Hope you can help: Hello, I'm... - Cholesterol Support

Cholesterol Support

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Hope you can help

Peachandcream profile image

Hello, I'm " peachandcream" must try and change that name as its ridiculous.

I have recently been told I am diabetic. Which was a shock. I have an under active thyroid, which I take medication for. My 3 month blood count showed a HbA1c level of 50 mmol/mol. I have been very careful of what I eat. There is no where on line to tell you exactly what you can eat, for instance, yogurts, which ones??

According to a print out of the results. That looks high. But the print out says. " the GP has reviewed your results, they are satisfactory.

My serum ferritin is 319. Which looks high. Why is that? I don't drink. My kidneys, liver and urine are fine. I'm confused.

Feeling out of control at the moment. Feeling pathetic. I am a health care worker , but that means nothing. Hope someone can help. Thank you. Hope you are okay.

27 Replies
sos007 profile image

Diabetics are at high risk of heart disease among other chronic illnesses as elevated blood sugar leads to atherosclerosis;

Ferritin is your iron level. You need to cut back or eliminate your consumption of red meats such as beef, pork, lamb, veal, and organ meats. It is also likely high due to your diabetes.

High iron levels causes premature oxidation of your body's tissues which leads to more rapid aging. Therefore it is critical to bring this under control.

As a diabetic you need to cut out all sugar as well as refined or simple carbohydrates. Almost all of the processed foods sold in the market contain sugar. So your diet should be one based on doing your own cooking from fresh organic whole foods.

Buy a cookbook focused on the Mediterranean Diet or on cooking for diabetics.

Avoid the following:

- sugar, honey, agave and all other sweeteners;

- soft drinks and fruit juices; limit alcohol to only 3 drinks per week and ideally red wine;

- white flour products such as - white bread, white pizza dough, white pasta

- white potatoes, white rice

- fried foods including all packaged snacks such as potato chips, crackers, and similar items.

- baked goods are off the menu

- breakfast cereals unless they have virtually no sugar

Here's what you CAN eat:

- lots of vegetables and whole fruits;

- focus on greens such as kale, arugula and broccoli, and other leafy greens;

- legumes - i.e. - green peas, beans, chick peas, and lentils; (look up some Greek and Italian recipes for these to make them taste good)

- dark chocolate 90% cacao

- best fruits are blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries; oranges and apples;

- small quantity of nuts and seeds especially almonds, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds;

- milk contains lactose which is a sugar so switch to unsweetened almond or coconut milk;

- yogurt must be plain, unsweetened and limited in quantity as it also has lactose; Greek yogurt has the most protein.

- eggs in limited quantity are fine and should ideally be prepared by boiling - avoid frying anything as it oxidizes the oil or butter;

- lean chicken and cold water fish such as wild salmon, trout and arctic char;

Take vitamin B6, Folic Acid and B12 supplements also known as 'B complex'. Take vitamin D and E supplements.

In order to lower your ferritin level quickly you can donate blood every 2 months or ask the doctor for a regular phlebotomy to be done at a clinic.

Exercise is critical for keeping blood sugar low so make sure you walk up to one hour daily. This can be done in intervals which add up to one hour. Go for a walk after lunch and dinner. If you can, go to a gym and exercise with some weights.

Good luck.

Also for an under active thyroid try taking Iodine. You can supplement

Marz profile image
Marz in reply to Markl60

Not good if you have Hashimotos causing the Hypothyroidism ... ☺

Many thanks for your response, I will certainly be more careful of what I eat. The list of what I can eat is a great help. Thanks.

Peach and cream, maybe it might be an idea to talk to your doctor about a possibility of having Haemochromatosis, a genetic iron overload condition also nicknamed The Celtic Curse due to its prevalence among The Celtic Race. Normal serum ferritin levels fall between 13-300. In the UK it’s usually identified by the Transferrin Saturation Index or level, normal levels between 20-45. You may find the result for this in your print out. This condition only came to light in the late 1990’s and many doctors are not very up to date with it. Diabetes can be one of the side effects. Don’t panic or worry, your level is not high enough to do any real damage. The main treatment for the condition is venesection or withdrawing blood at a special clinic to bring levels down and monitor them. I’ve been through this in the past year and my ferritin level is similar to yours.

Thank you. That's put my mind at rest. I am due to see my doctor next week and will keep in mind your suggestions. Thanks.

Write down the list of questions you want to ask and then the answers. How many blood test results were in the print out? GPs look at all the blood test numbers, not just one!

In today's Mail there is an article on Hemochromatosis:

Thank you I learned something new.

"Hundreds of thousands could be suffering with 'stealth disease' caused by common genetic disorder, which quadruples liver disease risk and doubles chances of arthritis

•Haemochromatosis was previously thought to be a minor blood condition

•But the genetic fault which causes build up of iron in the blood is much worse

•Scientists at Exeter University found it quadruples the risk of liver disease

•The condition, referred to as the 'Celtic Curse', can double the risk of arthritis."

You can read more, here is the link:


I found the article you referred to in the Daily Mail. I will take that along with me when I see the nursing praticoner ( I thought the appointment was with a doctor) but I just hope she will be able to answer my questions. I really appreciate your feed back. I certainly need someone I can tell my concerns to. Thank you so much.

Londinium profile image
Londinium in reply to Jessie1234

Jessie, pre-diabetes AND diabetes can both undermine and damage health.

An online source that is affiliated to the trainers of the ICS-NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme phcuk.org/wp-content/upload...

Diabetes UK have financial ties to Public Health England. They state that carbohydrate has the biggest effect on blood glucose, then tell us to eat lower-fat versions of dairy, and/or cut fat from meat, which the insulin index proves necessitates higher levels of insulin.

High insulin levels = insulin resistance.

Fair enough Londinium, thank you. I don't know how I've avoided it as both my brother and sister have it. Maybe because I do a lot of exercise and take cider vinegar every day and a sprinkling of cinnamon on porridge daily. My diet is good bar I love biscuits and home made cake which at the moment I'm totally off. I'm trying to live the Mediterranean diet as perfectly summarised by sos007. As I've explained previously to sos007 if you live in the UK, or should I say N. Ireland, the blood transfusion service will not accept you unless you have been through a consultant led service and are in the monitoring stage plus I discovered ladies of 65 can no longer donate nor men who are a few years older!! For these reasons I've gone privately to a consultant after discovering a wait of years on the NHS!! I was told that my ferritin needed to be at least 500 as well as my transferritin saturation to be above normal...(it's 86, well above the norm which means the extra iron is stored in organs) to qualify for venesection. My ferritin in 396. I think the consultant was being kind when he said he'd refer me for venesection because of my high transferritin saturation level and high incidence of relatives with the condition which has just come to light. I'm very grateful and quite shocked. I'm signed up to a world wide Facebook Haemocromatosis Society and in lots of counties a level of serum ferritin in the 300"s is considered high. And yes, I have side effects including some liver damage. This is slight and the liver repairs itself when iron levels are normalised. The consultant hadn't got my full medical history before him and was anxious to know if I had diabetes. Time to really look after myself

Londinium profile image
Londinium in reply to Jessie1234

Regarding HbA1C, I think Prof. Sikaris suggested in his lecture of a year or two ago, that HbA1C should be a maximum of around 5.4 or so. He has a more recent lecture of a month or so ago.

I think Cardiologist Dr William Davis suggested no higher than about 5.

You can easily find the above people, and many others, online and on YouTube.

Concerned profile image
Concerned in reply to Jessie1234

According to Dr Rosedale, osteoporosis is an indication of excessively high insulin levels, so you may not have diabetes, but you have the insulin-resistance that underpins it.

HbA1C numbers from the Internet:

HbA1c in diagnosis

HbA1c can indicate people with prediabetes or diabetes as follows:

Normal Below 42 mmol/mol Below 6.0%

Prediabetes 42 to 47 mmol/mol 6.0% to 6.4%

Diabetes 48 mmol/mol or over 6.5% or over


Would it be possible for you to give the numbers for others to learn from it?

sos007 profile image
sos007Ambassador in reply to sandybrown

The numbers are as follows: 'the lower the better.' I keep mine between 4.5 and 4.8. HbA1C is a measure of glycation. Glycation accelerates aging and all related diseases.

sandybrown profile image
sandybrown in reply to sos007

Thank you.

Thank you all for the information that quite honestly I didn’t understand the importance of. I did have my HbA1c tested this year after the haemochromatosis diagnosis and my level was 35mmol/mol. I’ll be more aware after this. There’s a fair chance that the haemochromatosis has contributed to my osteoporosis which I do all in my power to keep under control and apart from breaking an ankle 11 years ago, which was not a fragility break, I’ve had no further serious breaks. Hopefully shortly I’ll be called for venesection. My apologies Peaches and Cream, I feel as If I’ve hijacked your post. All the very best and let us know how you get on.

What is the difference between venesection and giving blood?

This is new to me too Sandy. I gave blood for years until recently when I was receiving Accupuncture and stopped for a year or two. The Blood Transfusion service in Northern Ireland, and I presume in the UK , will not take blood from me now until I have been reviewed by a consultant gastroenterologist or haematologist. They determine If I need venesection and supervise the procedure, withdrawing blood (venesection) for a number of consecutive weeks or months until the levels are down to normal range but I gather they take about 1pint at each sitting of 10-20 minutes , using a much larger needle than normal. Once you are in maintenance you can then donate blood through the transfusion service if deemed suitable. Here you can sit on a waiting list for years to see a consultant but I have gone privately.

You can hijack my post anytime. I'm learning a lot from the different information that comes through. Tomorrow I am seeing a nursing praticoner for a diabetic review. But I'm more concerned about my serum ferritin result which is 319, way too high. This hasn't been mentioned to me. So I intend to go with all the information I have gathered and ask a lot of questions. Hope all goes well with you.

The levels depends on the unit of measurements and where it has been tested!

You can visit this site to get more information:


Thanks. I will check that out now.

I’m after checking my own ferritin levels and mine is 396 the norm being between 13-300 so really you have just tipped over it. I’m certain it’s the Transferrin Saturation index they look at to identify problems. Food and drink intake over the years can cause iron levels to rise naturally. Red Wine in particular is rich in iron and all alcohol builds iron. Red meats are also high so the body can build iron above normal levels in indivuals such as in my brother in law’s case as he drank beer most days for years! There is iron in vegetables also but this iron is not stored very well. Haemochromatosis is not always the cause. Good luck to yourself too. I hope you get answers. As well as diet I truly believe, as sos007 stated, that exercise plays a key part in controlling diabetes and can be as simple as walking briskly for 30 minutes daily or even better for an hour.

I have been looking for HbA1C blood test numbers, the only one I can find from NHS can be found on this link:


This goes back to 2011, there may be newer information available, still looking, the PDF file is easy to read.

If any one have information on the latest HbA1C numbers could you please just give the number. Thanks.

Sandybrown I was tested last February and the figures (for the UK) seemed to be as you posted in this thread, I quote:

HbA1c diagnostic criteria: HbA1c >48mmol/mol diagnostic for type 2diabetes in symptomatic patients

HbA1c 42-47 high diabetes risk

HbA1c < 42 review individual risk

My own IFCC standardised level was 35 mmol/mol

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