August 12, 2010

Dangerous Myths – Myths Part 2

Are there really dangerous diabetes myths? For those that believe them, yes. Many people believe some of the strangest things when it comes to diabetes.

Do injections hurt? I have been asked this many times. While I have never liked needles, I have been known to flinch when having blood drawn, and it seems like I will never get the needle in when injecting my own insulin. I have had few actually painful injections, but occasionally I will hit a nerve, but not that often.

Even when having blood drawn, most nurses have actually been very good at not causing pain, while others can never hit a vein and cause me much pain. Some even go thru the vein and wonder why there is no blood until they withdraw the needle.

Most of us do have to get over the fear and realize that our lives, and good health, demand that we use insulin and inject ourselves several times a day. This to me is a small problem and I have been able to overcome it.

Some of the more dangerous fairy tales about insulin really get to me and makes me wonder why we have some of the medical professionals we do. Too many doctors use insulin as a threat to get diabetes patients to get serious about controlling their blood glucose with oral medications. Often the side effects of some oral medications are far more dangerous than insulin.

Then our unenlightened medical professionals tell us that we have failed and that is the reason we need to take insulin.  Failed - - - I don't think so!  Most people that feel this way have been programed that way by our medical pros.  These patients need to reevaluate the instructions and guidance they have received. Many have been told to eat far too many carbohydrates for control of their diabetes and for some people their bodies are unable to handle this level of carbohydrates.  Also many patients have not been told to exercise.

Even more problematic are the medical professionals that feel we should not have meters to have readings of our blood glucose levels. They worry that seeing the high levels of blood glucose for the carbohydrates they have told us to eat will only discourage or cause depression in these patients. If you have any of these types of medical pros, I strongly suggest finding another doctor.

Everyone has different needs based on their body and body chemistry and until the medical pros wake up and realize this, it is a small miracle that so many type 2 people with diabetes are as healthy as they are. If it was not for the patients becoming proactive in their own care, many would soon end up with the more serious problems of the accompanying diabetes complications. Some doctors do realize that one treatment does not fit all, but we as patients also need to learn this and make our doctors aware of this. We need to learn how to stand up for what we need.

What is disturbing to me has been stated to me by other people with type 2 diabetes. The statement is that only type 1 people can see an endocrinologist. While it is understandable that people with type 1 diabetes want to see an endocrinologist, many type 2 patients also see them, and not just those type 2 patients on insulin.

A lot of the problems arise from the fact that in many areas of this country, local endocrinologists do not exist as they are not drawn to sparsely populated areas and therefore some people can have hundreds of miles commute round-trip to see one. In heavily populated areas it is easy to find them. The problem is finding one that is a good fit for you or has any openings for new patients.

Another misconception is some people with type 2 diabetes do not think they have a serious disease and therefore do not need to worry about changing their lifestyle or eating habits. No this is not denial, they truly feel this way and their doctors have done nothing to explain the seriousness of diabetes. Why is this so? Often these people are in good physical condition and have taken care of themselves, or in other words, they are not over weight.

It is only when the complications set in that they get the wake-up call that they have something serious. Even then some do not heed the call and wonder why they are called upon to have this complication or these complications – remember their body mass index (BMI) is ideal so it should not be happening to them. I even had one of these people actually tell me this when they found out I did not have any retinopathy or kidney problems, in other words, because I am overweight and they are not. Life can be so unfair.

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