My Diabetic Tune-Up

I have a new car. Because it’s new, it doesn’t require tune-ups as often as older cars, which require tune-ups on a regular basis. New cars also send you a message telling you when it's time for maintenance, while old cars do not.

Does my type 2 diabetes need a tune-up?

I have been very healthy with diabetes for 14 years. I am, however, an ‘old car.’ Does my diabetes care plan need a tune-up? A check-in of sorts? I realized I had more questions than answers about my nutrition again. My endocrinologist asked me if I wanted a referral to the diabetic education center. I said "no, thanks" since I hadn’t had such good luck there in the past. I was struggling again with stress eating, choosing what to eat for breakfast, wanting to go low carb and not knowing how to do that, and being so hungry when I got home from work that I could eat a cow. I changed my mind and called him back after a few weeks. I’m really glad I did.

Prepping for the appointment

The appointment was set in motion. Two weeks after the referral was made, I got a letter with an appointment date three weeks from then. So far, so good. Not at all the long wait, I expected. The letter also came with a ton of paperwork to be filled out. Most of it was okay. Then I saw it...the dreaded 3 day diary. Oh, how I hate that thing. I had to suck it up and just do it. I filled it out honestly, thinking I did pretty good.

My type 2 diabetes tune-up appointment

I met with the registered dietitian (RD), told her why I was there and what my questions were. She looked at my 3 day diary and she was impressed that I had filled it out so completely. I started with my low carb questions. I wasn’t wanting to go full-on keto, just lower carb. I could tell she wasn’t exactly supportive of this although she didn’t say it. She steered away from that and went to my breakfast questions.

The recommendations

She spent a fair bit of time reviewing and analyzing my diary. What came out of this was, I needed to balance when I take in the carbs, and I needed more carbs. I started to think my needs weren’t going to be met. We discussed what breakfast could look like as I run out the door to work, when I would be able to eat it, and what my sugars could look like.

Personalizing my path

Unlike other RDs I had met with in the past, she asked if her suggestions could work for me, why they might not, and asked for more information. Okay, we are starting to work as a team to meet my nutritional/lifestyle goals! We discussed my diary in detail. Then we discussed the lower-carb path. She didn’t really feel the low carb path was going to get me to my goal. She thought focusing on the type of foods I was eating instead of the number of carbs would work better for me. She said my breakfast choices, or lack of enough carbs, is what has led me to feel like I could eat a cow before I even make it to dinner. I left feeling supported but still somewhat skeptical.

The results of my diabetic tune-up

You know what? I took her suggestions. I ended up eating more carbs than I had been, distributed them differently and, not only was the cow spared before dinner, but my sugars have dropped dramatically.

I highly recommend a diabetic tune-up if you’ve been diabetic for a number of years. It really was so helpful!

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