How Diabetes Kills

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How Diabetes Can Affect Your Sex Life

Most people are aware that diabetes contributes to heart disease, stroke, peripheral vascular disease, blindness and renal failure. It’s a progressive disease that can debilitate one’s body, organ by organ, when left out of control. But did you know that, long before any of these take place, diabetes can kill your sex life? Diabetes itself is not responsible for the damage done to the body. Instead, it is the rise in blood sugar that comes from either insufficient insulin release (type 1 diabetes) or a body’s resistance to the effects of insulin (type 2 diabetes). Unlike type 1 diabetes, which starts in childhood, type 2 diabetes begins in adults and is almost always related to being obese or overweight for some time. Often, it can be reversed if you return to a normal weight. Many doctors are happy if they see their diabetic patients maintain their blood sugar under 150, or even 180 if they’ve had the disease for a while. I believe, however, these levels still permit slow degeneration of the tissues and nerves of the body, which can severely affect quality of life. Ideally, a level between 80 and 125 is best. Good sexual functioning depends on good blood flow and the abili Continue reading >>

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Popular Questions

  1. Hankpiggy

    Throwaway account for obvious reasons.
    Husband (55) was just diagnosed with adult-onset diabetes (misdiagnosed for 5 years as panic attacks) but refuses to do anything about it. He had a fasting glucose test (360mg/dL) and a follow-up a1c blood test (11.4%). That's literally the only testing he's had done for it.
    As soon as the initial diagnosis came back, he "fired" his primary care physician for misdiagnosing his condition. But he refuses to talk to his new PCM about it (the PCM has threatened to drop him as a patient because of it). He insists that he'll be fine, "or if not at least I know what's going to kill me."
    Won't change his diet, which has always been high in sugar. He can drink a 2liter bottle of soda a day, jokes that the suggested serving size for cinnamon buns is "all of them," etc. I've made some sneaky changes around the house. There's no snacks in easy reach. I'm cutting down on portion sizes and cooking with fewer carbs. But I have no control over what he does when he leaves for work, and I'm sure there are daily Dunkin Donut runs and fast food lunches.
    He gets blurred vision and what we used to call panic attacks but now we're calling "blood sugar events" about once a week. They're debilitating. He's unable to function for close to an hour and then shaky for another three or four. I did notice that he had a tiny cut on his foot that took forever to heal last year. In retrospect, I should have forced him to get tested then. No cardio or other issues. We regularly go on hikes with steep grades and 1,000' changes in altitude.
    I'm scared (and super pissed off) about his attitude. How long do I have to dig this grave?

  2. Ceanot

    Unfortunately, he can live for many years with horrible complications. You need to figure out what kind of life/partner you want. Are you happy to be sneaky and watch your partner slowly kill himself; or do you want a partner who will take care of himself so he can be around to do fun things? Are you partners or are you his caregiver?

  3. cdn_SW

    I'm so sorry your going through this, you must be incredibly frustrated. In my opinion it's not about how long it will take to kill him, it's about what it will do to his quality of life. Two of the more common and horrible complications of diabetes are problems with the eyes and neuropathy. He could go blind or end up losing a limb. You mentioned a cut that took forever to heal, uncontrolled blood sugar makes you prone to infections that can be difficult to heal, he could end up losing a toe, foot, or part of his leg. Neuropathy can also be horribly painful.
    Your husband needs to get a grip on dealing with this, it's really not that difficult once you make a decision to make some changes and get the proper treatment. You may also need to let him know whether or not you feel you would be able to be his caregiver if his health goes to shit due to his own negligence. It's a harsh reality, but better to come to grips with it now than when it's too late. It's hard to give a timeline, like in many things some people seem to fair reasonably well even with horrible control, and others may do all the right things and still end up with complications. Hopefully you can talk some sense into your husband, maybe have him google some images of diabetic neuropathy or diabetic foot ulcers, and see if that is enough to scare him into doing something.

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