October 8, 2013
Hank was sitting in “his” chair in the living room watching football – common it was for a Sunday, what else would he do? Linda’s three teenage kids were busy with several important projects: Beth was scanning the computer while logged into Facebook; Hank Jr. was playing Zombie Attack on his iPad, and her oldest daughter Lucy, 16, was on her Droid texting with several friends. Indeed the family was involved and in touch with what was important – but, it just wasn’t Linda’s health.
It’s been six-months now since Linda started to experience periods of weakness – although she’s noticed an increase in her appetite, which perhaps isn’t too out of the norm since Linda’s BMI is in the 35% category placing her just within the embrace of obesity – Linda is 192 pounds and tops out at 5’2”. But the real concern started just one month ago when Linda started to experience three physical conditions, some new to her life: a sudden increase in appetite, known as polyphagia, increased thirst, also called polydipsia, which leads to increased fluid intake, and frequent urination, also known as polyuria. Linda was worried – and she should’ve been, so should her husband.
Sadly, Linda was recently diagnosed with type II diabetes. These major symptoms of diabetes also affect each other in different ways. For example, when a diabetic has high blood glucose, the excess glucose is removed from the blood by the kidneys and is expelled from the body in the urine. Because of this, the body produces more urine, which results in frequent urination. This decrease of water in the body then causes dehydration, which leads to thirst and increased fluid intake. Unless diagnosed and controlled – this is an up-hill battle, often resulting in stress, disease, and in some cases death.
Just a reminder to Linda’s family – your mom and wife has diabetes; she’s at least twice as likely as someone who does not have diabetes to have damage that indeed could be preventable. Diseases such as: Nerve Damage - high blood sugar levels are known to damage our nerves, and even blood vessels. In case of nerve damage, areas that are prone to getting affected are the digestive system, or even the hands and feet, which can be faced with tingling or other sensations such as numbness.
Heart Disease - it isn’t unusual to find that a person suffering from diabetes is more likely to suffer from heart problems too. Living with diabetes can become pretty hard on people, and according to reports from the American Diabetes Association, people suffering from diabetes are twice as susceptible to a heart attack as opposed to those who do not have diabetes.
These aren’t the only side effects of diabetes, there are many others. Hey, Hank listen up - Linda is your responsibility and there are things you can do to help “cure” her diabetes and make her life “rich” with health – here they are: help her to eat right, insist she exercises (with you would be a true dynamic), keep her scheduled with her physician on a regular basis, make sure she’s taking her medications, and tell her often that you love her. This Sunday instead of watching the football – try taking her out for a walk, a great meal, and a few hours of just holding hands – then perhaps she’ll stop the internal emotional plea – “please, pay attention to me.”