with a 1, 11, 21, or 31, I test in my left little finger. On days with a 10, 20, or 30, I test my right thumb. You cycle between all the fingers on the days. That way, one finger isn’t always getting pricked.
I haven’t tried the “needleless” tests, but I am not interested in having that monitor constantly attached.

JLeslie's avatar

@filmfann You touched on one of my questions, but not clear to me, what fasting blood sugar usually warrants Glucophage vs insulin? I have a friend who just had a 318 blood sugar and of course she needs to do something. I told her maybe they will just give her a pill, but I also told her I have no idea the thresholds. She’s under a doctor’s care so it is all being addressed. Over 300 seems like a very high number to me for the doctor to not have prescribed something immediately, but what do I know, not much.

She wanted to try to diet and exercise to control it, her numbers have been creeping up, but this time the number was very high, the 318. I told her she has to follow the doctor’s advice, it’s too dangerous not to at this point. I’m the first one to ignore medical advice, but not on something like this.

filmfann's avatar

When mine was over 300, I was put on insulin. Once I was under control (it took 3 months), I was taken off it.

JLeslie's avatar

Ok, thanks. Her appointment is next week.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

I have a friend that had his Aic over 7.9 (190) ! He went on a low Carbs diet like 49 to 59 grams of carbs a day (that’s ten teaspoons of sugar or a half a cup of flour or two medium sized apples). He lost 60 pounds since beginning of the year and his A1c is now 6.0. and still losing weight.

JLeslie's avatar

@Tropical_Willie My ex-boyfriend had a similar situation about ten years, but I never talked to him at length about it. I don’t really talk to him anymore, but I see him pop up on my feed on facebook now and then. I think he lost about 20–30 pounds changing his diet if I remember correctly, and didn’t have to go on diabetes meds then. It might have changed at this point.

SnipSnip's avatar

Sure, but that is very easy to look up and find dependable information.

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