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Ignorance, Stupidity and Diabetes

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Ignorance, Stupidity and Diabetes

When it comes to your health, ignorance is making a choice that’s bad for you when you don’t have the information you need.

Stupidity is making a bad choice when you know better.

Sometimes, with diabesity, it’s hard to tell the difference.

My Friend Almost Died

I have a friend who was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes a couple of years ago. By the time they realized he had a problem, he almost died. He was admitted to the ER, severely dehydrated and with stratospheric glucose readings, and practically comatose. He was literally lucky to be alive.

After rehydrating him, pumping him full of insulin and taking other measures to stabilize him over the course of several days, they sent him home.

He was strongly motivated not to take insulin. He can practice his profession with diabetes as long as he doesn’t require insulin — if he’s insulin dependent, there goes his career.

His wife attended the diabetes education classes with him, he learned how to test his glucose, he started taking several medications, he lost a few pounds, and gradually the sugar levels came down.

Someone introduced him to acai berry juice, and that helped stabilize his blood sugar as well. Over time, he was able to cut down from three meds to two.

Unfortunately, he stopped his education about diabetes when his classes ended, and he’s been relying on the pills ever since to undo the damage he’s doing to himself with his ongoing diet and lifestyle choices.

Some of his choices:

  1. He doesn’t get nearly enough sleep. He works irregular and sometimes very long hours. Sometimes he’ll go two days without sleeping. He sleeps just a few hours each day that he does sleep. Sleep is really, really important.
  2. His diet today is not much different from his pre-diabetes diet. He still eats lots of ice cream, chips, cake, cookies and such. He still drinks a ton of soda, although he’s switched to the diet version. (We’ll get into why that’s a problem in another article.) His portions are not small. He doesn’t eat salad or raw vegetables at all, and other veggies are consumed occasionally and in very small quantities.
  3. Exercise? What’s that?
  4. He told me recently his blood glucose was over 300 because he let his prescriptions go unfilled for a couple of weeks. He’s not sure how high his sugar went at that time because he ran out of test strips as well.

He really isn’t aware of the damage he’s doing to himself because his medical team has never told him.

Is he ignorant, or is he stupid?

I don’t think stupidity is his problem. Sure, he may be ignoring some uncomfortable information, but mostly his problem is ignorance.

Unfortunately, it’s ignorance that’s shared by most mainstream doctors, nurses and diabetes educators.

It never occurred to him that it’s possible to reverse Type 2 diabetes, and he’s more than a little skeptical about what I’m doing in spite of the results I’m getting.

He doesn’t know that he’s damaging small blood vessels throughout his body every time he lets his glucose skyrocket.

He doesn’t know that he’s damaging his liver and kidneys.

He doesn’t know that his bad sleep habits are causing him to store more fat, increasing his insulin resistance and making his diabetes worse.

He doesn’t know . . . and what he doesn’t know could end up killing him at a relatively young age.

Ignorance may be bliss, but early death, heart attack stroke, amputation, blindness, kidney or liver disease are way too high a price for me to pay.

How about you?

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  1. I don’t think your friend’s problem is that he doesn’t know about these things. His problem is that he doesn’t LIKE the foods which are correct to eat. He is accustomed to doing only what he LIKES, and not making good choices for his health because he doesn’t WANT to.

    I see people behaving like this all the time in my present country, especially MEN. Of those people who don’t make the right choices (including my own husband), they eat very unhealthy foods ALL THE TIME because that’s all they LIKE.

    My own brother in America (brought up on healthy foods by my parents), currently in his 50’s, chooses to eat ONLY at McDonald’s and drink Coke for breakfast because he LIKES it (and partly because our mom would never LET him eat like that). He doesn’t cook for himself, and doesn’t want to eat at any other restaurant because that’s the food he WANTS to eat every day.

    Unfortunately, my daughter, who I’ve brought up on healthy food (not that I’ve ever gotten her to like healthy food, even though I’m a gourmet cook) can hardly wait to get out on her own, and says she will copy her uncle and eat at McDonald’s every day (I hope not).

    • Wow! Your brother’s behavior sounds extremely self destructive!

      Sometimes people develop addictions to foods they are allergic to, so making terrible food choices isn’t always so much a matter of choice. But you’re right, sometimes it is that simple.

      In my own journey towards better health, I have discovered — after some difficult transitions in my eating habits — that I really like and appreciate certain foods now that I never did before. It’s taken some work, though. . . .

  2. Hi,

    I was diagnosed Diabetic 2 a few months ago. The correct European Blood Sugar level is 5.2. What is that in America? I get confused reading measurements like “his blood glucose was over 300”!When I went to ER, it was because the stone in my kidney had moved from all the water I was drinking, because I had a terrible thirst. I never thought I had Diabetes. My Blood Sugar level was up to 60. I could have died, but I had no systoms but a terrible thirst & peeing like a horse.

    I have lost 3 stone in 3 months by cutting out all sugar & refined foods. The only part of a supermarket that is of interest to me is the Veg & Wine Depts. Its hard to think that potatoes & bread are bad for you, especially if your Irish. You raise a very good point about, Ignorance, Stupidity and Diabetes. I feel that HEALTH should be a MAJOR subject in ALL schools. From the little kid with his lunch box to the manager eating out on business trips, each should have the contents of what they eat VALUED as GOOD or BAD sourses of fuel for their bodies. We are ALL ignorant of our BODY! We ALL need to educate ourselves, but the thing that annoys me is the amount of conflicting reports there are out there & the PERVERTS who feed us BULLSHIT, just like the Tobacco, SUGAR & FAST FOOD COMPANIES. These people should be classed on par with PEDOPHILES. And our governments are no better.

    I was thinking insulin was bad for me & was slow to take it. Today I read that athletes are using it to enhance their performance & others use it to live longer. And here I was worrying about injecting myself twice a day. Now I see my insulin like athletes do & I will have no problems taking it.

    The secret is NO CANNED! NO PROCESSED PACKED FOODS! NO FAST FOODS! EVERYTHING AS NATURAL AS YOU CAN GET IT & REMEMBER– WE ALL HAVE A SELL-BUY DATE!!!! A GOOD STAKE & A BOTTLE OF WINE IS MY ANSWER TO ALL THE RUBBISH THEY TRY & GET US TO EAT. AND ALSO, NOT TO FORGET MY INSULIN TO KEEP ME STRONG & LIVE TO A 100.

    • Leonardo, best of luck to you in your battle against diabetes. I agree that we’re not taught enough about staying healthy.

      A word of caution about insulin — high insulin levels accelerate your aging process, so just because athletes use it doesn’t mean it’s good for you. After all, a lot of athletes take steroids. . .

      If your diabetes is Type 2, you should be able to get off insulin once your glucose levels come down from losing weight and eating a more healthful diet.

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