Category: Diabetes Be Proactive

Busting the “BAD Diabetic” Mythe

the :"Bad Diabetic" Mythe

I am always intrigued when people report on a fellow family member or friend who is a “BAD” diabetic.   I tell them I have had diabetes for 45 years,  and then I  hear, well they are a “really BAD” diabetic.   People, all diabetes is BAD, and yes I know they are referring to the high blood sugars this individual frequently has, or how many time they have been hospitalized from hyper/hypoglycemic events.  This, however,  makes him/her and “UNEDUCATED” diabetic rather than a BAD diabetic.  Even with all my preaching, if my infusion site gets compromised by a patient pulling at my pump, and I cannot change it until much later, or if I’ve eaten something prepared at a restaurant that I was not aware should have been so laden with sugars or starches,  I too, can have a raging high blood sugar.   What makes one a “BAD” diabetic is not knowing why you’re hyperglycemic or worse, not checking your BS readings sooner to correct.

A patient of mine informed me his grandson was a bad diabetic.  This individual is in his early thirties, thin frame, and apparently healthy and active.    He tells me his sugars are always jumping around, usually extremely high.  He informs me they have been  this way for over 15 years, since his accident.  I inquire if he has looked into an insulin pump, he appears to be the perfect candidate.  He casually informs  me that he is  ”too active”  for a pump,  and of course my response is; that would make you the perfect person.   The next day,  I was informed he would not be visiting grandpa.  as he woke with his blood sugar in the 600s!!!  Not too sure how accurate this was, however, I asked if he was alright.  The grandparent reports ”Oh yeah”, he’s doing find, making himself some lunch and resting.  I inquired as to what this “child” cooks for himself and grand dad proudly reports he cooked himself some eggs, bacon, sausage, home fried potatoes and biscuits.  I innocently asked,  “for one meal?”  and he laughed and said “of course”,  and I cried on the inside.

This is the same grandson I offered my website card to, I offered to talk to him about using a pump and how he was the perfect candidate for one,  I offered an ear or advise any time he needed it and I was told he has someone who helps him.  I asked if it was an endocrinologist, or an internist or a diabetic educator and he reports no, it is the “guy who helps me with my prosthetic leg”, and again, I cried on the inside.

Like many diabetics I’ve come in contact with in the health field,  several are awesome, many more are not, and if it is due to being uneducated, I have a hard time with this as the information is out there, websites, classes, brochures, meetings and more.    As my last article reports (“Diabetes Health, You’re in Charge”, April 14, 2014),  more and more programs seek to educate diabetics and are covered by insurance.  Sadly to say, all that is left are the “LAZY” diabetics, who are complacent in their ignorance because it is easier, and as complications and disabilities set in, there are the  ObamaCare hand-0uts.   Preventative measures are priceless.   Personal responsibility has become a thing of the past, it doesn’t pay.  Becoming disabled and complaining that you didn’t know won’t, and shouldn’t,  work forever.  Educate yourself now, read those articles or  watch the  videos,  while you still have good vision.

Diabetes Health, You’re In Charge..

Diabetes Health, Your in Charge.

This evening on the yahoo face page, (April 14, 2014) an interesting article on the new Affordable Care Act (ACA/ObamaCare)  and diabetics.  The focus is to prevent complications of Type 2 diabetes before it destroys a life OR  costs the insurance company a fortune.   Well,  hallelujah ,  I have been saying this for years.  If they could have  made our simple basic supplies affordable, with or without insurance,  many complications could have been avoided earlier.

However in this article, apparently it helps those who are already ravaged by the disease, or have been too stubborn to change bad habits.  They focused on a 62 year old woman, who for years struggled with her Type 2 diabetes, which she blames on her “love to bake and eat her sweet creations”.  They write of many of her episodes of uncontrolled blood sugars, loosing a foot in a car accident, (what was her  blood sugar at the time of the accident?) and that thinking about her insulin was ”the last thing on her mind”!!!   Excuse me, WHAT!!  are you 62 or 2, diabetes is your life, and for  many people, your choice,  take responsibility for it.   The article reads, “About 60 percent or so of the people with Type 2 diabetes can keep side effect at bay by simply managing sugar levels, exercising and watching their weight“.   It goes on to read, “about 26 million Americans have diabetes, and two-thirds (approx 17 mill) of them are overweight or obese.  The above mentioned woman went on to ACA, it costs her less than $2 a month, thanks to a tax credit of  $574 a month, which WE are paying.   Given the choice of eating smart, moving more, and taking ownership of what you did to your health vs  being slowly ravaged by diabetes complications, I would vote for a little self-control and a lot of education.

I for one, am Type 1, I had no choice in my condition, however, I do choose to take control of it, manage it, and remain as relatively healthy as I can, even though I am learning it is not in my best interest monetarily.    I  cannot get on the group insurance plan for small business owners, (as my husband is a small business owner) because of my, (wait for it), pre-existing condition.  I know, I too though this was a thing of the past, however the agent from this small business group plan informs me he is not allowed to sign  me up on their plan.  They can take my husband, but I must be directed to the “market place” crap.   As I have shopped these ACA plans, and learned again, because I choose to work with my “disabilities”, I would get no assist with subsidies, tax breaks or hand outs, whichever they choose to call it.  My premiums and deductibles would be doubled.   My co-pays at the pharmacy have already tripled for my insulin and test strips, and this is helping me  how Mr. Prez?  The articles does go on to tout all the good programs and work-shops they are setting up,  alas the same problems will exist, how to get people to attend now, if they wouldn’t  in the past.

I am just planning ahead, testing the waters for my future, as I feel my group insurance at work may be drastically changing come August, and considering the fact that I am hardly able to continue wrestling obese patients and senior citizens around full time much longer.   Quoting a line from the article  above, “Diabetic Beware.”  a “relatively healthy person with diabetes can cost insurers  around $5,000 a year”,  but if you  let any of those long term  complications develop, then you’re talking $100,000 dollars plus.”    People, people…. given the choice of eating smart, moving more, and taking ownership of what you did to your health vs  being slowly ravaged by diabetes complications,  I would vote for a little self-control, more activity,  and a lot of education.

 

Glycemic Index Basics

healthychoicesAn overload of nutritional information out there in the cyber world  has made finding the simplest answers extremely confusing,  even for me, who has felt fairly secure in my knowledge of “good vs evil” food exchanges and choices.  To add to the confusion, good carb/bad carb is now complicated by glycemic index numbers, and not just glycemic index, but glycemic load  numbers to add to the confusion.   The February 2014 issue of Diabetes Forecast,  one of my favorite Go-To resources has an exceptional article,  Carbs; Beyond the Basics,   which is where much of my following references are taken.

The glycemic index (GI) measures the glucose response to a given number of grams of  carbohydrates.  They would measure your glucose levels during the first 2 hours after consuming 50 grams of  carbs.  These carbs are then compared to the response of blood glucose spikes after consuming 50 grams of pure glucose.  They then, label these foods High GI or Low GI, obviously, Low GI are much better as glucose does not rise dangerously after your meal.  Sounds simple right? Wrong, because it was then realized by the ADA that following a low GI diet alone, did not make any measureable difference in you A1C.   So the Glycemic Load was invented.   This  factors in two important measures of diabetes control;  carb counting and the glycemic index.   While carb counting considers the total amount of carbohydrates,  the glycemic index accounts for the quality of THAT carbohydrate,  the glycemic load considers both.   The best example;  1 cup of mashed potato  vs 1 cup of watermelon, both high on the glycemic index, however, because 1 cup of mashed potato has a much higher carb count, its’  glycemic load is  higher.

There can be up to a “threefold difference in the glucose response to the same quantity of carbohydrates.”   to  confuse matters  more,  a foods origin, how it was cooked/prepared, the degree of processing, ripeness, and even the brand all affect these numbers.  Things to consider;  choose unprocessed foods, bypass “puffed” grain products, as well as “instant” products like oatmeal, instant potatoes, rice.   There is even a difference in over-cooked grains/starches, cold potatoes are preferred, and fruit which is not overly ripe.

I would advise that you get on the site for Diabetes Forecast and read this article.  They cover a bit more and explain in better detail the “why nots” of the above food choices.  I found this tid-bit of info amazing,   the glycemic index measures were not done on PWD?  Which qualifies my belief that our diabetes and our bodies respond differently than the next person, as a matter of fact, my body does not react the same way to the same foods eaten from day to day…..

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