Saturday, February 18, 2017

Got Diabetes? Eat Cake!

It seems to be unique to diabetes that it is a disease that is really not to be taken seriously. That is, of course, until it actually DOES get serious!    Until then many diabetics and their families, their health service providers, dietitian's and the world in general is blind to the fact that this is a disease which has many serious consequences when ignored.

Diabetics themselves also tend to be in denial  even in the first days and weeks of the scary diabetes diagnosis.   Many don't want to use their meters (assuming that their doctor even suggested one). Rather than understanding that life is going to have to be different now many question how they can continue to eat as they always did by "just cutting back a little bit" and take the medications.   That may go okay for a while but it won't make diabetes get better or go away.  Diabetes is not simply a broken bone!

Society doesn't help.  Diabetics get shamed into eating as if they are not diabetic.  They are told "One plate of ice cream and cake won't hurt you!" or "One donut isn't going to kill you!  Enjoy it!  This is a party!" or they may resort to something even more shaming like "Isn't the food I'm serving good enough for you?"

I sometimes hear people say "Just take an extra pill." or "Can't you just go on insulin?"  That is easy for them to say since they have not been diagnosed and don't have to give themselves a shot!    I have seen some of my diabetic family members load up their plates with rolls and potatoes with gravy, pizza, juice and dessert and saying "I can eat anything I want!  I just take my pill and I'm not worried about it" as they throw their head back in a good ole laugh!  

Think about other diseases or conditions that have perhaps less life threatening consequences but are actually taken seriously!   When someone says "My cholesterol is high so I have to skip the butter" no one says "Oh come on!  You only live once!"  No, in fact everyone in the room will nod their approval.  Someone who says that their Gerd or heartburn will act up if they eat a bowl of chili seems to be very much understood.  A person who has had a previous stroke is usually taken very seriously by their family, friends and co-workers.   They don't tell the former stroke victim not to be worried about it happening again.

Grocery products are very careful to note on packaging that something is gluten free so as not to make someone who is sensitive sick.   Packages will say clearly that a product is made in a factory that may have also handled nuts in order to warn those with a peanut allergy that the product may cause them harm.

Hospitals are notorious for not taking diabetics carbohydrate intolerance into consideration.   They treat diabetics as though they actually need more carbs and sugar than normal people do!   Even if the diabetic is in the hospital for a foot amputation a glucose drip is given along with plates full of bread, fruit, milk and juices.   If the diabetic patient complains the nurse just purses her lips and says "Don't worry honey!  We have insulin for you!"    

What is the answer to the way that the diabetes epidemic is not being taken seriously by society?   What is the answer to the way that diabetics are told that there is nothing you can do to get better?

The tide is changing a bit.  There are more doctors and nurses and other health care providers who have recognized that Diabetes does in fact have very dangerous consequences that can end up shortening lives by years.

It is interesting that a large number of the health practitioners who have come around to a low carb way of eating are also the health practitioners who handle the most severe complications of the disease.  Those who are dealing with the kidney disease, the eye disease and those who have done hundreds of amputations in their practice.  They see the patients who are finally succumbing to the end stages of the disease when changing to a low carb diet would have probably kept the patient from being in their offices'.

While it seems impossible to change those who make the guidelines that diabetics are told to follow we now have the impact of social media and diabetics are beginning to actually question their physicians and diabetes educators bringing them studies and books to show what they have learned.

It is sad that I see so many diabetics talk about how they have actually been shamed by their diabetes educator for actually trying to get well!   Some doctors even "fire" their patients for refusing to eat a high carb diet!   "It's progressive. There is nothing you can do to stop it and you are going to need insulin!  That's just the way it is and you need to accept it!"

So, LET US EAT CAKE!    (not!)