July 12, 2016

More about a Few Emails

Several people were asking me about the diabetes service dogs and how soon there would be a device that could do what the dog could do. I admit I told them that a device could be developed, but most people may not know to use it when they don't feel the symptoms.

I told them that a device could be great, but if a person did not recognize the symptoms, how would they know to test with a device. I stated that many people with type 1 diabetes do become hypoglycemia unaware at different times when they have had too many episodes of hypoglycemia in a short period of time. Some may opt for the device, depending on the cost, while others will remain with the dogs because of the companionship.

A properly trained dog and an owner that knows how to reinforce the training can be an unbeatable team. This also raises the question of how much the device will cost. Will they make the device as expensive as a dog? This has entered the thoughts of many people and many are questioning this.

I have received several emails asking me why people want to keep diabetes a secret. I must admit that this is a puzzle for me as well, but some people have had close family members keep health secrets from them and they just assume this is the way to live. Some may have had friends diagnosed with diabetes and see the stigma that comes with this and decide they don't want to let others know about their diabetes.

One person said he was taught a valuable lesson while at work when he collapsed from hypoglycemia and another person with type 1 diabetes went to his locker, found some insulin and testing supplies, and told the ambulance people that he has diabetes. They tested his blood glucose and after a reading of 32 mg/dl, added a container of glucose to his IV. When he came to in the hospital and the doctor told him how close to death he came, he decided after hearing the details, he needed to tell others about his diabetes.

I am surprised at the disagreements with use of Epsom salts and soaking your feet in them. One writer said she has been doing this for about a decade and has had no ill-effects from soaking her feet. The next person said he wished someone had said something sooner as he was having problems with severely dry feet. The only thing I could question was the amount of Epsom salts that had been used to the amount of water, and the length of time they soaked their feet. The woman was using a quarter cup of Epsom Salt to a gallon of water and soaking her feet for five minutes. The man was using a full cup of Epsom Salt to a gallon of water and soaking his feet for 30 minutes. I cannot say this is the cause, but this makes one curious about other causes.

There were several emails thanking me for the parent and teen guidelines for treating young people. Several complained about the lack of doctor concern for sanitation by not washing their hands between patients or wearing latex gloves and changing between patients. The second complaint was lack of communication with the patient and the parents. Many got the feeling that the less they knew, the less they could put in a lawsuit and this was the aim of the doctor.

I had a big surprise on this blog from March 17, 2013 as people that were having problems with their meal plans that they were following from the ADA and Joslin Diabetes. When they found this blog, it answered several questions, but left them wondering what to eat to lose weight and better manage their diabetes.

This has created an interesting discussion and most were opposed to increasing their fat consumption and lowering their carbohydrate consumption below certain levels. I agreed that they should work toward that goal, but they should work to lower their carbohydrate consumption below 50 grams per day. Most were hesitant to be that low, but were willing to work to be below 100 grams. I am still encouraging them to increase their fat consumption, but this will take some time and they have had the low fat dogma ingrained in them for too many years.

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