There are fates worse than death: take Type 2 diabetes seriously

Living with a chronic illness can be a challenge in more ways than one. Even when you have the symptoms under control, you can suffer from pill fatigue and just get sick of the daily regimen of taking your medication.

You feel good, so maybe you’re all better, you reason. Soon the medication routine starts being interrupted, at first just from time to time. You miss one dose with little apparent consequence; then you miss another and pretty soon you are missing more than you are taking.

This is a very dangerous and downhill road to travel no matter what the disease, but if you are dealing with diabetes, the consequences can be severe, death being the least of it.

We all hope to grow old gracefully and if we can do so in good health, we are doubly blessed. If our health isn’t perfect, then the next best thing we can hope for is effective treatment that will allow us to continue with a good quality of life. When we neglect our treatment or rail against it, we are courting disaster that can take away that opportunity to enjoy old age with some degree of physical comfort.

If you doubt these words, then consider this: failure to treat diabetes can result in heart attack or stroke, kidney failure, gum disease and loss of teeth and worse. It can lead to glaucoma, cataracts and even blindness. The leading cause of kidney failure is uncontrolled diabetes.

Improperly managed diabetes can cause nerve damage – neuropathy – leading to amputation of toes and even feet. Sixty per cent of foot and toe amputations result from unmanaged diabetes. Neuropathy symptoms include a burning sensation in feet, foot pain and pain in the legs, arms and hands.

Other consequences can include interference with digestion and loss of bladder control, especially in women.

Knowing all this, why would anyone take a chance? If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, pay attention to your diet. Monitor and control your blood sugar. Follow your doctor’s orders and stay as healthy as you can.

And here is the good news: weight loss can make a tremendous contribution to the health of those with Type 2 diabetes. In some cases, it can even cause the symptoms to disappear.

Chronic illness is frustrating, but the alternative is much worse.

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