October 31, 2011

Prediabetes and Its Dangers

So you think there is no danger associated with prediabetes? An acquaintance of mine in this small town told me he was not going to worry about the prediabetes diagnosis as there were no dangers associated with it and either you had diabetes or you did not. So sure was he that he constantly reminded the group of us that had type 2 diabetes that he was going to be okay.

Why we continued to accept him and his taunts still bothers me, but we did. I guess we knew that eventually he would change his tune and start asking questions, serious questions. Well that day finally arrived, but not the way we had expected. When he was not present for our get together (now over a month ago), one of the others called his wife and got a shock. He was in the hospital and was in a high blood glucose coma. We do not know how high it was, but we guessed he now had full-blown type 2 diabetes.

We asked if he could have visitors and his wife said the doctor had asked not for that day or the next for other than family. Well, we never did get to see him. Whether we will every know the full story is doubtful, but that night he passed. His wife said that their two children had arrived after work so she was on her way home to clean up and return. On her way home, their son called and said Dad was gone.

We know a little more, his heart had failed and they had been told that his kidneys were in poor condition. I have been researching and yes, cardiovascular disease does dramatically increase with prediabetes, retinopathy can develop, and kidney health can be impaired. Many with prediabetes can develop diabetic neuropathy or peripheral neuropathy. Not quite what I had expected for prediabetes. Again, this is a reminder that everyone can be affected differently when it comes to prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.

Which leads me to the question – why not treat it as diabetes. I'm sure the American Diabetes Association will not have an answer.

We have also learned that our friend had high blood pressure and had stopped taking his medications. Could we have done more for him? We have talked about this and have decided that for him we had done all we could have under the circumstances, as he would not have listened to us. How will we treat future people that come to the fringes of our group? We will invited them in if they have a diagnosis and work to get them past denial if they are in denial. Will we be successful – remains to be seen. We just know that we will make every attempt.

We have checked the books on diabetes at our local library and they will be acquiring two more books at our request to supplement the ones they have. We are investigating other activities like making our informal group a little more known and possibly working with doctors in nearby towns if they are open to this.

This WebMD article is available as a reference on prediabetes.

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