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Diabetes Denial a Big-Time Problem

December 12, 2011
By

According to the American Diabetes Association, type 2 diabetes occurs when a person’s body “does not produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin.” It’s the most common form of diabetes.

Barb Landes of West Liberty, Ohio, has been reading this column in the River Current. She knows diabetes better than just about anyone: her late father had type 2 diabetes, she has been a diabetes nurse educator for more than 30 years, and she herself was diagnosed in 2008 as having pre-diabetes.

“My father was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in his 40s,” said Landes in a telephone interview. “Besides diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, he had a stroke in 1970 and later had (multiple heart problems). He had a very damaged heart, which is common for people with diabetes. Diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure are often linked together. When you see one, you think the others may be there, too.”
Her father passed away from diabetes complications at 63. His failing health made quite an impression on her.

As a registered nurse, Landes in 1980 began coordinating the cardiac rehabilitation program at a local hospital that soon broadened her responsibilities to include diabetes education. Even after switching employers in 1999, she continued on working as a diabetes nurse educator through the present day.

As for her own health: After eating far too many carbohydrates at a 2008 Christmas party and feeling unwell, Landes used a blood meter to learn she had an elevated blood sugar level. Soon after, a doctor diagnosed her as having pre-diabetes.

As a diabetes nurse educator today, she often tells newly diagnosed patients that “there are no forbidden foods. Some patients have the old thought that they can’t (with diabetes) have anything good to eat anymore, such as sweets, pie, cakes, and cookies. But that’s not the case. They just have to eat smaller portions and need to be shown how they can do it safely.”

She said early signs of diabetes can include tiredness, extreme thirst, and frequent urination. If left unchecked, diabetes can lead to a further loss of energy, foot sores, blindness, strokes, heart attacks, and kidney failure. She said, “Denial (in people having symptoms and refusing to see a physician) is a big-time problem. My feeling is why not do something positive now so your future years will look better.”

Contact: danieljvance.com [Blue Valley Sod and Palmer Bus Service make this column possible.]

Article source: http://www.sacramentotoday.net/news/anmviewer.asp?a=2121&z=1

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