Type 2 Diabetes sufferer desperately ... - Diabetes Research...

Diabetes Research & Wellness Foundation

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Type 2 Diabetes sufferer desperately trying to keep his blood sugars under control.


Hi my name is Cliff I am 58 and I live in Lincolnshire.

I've been a TP2 for 11 years or at least since it was discovered. However it is only recently in the last two years I've taken it seriously. This was due to my total ignorance on the subject. However my eye sight has continued to decline and I am now trying to keep my sugars under control now. My biggest problem is all the hidden sugars in basic foods that the manufacturers put in. My biggest problem is foods like bread, how are you supposed to know how much is in these kind of basics when they don't put it on the packages. I have been checking the calorie counter programs available, but does anybody know of any "check sugar content" web sites that are useful.

42 Replies

Please check out the website and click on the part for eye care. Go to: drwf.org.uk/diabetes-leaflets

Hi, I have found this site very helpful diabetes.co.uk

I was found to have steroid induced T2 in November. Saw the practice diabetes nurse and have been told that I'm on exercise and diet for three months and hopefully now that I've stopped the steroids things will go back to normal once they have,eat my system.

In the meantime I discovered a book by Dr David Cavan called Reverse your T2 Diabetes, there's also the 8 Week Blood Sugar Cure which is similar but David Cavan's book is inspiring. It is based on Low Carb, High Fat and I'm finding it easy to work with. It doesn't give you sugar content but it shows calories, carbs, fat, protein.

I wasn't given a blood sugar meter but bought one for myself. I discovered by using that before and to hours after every meal and recording everything I ate, that the things I was advised to eat - carbs with every meal - were the things that were keeping my blood sugar levels high! Bread, oatcakes - in fact practically all grain based cereals cause a huge spike, as do jacket potatoes. I now 'eat to the meter'. I find things like oranges cause by bloods to soar, fruit juice would be a disaster too,

So many of the things advised on the leaflets I was given cause my blood sugar to rise, so I made a huge decision and I've now cut them all out and get my carbs from vegetables - bit of a shame because I do love bread - and scones - or I should say - I did love bread and scones, I never eat them now. Because I've cut out the carbs that spike my blood they're not being stored as fat and I've lost over 2kgs so far.

I never snack between meals, don't eat cakes, biscuits, sweets and don't drink diet or sugary drinks - I've got to like drinking plain water now. I also got a good book called Carbs and Cals - you can get it on an app but I bought the book. It has photos of loads of foods, you can look through it on Amazon to get an idea of what it's about.

It's a tough life when you've got T2. Good luck with getting your sugar under control, you're making the effort which is a good start.

Thanks for the reply FruitandNutcase....

That's good advice you've been given. Processed foods are heavy in carbs and sugar. Low fat foods are just foods with fat replaced by sugar to maintain taste. Go Organic if you can, and get on the Paleo diet. Ditch the carbs, ditch the poisonous chemicals, statins in particular and eat yourself healthy. Diabetes is a disease of modern lifestyles. Go back to nature and eat like a caveman. Full fat, meat, fish, eggs, nuts, green veg, some fruit but beware bananas are heavy in sugar. Almond and coconut oil are great for cooking. Discover how natural food used to taste before Big Agri and Big Pharma started doctoring it. Within a year I've gone back to none diabetic, without medication, lost a stone, and food is so much more tasty.

The following books were a great help :-

The Great Cholesterol Con by Malcolm Kendrick

The Calorie Myth by Jonathon Bailor

Pure, White & Deadly by John Yudkin.

Good luck

Thanks for the reply Warwickstag.

It's the overall carbohydrate grammes you need to check; all carbohydrate is turned to glucose in the body. Keep to 10 to 14 portions per day diabetes.org.uk/documents/c...

Thanks for the reply Concerned err... whats a portion?

The link tells you how many CPs (carbohydrate portions); one carb portion is the amount of food that contains 10g of carbohydrate.

Thanks I think !!!! Clear as mud....

Just looked thru the linked PDF, see what you mean now, pity there is no mention of healthy bread in it.

There are some whole wheat bread on the shelves ,I think sugar is not too much in this type of bread

Thanks for the reply...

You need to follow what your blood test meter says about each food and then don't eat the ones which spike your readings. Its a lot of testing at the beginning to find and confirm the foods that spike you. Once you have found them then avoid them. You will find that each person is different and some will say don't eat thus or don't eat that but it's what your body does with the food that matters. In principle low carbing works. I am not convinced about high fat. But good fat us a better word. Read about it then see how it fits with your meter and your body. It's easy to over read as well, google is a wonderful thing but like all things moderation is needed. Balance in diet and reading.

I used to take reading three times a day but it just clouded the issue.

I find taking a weekly reading at the same time of day on the same day gives me an overall indication of where my blood sugars are.

I suppose once I get my reading down to a decent level (whatever that is supposed to be), I can then do readings at times to check what affects me and how.

Hi Cliff, it's not sugars, it's carbohydrates you need to be wary of, and protein if you eat a lot of it. All carbohydrate raises blood glucose levels, regardless of whether it's 'of which sugars' or just normal carbs. Sorry, if you already know this.

The best way forward is to eat real food you make yourself and keep processed foods to a minimum, not always achievable when out and about but relatively easy when at home.

There's many different ways of eating - I don't want to say 'diet' as that often implies short term - which can help, such as low-GI, Paleo, Low Carb High Fat (LCHF) and Low Carb High Protein (LCHP).

In short there's probably some simple changes in what you eat which can have such a marked effect on your blood glucose levels.

Hope this helps.

Thanks for the reply...

You have some thought provoking ideas....

Hope to get a recipe for low sugar bread from someone though, lots of nuts and preferably berries too....


Cliff, we have some useful downloadable patient information leaflets on the website which you might find helpful. see drwf.org.uk/diabetes-leaflets.

Also have a look at carbsandcals.com/

"Carbs & Cals is a unique way of counting carbs, calories and other nutrients. Our carb & calorie counter book & app show thousands of photos of food portions, with the nutritional info shown in colour-coded tabs around each photo."

cliffhilton1969 in reply to DRWF

Thanks a lot DRWF....

Will give me lots more useful info on my condition, look forward to reading them soon.

Hi Cliff,

I was diagnosed a type 2 diabetic 26 years ago and became insulin dependent after a year of diet only. A healthy diet preferably reducing processed food as much as possible. Control of Carbohydrates is the key but not to the point of none at all, we need them for energy. Look at the nutrition labels and take notice of the total Carbohydrates not just the "of which sugars". Sugars are the fast acting carbohydrates and tend to cause spikes in your Blood Sugar levels.

Like DWRF, I would recommend the Carbs and Cal book , but I mainly use the App for my smart phone which is essentially the same but has the additional option for designing your own particular meals and counting the Carbs etc quickly. The app is available for Android and Iphones and cost about £3.

The websites mentioned previously are all good in their own way, I personally prefer Diabetes.co.uk and have found their forums invaluable. They also have a presence on Facebook in closed user groups. BTW there are many other groups and some cab helpful and friendly

As a priority I would suggest you make an appointment with your GP and get yourself slotted into their Diabetic clinic. You should be able get your eyes checked with the Diabetic Retinopathy test that are usually done annually. My eyes have deteriorated in recent years but this has been mainly caused by cataracts which have both been replaced now. Diabetics usually have to have them replaced earlier than others - the op was successful and my vision was much clearer now. A couple of years ago I did have Background Retinopathy but after getting additional medication this has now resolved

There's loads of advice out there on the web - just ask Uncle Google!

Thanks for the reply Bumley....

You should be aware of that there are four calories for every gram of carb, four calories for every gram of protein, 9 calories for every gram of fat.

Essentially, sugar is synonymous with carbohydrate, four gram for each gram of sugar. So no matter what type of sugar it is four calories per gram.

I suggest you become familiar with the word "macronutrients" and understand why we need macronutrients in our diets as opposed to just counting calories.

Understanding why we need a specific number of the main macronutrients in our diet is instrumental in understanding how it relates to type 2 diabetes.

On another note...

Would you be willing to participate in my study. It's designed to teach people about the seven self-care behaviors associated with managing type 2 diabetes.



Hi jojeegirl,

exactly what kind of stuff would you be requiring of me?

Tried going to your website, got page not available!

Try sending me a link via my website cliffhilton.1969@gmail.com

The more I can find out about type 2 diabetes the better......


What about keeping a food/testing diary? You can write your blood sugar results in a notebook and write next to the number what and when you ate.

Thanks admin....

I am already following the 12 week plan on health unchecked and noting all my food and exercise, also doing a weekly blood sugar test, it's now down to 6.2 (I think that's mmol/L, whatever that is!!!). What is a healthy reading for type 2 diabetic anyway? or is that dependent upon each individual.

By the way each time I go for a diabetic retinopathy check, they send a letter saying they found some background retinopathy(BR) but no further action is required. I asked my doctor and he just fobbed me off by saying it's nothing to worry about. Exactly how many years of some BR before it is something to worry about, and is it normal for my eyes to continue to get slowly worse and need slight changes to my prescription eye glasses each year.

Lastly why is it the experts (doctors, opticians etc) just fob you off when you ask them these questions or is it in their interest to keep all patients ignorant of the facts.

Or am I just worrying/anxious for nothing?

I'd be really pleased if these could be answered by some one who knows...

An ignorant type 2 diabetic....

Activity2004Administrator in reply to cliffhilton1969

Yes. All diabetics are different. For me, my blood sugars can drop very quickly and the same for going high, but it depends on what I ate at the time.

Hi Cliff,

I know blood sugar control is a ***** sometimes isn't it! You'll normally find sugar content with carbohydrate content on food packaging. Carbohydrates (carbs) can come in many forms (including starch, sugar, glucose, fructose etc) but they all raise your blood sugar so best to be aware of any carbs. You'll find that carbs (and usually sugar too) are in the labelling on the back of food packaging. They're not usually included in the 'traffic light' labelling that's often on the front, so you need to look on the back of the packaging. Or check it out online if you're unsure. Plus u need to be aware of calories too. You can also get carb counting books - tho would be a bit cautious with these and only get ones recommended by diabetes charity websites - Diabetes UK does a good one. And u probably need to stick to bread, fruit etc that's labelled. Lastly, labelling can be in very small letters so would arm yourself with a magnifying glass - your eye clinic should be able to get u one.

Sounds tho like u really need an appt with your diabetes nurse - she should be able to answer all your questions on this. And she could maybe get u on a diabetes education course - they do do them for Type 2 diabetes and all this would be covered. another option is the Diabetes UK website and there are a few other very good ones too like the one we're on now - loads of info there and there's a Diabetes UK Care Line too.

Best of luck anyway

Thanks for the reply, my diabetes nurse just says I am fine and like my doctor has an amazing ability to change the subject and I end up forgetting most of what I want to ask and think f*** it I'll ask someone else but I don't.

I know my surgery is over worked and under staffed and my usual doctor who I had a good repor with, has packed it in due to the pressure. So to say the standard of the surgeries' work has deteriorated is an understatement...

Hence my sending messages on this forum.

Hi Cliff

Do sympathise about the retinopathy issue- it's a huge blow when u first get it. But sounds like u may just have small 'dot haemorrhages' which can reverse very quickly. The only time they worry about these is if they're near/on the macula - in which case ud have been referred to an eye consultant by the screening service. All diabetics get these at some point but they don't affect sight unless they're on the macula. Though if the haemorrhages are bigger ones (called 'blot haemorrhages) they will sometimes laser these at the hospital. Your deterioration in eyesight is probably down to the ageing process rather than retinopathy, but sure you'll feel better if u can just talk through your worries about this with someone qualified. I have eye photos at Specsavers as well as the screening service ones. They're part of the usual eye check (which u can get free being a diabetic) and I always have chance to talk about the retinopathy results with the optician, who 9 times out of 10 up till now has reassured me a lot. Am under an eye consultant now cos things had deteriorated with my photo in November, but I know I can go to the optician whenever I'm concerned. Never been charged a penny for this up till now. So would definitely consider giving it a go yourself. And just to reassure u a bit more - my optician has said many times that the National Screening Service is very reliable in their judgement. So if they're not worried then it's ok to believe that and just carry on doing your best with your blood sugars, blood pressure, cholesterol etc which all helps.

Anyway, hope this helps a bit, know how very terrifying it is. Also there's a diabetic retinopathy organisation website which is excellent for info - loads of tips on things we can do ourselves to help limit the damage, would definitely check it out - but maybe see the optician first who'll be able to give u the reassurance u need.

Bye for now and all the best

Thanks for the reply DharmaGirl,

I take it that Spec Savers do that eye photo upon request not automatically. Anyone else know if other opticians do this too?

Still it's nice to know these things, as usual it takes talking to other people in the same boat to actually find out this sort of thing. I'm beginning to think we are all supposed to be psychic in order to get the best possible help for any complaint.

Hi Cliff

In answer to your question, Specsavers always do an eye photo for me and then see the optician to talk it over. Would say its happened a few times per year up till now and like I said I never have to pay for it. Have been to other opticians too when not been able to get urgent appt with Specsavers (same pretty rare tho) and same thing has happened. Would highly recommend that u give them a call and explain that your screening result has worried u and you'd like them to take a look as well in case u do need a referral to the hospital after all. And go with a list of questions too - sure you'll come out with answers & hopefully reassurance too.

And re NHS appts - yes u have very little/no time these days to talk thru any worries or ask questions. Every part of the NHS is under such huge stress cos of the cuts that no one has the time to give this anymore. Or even be aware of the patient as a whole - they can only deal with the particular issue that is put before them. Finding this at all my appts, at GP & hospital level. Not criticising NHS personnel themselves, they do the best they can under impossible circumstances. But us patients have to second guess them now unfortunately, cos it's odds on that they won't have been able to read our notes beforehand and probably won't be aware of all the issues we have. So I always go to appts with a list of things I need to bring up with them & other related issues - then can just go in, fire them off at breakneck speed, write down the answers, get what I need and out - all in 8mins with GP. Not fair on patient or doctor, but finding last few years that this is the only reasonably 'safe' way of doing things. And like u I get most of my info online now, tho always use decent websites.

Best of luck again, and keep us posted

Thanks will do what you said.....

Thanks for the reply bigleg,

So I'm not the only one who thinks some of these supposed helpful websites seem very business orientated. I thought I was just being paranoid and therefore had yet another complaint to worry about, thank god for that!!!!

Hi Cliff (again),

Background Retinopathy is an the minor rupturing of some of the tiny blood vessels at the back of the eye. It is an indication that your blood sugars are running higher than they should. I had it for two years and when I went on to a new drug called Exenatide (Byetta) it reversed when my blood sugars went back to near perfect. I asked about this when I went for my recent cataract op. The surgery was delayed and he gave me the rundown on Retinopathy and cataracts.

Get your Diabetic nurse or GP to get you on the educational course which have a really good reputation, in addition might be worth asking to speak to a dietician.

You asked earlier what should your Blood sugar levels be? This a link to the NICE Recommended Target Blood Glucose Levels diabetes.co.uk/diabetes_car...

Good Luck!

Thanks a lot that's really helpful....

Will ask about that drug.

By the way did anyone tell you what the effect of years of Background Retinopathy would have on the eyesight?

The damage or rupture of the tiny blood vessels remains but retinopathy can get worse if blood sugars are not controlled. Didn't have the time with the surgeon that I would have liked, unfortunately

Thanks for the reply.

Im also struggling now with my eyesight and struggling to control my sugarlevels

please dont link my up with facebook ,I hate Facebook

Thanks for the reply johnny1955,

Facebook !!!!! no swearing on this forum pleeeeese...


The charity has a number of educational events you might like. There is a Wellness Day in Hartlepool Nov 12th, info will be on the website soon. Plus a full weekend in September from 9th to 12th drwf.org.uk/event_uk/drwf-d... Presentations from healthcare professionals to help to answer your questions and improve diabetes self-management.


Everyone needs some carbs. to keep their brain functioning properly.

Hi am shek bitter gourd juice morning ginger juice

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