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Diabetes Developments - A blog on latest developments in diabetes by David Mendosa

Entries Tagged as 'Psychosocial'

Diabetes Scams and How to Foil Them

February 23rd, 2015 · No Comments

If you wanted to make a lot of money fast and weren’t limited by any ethics like honesty, I can’t think of any better target than those of us who have diabetes. I don’t think that we are any more gullible than other people. But we have all the characteristics that scammers value the most:

1. We are a sitting duck. Because diabetes is a long-lasting condition that can be controlled but not cured, it is by definition a chronic disease. Scammers have plenty of time try to tempt us.

2. We represent a big audience for anyone who wants to get into our pockets. One of every 11 Americans have diabetes, a total of about 29 million people. About 21 million of us know that we have diabetes.

3. Diabetes is a growth industry. From 1980 through 2011, the crude prevalence of diagnosed diabetes increased 176 percent.

4. We know that we have to take charge of our health every day and can’t rely on our doctors who we see only every few months. This do-it-yourself ethic leaves us much more vulnerable to unethical people who want our money than people with other health conditions who simply rely on their doctors.

But we aren’t helpless prey. We have an excellent tool that will protect us: our minds. In this post I am trying to add a few tips for you to consider. This post won’t be telling you about the scams that I have encountered. For one thing, I have read literally thousands of these phony pitches. For another, some of the scammers operate on the basis that any publicity is good publicity.

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Posted in: Psychosocial

Journaling for Our Diabetes Health

February 9th, 2015 · No Comments

A couple of years ago I wrote here about how keeping a journal of positive things in our lives can make those of us who have diabetes happier. But writing down the worst things that we experience might help even more.

When we get a diagnosis that we have diabetes, it can be one of our most traumatic experiences. No wonder then that so many of us either go into denial that it’s anything of importance or otherwise panic at the thought of it.

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Posted in: Psychosocial

Are You Thankful for Diabetes?

December 26th, 2014 · 5 Comments

If you aren’t suffering from a complication of diabetes, you actually have every reason to be thankful that you have this dreaded disease. Even if you already have some complications, you can reverse most of them.

Thanks to Leighann Calentine!

In fact, I have been able to reverse two of them: one was a microaneurysm in my left eye, which if I didn’t do anything, could have led to my becoming blind in that eye. The other was some diabetic peripheral neuropathy in my feet; the neuropathy has come and gone. Both complications went away when I redoubled my efforts to reduce my blood sugar.

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Posted in: Psychosocial

Mindfulness and Meditation May Help Lower Your A1C

October 4th, 2014 · No Comments

More and more studies show that mindfulness and meditation are helping people to manage stress. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is working with veterans who have some of the most severe problems, and they seem to be in the lead in making use of these tools.

But not until now have mindfulness and meditation been studied specifically with veterans who have diabetes. A preliminary study just reported at the annual meeting of the American Association of Diabetes Educators presented some dramatic results that should be applicable to anyone who has diabetes.

Previous studies of four forms of mindfulness and meditation showed that they have helped veterans deal with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can occur after a traumatic event like war, assault, or disaster. While mindfulness and meditation are essential components of Buddhism and Hinduism, mainstream Western culture has now absorbed them. A pilot study of loving-kindness meditation produced promising — and moving — results. Mantram meditation, yoga, and transcendental meditation each have helped groups of veterans to manage PTSD.

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Posted in: Psychosocial

Mindfulness and Meditation for Diabetes Management

July 27th, 2014 · No Comments

Last night my thoughts returned again and again to a missing package. The sender had written me that my order had been delivered, but I hadn’t received it. I tried and tried to suppress that thought and to get back to sleep. Finally, meditation helped.

This was for me a painful example of what psychologists call “thought suppression.” Like many people, I have experienced thought suppression lots of times. But I don’t remember having read about this concept before starting to prepare this article, which reviews a new study of how meditation and mindfulness can help people with diabetes and other long-term conditions.

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Posted in: Psychosocial

LiveBold with Diabetes

July 13th, 2014 · No Comments

If we don’t manage our diabetes, it’s likely to come with complications in its wake. But it’s sure to come with a stigma now.

The stigma of diabetes is that it’s our fault. It blames the victim.

fat (1).jpg
Before (Sitting)

Their theory is that we get diabetes because we’re fat, lazy, and weak-willed. Many people assume that it’s especially because we got fat that we got the disease.

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Posted in: Psychosocial

Diabetes Help on the Internet

April 11th, 2014 · No Comments

Recently a fellow passenger asked me what I missed most about home. We were on a small ship and were out of contact with the rest of the world.

I realized that besides missing my friends and my usual food and drink, being able to use the Internet was what I wanted most. In fact, just as my shipmate asked that question, a devastating rainstorm had hit my hometown. I didn’t learn about it until the end of the week, when I could check my email and found messages from several friends.

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Posted in: Diabetes Basics, Psychosocial

Grateful for Diabetes

December 2nd, 2013 · 4 Comments

Those of us fortunate enough to be Americans have so many things to be grateful for this month, and we will celebrate that gratitude in four weeks. In fact, those of us who have diabetes have a whole month to be thankful for it.

Yesterday, President Obama proclaimed November 2013 to be National Diabetes Month. While this Presidential Proclamation seeks to raise the awareness of everyone about the prevention and management of diabetes, the President didn’t say why the month when we celebrate Thanksgiving is the same month that we recognize diabetes.

But I know that the link between Thanksgiving and diabetes is a strong and positive one. Knowing that we have diabetes can be good for us.

You may think that I’m crazy, but some of us are thankful that we have diabetes. I wish all of us could share this feeling.

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Posted in: Psychosocial

Emergency Preparedness for Diabetes

November 24th, 2013 · 1 Comment

Like everyone else, those of us who have diabetes need to prepare for emergencies. But because we have more and different needs, we have to do more than just think about what could go wrong. Sadly, that’s what most people do.

Some people have set aside stores of food and water. But only about 10 percent of American households are prepared for an emergency. Yet climate change and increasing weather extremes are creating more and more emergencies.

The United States experienced an average of 50 natural disasters each year in the previous decade — more than 560 in total — according to the records that the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, keeps of “major disaster declarations.” Already in the first three years and 10 months of this decade FEMA declared 280 major disasters, an average of more than 73 per year.

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Posted in: Psychosocial

Painless Diabetes

October 3rd, 2013 · 6 Comments

The trouble with diabetes is that it doesn’t hurt. Because it is painless, most people who have diabetes think that they can ignore it. After all, anything that is serious would hurt a lot, right?

Wrong.

The pain comes later with the complications of diabetes that come in its wake, sometimes years later. Some of these complications hurt a whole lot. Think of the continuous pain of diabetic neuropathy, one of the most common complications of diabetes. Or think of the sharp pain when you get a heart attack.

Diabetes is the most insidious disease anyone can get. A dictionary definition of insidious is one that develops “so gradually as to be well established before becoming apparent.”

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Posted in: Psychosocial

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