I don’t recall my Dad ever being diagnosed with pre diabetes. It wasn’t until after his stroke that he was confirmed a “type 2 diabetic”. I remember my Mom struggling to figure out when and how much of the insulin she should give him, but I never knew what was going on in his body leading up to his current condition. Today, I am convinced, the issue with his blood sugar may have been existing long before he ever displayed symptoms.
Obesity is the #1 cause of preventable death in America. Gaining just 11 extra pounds doubles your risk for type 2 diabetes, while gaining over 17 pounds triples it. Dad has been putting on the pounds for years. His hunger became insatiable. He would eat a bowl of cereal right after a big dinner!
Dementia and alzheimers are connected to Diabetes. Diabetics have four times the risk of dementia. One of the most disturbing memories I have is of my dad in an acute care hospitalization when the neurologist and the endocrine doctor were arguing over my dad’s condition being his brain vs. blood sugar. Each doctor blaming the other’s “area” of focus as the cause of his hospitalization. However, based on the progression, the diabetes certainly came before the dementia. It took years to get the sugar controlled before his dementia became evident. However, when his sugar was high, his memory issues were terrible.
Diabetes is the leading cause of high blood pressure. 75% of diabetics have hypertension or will develop it. Dad takes multiple medications to control his high blood pressure. Many of which cause his sugar to drop substantially if his metabolism changes.
Diabetes can cause kidney damage. Dad’s surgeon who implanted his “valve clip” announced his state of “kidney failure” during his pre-op appointment. This was news to me as no one had previously called his bladder issues “kidney failure”. I only knew he took 2 different bladder medications and had frequent “accidents”.
Diabetes leads to nervous system damage in 60% or more of diabetics. High levels of blood glucose damage the smallest vessels in your body, the capillaries. Progression of Dad’s damage was evident in his mobility. His lack of balance, coupled with the neuropathy in his feet, caused his reliance on a walker.
Dad takes 4 shots per day while testing at least 5. He lost his mobility, his bladder control, his driving privilege, and his ability to care for himself in a very short period of time. Diabetes is not simply a stand alone condition. It is a domino effect of chaos in your body. I spent 15 years in the world of pharmaceutical distribution and it was well known in the industry that a diabetic is the best patient for any pharmacy’s profits. How do you think the marketing began with the “free” diabetes programs?