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Thread: So tempted to go back to self testing!

  1. #1

    So tempted to go back to self testing!

    Hello all,

    I have struggled with health anxiety for most of my adult life. As with anyone, sometimes it is worse than others.

    There is a lot of diabetes in my family, and about 2 1/2 years ago my health anxiety got the better of me and I went and purchased a home blood glucose monitor. My fasting / pre meal readings were typically 'prediabetic', and my post meal readings 'normal'. With this in mind I completely overhauled my diet and lifestyle in an attempt to prevent or delay the onset of diabetes.

    I'm 31 years old, at a healthy weight (bmi 21.5), exercise nearly every day and eat very clean and fairly low carb.

    I believe anxiety can raise blood sugar levels. In all honesty I have always been so stressed when taking measurements that my hands are shaking, I can feel my pulse in my head etc. etc. Because of this, when I look objectively, I'm not sure my sugars are even unusual, and in fact when I take an average of all readings, they put me within normal ranges.

    I ran out of test strips, and gave my test kit to a trusted friend about 3 months ago. The constant testing wasn't doing my mental state any good, and I decided that if (or when) any symptoms showed up of diabetes, I would get myself tested. I was finding whenever I got a 'good' result my brain would just come up with a million reasons why I couldn't trust it as much as the 'bad' readings, so I got no reassurance.

    For some reason I returned to the diabetes forum I used to visit a fair amount, and got myself all worried about LADA (which is essentially type 1 diabetes which appears later in life). It is thought to be common in type 2 diabetics who are slim and active like myself. I can't get out of my head that my prediabetic readings despite being slim are evidence that I will end up as a type 1 diabetic, injecting insulin every day and worrying about 'hypos'. This LADA diabetes would progress constantly, despite lifestyle adjustments, so now I feel like I should go back to testing all the time to make sure it doesn't sneak up on me.

    I'm now so anxious and stressed about it that I feel like if I did go and test my blood sugar it would be through the roof and it would reinforce the stress and anxiety!

    Is my original plan of wait and see if we get symptoms and then get tested more reasonable?

    Thanks,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Posts
    154

    Re: So tempted to go back to self testing!

    Hi ferapol,

    What would be the point in going back to testing? It didn't ease your fears before and wasn't doing your mental health any good.

    I've fallen into the self-testing trap for things like pulse and oxygen. People who don't have health anxiety don't do these kinds of tests. When we start doing them, we need to remember that and do exactly what you've done - stop and if necessary, remove the testing device from your house.

    IMO you need to make your peace with diabetes. In all likelihood you'll never get it, but if you did, you'd cope with it like the millions of other people who have it.

    Also maybe have a chat with your doctor about your fears to see if they think screening is needed and then accept their professional opinion.

    All the best x

  3. #3

    Re: So tempted to go back to self testing!

    Thanks carrie, you are absolutely right. When I imagine myself being diabetic (even type 1) it doesn't really give me that much fear. I feel like it's just something I would rise to.

    For some reason the not knowing is worse than knowing the worst! I think this is why I get so anxious now having not tested in a few months. I feel like anything could be happening! (even though with absolutely no symptoms that is extremely unlikely to be the case)

    Your words about making peace with diabetes are particularly resounding. My dad has it and is on regular insulin injections, and he says it is the least of his health worries!

  4. #4

    Re: So tempted to go back to self testing!

    Quote Originally Posted by carriewriting View Post
    Hi ferapol,

    I've fallen into the self-testing trap for things like pulse and oxygen. People who don't have health anxiety don't do these kinds of tests. When we start doing them, we need to remember that and do exactly what you've done - stop and if necessary, remove the testing device from your house.
    I actually had another phase of testing my blood pressure constantly not long ago. Again it would make me so stressed that the results were inevitably high. I ended up finding a video on youtube that really relaxed me, I took 3 readings, they were all normal, and I threw out the monitor (not before smashing it though so I couldn't go and get it from the bin!!)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    11,479

    Re: So tempted to go back to self testing!

    Quote Originally Posted by ferapol View Post
    I actually had another phase of testing my blood pressure constantly not long ago. Again it would make me so stressed that the results were inevitably high. I ended up finding a video on youtube that really relaxed me, I took 3 readings, they were all normal, and I threw out the monitor (not before smashing it though so I couldn't go and get it from the bin!!)
    Really well done!! Those things are absolute dynamite for people with HA and completely addictive! Absolutely the best thing you've done for your mental health!

  6. #6

    Re: So tempted to go back to self testing!

    Quote Originally Posted by pulisa View Post
    Really well done!! Those things are absolute dynamite for people with HA and completely addictive! Absolutely the best thing you've done for your mental health!
    Thanks

    I still of course worry about blood pressure 'what about if those ones I took when I was relaxed were really the fluke' etc. but I'm not about to go buy another one of those things. That was like a week of intense stress and anxiety which I would rather never repeat!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    4,190

    Re: So tempted to go back to self testing!

    Quote Originally Posted by ferapol View Post

    Is my original plan of wait and see if we get symptoms and then get tested more reasonable?

    What's most reasonable is to not have a strategy to deal with something you don't have, and avoid the diabetes forum 100% of the time.

    You don't have it, stop testing, stop googling, stop researching, and stop thinking about it.


    If you have resolved the diet to low carb, you don't have diabetes. You know this.

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