It appears that you are currently using Ad Blocking software. What are the consequences? Click here to learn more.
Advertisment
Diabetes Developments - A blog on latest developments in diabetes by David Mendosa

Entries Tagged as 'Psychosocial'

Weightism and Diabetesism

August 26th, 2013 · 2 Comments

We all know that those of us who have diabetes, particularly when we are also overweight, have serious health problems to manage. And almost all people with diabetes are overweight.

But we often overlook the social problems that accompany these issues. They can be as serious and can make our physical problems even worse, according to provocative new research.

Discrimination is the root cause of these social problems. Although during the past century our country has made — and continues to make — enormous strides to end overt discrimination, covert discrimination still festers in the hearts of many Americans. We are cleaning up our act, but not our hearts.

[Read more →]

Share

Posted in: Psychosocial

Reducing the Mental Stress of Diabetes

May 16th, 2013 · No Comments

Having diabetes can be stressful both physically and mentally. We focus most of our attention on reducing our physical stress through medication, diet, and exercise.

We often ignore the tools at our disposal for reducing the mental stress that physical stress usually carries in its wake. The good news is that working with the tools at hand for dealing with mental stress are even easier to apply than those we have for dealing with physical stress. And some of these tools are free.

Earlier, I have written here how one of these tools, meditation, has reduced the mental stress that came with my diabetes diagnosis. Many thousands of other people have also benefited from the Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction program that Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn started in 1979 at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. It is an eight week course combining meditation and yoga to help us cope with stress, pain, and illness by using moment-to-moment awareness.

[Read more →]

Share

Posted in: Psychosocial

The Best Diabetes Charity

March 11th, 2013 · No Comments

None of the charities that ask us to support them for anything related to diabetes have ever excited me. Until now.
Charity Navigator, the independent and non-profit organization that evaluates America’s charities, includes 37 charities that claim to work for people with diabetes. When my wife Catherine died six years ago, I suggested that our friends could make a contribution in her name to one of these charities. But that was only because at that time we lacked a better alternative.

Now we have a better choice. Insulin for Life USA was incorporated in August 2012, and in November the U.S. Internal Revenue Service gave it 501(c)(3) status that recognizes it as a non-profit charity.  This means that Insulin for Life USA is exempt from paying taxes and that donors to it may deduct their contributions on their federal income tax returns.

While Insulin for Life USA is a newly formed organization, it is a part ofInsulin for Life Australia, which has been helping people with diabetes around the world since 1986. Other IFL-affiliated centers already existed in Austria, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. IFL Australia coordinates the collaborative activities of these centers and continues to start new ones.

[Read more →]

Share

Posted in: Psychosocial

Why Diabetes Advocacy Has a Problem

December 19th, 2012 · 1 Comment

If we were in the same room, I’d be willing to bet that you didn’t know that November is National Diabetes Month. Why should you?

This event comes around every year at this time. I know about it only because public relations people write or call me to publicize something or other in connection with it.

Trying to get people to think about diabetes for one month of the year is not my idea of effective advocacy. I think about diabetes a lot more often than that, and I guess that you do too. Even if we thought about diabetes all year long, that would be awareness, not advocacy.

Some organizations that include the word “diabetes” in their names sponsor events that also include the word “cure.” They talk a lot about curing this incurable disease, and they have good reason to talk the talk, while failing to walk the walk.

Here in Colorado you can pay a little extra and get a license plate that says, “JDRF: Improving Lives — Curing Type 1 Diabetes.” If you live in Indiana, your car’s license plate can read, “Stop Diabetes.” Other states offer other license plates to bring more attention to diabetes and the organizations that talk about it.

Talking about curing diabetes raises money and awareness for these organizations to continue. This is fundraising, not advocacy. In fact, none of us who have diabetes are doing any advocacy well.

[Read more →]

Share

Posted in: Psychosocial

Suppose Your Husband Has Diabetes

December 11th, 2012 · 2 Comments

When someone has diabetes, the whole family can help. If your child has diabetes, you have to take at least some responsibility for managing his or her diabetes.

But if your husband has diabetes, you can’t treat him like a child. He has to take responsibility himself before you can do anything to help.

Please notice that I write “husband,” not spouse. In the past 17 years that I have been writing about diabetes hundreds of wives have asked me how they can get their husband to manage his diabetes. I don’t remember any husband who was equally concerned with helping a wife, but I may have forgotten some of them.

[Read more →]

Share

Posted in: Psychosocial

Empathy in Patient-Centered Medicine

October 27th, 2012 · 5 Comments

When I moved to Colorado in 2004, one of my problems was finding a whole new set of doctors. In addition to a primary care physician, I had to find an ophthalmologist, a dermatologist, a podiatrist, a chiropractor, a dentist, and other specialists for passing problems. I didn’t even try to find an endocrinologist here. I can remember at least 20 doctors who treated me in the past eight years.

Ever since I began to manage my diabetes I have been extraordinarily healthy. So that’s not why I am so familiar with doctor’s offices. All of us who have diabetes need a primary care physician and some of these specialists. The main reason why I kept changing doctors was because I didn’t like a lot of them.

Finally, I like all of them who I go to now. I even count two of them, my primary care physician and my chiropractor, as personal friends. My current medical team consists of six essential doctors.

[Read more →]

Share

Posted in: Psychosocial

Our Children will Rebel against Diabetes

September 20th, 2012 · No Comments

Young people in America today are getting type 2 diabetes much younger than their parents ever did. The media is ringing its collective hands over concern that this terrible trend will continue.

Even the good, gray New York Times is worried. “Obesity and the form of diabetes linked to it are taking an even worse toll on America’s youths than medical experts had realized,” Denise Grady, a Times science reporter, wrote earlier this year. In the 1990s doctors began to notice an “alarming increase” in type 2 diabetes among children, especially among those from poorer families.

When I began to write about diabetes in the mid-1990s we had a good reason for calling what we now call type 2 diabetes “adult-onset diabetes.” When a doctor told me in 1994 that I had it, I was 59, which was then the typical age of diagnosis. Now even children  as young as 5 get type 2.

[Read more →]

Share

Posted in: Psychosocial

Punishing Noncompliance

June 25th, 2012 · 2 Comments

In America our doctors and nutritionists talk about their noncompliant patients who have diabetes. In Hungary they are beginning to do something about those people.

You know when your medical advisors think you aren’t doing your best to manage your diabetes. Every time you go to their office they’ll tell you that your blood sugar level is too high. Or even when your level is fine, they’ll tell you that you are eating wrong.

They might give you a dirty look or two. They might tell you to shape up. But they won’t tell you to ship out.

[Read more →]

Share

Posted in: Psychosocial

Magnesium: The Magical Mineral

June 19th, 2012 · 1 Comment

We have know for years that many people with diabetes have too little magnesium in their bodies. So why don’t all of us take supplements of this magical mineral?

Everyone seem to recommend magnesium, mostly to reduce the insulin resistance and hence help counteract diabetes. But how much magnesium we have in our bodies is almost impossible to test, because most of it resides in our bones and very little in our blood, according to Dr. Barkat Charania in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He practiced orthopedic surgery for more than 30 years, now blogs at Dr. Barkat Charania, and helped me research this article.

Since our blood levels of magnesium don’t tell us if we have enough, researchers have reported few human studies, he told me. Still, he brought to my attention 41 studies of magnesium, most of them in relation to diabetes.

[Read more →]

Share

Posted in: Psychosocial

Smile: The Astonishing Powers of a Simple Act

February 10th, 2012 · No Comments

A smile can make you happy. Particularly if it’s your own smile. Your smile can also cheer up someone else, at least for a little while.

I also maintain that happiness can make us healthier. For those of us who struggle every day with our diabetes, staying happy goes a long way to help us manage it.

So, smiling can make us healthier. While the world has long known this, in our daily lives most of us usually fail to act on it.
Everyone from Nat King Cole to Thich Nhat Hanh has encouraged us to smile more. Nat King Cole, one of the greatest jazz pianists and baritones of the 1940s and 1950s, was the first to sing “Smile,” which was the instrumental theme for the 1936 Charlie Chaplin movie “Modern Times.”
One of my personal guides, Thich Nhat Hahn, is a Buddhist monk who was born in Vietnam and is peace activist who now lives in France. At many times and in many places he has talked and written about the importance of smiling.

“If in our daily life we can smile,” he writes, “if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it. This is the most basic kind of peace work.”

[Read more →]

Share

Posted in: Psychosocial

HONcode certification seal.