You are here: Communities > Blogs >

Diabetes blog

  • ...even for Type 2s! Don't forget that turkey, sausages, bacon, and sprouts are effectively carb-free; carrots and parsnips may need a bit more caution. I avoid the roast potatoes and instead have a small slice of Christmas pud and cream, all washed down with a glass of dry wine and followed by a post-meal walk. Normal blood glucose is resumed very soon :)


  • Have you been seen about your diabetes recently? How did it go? According to Diabetes UK there are 15 essential checks that every diabetic in the UK should have done every year to help support our future health and well being.

    1. Get your blood glucose levels measured (HbA1c)
    2. Have your blood pressure measured
    3. Have your blood fats (cholesterol) measured 
    4. Have your eyes looked at
    5. Have your legs and feet checked
    6. Have your kidney functions monitored
    7. Have your weight checked 
    8. Get support if you are a smoker
    9. Receive care planning to meet your individual needs
    10. Attend an education course such as DAFNE, DESMOND, X-PERT and DYFFD
    11. Receive paediatric care if you are a child or young person
    12. Receive high quality care if admitted to hospital
    13. Get information and specialist care if you are planning to have a baby
    14. See specialist diabetes healthcare professionals
    15. Get emotional and psychological support

    How did you do? Are you happy with the level of care you receive at your GP or clinic?

    Diabetes UK are campaigning to ensure that everyone gets the very highest standard of care available wherever they live in the UK. If you would like to you can complete a survey to let them know how many (or few!) of the essential checks you are receiving.

    To find out more about the campaign read this news article: Thousands of people across the UK at increased risk of complications and complete the diabetes care survey.

  • My first weekend of my pump was certainly action packed. We went to the beach on Saturday and enjoyed the hot weather, I was very happy with the pump and even ate out at lunch. I felt really confident with it and so happy with not injecting. Then came Sunday morning....

    I woke with levels of 22, this was the only night since the pump that I had not woken to see what my levels were, I wish I would have! I felt terrible, the first thing I tried was to give myself a correctional dose. I then had to go back to bed for an hour as I couldn't move, I've never been that high that my body felt like lead. When I tested again an hour later there wasn't much difference. I then racked my brains to figure out what I had done wrong. I decided it must have been the sun from yesterday, it was very warm on the beach so I think it must of heated my insulin too much.

    So I changed my insulin and cannula and gave myself 5 more units as a correctional dose. A couple of hours later and there still wasn't much change, I decided to give myself 5 units from my pen. In hindsight I should have done that a couple of hours before. It didn't take long for my levels to start coming down and I started to feel a bit normal. It was finally 2pm when I got back down to single figures. 

    This morning I woke up with levels of 4.5 so what a difference a day makes. I can only put this down to the sunshine and really I should have bought a frio back for pumps this would have kept it cool. I did think about buying one for when I go on holiday, you don't realise that we can actully get some sunshine in England!

    I have not let this slight step back but me off in fact I think it was a big learning curve and am hopeful for the rest of the week.


    Read more of my Pump experience and other blogs at

  • US Diabetes blogger Karen ( is once again organising a Diabetes Blog Week for 2011.

    It's a great opportunity to read posts from diabetics all over the world, including several in the UK who are invited to post on themed topics throughout the week. If you blog about your own experience of diabetes you might consider taking part yourself. We'll be posting on the topics this week at

    Admiring our differences - Monday 5/9: Celebrating the many different perspectives in the DOC (diabetic online community)

    Letter writing day - Tuesday 5/10: You can write a letter to diabetes, a fictional (or not so fictional) doctor, a meter or pump company...

    Diabetes bloopers - Wednesday 5/11: Share your “I can’t believe I did that" moment

    Ten things I hate about you, Diabetes - Thursday 5/12: Let’s face it, diabetes isn’t all sunshine and roses...

    Awesome things - Friday 5/13: What awesome thing have you (or your child) done because, or in spite of diabetes?

    Saturday snapshots - Saturday 5/14: D-related pictures and photographs.

    What we’ve learned - Sunday 5/15: Looking back over the week.


    Additionally there are 'wildcard' topics for bloggers who can't quite find inspiration for any day's post topic. It's an amazing opportunity to get some great insight, read heart wrenching experiences and discover some downright hilarious posts from fellow diabetics all ove the world. Happy reading!

    Find out more about it and find liks to posts from the 2011 Diabetes blog week here.

  • checking in!

    by tintin63 on 06 May 2011

    Hi all, It's been a long while since my last update but as always life just gets in the way all the time.

    So whats new?

    Well I was weighed the other day so it's official - I am now 15 st 8 lbs. That's 3 stone off in just over a year. So I am pleased with that. As my husband pointed out that's more than 15% of my body weight.

    Activity seems to have been the answer for me, walking more generally, and also keeping to smaller portions at meal times.

    The eating smaller portions hasn't been a problem as I have not been that interested in food. I went through a flare up of the IBS and was struggling to keep anything in, so went back to the old faithfull of soup and bread or rice based meals or pudding.

    The inches have been falling away - I'm now a size 18 (lower body) and 20 (top) I've gone down two full sizes in each sector. I am meeting people who I haven't seen in a while and they are all full of praise but I still don't feel as positive as I should as I just see the weight I still have to loose. I'm not looking for miracles, I will be happy to get to 12 stone, still in the over weight bracket as I'm only 5ft 3inches  but an ok weight for me. They say you need realistic aims and that is mine.

    Until recently I was attending  a group called Weight Solutions it's a unit set up by the local council and NHS as a joint venture. Through this group you have access to dietitians, physios, activity instigators and psychological review if required. You initially see a dietitan, they can then referr you to any of the other departments available. I went to be assessed by the physio and then was referred to the activity instigators. I was given a pass to attend for free any activities at the liesure centres in the surrounding area and also a free pedometer to monitor my steps. This placement lasted 12 weeks I finished it in April; while I was seeing someone every two weeks or so I was inspired to do more activity than I have done in recent weeks. I'm finding excuses for not taking the dog out for a walk or asking someone else to pick up things from the village, I know I'm doing it but it doesn't stop me doing it. My heart just isn't in it at the moment.

    I know I'm a bit down which isn't helping, found out end of April my mum has Breast Cancer she's 78 and has her operation on 24th May. I wanted to go down to be with her when she found out, I wanted to be there to take her to the hospital for her appointments but my sister and sister-in-law said it was easier for them to do it as they didn't have a business to run. I talk regularly on the phone but she finds it difficult to talk about the cancer and gets all muddled. My brother says she's the same face to face but I'll soon be able to see her for myself.

    I'm going down to see her next week so hopefully when I come back I will be in a better frame of mind - but the op is still to come so time will tell.

    Stress has been known to caused me to loose weight so I may still loose some weight - alwasys look to the positive!   Just have to keep off the chocolate and sweets as comfort eating is also a big factor for me.

    I'd better log off for now, customers due.

    Back Soon T

  • I was at the DRWF wellness conference in Kent at the weekend, which was amazing both for me and the site. I spoke to a team from Accu Chek who were showing people their Insulin Pump. I always thought I would never think abou going on the pump mainly saying to myself I have good control and I love the flexibility of a prefilled pen. I also thought I would feel intrusive with something attached to me. The first thing that got my attention was the level of flexibility of the pump, it can administor the insulin in many ways depending on how you are eating, you can also have settings for exercise. I then wore one for a couple of hours, obviously with no insulin, at first I new it was there but after about 30 minutes I completely forgot.


    The insulin is controlled by your testing kit, all you need to do is enter the amount of carbs you eat - this I know because the DF Diary app tells me! Now that I have looked at the pump I think it would give me better control. One main issue for me is having a second baby, as the first was no doddle. 


    I am meeting my DSN on Thursday to discuss in more detail. I will keep you informed and please let me know what you think about the pump.


    Until next time


    Visit my Blogs at


    Blood sugar levels became unstable, high temperature, nausea, extreme pain, ketones, all bad signs, then I started shaking violently and uncontrollably- hospital time for me! I was assessed by a nurse then waited a few hours to see a doctor who said I had an infection and that I just needed antibiotic tablets then handed me a prescription. An hour later I was back at home feeling even worse, I continued to worsen overnight. Next day I made a phone call to my GP who confirmed that I needed hospital attention and told me to phone an ambulance to get me to the Emergency department quickly.

    The ambulance service told me I wasn’t considered an emergency, but they would send me an ambulance anyway although it would take longer to reach me- so I crossed my fingers and hoped I wouldn’t get any worse. After a couple of hours an ambulance arrived. The paramedic assessing me asked lots of questions as expected, but also told me that it was a waste of time me going to the hospital as it was highly unlikely anyone would treat me, I said that I needed to go anyway. I was asked about my insulin pump and remarks were made suggesting that it was unnecessary and down to my behaviour that I had problems with my diabetic control. I even received a lecture on what it meant to be a diabetic, after being one for 26 years I thought that I already knew this one! I was relieved when I finally arrived at the hospital, I still felt very ill but now also felt judged, both me and my illness were misunderstood. I felt bullied and upset. I was then relieved that the views of the hospital staff were very different, I was told that I needed admitting for intravenous antibiotics, fluids, pain management and monitoring of blood sugars and ketones. My original infection had spread causing blood poisoning, I required inpatient treatment for a week and another 10 days of tablets at home. The doctors treating me said that my insulin pump and the way I used it monitoring blood sugars and increasing basal rates/ giving extra boluses when needed had helped me immensely, without it I would have been even more ill.

    This incident really has concerned me that some of the medical profession have absolutely no awareness of pump therapy and yet are happy to make vast assumptions about it and also about the diabetic people making use of pumps. Pumps are to some extent a specialist treatment but ignorance towards them and bad attitude towards patients who are ill, in pain and worried really has no excuse. Insulin pumps are amazing devices that can transform and save lives. The more diabetics and diabetic clinics embrace pump technology the greater the need for education but not just of patients also the medical profession. So come on NHS, good for you funding pump therapy but make sure diabetic people are treated as equals, yes even those of us using infusion pumps!



  • For a while now I have been struggling with the Autopen 24, I hate that I cannot control the speed I can inject it at and that you cannot correct a wrong dosage on the pen without wasting the insulin. I used to use the Autopen for Lantus and if you’re familiar with Lantus you’ll know it has a tendency to sting due to it being acidic. I’ve been naughty with my injection sites, there are only 2 spots on my abdomen that I can inject Lantus and not experience too much pain. I noticed that those 2 areas were badly bruised and that I needed to move sites. I did and I couldn’t handle the pain when pressing the plunger on the pen. It got to a point where I almost passed out from the fear of pressing the plunger before actually doing it.


    I then made it my mission to find an alternative whether it be a disposable or refillable option for Lantus. I came across the Clikstar and the Lantus Optiset. I rang some pharmacies asking if they stocked any, none of them had heard of the Clikstar and only 2 out 4 pharmacies stocked the Optisets. So I spoke to my GP about getting a script for the Optiset pens, he gave me a lecture on the costs and said that I will have to continue using the Autopen and just have to get use to rotating my sites and withstanding the pain. I wanted to cry, I resorted down to not injecting my Lantus because of this and ended up with Highs and feeling not too good. I rang my DSN, maybe they had SOMETHING, so I spoke to her and she didn’t even hesitate, she had the Clikstar pen and reserved 2 for me to collect from the Hospital.


    I love my diabetic team at the Hospital!


    The Clikstar pen is great in my opinion, it’s still a refillable pen where you can pop in your Lantus cartridges, the pen mechanism is very similar to the Novarapid Flexpens and it’s a lot easier injecting.


    Clikstar pic


    If you’ve read my previous post, you’ll see that for many years I didn’t take my Diabetes seriously and kept my head in the sand. I sometimes think that I if I was given the support back when I was diagnosed, maybe it could have been different. Back then all I had was a grumpy GP within a PCT.


    The Diabetic team now offer advice, support and encouragement. My DSN is so nice, my Dietician is very helpful and my Hospital Doctor is so cheerful. I wish I knew them back then!


  • I was on holiday with my husband and some friends at the beginning of February 2011. We went to Morocco for 5 days in an all inclusive resort. It was amazing the sun was shining and we could eat and drink as much as we wanted! I tried to test regularly and carb count, but I found it really hard to decide what carbs were in things. Even regular foods seem to be different I think Moroccan food has more sugar in. It certainly felt that way, nearly everytime I tested I was in double figures so I ended up injecting about 8 times a day!

    The main reason for getting away with freinds was to relax without having to worry about the little one - so this was different to the holidays I normally go on. I am normally running about seeing the sites, which is good in a way because it counter acts all the extra food I eat! But not this time... I gained a whopping 5 lbs!

    So over the space of 5 days I managed to undo all the good work I did in December and January. This means I need to be good for the rest of February.

    I found that this holiday was the worse to keep my levels under control not sure if that's to do with the all inclusive thing! I also didn't do much exercise which always has a negative impact on my levels.

    Anyway here's to a more stable February......


    For more blogs and information about managing diabetes please visit my website




  • Its all falling into place......

    by crim33 on 18 February 2011

    Finally my Ulcerative Colitis has cleared so goodbye to the Steroids.....

    I had an MOT with the nurse on wednesday morning (feet check too!) Pneumonia and flu jab included.

    In the afternoon I attended a Diabetes clinic at my local hospital (along with the wife).

    I guess alot of you know what the clinic consisted of but for the benefit of those who don't I will explain.

    It consisted of a chat about the whys and wherefors of type 2 Diabetes and more importantly the long term implications of mismanagement.

    A talk by a dietician, most of it is common sense I guess but before being diagnosed I 'played' at dieting, now I have to do it for real its quite frightening!

    If you are referred to one of these clinics, I urge you to attend, it costs nothing but time and importantly (in my case anyway) it brought it all home just how serious diabetes can be.

    So, onwards and upwards, I shall blog around about 3 months from now (unless owt serious happens!).

    Best of health to all, thanks for reading!


  • In this NHS Choices video, Cathy Moulton, a Diabetes UK care adviser, explains how gestational diabetes affects pregnant women. Kimberly, who was diagnosed with gestational diabetes, talks about the symptoms she experienced and how she dealt with the condition. Find out about complications of gestational diabetes.

  • I have been feeling rough recently - the same kind of symptoms I had when my hypothyroidism was diagnosed, with fatigue, hair falling out, weight gain, etc - and an A1c going from 5.2 to 5.9 in 6 months, grrr. I went to my GP; got a bunch of blood tests. They came back with a TSH of 0.05 and T4 at 25 - in other words, according to the bloods, I'm being over, not under, medicated. Hyperthyroid should be thin, agitated, not sleeping - hah!

    So yesterday I went round to discuss said anomalous results vs feelings with my GP - and managed to stay awake long enough to keep insisting that I felt bad whatever the blood test results, so what could be done? I would like to try cranking down the T4 supplementation and try a bit of T3, but that's Not Done in the UK - the GP says that he's not even allowed to order a T3 blood test to see if, as I suspect, I'm converting T4->T3 poorly.

    His solution to an unsatisfied patient is to pass the buck and send me off to the local clinical biochemist - apologosing as I went out of the door that we are still so far behind the times that he simply wasn't able to triall me on T3. I think it's a reasonable solution - the consultant might have access to prescription powers beyond the range of the GP, or might have other ideas as to what's causing the symptoms, or more tests to try - but would this even be an option in a couple of years, when budgetary control passes to GPs? I suspect not. Why would the GP want to spend his pennies to fly in the face of the oracular blood test results? And what chance would someone have to persuade him to spend, if they were feeling just a tad more under the weather than I was? Worrying.




    Prior to my diagnosis I had never imagined a world of numbers when I thought of Diabetes. Injections yes…tablets yes…healthy eating yes…calculations…not really

    This is my formula on my spreadsheet =(E13-5)*3+C20/10*3 = Units of insulin to take when having a meal.

    E13 is my current sugar level, My target is 5 before I eat. If there is a difference I multiply that figure by 3. E18 is my total Carbs which is divided by 10 and multiplied by 3. Headache…? In Diabetes terms I take 3CP per 10g Carbs. I also have 40 units of Lantus for background insulin. Oh and I am insulin resistant, so I have to take 2 tablets a day too.

    Every time I eat a meal, I do the above :)

    In total 5 injections a day :D

    Secretly I like to think I am a little genius when doing these calculations…hehe

  • You have seen the Doctor?

    by crim33 on 24 January 2011

    Well my visit to the nurse was interesting.......To be honest I wasn't sure what to expect but it seemed to go the way I guessed it would with the usual leaflets being presented.

    She was very nice about it all, my wife came in as well as she has the opinion that what affects me will affect her and as she prepares the majority of the meals it would be prudent for her to be there.

    But what made my ears prick up was when the nurse asked about the medication.....'medication? what medication?' followed by 'You have seen the doctor?'

    Well, no actually I wasn't aware I had to! I thought seeing you was all I needed.

    'Hmmm with your level being so high you should be on medication now so you should see the doctor ASAP.....

    Appointment duly made with a further wait until today.....

    She also informed me that yes, you are type 2 diabetic with your  HbA1C level of 12%

    Before I leave the nurse though she did refer me to the eye people and the local diabetes group at my hospital so things are advancing on that front...oh and she also took a reading which was down to 14 (half the original figure so some relief there then!

    So, back to the doctor for a nice chat. I should make it clear at this point that I am not duly concerned with the diagnosis..should I be? I am hoping that just making alterations to my diet would do the job but with my Ulcerative Colitis refusing to play the game the doctor said it seems that one is affecting the other so a course of Metformin has been prescribed to help the issue.

    On the plus side, since my visit to Tescos I have avoided the usual bad stuff and noticed although I am still thirsty, I am not as thirsty and my nocturnal visits to the loo have gone from 2-3 down to 1 (usually).

    The one thing though is my close up vision is totally useless...blurred as reading through water! I had my eyes tested at Specsavers a few weeks ago and had to buy new reading glasses only to be told by doc that once my diabetes is in control my eyesight may thats a waste of money on new specs then! (I even told the opticians about my diabetes too so am a bit miffed!)

    So, thats the story so far, I hope this blog helps someone or someone can identify with me.

    Will keep blogging when I have more to say.

    Til then

    Stay Healthy!!!


  • New Year New Goals

    by tintin63 on 19 January 2011

    Hi All,

    Sorry it's been a while since I last contributed, but once I got back from my holiday everything went so fast! Between  the 'weather', Christmas & hospital visits - my time was not my own. I must now be well over due my check up with the diabetes nurse I'm sure when I went last she said they'd call for me in 3 months but now its looking more like 6 months but I've been far too busy to look into it.

    Since I was put on the metformin slow release tablets my eating has improved but the acid reflux has become a problem. I'm now on Gaviscon every night before bed to ward off the night time reflux. I've now got some pills for the IBS too so that's more under control; a side affect of this new improvement is I'm not loosing the weight anymore. This means I'm now under a dietitian who believes my diet is fine but I need more exercise. All I need is an extra day in the week to enable me to fit it all in! I'm also awaiting an appointment for an operation to remove some polyps. So I have been spending half my month at the hospital but at 3 different departments. I've now been referred to a physio to help me get back into regular exercise so more appointments.

    I hope you all had a good Christmas. Mine just came and went in a rush really. I didn't feel I was ready for it and then it was gone. Every one enjoyed the food, I admit I wasn't as strict as I should have been or even would have been had I been able to get some test strips for my BG meter. The post was abismal in the lead up to Christmas for us and nothing arrived on time. I was going to eat a little of everything I wanted and test to see what effect it would have on my levels but couldn't as I had no test strips. I didn't experience any bad effects from it shooting high except when I had some Bailieys it was only a drop but it went straight to my head and I could tell the sugar went straight up too. So lesson learned no more Bailieys. I was OK with a small glass of red wine with the meal but not the spirits.

    I didn't put out as much chocolate and sweets as in past years to avoid temptation but I found nobody was really interested in the sweet things this year, we're still trying to clear it. It seems cakes were the thing they wanted this Christmas. The Christmas cake didn't even last till New Year which is a first. I was allowing myself a piece of fruit cake after a meal rather than turn to the chocolates and sweets.I have to admit it was good. Even that was a last minute thing, I made it on the 20th December. Well I'll just have to wait till the nurse tests my blood again to see how far it has gone up over christmas.

    Did anyone else have any problems over the Christmas Period balancing the sugars?

    My weight stayed fairly level over the festive season so at least I don't have any extra to loose. My dietitan suggested last week that my body may have reached the weight it was happy with. Now I've never heard of this have you?

    It certainly seems a strange thing to say to me as I'm still classed as obese so to tell me my body was happy with my weight just doesn't compute! I know I'm not eating more than 1500 calories per day on average through the week but my weight hasn't budged.

    Now my metformin will be taken at breakfast and at tea so a smaller/lighter lunch will be possible but they don't really want me to go too far below the 1500 cal /day so we will just have to wait and see.

    Back Soon






More Posts Next page »

Welcome to the diabetes blog

The diabetes blogThis blog is written by peple living with diabetes or their carers. These posts should not be taken as offering medial advice - just the personal opinions of real people.

Receive blog updates

Get blog posts delivered daily by email, powered by Google Feedburner.
Follow @NHSChoicesTalk on Twitter.

Become a fan on Facebook.

Meet the diabetes bloggers

Nicky T2 - View profile
Nicky has lived with Type 2 diabetes since 2004 and has two children.

Northern Poet - View profile
Type 1 since 2008, Northern Poet likes to write humorous poetry about diabetes.

Meet all the diabetes bloggers

More information

Nothing in this blog should be taken as medical advice. If you have any concerns about your health you should contact your GP or use our medical advice now section.

Search this section