Hi, Welcome!

The community is a safe space for people living with and connected to arthritis to ask questions and share experiences. Get started by registering here and posting your first comment or question!

Sign In with a Versus Arthritis account

Confused by blood test and being told I may be diabetic

Sarahd1609Sarahd1609 Posts: 64
edited 12. Aug 2015, 04:26 in Living with Arthritis archive
Does anyone else get confused by blood tests? I certainly do. I had one last week and popped in to get my results. My ALT was 86 and a lot of other things were in the high side like potassium.my white blood count was low and the neutrophil was at the lower end of the scale. It said repeat requested but having already been booked in for next week the receptionist said it wouldn't be any earlier. I did the stupid thing of looking at Dr Google and panicked myself.

To add to my panic my mum (bless her she puts up with an awful lot of hassle) panicked me by sating I drink far too much fluids (non a
Coolidge of course as my meds don't allow it) and she is worried that I may be diabetic as it is rife in both sides of the family. She then googled it and said a lot of my symptoms are that of diabetes exasperating the arthritis and AS. Now I didn't think I drank a lot until I kept a record over the past few days and realise I'm drinking about 12 pints of water a day, not including tea and coffee. Does anyone else have this problem or any advice on what I should do as I'm worrying myself now. I know Dr Google is the worst thing I could do but should I be concerned. I understand a lot of people can't give advice on here but what would you do in my situation xxx

Comments

  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,567 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I presume that 'non a Coolidge' means non-alcoholic. Your ALT is on the higher side (my hospital flags mine up if it rises above fifty, I hover between 18 and 30 despite the Coolidge) and, like you, I drink plenty of water but no more than four pints sipped throughout the day and maybe up to six on the very hot and humid days. Your water consumption is excessive - are you continually thirsty? If so that could be an early sign of diabetes but if not then it may be sensible to begin a gradual reduction of that because over-hydrating body tissues can bring its own troubles.

    Dr Google is anything but reliable: in my mind it's the 21st century equivalent of 19th century quackery, a boon for the worried well and a blessing in very heavy disguise for those with genuine health troubles. If you have to do it then stick to reliable sites, such as NHS Choices and Arthritis Research. You should go and see your GP about these results , and to have them properly explained, because something is obviously going on - what medications are you currently taking? I apologise for not remembering. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • stickywicketstickywicket Posts: 25,993 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I confess I don't fully understand the bloods. As with the side-effects leaflets, I tend to merely glance through them to ensure all is within acceptable limits then forget all about them. My surgery is very quick to tell me if there's a potential problem. In fact, I can't offhand, recall potassium levels. Is it in there?

    Many of us have had temporary blips one way or another. What's important is that your GP is onto it straight away and one week isn't a long time to wait for a follow-up test. If they were worried they wouldn't just have asked for a repeat, they'd have marked it 'urgent'. I've been down to the local hospital in the past to get an immediate one and, no, there was, in the end, no problem.

    I'm sure if she'd had access to the internet my Mum would have had a field day with medical sites but that wouldn't have made her a doc. (It would just have made her dangerous :lol: ) I think it would make sense to tell your GP, at your next visit, that Type 2 diabetes is in the family but there's no point in getting alarmed in the meantime. I've no idea whether or not diabetes would affect your blood results even if you did have it. In your shoes I'd just cut down on sugary stuff as a precaution, get the next test done and hope for the best. Please let's know how it goes.
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • hedgepighedgepig Posts: 4
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Amongst my other ailments I have Type 2 diabetes, I have had it for about 12 years. There are some tests your doctor can do that will show for definite if you have it. Ask for them, with your family history the doc is unlikely to refuse. The tests are Fasting Glucose Tolerance Test and HbA1c.

    In my humble opinion you either have diabetes or you don't, "pre diabetes" simply means you have it but it will get worse, diabetes is a serious and progressive condition. It can, however be controlled with diet and exercise and various medication.
  • trepolpentrepolpen Posts: 498
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I have Type 2 diabetes as well , when you have your next blood test ask them to check your blood sugar , if that is high they will do a fasting bloods & another blood test which will tell them if you have diabetes

    as for the symptoms of diabetes , they are similar to what we get with arthritis , are you on methotrexate as this can cause raised ALT & increasing folic acid to 5mg six days a week can lower your ALT (did with mine which was alot higher ) but you need to talk to your rhumy nurse/consultant first
  • Sarahd1609Sarahd1609 Posts: 64
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks everyone. I'm going to mention it at my next blood test. The nurse is very understanding on times so I hope I catch her on a good day. I am probably worrying about nothing. The increased ALT may explain why I'm mid flare up again, but if it can also be explained by looking at adapting my diet to a diabetic style one then I am more than open to it. I've been pulled off methotrexate again but not told to stop my folic so am keeping going on that. I'm now on leflunomide, Enbrel and pain killers. It is probably a collection of side effects of my meds but when an ex RN said he would recommend I strongly get a glucose fasting test done, I can't help but worry and think not something else I need to fight. Once I get on top of this I'll be good but it's a long road xxxx
  • stickywicketstickywicket Posts: 25,993 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    One step at a time, Sarah, and try not to get ahead of yourself. Whatever is or isn't causing your bloods blip it sounds as if your medical team are onto it and will sort it out asap.

    Of course I hope you don't have diabetes. It would, indeed, be one more thing to worry about but you are doing all the right things. ((()))
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,567 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Flares can happen despite the immune-suppression so your liver may be struggling with clearing the meds from your system, hence the raised figure. The monitoring is a very important aspect of our treatment, it can be a nuisance but it is essential. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,567 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    We're a few days on from your first post, how are you feeling now? Less panicky, I hope! DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • Sarahd1609Sarahd1609 Posts: 64
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I'm getting there. Have decided I will ask for test but won't worry until I get results as there really is nothing I can do. I have cut back on sugary things and tried to cut down the amount I drink (ie bought smaller cup and drunk through a straw) I have my routine fortnightly blood test in Thursday so will ask the nurse then and if she won't go it I'll book with gp and explain my worries. Thankfully I have my little boy on summer hols to look after so don't really have much time to worry about myself but he is so sweet. He wrote a list of fun things I can go with him to group him get his beaver scout badges and said all the hard stuff he can ask daddy to do as mummy is far more creative. I'm looking for an inspirational cross stitch to do so I can put it in my bedroom and look at it as I wake up and go to sleep xxx
  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,567 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Well done, you are taking positive steps and that is a good thing. Inspirational quotes can be found all over the shop but I have two favourites.

    Khalil Gibran: The deeper sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain.

    And on a greetings card (which, sadly I have lost). On the cover is a conductor in full flight, faced by a pig singing its heart out. Inside the pig is looking cross and the conductor frustrated. The words?

    Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • Sarahd1609Sarahd1609 Posts: 64
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Just to update you on my situation. I went for my routine blood tests and the nurse commented on how tired I was and mentioned my concerns re diabetes. She asked was there a history of it in my family and when I explained that both grandmothers and cousins had/have it she said that my gp and rheumatology should have checked that out back when I was diagnosed. So she took initial bloods and will check those out with possibly the need for a fasting blood test. she was concerned that this may push me over the edge of it comes back positive but I said that I'd rather know what I'm dealing with and half the battle of it is knowing what I'm fighting xx
  • stickywicketstickywicket Posts: 25,993 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Sarahd1609 wrote:
    . she was concerned that this may push me over the edge of it comes back positive but I said that I'd rather know what I'm dealing with and half the battle of it is knowing what I'm fighting xx

    Good for you, Sarah! And well done on bringing the matter up. Remember, if you reach that edge, we'll all be there with you hauling you back to safety. I hope it's good news after all.
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • Sarahd1609Sarahd1609 Posts: 64
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi everyone. Just to update you all, my blood test has revealed I don't have diabetes which is a relief. I'm still feeling thirsty a lot though so I'm going to talk to rheumatology at my appointment next week to see if they have any advice. I wanted to thank you all for all your support and help xxx
  • stickywicketstickywicket Posts: 25,993 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Woo hoo! That's good news :D

    Never listen to mothers. Well, that's what my two sons advise :wink:

    How's your salt intake? That could make you thirsty – crisps, olives, pre-packed food.
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • Sarahd1609Sarahd1609 Posts: 64
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I'm being very strict with my diet to see if there are any trigger foods. I will beat this, or at least control it xxx
  • stickywicketstickywicket Posts: 25,993 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    maybe your work environment is very warm?
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • Sarahd1609Sarahd1609 Posts: 64
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I'm not back to work for 2 weeks but I think it may be my meds doing it so will review these on Tuesday with rheumy. Xxx
  • stickywicketstickywicket Posts: 25,993 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I'm sorry, I can't remember what you're on but I don't think i's usual for the meds we take to increase thirst. However, it's a good idea to mention it as there's an autoimmune condition called Sjogrens syndrome which causes a dry mouth and eyes.
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • Sarahd1609Sarahd1609 Posts: 64
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi all,
    Another quick update. I went to my appointment this morning with my consultant (well one of her alternatives) and have made some progress. Since last year my treatment seems to be beginning to work in the sense that over a year ago I had 32 inflamed joints with severe pain whilst now I have only 23 severe, 19 moderate pain. I mentioned the severe exhaustion and constant need to drink. Turns out receptionists at Drs need to be better trained. I am borderline diabetic, as my bloods indicated there was a higher than normal level of whatever they were looking for, but not enough to worry about, and a controlled diet would get that under control in no time. The Dr is concerned mind that I might have Sjogrens however due to my mouth always feeling dry so has run extra blood tests. He thinks it is too early to decide how successful Enbrel is and depending on my results would prefer me to stay on it, unless of course my new blood tests decree otherwise. He has said he will be keeping a close eye on my blood work over the next few weeks as my alt keeps fluctuating but has put me back on low dose methotrexate in the hope it will help my back and has contacted physio as he hopes they can help my back keep mobile. He was a really well spoke Dr, who spoke to me, not at me which eft me feeling a bit more supported.

    So even though I came away with a few more questions than answers, all the answers did leave me feeling a bit more positive. Plus until I know if I have Sjogrens, I'm going to enjoy a day At the beach with my husband and son.obviously I will be well covered as I've tried to read all the literature he gave me, but I'm gonna get busy living before I have to concede any further to this condition.
  • stickywicketstickywicket Posts: 25,993 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    That sounds like a very good appointment and the day at the beach also sounds like a good plan.

    Just for the record - receptionists don't interpret anything so if the wrong info was given it wouldn't have been the receptionist who gave it but someone higher up the line.
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,567 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    You are on the way to finding some answers so that is a good thing.

    Receptionists should not be responsible for interpreting medical results, their job is to make and change appointments, end of. Borderline results should not be ignored, it would have been better practise for you to have been contacted and had things explained. This sounds like Type 2, yes? I hope that an improved diet will help to resolve matters. Enjoy your day at the beach! DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
Sign In or Register to comment.