The Hideous Side of Diabetes
Diabetes and its Side Effects
It was during one of my usual visit to Canberra Hospital, where I spent a couple of hours on certain days visiting people who had no other visitors, that the unexpected happened. One old lady had been on my list for some time as she had no visitors and was virtually bedridden. While with her on this occasion it was impossible to ignore the pain of an elderly lady in a bed opposite. She was literally bawling her eyes out.
Leaving my charge I went across to her bed and asked if I could help her in some way. Her response was dramatic and it almost sent me into an emotional melt down.
"They are going to cut my leg off in the morning," she sobbed. "How would you like it if they were going to cut your leg off?" She was desperate and by now so was I.
"Why are they doing this?" I asked.
"I kicked my toe when I was getting out of the shower and it went all black and would not heal up. I have diabetes and this is something that happens." She was at least responding to my questions. Trying to be as compassionate as I could I sympathised with her and soon made my exit to find a nurse to bring her more comfort and probably a sedative.
This was the first time hearing of someone losing a limb because of diabetes. In years to come the loss of eyesight, kidney impairment and leg amputation were all facts that became known to me through friends, research and hospital visits. The best way to avoid these things is to avoid diabetes
Sugar and Diabetes
Sugar intake and obesity primary causes of diabetes
This disease is related to the bodies reaction to sugar and to its ability to produce insulin. In the large it relates also to genetic inheritance of factors that given the right environment will trigger the disease.
Symptoms can include frequent urination, increased thirst and increased hunger. Wikipedia lists three common types of diabetes as:
* Type 1 diabetes: results from the body's failure to produce insulin, and presently requires the person to inject insulin.
* Type 2 diabetes: results from insulin resistance, a condition in which cells fail to use insulin properly, sometimes combined with an absolute insulin deficiency.
* Gestational diabetes: is when pregnant women, who have never had diabetes before, have a high blood glucose level during pregnancy. It may precede development of type 2 DM.
Others conclude that diabetes mellitus include congenital diabetes, which is due to genetic defects of insulin secretion, cystic fibrosis-related diabetes, steroid diabetes induced by high doses of glucocorticoids, and several forms of monogenic diabetes. It acknowledges that more than 2% of the population are sufferers.
How often do we see people tucking into food, such as that illustrated, without a thought in the world of what it does to their bodies. Mothers buy donuts that are heavily sugar coated for children, to keep them quiet while shopping, for instance, and they are often packed into lunch boxes and used for snacks at home. Does anyone consider the risk or why children are suffering from obesity and diabetes at an ever increasing younger age?
Mothers are often seen feeding coco-cola drinks to young toddlers who are thirsty and who should be given just plain water. The following from Wikipedia is related to the contents of Coco-Cola: "Published versions say it contains sugar or high fructose corn syrup, caramel color, caffeine, phosphoric acid, coca extract, kola nut extract, lime extract, vanilla and glycerin. . . The basic "cola" taste . . . comes mainly from vanilla and cinnamon; distinctive tastes . . . are the result of trace flavorings such as orange, lime and lemon and spices such as nutmeg. Because cocaine is naturally present in coca leaves, today's Coca-Cola uses "spent," or treated, coca leaves . . . treated by chemical company Stepan . . . Some contend that this process cannot extract all of the cocaine alkaloids at a molecular level '.
Recent reports suggests that fructose, other than what occurs naturally in fruit. This diabetes update cites: "Dr. J. Hallfrisch studied cholesterol and triglyceride levels and found that fructose . . . caused a general increase in both the total serum cholesterol level and the low-density lipoprotein fraction of cholesterol in most subjects. The triglyceride levels also rose significantly, especially in those persons whose blood sugar levels rise higher than normal when they eat sugar. It was concluded that high levels of dietary fructose can produce undesirable changes in blood lipid levels, which are associated with heart disease."
Diabetes is now out of control globally and yet nothing is done to curtail the amount of sugar ingested daily. Whereas we see fat and other foods trotted out as the cause of obesity the amount of fat and sugar combined in this type of food is deadly.
Day by Day with Diabetes
The Strain, the pain, and the drain of injecting yourself with insulin
My grandmother had diabetes and she would take herself off to her room and inject the insulin into the flesh over her abdomen and to me, a child at the time, she appeared to have no other symptoms. She was a very active woman who looked after several boarders, doing their washing and ironing by hand and running a rather efficient household. Little did I know about the problems she must have faced without burdening others.
Unbeknown to me she would take a sample of blood from her finger and adjust her blood sugar with dietary supplements. In recent years friends with diabetes have a distinct smell on their breath which is distinctly related to their condition. It is the kind of smell that tells yiou they have something seriously wrong with their bodies. The synthetic odour must come from the injected insulin. They carry food to ensure their blood sugar levels stay up in the right region.
Even so I had no idea of all the other problems that diabetes can cause, such as the loss of limbs, blindness, loss of feeling in the feet, kidney disease and so on.
The Australian Diabetes Council's web site notes: "Diabetes is the fastest growing cause of kidney failure. About 30 per cent of people with diabetes will develop kidney disease and it's the leading cause of kidney failure (end stage renal disease when kidneys fail to filter the blood) in western countries. Up to 50 per cent of people receiving treatment for kidney failure in dialysis centres in Australia will have diabetes.
According to the International Diabetes Federation survival rates for people with diabetes when dialysis is needed is about three years on average. But the news is not all bad." According to this article "kidney damage can be delayed or prevented by improving blood glucose control and lowering blood pressure."
But why get diabetes in the first place?
Control Sugar Cravings - Do You Really Know What it is Doing to You?
What Would You Do To Prevent Diabetes? - Are you aware of the danger of diabetes
Most people go through life with their heads in the clouds (or the sand) denying they are at risk of anything. Then they begin to feel tired, the body acts strangely and they seek medical help. The diagnosis hits them like a ton of bricks. If only . . . . .
Are you aware of diabetes and how to prevent it?
Type 2 Diabetes
The sound is low but the illustrations are good
Children are At Risk through Lifestyle
What can you do to change their situation
Children who sit rather than exercise are at extreme risk of obesity and diabetes. In today's world they are more than likely playing video or internet games than football or an outdoor activity like riding their bikes or running around with other children. Parents tend to set the pattern from a very young age when they sit a baby in front of a television set to "keep it quiet and entertained" while they are engaged in something else.
We program kids from babyhood onwards and what we do in those first few years of a child's life will stay with them forever.
Children Living with Diabetes
The Side Effects of Diabetes - Its not just one disease
The loss of the body's ability to produce insulin and control the balance of sugar in the blood is horrendous as many people have found out. It can start from a very young age and it is as devastating for children as for adults.
Should we feed children masses of sugar saturated food - such as cakes, biscuits, coca-cola, chocolate, etc.?
Sugar Saturated Food
Adults are responsible for how much sugar children consume. The term "YUM" is grossly misleading to young children. Mothers might be the enemy in this regard as they mostly do the shopping and how many times do we see toddlers in strollers pushing donuts, chips, or some other junk food, down their throats.
One day I was sitting in the food hall at the local shopping center. In one of the junk food shops the man was salting chips. He poured the salt on and then a new batch of chips came out and was poured on the top of the previous batch. This new assistance then salted them. After that the first man returned and poured more salt on. He then proceeded to serve a mother with a toddler in the stroller. I was horrified that this child was being subjected to enough salt to poison her. On top of the chips the mother then bought her a bottle of coca-cola.
This drink is known to contain as much caffeine as three cups of coffee. It is also packed with sugar. Combined these 2 ingredients give consumers a massive high but what does it do to young children?
Very rarely do I see children in these situations being fed fruit or a sandwich when they are hungry. Why? Because it takes effort!
Children fed these foods are usually hyper active and can suffer such things as ADHD or some other psychological problems. Parents, however, tend to ignore the obesity and health threats such food represents.
The side effects of sugar
Sugar was only added to food during the late 16th Century. This followed the discovery of the Americas and the introduction of a lot of exotic plant produce into Europe. Sugar and Chocolate came together and when people realised that putting them together made for a fantastic sweet the rush to get more led to the introduction of many confectionery outlets.
Over the next 450 or so years the world has feasted on the insatiable craving for both sugar and chocolate with deadly results. Add to this mix ice cream, pies, packaged salted foods like chips or doredoes and so on and the intake of such poisons has increased dramatically. Why do I say poisons? Because they result in death, either through cerebral hemorrhages, heart attacks, diabetes, and numerous other diseases one can think of that fit this list.
Blood pressure is related to salt intake and high cholesterol. Both are the result of too much salt and sugar in the diet as well as fat. The latter is in pies, ice cream, confectioneries, and most junk food such as hamburgers, and so on, Yet we support all these industries and credit them with good business practices. I know of people who have left companies like Kentucky Fried Chicken, for example, because of the fat used. That bring up another point - trans fats are now the most used fats in such places. They are the worst for creating obesity and all of its problems.
Obesity is just one more side effect and from the time these foods came onto the plates of the masses the rush to counter their effects was on. The medical world pushed ever harder for solutions and drugs (with their own side effects) were developed. Now there are pills to counter act the effect of pills and many older people especially can be on twenty or thirty such medications a day. The ones making the money are, of course, the drug companies who also feed the doctors who prescribe them.
For sixty or so years the food cravings have been grossly increased by the advertising seen on television with ever more glamorous pics of delightful treats running across the screen. It will tempt people to buy the produce and have it on hand so that when the triggers are fired the mouth is satisfied. It often doesn't matter whether one has a full stomach or not - result is more obesity
Companies that produce junk food and the growers of its ingredients are the big winners while people are the losers. Death, disease and tragedy follows when one's guard is let down to this extent. Of course, children are targeted during children's programs.
Still images from Dreamstime - click here
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© 2010 norma-holt