Help.....Newly Diagnosed and Nutritionist Appointment is 1 month away

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Shiva Posted: Sun, Oct 17 2010 11:53 AM


My husband was diagnosed last week with type 2 diabetes.  The Appointment with the nutritionist is 1 month away and no one gave us any handouts or advice regarding meal planning.   On Wednesday his glucose was 459 when he was diagnosed, thursday it fell to 358 and Friday it fell to 289, but this morning it's back up to 347.

He's probably had diabetes for a long time.  He has some nerve damage due to a spinal cord injury so when he started having numbness in hands and feet 2 years ago, they attributed it to the nerve damage and didn't bother to test for diabetes. 

What are we doing wrong with his diet?  Our whole house is following this diet with him to make it easier on everyone.  Do you have any recommended meal plans with portion sizes?  Any recommendations on recipes?   Any suggestions?


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Simi_Papa replied on Sun, Oct 17 2010 8:10 PM

If you look at the top of this page you will see a link to  "Diabetes Information".  When you click that link you are sent to a page with links to all kinds of information, including one for "Diet and Nutrition".  This should give you help to get going.  The American Diabetes Association ( also has links to nutritional data.  You should also google "glycemic index" (GI).  The GI is a measure of how various carbohydrates increase blood glucose (sugar) levels.  All carbohydrates, except fiber, is converted to glucose in you body.  I would suggest limiting intake of carbohydrates as much as possible until your husband's blood glucose levels get down into the 100's.  Ideally, we want our pre-eating reading to be less than 140 and the reading 2 hours after eating to be below 140 as well.  It will probably take a while for your husband to get to those levels.  Good luck.  Getting everyone in your family to eat a diabetic healthy diet is great.  It will also be healthy for everyone else as well.


"May the Force be with you!"

Diagnosed in 1997; Off all meds except Metformin!! Smile

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Tor replied on Mon, Oct 18 2010 1:06 AM

A mealplan based on low GI carbs is a good place to start.

The best (low GI) grain I know of is barley, available at most supermarkets. Boil for 35 minutes and use instead of potatoes, pasta or rice. For taste, add a dash of chicken or beef stock during boiling. For protein try pan fried or barbecued chicken thighs, fish cooked or fried. As for veggies, my favorites are asparagus, carrots, onions, tomatoes, leek and brussel sprouts.

Bottom line: There is hope and a number of options that will not drive his blood sugar high.


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cag replied on Mon, Oct 18 2010 12:08 PM

Going to the website is a great suggestion.  They offer a wealth of information.  Good for you to get the whole family involved!  This is a great sign of support for your husband and helps offer a sense of control for all.  I would also suggest increasing physical activity.  A walk everyday works wonders with weight loss and insulin resistance. 


Good luck!

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Dear Shiva:

I am very sorry your husband was diagnosed with diabetes and more upset that he wasn't given any information.   As the nutrition manager at the Joslin, I know that it is very important that patients receive clear verbal and written instructions from the onset. 

First don't panic, the diet for people with diabetes is very similar to the diet recommended for the general American population.  So before you see the dietitian, suggest to your husband that he eat regular meals, avoid the desserts,sweets and sweetned drinks (this is just until he sees the dietitian) and increase the non-starchy vegetable portion of his meals.  He doesn't need to do anything drastic.   It would be helpful if he kept a few days of food records to bring with him to the appointment.  The suggestions related to information for the American Diabetes Association are good ones.  The American Dietietic Association also has information.

As for your husband's blood glucose (sugar) levels they may or may not be related to his food intake.  If he is on medicine it might need more time to have its full effect or he may need more or a different type of medicine.  Focus on the blood sugar goals your health care provider has given him.  It is incorrect that blood sugars have to be less than 140mg/dl two hours after meals.  Both the American Diabetes and Joslin recommend less than 180 as a general rule,  but your husband needs to discuss the specifics of his case with his provider. 

If his numbers remain this elevated, I would, however, call your health care provider's office to report them.   There is no need to suffer with very high numbers for any lenght of time.

Good luck

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aat3877 replied on Sat, Jan 8 2011 7:04 PM

I think that sometimes health care providers forget how scary it can be to receive news like this.  There is a lot of information on the web.  The problem is that some information is not valid.  Be careful when you start reading about diabetes that you are on a reliable source.  I like  There is lots of information and recipes.  They also have videos that can be helpful.  They produce a 30 minute tv show.  Maybe you could check your local cable listings and see if you can find it.  

Be sure to take care of yourself too.  Living with someone who has diabetes can be overwhelming but you are not alone.  Seek out others who are dealing with the same situation.

Good luck 

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